November 24, 2016 3:11 pm
Updated: November 24, 2016 3:44 pm

U-Pass expands to include students from 3 Capital Region cities

The U-Pass is expanding to include three more Capital Region cities. Nov. 24, 2016.

Dave Carels, Global News

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, post-secondary students from Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc and Spruce Grove will be able to use the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) program.

That means, students in those areas will have access to transit to and from the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, NAIT and Norquest College without having to buy multiple passes.

The three new municipalities join Edmonton, St. Albert and Strathcona County, the cities already taking part in the program.

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“Edmonton is a hub of highly recognized post-secondary institutions,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

“Tens of thousands of students rely on public transit every day, many of them transferring between municipal providers.

“Expanding the program participation is a great example of the type of regional collaboration we want to see.”

Gale Katchur, the mayor of Fort Saskatchewan, said it was an easy decision to join the U-Pass program.

“It supports the students in our communities who are travelling across city boundaries to create life-changing opportunities for themselves,” she said.

Each school will give students a transit sticker for their student ID which will be valid for one school term across all participating municipalities.

“Students who attend a participating post-secondary institution in Edmonton but live outside of the city faced additional daily transit fees in order to reach classes,” Robyn Paches, with the University of Alberta Students’ Union, said. “On the flipside, all students faced the same barrier if they needed to reach surrounding communities for practicums, classes or other activities. Expanding the U-Pass program means more affordable and convenient transit for these students.”

The U-Pass was created in September 2007 as a three-year pilot project. At that time, it was a partnership between three municipalities: Edmonton, St. Albert and Strathcona County. The cost was included in student fees.

In April 2010, the pilot program became permanent and NAIT also joined in. NorQuest College became a partner in 2013.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc

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