The Toronto Transit Commission is considering its identification requirements for college students following complaints and a petition to institute a simpler solution.
Under current policy, full-time students receive a discount on a monthly Metropass. According to the Toronto Metro News, however, the student bus passes are only honored at the fare box if they show a second, transit-issued identification card as a second proof of student status.
The two-card system has proven to be a headache for student riders, with some reporting that they have been refused entry for not having both cards. Now, the complaints from students are are coming thick and fast for the transit authority.
Last year, the Toronto Transit Authority decided to amend its rider identification policy for high school students by not requiring them to show and ID when they pay the student fare. However, the policy suggests that high school students only need to produce ID if a driver or fare collector specifically requests one.
Per the Toronto Transit Commission website, the commission will continue to issue both university student TTC photo ID cards along with the standard student bus pass. University students must carry these TTC photo ID cards in order to use the Post-Secondary Metropass available to college and university students in Toronto.
This policy has some wondering why the transit authority holds university students — who already carry a campus card — to a different standard. Some believe the cost of the cards is behind the continued complexity.
The monthly cost of a Metropass for university students is $112, while the annual cost of a transit authority issued student identification card is $5.25. Moreover, not producing both cards at the fare box could leave students subject to a fine of $195 or more.
The transit authority did state that it will hear any and all petitions, as was the case with its high school identification amendment. But this serves as a reminder of the larger issue that a vast majority of colleges and universities are facing; the challenge of getting institutions and transit authorities on the same page for student transportation.