UPASS a no-go for another year

By Melissa Fraser [production editor]

KSA members talk to the media during a pr stunt at Kwantlen’s Surrey campus to show how ineffective transit is for students. Matt Law // The Runner

The Kwantlen Student Association is expecting the university to have its hands on a $30 dollar U-Pass deal this September.

But that doesn’t mean students will have their hands on the pass.

“Once the program is offered there is all kinds of work that needs to be done,” said Matt Todd,  KSA director of external affairs.
“Things like who prints it, who keeps track of it, how much will it be, will there be an administration fee?”

Todd says that in anticipation of the offer, the university and the KSA have begun work on some of the questions, but they are unsure of when the work will be complete.

Right now, the university suspects the U-Pass won’t be fully implemented until September 2011, despite pressure from the KSA to have it ready by January. The university has to establish things such as new software, training of staff, mailing contracts and a number of other aspects to make sure the implementation runs smoothly.

In preparation for the U-Pass offer, Kwantlen along with the KSA have looked at the option of adding more services to the pass other than just unlimited transit use in the Metro Vancouver area.

Todd points out that a number of students live in the Fraser Valley, where access to transit does not compare to that in Vancouver, so by making the U-Pass a “multi-pass” it would still benefit students who drive.

“For example we’re in negotiation with a fitness centre so that your U-Pass would function as a fitness interpass so even if using the bus has no value for you the pass would still be of value in accessing the fitness facilities,” said Todd.

Todd also says the KSA is working on a Surrey-Langley campus shuttle, which he says could be running by January 2011.

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