U-Pass available with flat rate fee for spring/summer terms

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High gas prices may have more students than ever riding the bus

This spring, students at the University of Regina had the option to activate their U-Pass for May through August for a flat fee of $87.60. This option gave students a cheaper way to get around for the summer at a discounted rate compared to what the City of Regina currently charges. However, to activate the pass for the season, students had to go to the students’ union desk to purchase and activate the pass instead of automatically adding it to their tuition payment.

The Carillon spoke with several students to see why they chose to use the pass this summer, and what their experience with it has been like.

“I activated my U-Pass because it seemed like the most cost-effective solution for transit,” said Computer Science major Mohammad Zafar. “Gas prices definitely played a role in my decision, but I think I would have gotten a U-Pass regardless due to other expenses relating to vehicles. I frequently use the U-Pass throughout the entire year but I sometimes use another vehicle if there is a time sensitive matter I have to attend. Overall, I’ve had great experience with the U-Pass and it helps me save money.”

Most of the reviews for the spring and summer U-Pass option were positive, but Ala Eisa, a Psychology and English student at the university, said otherwise, voicing concerns over the frequency of transit routes in Regina.

“I regret getting a U-Pass for the spring and summer semesters,” said Eisa. “I didn’t realize until after I got the pass that my bus wouldn’t swing around every hour like it does during fall and winter. I used my U-Pass maybe twice, but only on days that I had a reason to be hours early for class. Otherwise, I just drove. But, otherwise, the process of actually getting a U-Pass at URSU was seamless and easy.”

Mohammad Zafar also mentioned some critiques: “What I would like to see changed is having the option to select a spring or a summer term.”

Currently, the only option for students is to opt-in for the whole summer or not at all.

The rising cost of living has made an impact on people’s choice to use the U-Pass.

“I can’t afford my own car right now so I have to use transit frequently, and the U-Pass has made it really easy for me,” said Nanndani Bhatt. “When filling up my car runs me upwards of $80, getting around for the entire summer for $87.60 almost seems too good to be true.”

Another concern is how much it costs to park a car on campus.

“I was more concerned with prices to park on campus rather than gas prices,” said Eisa. “I usually have to drive a lot anyways, regardless of gas prices, so that wasn’t really on my mind too much. Something that I’ve been more conscious about lately, though, is carbon emissions. So, I figured that by bussing I’d be doing at least a small good thing for the earth.”

Regardless of whether or not it was due to gas prices, inflation, convenience, or trying to do something good for the planet, having the option to opt into the U-Pass for the summer has worked for a lot of students at the UofR. The process of having to go to the student union doesn’t seem to have made the situation any more difficult than having it added to the tuition.


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