U-Pass distribution underway on campus

Carleton is already issuing mandatory universal bus passes in an effort to avoid headaches and long lineups – although they can’t be used until September.

Ryan Flannagan, director of Student Affairs, estimates 17,000 bus passes, called the U-Pass, will be distributed to students this fall and managing the volume will be a challenge.

“That’s a lot of passes,” he says. “It requires a lot of planning.”

His team has been hard at work figuring out the kinks of the new program, especially when it comes to setting up efficient distribution spots.

Throughout August and September, students can pick up their U-Pass at several locations across campus, including Porter Hall and the Information Carleton desk located in the University Centre. Flannagan hopes starting early will keep the lineups at a reasonable length.

“I suspect they’ll have it down like a well-oiled machine,” he says. “They’ll get through people pretty quick.”

Students at both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa voted overwhelmingly in favour of the discounted bus pass in referenda held during the last school year. After negotiations with the City of Ottawa, a deal was struck for a $290 pass for all full-time students.

Students who normally buy semester bus passes will save more than $200 with the U-Pass over the course of the school year. Dina Skvirsky, CUSA vice-president (Student Issues), says price is just one of many benefits.

“It is a safe and reliable way to travel,” says Skvirsky. “Using public transit is also a greener option and we hope it will reduce the strain on parking services at Carleton, as well as rush-hour traffic.”

Third-year journalism student Hilary Duff says she’s excited to pick up her U-Pass.

“I think it’s a really great way for students to save money,” she says, “especially with student budgets.”

While the U-Pass is currently a one-year pilot project, Flannagan anticipates the economic and environmental benefits for both the students and the city will make it a permanent feature at Carleton.

“The U-Pass is a really tangible way to demonstrate that the university as a whole is walking the walk when it comes to sustainability and the environment.”

U-Pass Facts:

  • Who gets a U-Pass?

The U-Pass is mandatory for all full-time students. Full-time status at Carleton means you are taking at least 1.5 credits per term. Faculty, staff and part-time students are not eligible.

  • Do I have to buy it?

If you’re a full-time student, purchase is mandatory. For a list of exceptions, including information about exchanges, living in Quebec and international students, visit the online FAQ.

  • How much does it cost?

The U-Pass costs $290, which is automatically added to tuition costs.

  • $290 sounds like a lot of money

If you pay cash for the bus three times a week throughout the school year, you’d spend more than $300.

  • How long can I use it?

The U-Pass is valid from September 2010 to April 2011.

  • When and where can I get a U-Pass?

• Aug. 3 – 24: Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Campus Card desk, 4th floor University Centre.

• Aug. 25 to Sept. 24: Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at both the Campus Card desk, 4th floor University Centre and Porter Hall, by Mike’s Place.

• Sept. 4 to 6: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Fenn Lounge in Residence Commons.

  • What do I need to bring to get my U-Pass?

Bring your current Campus Card or a piece of government-issued photo ID.

  • What if I lose my U-Pass?

You may receive a replacement U-Pass from the university for $25.

  • I still have questions. What should I do?

Visit: http://www2.carleton.ca/upass/faq/

This entry was written by Tayleigh Armstrong and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=1822

Tayleigh Armstrong

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