U of R’s U-Pass program expands into spring and summer months

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Regina city council approved to extend the University of Regina students’ union U-Pass program into the spring and summer months. – Jan 30, 2020

For first year University of Regina student Anchal, taking the bus to school is her only option.

So, when city council voted this week to extend the U-Pass through the spring and summer months, Anchal was relieved.

“Taking the bus pass from the school helps us a lot. It’s cheaper than outside [the U of R]…it’s accessible and easy,” Anchal said.
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Since the U-Pass program came into effect three years ago there’s been significant growth in transit use.

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

The University of Regina students’ union (URSU) claims a 250 per cent increase in bus product sales during the spring and summer months over that time.

URSU’s operations manager Neil Middlemiss said they sold roughly $95,000 of bus products in the spring and summer of 2015, with that amount jumping to more than $330,000 in 2019.

“That shows that a lot of students are getting very accustomed to taking the bus on a regular basis,” Middlemiss said.

“We’ve also had students complain that it’s too cost-prohibitive for them to come to the university in the spring and summer because there is no U-Pass program.”

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READ MORE: Why officials are calling Regina’s U-Pass program a success

In March, students voted in favour of a spring and summer pass, 1844 for it, 323 against it.

The university charges a mandatory nominal fee for the U-Pass to students taking at least one class a semester. Those who live on or near campus and outside of the city have the ability to opt-out.

The new changes will be in effect this year, attached with a three-year agreement ending on April 30, 2023.

Beginning in May 2021, a three per cent increase will be applied to the cost of the pass.

Students pay just under $90 per semester for the U-Pass, according to the URSU website.

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