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Loyalist students say no to tuition-included bus pass

By Mark Hodgins [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College students have again said no to including a Belleville Transit pass in tuition costs.

A survey conducted this fall by the student government found that only 33 per cent of 800 students questioned were in favour of the idea, which is down 11 per cent from last year’s survey that asked students the same question. That survey found 44 per cent of students were for the bus pass.

It can’t be implemented without at least 50 per cent of students agreeing to it.

“Support for having universal bus pass has decreased,” said Jillian Robinson, Loyalist’s student government president.

“I’ve talked to a few people and they – and myself – agree that it should not be included,” said Robinson. “A lot of people have a car who come to Loyalist for a bus pass they would never use.”

Jacob Moore, a second-year in the Television New Media program at Loyalist, is one of those people. “Personally, it would be a little annoying because I drive, so it would just be costing me more money. I think it should be optional, but not mandatory.

Some students, however, don’t share that negative opinion.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Donald Lucas, an accounting student at Loyalist. Lucas thought back on his time as a student in Ottawa. “Before coming to Loyalist I went to Carleton University, and we had a universal bus pass as part of our tuition. It worked really great,” he said.

Carleton isn’t the only post-secondary institution to include a public transit pass in its tuition. Fanshawe College, St. Lawrence College, Canadore College and Trent University all do as well.