Letter to The Runner: U-Pass doesn't help everyone

By Simon Ali

The U-Pass, to some, is a great addition for our universities. To others, it is a blatant attempt for TransLink to squeeze more money out of the citizens in Metro Vancouver. Why are we allowed to opt-out of our school health plan, which is a great necessity and can be detrimental to our health and safety if we don’t have it, yet we are forced to pay for a transit pass that we will not even use?

I understand that many people take transit, and this U-Pass is great for them, especially at the lower price, but there is a reason why our parking lots, at all our campuses, are full. For some, we work and come straight to school from there. For others, we go from campus to campus on a daily basis; and have you tried to take transit from Surrey to Richmond? You’ll miss your entire class if you tried to do that.

What I can’t comprehend is why our school, including all the students, cannot see how bad this U-Pass is. We are being forced to pay more fees and that to me does not sit well. TransLink has nothing to do with education yet they have “flexed their muscle” and forced the entire school system to make us students pay for their shortcomings. So not only do we have to pay a lot of taxes in our fuel for “better transportation” but now we are giving them our money that should be going towards our education. This brings another question to mind, we’re paying their business for improvements on transportation, yet Metro Vancouver has one of the worst transit systems for a big city. Cities such as London, Toronto, and NYC have amazing transit systems and they don’t rape their citizens in the process.

Most students are brainwashed in to liking this U-Pass and they actually believe it will better transit, yet all it will do is pay for the salaries of the executives at TransLink who make more than professional athletes, musicians, and they probably make more than Obama. Why does TransLink suck money out of the citizens of this city yet nothing really changes? Buses run slow, SkyTrain stops running early and there are parts of Metro Vancouver that do not even have proper service.

I heard that UBC is making room for more parking, yet TransLink thinks we all need a U-Pass? I also noticed the contract was done on Jan. 28 and if I’m not mistaken, our referendum was a week following. Kwantlen pays $40 while others pay $30, and there is worse service in the Surrey-Langley area than SFU, UBC and BCIT. Does any of this make you all realize this is ridiculous? I now know how it feels to be ruled by a regime similar to Castro in Cuba. Force us to do what they want. I for one will not let them do that to me.

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