Students at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College will not be getting Kingston Transit passes this fall.
The City of Kingston, the Queen’s Alma Mater Society and the Student Association of St. Lawrence College have announced they are jointly terminating their respective agreements that provide universal, unlimited Kingston Transit access to post-secondary students.
The agreements have a termination clause of June 1 for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
The move comes as the city and student associations have jointly determined that the current agreements in place will not meet the needs of post-secondary students, many of whom may be continuing their studies remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the termination of these agreements, Kingston Transit is committed to providing ridership options to post-secondary students who will be in Kingston this September,” said Jeremy DaCosta, director of transit. “We are working closely with both student associations to find other solutions given the uncertainties with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Under the previous agreement, all students from both Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College paid a mandatory fee that allowed universal, unlimited Kingston Transit ridership options.
“This decision was certainly difficult to make, but it is in the best interest of all involved,” said Alexandra Samoyloff, vice-president of operations with the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University. “The upcoming academic year still holds some uncertainty, and we expect fewer students to access public transit.”
“We have enjoyed our longstanding partnership with the city and look forward to continuing that partnership in the future as we work to serve our student population during these challenging times,” said Elle McFeeters, president of the Student Association of St. Lawrence College.
Current eligible post-secondary students at both Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College continue to have access to transit under the current agreement until Aug. 31.