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Committee approves transit passes for students in 2016

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The plan would see students from the U of W and U of M pay $260 for a two-semester pass

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The plan would see students from the U of W and U of M pay $260 for a two-semester pass

A subsidized transit pass for university students was endorsed by the public works committee this morning.

The plan would see students from the U of W and U of M pay $260 for a two-semester pass, which would begin in the fall of 2016.

The pass came back to city hall after a similar proposal failed to be included in the 2014 budget.

But Mayor Sam Katz and Coun. Jenny Gerbasi promised to keep the idea alive and brought the proposal back to council last month.

University student leaders praised councillors this morning, calling the new plan a compromise from the one that failed to get support in December.

"This represents a great compromise from what was originally proposed," said Rorie McLeod Arnould, a representative of the University of Winnpeg Student Association.

The plan is contingent on students at both universities approving it in separate campus referendums.

The proposed transit pass would cost the city an estimated $1.1-million in annual subsidies.

The December plan envisioned students paying a smaller amount, which would have cost the city more than $3-million annually.

Transit director David Wardrop said the additional number of riders expected from the plan will require the city to buy 8 more buses. The city needs time to order the vehicles, Wardrop said, explaining why the program cannot start until the fall of 2016.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

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