British Columbia

All post-secondary students get U-Passes in B.C.

All students at publicly-funded post-secondary institutions in B.C. will be eligible for the U-Pass, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Wednesday morning in Vancouver.

All  students at publicly-funded post-secondary institutions in B.C. will be eligible for the U-Pass, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Wednesday morning in Vancouver.

The passes will cost students in Metro Vancouver $30 a month, starting in September 2010.

That means the rate for existing programs at Langara College and Capilano University will drop, but UBC and SFU will retain their lower rates until September 2011, at which point they will rise to $30.

Outside the Metro Vancouver area, the rates will be $30 or lower. In total the program is expected to apply to about 439,000 students.

The province will help fund the expansion of the highly popular program with a $20-million investment over the next three years, making B.C. the first province in Canada to have a province-wide U-Pass program.

"This fulfills our commitment to establish a universal U-Pass program for all students studying at B.C. colleges and universities," said Campbell in a statement released on Wednesday morning.

"Not only will the U-Pass BC program make transit more affordable for post-secondary students, it will create a transit culture resulting in more people leaving their cars in the driveway, leading to less congestion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond.

"The province and TransLink are to be congratulated for implementing a common U-Pass program for Metro Vancouver at an attractive price," said Nimmi Takkar, Canadian Federation of Students' B.C. Chairperson.

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