Commuting to, and parking on, campus is a familiar challenge for many students.
In response, Memorial University is considering a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass).
U-Pass is a discounted transit pass that would help students travel more efficiently and inexpensively between their home and campus and between campus and other city locations. This option is being explored based on a request from students for improved campus transportation solutions.
Memorial is in the middle of a fall consultation for U-Pass.
“A series of four face-to-face sessions begins on October 16 and we invite all students to participate,” said Jordan Wright, a member of both the Parking and Transportation and Sustainability committees.
“We are encouraging a productive U-Pass conversation and we also invite students to visit the U-Pass website, participate in an online survey, and engage on social media.”
A U-Pass would give students access to all bus routes, with expanded service available based on student feedback. Service could be expanded to include new or more frequent routes in St. John’s, as well as routes to other communities such as Conception Bay South, Paradise, Mount Pearl, Torbay and Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. All revenue would be directed to improve service to Memorial’s campuses. It would also help support sustainability and reduce emissions.
“Defining a U-Pass service is part of our consultation process,” said Mr. Wright. “We are looking for student feedback as it relates to how to better service your transportation needs.”
A U-Pass program, as offered in most major cities and universities across Canada, relies on a high number of users and can be offered at a subsidized cost compared to a semester bus pass.
The increased level of investment in a U-Pass means a higher level of service to and from the university and other locations of interest to students. To accomplish this, all full-time students registered at St. John’s campus and Marine Institute during the fall and/or winter term would participate in a U-Pass program, unless they qualify for an opt-out.
Kristen Bumstead, a student at the St. John’s campus, used a U-Pass while attending Brock University.
“At Brock, the bus pass was included in the price of tuition and at a lower cost to students,” she said. “A multitude of routes ran frequently.
“I believe a U-Pass for Memorial will promote efficiency and hopefully make services more accessible to students.”
Students and the community are encouraged to engage in the consultation process this fall and share their ideas on this new way to get to class.