Saskatoon

University of Saskatchewan Students' Union withholds U-Pass money

The University of Saskatchewan Students' Union said it is withholding payment for bus passes during the Saskatoon Transit lockout.

Works out to $8,868 each day of the lockout

The University of Saskatchewan Students' Union said it is withholding payment for its U-Pass until the transit lockout is over. (Google Street View)

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The University of Saskatchewan Students' Union said it is withholding payment for bus passes during the Saskatoon Transit lockout.

Student president Max FineDay said the USSU hasn't yet spoken with Saskatoon Transit. However, council has made its decision to hold on to the money that 14,780 undergraduate students have already paid for a U-Pass. 

"We've been very disappointed with our communication with what we thought was a major partner," FineDay said. "We've had a relationship with Saskatoon Transit for a number of years now with the U-Pass. We didn't get any heads up about any of this."

FineDay said the money it is withholding works out to 60 cents per day for each student, which amounts to $8,868 each day the lockout lasts. 

The USSU said it is exploring ways of refunding the withheld money back to students, which it said makes up about one quarter of all transit riders.

University of Saskatchewan Graduate Students' Association president Izabela Vlahu said they will be going after compensation from Saskatoon Transit. 

"Right now, where I stand is, if this lasts for three days I would consider one kind of compensation," she said. "If this lasts three weeks, it's a very different picture and we would be asking the city for much more serious and substantial compensation."

FineDay said the lockout is having a negative impact on students. 

"Some students aren't coming to class because they live way across town," he said. "They can't get to their child's day care and to class in time."

On Tuesday afternoon, the City of Saskatoon issued a statement pledging to provide some sort of refund for bus pass holders, including the U-Pass. The details on how that would be done, however, were not worked out. The statement said the city will provide more information in about a week.

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