Spring forth with the U-Pass

Maybe Regina transit wouldn’t look like this if busses came more often than once an hour? Johnnyw3 via Wikimedia

For the first time ever the U-Pass is being offered in the Spring/Summer term

For the first time ever, the University of Regina Students Union (URSU) is offering their subsidized student bus pass program in the duration of the spring and summer semesters. Furthermore, the costs have managed to stay at the same amount as the fall and winter semesters. U-Pass is something that is crucial to the survival of many students. Not everyone wants to pay $300 for parking when it is significantly cheaper to take the bus. The U-Pass system is sustainable for many students at the university.

I normally drive everywhere outside the university. However, when I’m going to the university, I prefer to take public transit because I don’t want to deal with parking tickets and being watched like a hawk by parking enforcement. U-Pass not being available in the middle of the pandemic was difficult seeing as many students still relied on the university for many services. As someone who can only really study in Archer Library, I was unable to go to the library as often as I normally would have. U-Pass not being offered made no sense because there were many random costs that were suddenly added to the tuition that most students could not opt out of, aside from paying the hefty tuition prices already.

U-Pass being available in the summer is perfect for me because I am taking summer classes and there have been times when I needed to go to the university. I was able to go this time around which is something I took for granted during the pandemic. Not all students have cars, and U-Pass being unavailable even after lockdown passed was quite difficult even for some of my colleagues who attend the university. Furthermore, students not only use U-Pass to go to the university, but also to do other errands that need to be done. They use it to get groceries, to get across the city for work, and travel back and forth for many other reasons. Some of my colleagues had to find other means to get across the city over the two years and this was incredibly difficult and quite expensive. It only made the lives of many of my colleagues much harder.

The reality is that URSU should have implemented an alternative during the two years that U-Pass was not offered. As a students’ union, it is important to ensure that services many students rely on do not disappear during crucial times; and if they do, then there must be an alternative put in place to target the removal of these so-called services.

After a very long and difficult pandemic, it is great news that U-Pass is finally being offered through the summer. Students who are taking summer classes might need it to utilize the many services offered by the university. Those who are not enrolled in summer classes might still need it in order to get across the city. It is a perfect way to be able to enjoy the summer. Moreover, it is also great that the price for U-Pass in the summer is not more expensive. Although the reality is that in a perfect world, I feel that the price would be reduced seeing that not many students sign up for it in the summer semesters in comparison to the fall and winter semesters.


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