A University of Alberta student is taking on the city of Edmonton over what he says are unfair LRT fines.

Law student Scott Meyer was slapped with a $250 fine last September after being caught on the LRT without his student U-Pass, which is affixed to every student ID card and gives unlimited access to city transit.

Although he was able to avoid the fine by presenting his U-Pass and arguing his case in court, Meyer now wants the city to stop charging students who forget their pass at home.

His argument hinges on the fact U-Passes are mandatory for all students.

"A U-Pass you can't opt out of – so all students have a U-Pass and all students have already boarded the train having paid for the right to board that train."

But Gary Dyck with the city said transit rules clearly state all riders must be able to show proof they have paid.

The fine system is in place to encourage people to carry their passes at all times, he said.

However, Dyck said the city will consider Meyer's complaint and will meet to discuss the issue next week.

"The city always reviews the information that’s brought to them and tries to find the best solution," he said.

In the meantime, fined students are welcome to make their case in court, he added.

"If you do get a ticket, you can produce your proof and and the prosecutor has the discretion of deciding whether or not to make you pay the fine."  

Dyck’s best advice for students, however, is to make sure they have their U-Pass with them at all times.


with files from CBC's Gareth Hampshire