April 24, 2008
Media Release

YRT/Viva moves ahead with U-Pass student transit program

Universal Transit Pass program will offer students 37 per cent off transit pass prices
NEWMARKET York Regional Council today approved the implementation of a Universal Transit Pass
(U-Pass) program with Greater Toronto Area post-secondary schools, in partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and GO Transit. 
 
The U-Pass program will provide substantial transit discounts to college and university students of participating schools that adopt the program through a student referendum. 
 
"Increasing transit ridership in York Region is important to our long-term sustainability goals," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "The U-Pass will move more students toward transit and the benefits of that transition will extend well into our communities."
 
York Region is currently pursuing a U-Pass program with York University.  Based on interest, the program could also be extended to Seneca and Humber Colleges.  To get the U-Pass program off the ground, a student referendum with a 50 per cent or more favourable vote is required.   A referendum at York University could happen as early as fall 2008.
 
"The U-Pass program is a great way to pass transit savings along to students," said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Chair of the Region's Transit Committee.  "The U-Pass will encourage students to use public transit now and encourage them to continue to ride transit long after graduation."
 
The YRT/Viva U-Pass program would be mandatory for all full-time undergraduate students of participating schools at a cost of $60 per month from September to April.  The passes would be valid for unlimited travel during the school year at a cost of 37 per cent less than regular priced adult monthly passes.  U-Passes are priced lower than regular passes because the cost is shared by the student population. 
 
When entering the U-Pass program, students must select YRT/Viva, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) or GO Transit as their transit provider.  U-Passes are valid only for the transit system for which they are issued.  However, it is possible to purchase a U-Pass for more than one participating transit system at the discounted rate.  For example, a student using YRT/Viva and TTC could purchase two U-Passes at a total cost of $120 per month.
 
The U-Pass has proven to be a win-win initiative in other municipalities across Canada, benefiting students, the post-secondary schools, transit systems and local communities.  For students, it creates new convenient travel options and makes it cheaper and easier to use transit more often.  For schools and communities, the U-Pass can address local transportation challenges, while also reducing car use and harmful emissions.
 
For more information about YRT/Viva services, please visit the YRT/Viva website at www.yrt.ca, or call the Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978). 
 
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Media Contact: Kim Sinclair, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412
 Email:  Kim.Sinclair@york.ca

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