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University of Regina U-Pass encourages students to take the bus

Click to play video: 'University of Regina gives students access to city transit with the new U-Pass' University of Regina gives students access to city transit with the new U-Pass
WATCH ABOVE: University students are frantically getting ready for the fall semester, but getting to class should be easier this year. Transportation for University of Regina students has been a hotly contested issue. But in March, students voted in favour of a U-Pass, giving them unlimited access to city transit. Blake Lough reports – Aug 26, 2016

Students arriving at the University of Regina for the 2016 fall semester will need to equip their student cards with a U-Pass in order to gain unlimited access to city transit.

The U-Pass initiative — a result of years of debate and negotiation — costs students $87.60 in additional tuition per semester. The pass is mandatory except for students who live outside the city limits or within one kilometre of campus. Those students can opt out of the program.

In March, students went to the polls and voted to implement the U-Pass program.

READ MORE: U of R students vote in favour of U-Pass

University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) president Jermain McKenzie was not part of the discussions leading to the implementation of the program, but has thrown his support behind the U-Pass.

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“We have seen in other cities where they have implemented U-Pass that ridership has increased.”

McKenzie said that increased usage of city buses will help reduce stress on overflowing parking lots on campus.

“One of the big concerns is parking and the rising costs of parking. The fact is, we don’t have enough space to keep building parking lots,” he said.

URSU worked in cooperation with Regina Transit to determine areas where public transportation for students could be improved. The result is the addition of a new route, plus the bolstering of five other routes to give students more options.

READ MORE: Regina Transit expanding bus routes with school just around the corner

ABOVE: A new bus route covering south-east Regina comes online Aug. 29. Global News

“The services increases and changes are focused around the university because that’s where the majority of new riders will be because of this agreement with URSU,” manager of business development with Regina Transit, Nathan Luhning said.

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“It’s going to benefit university students but any resident can use them.”

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