Discounted TTC pass will no longer be offered to Ryerson students
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2019 5:21PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 9, 2019 7:39PM EDT
Due to new policies imposed by the provincial government earlier this year, Ryerson University students will no longer be able to receive discounted TTC passes come September.
The Toronto Transit Commission approved the discounted pass for post-secondary students in March 2018. The pass allowed students at participating universities to ride the TTC for $70 a month, but the purchase of the pass would be mandatory.
According to the proposal, students would automatically be charged $280 a semester through their student fees. The “U-Pass” would be added to PRESTO cards, allowing students to access all TTC services for the fall, winter and summer semesters.
Ryerson University held a referendum in the fall of 2018 and the majority of students voted to go ahead with the mandatory pass.
According to the university’s website, Ryerson was in discussions with the TTC on the implementation of the discounted pass, but new guidelines for compulsory fees put forward by the Ontario government has halted the process.
“Earlier this year, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities released new guidelines for compulsory fees. It clearly stated that only those transit pass programs with fully executed agreements in place prior to January 17, 2019 could be considered compulsory. This was not the case with the RU-Pass,” the website says.
“Given these requirements, the RU-Pass will not proceed for 2019/20 and students will not be charged a fee associated with the RU-Pass.”
In January, the Progressive Conservative government announced a number of reforms to post-secondary education, which included a 10 per cent cut in tuition fees and the scrapping of free tuition for low-income students. The government also said that they would allow college and university students to opt out of fees that fund campus groups, student newspapers and clubs.
The minister of training, colleges and universities at the time said the opt-out policy is meant to give students more control over how they spend their money. Some programs such as athletics and health and counselling services would remain mandatory.
The Canadian Federation of Students have launched a court challenge against the government’s decision to allow students to opt out of fees, arguing that it unfairly targets student unions and interferes with the independence of schools.
-With files from Canadian Press