Algonquin College has officially partnered with the City of Ottawa to provide smart card U-Passes for bus ridership to all students.
Per a report from the Ottawa Citizen, the smart card bus passes come to the college following a referendum vote last year among students, which resulted int an 83% vote in favor of the U-Pass.
Algonquin will join Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University who all currently offer the same type of transportation solution to their students. Algonquin’s smart-card system will differ slightly from the others however.
The system at Algonquin has to account for a high number of summer students, so the new smart card system will be in operation during the summer months, offering a pass for full-time students taking summer courses.
The new bus passes will be differentiated by color, with full-time summer students carrying a different card from the regular-term students. Both bus passes will work for the duration of the student’s university career after which they will be void.
Currently, students over the age of 19 pay a regular bus pass fare at about $100 per month. According to the Algonquin Student’s Association website, the U-Pass provides a discount between 41 and 50% as compared to standard student monthly passes, and a discount between 53 and 62% compared to standard adult monthly passes.
The cost to cover the pass is mandatory and will be included in each student’s tuition at $199 per four-month semester. The U-Pass will be made available to all Algonquin students beginning with the September 2015 semester.