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University of Ottawa students feeling left out of city's December free transit plan

The student union president at uOttawa says it's too late in the semester for students to opt out of transit fees for the rest of the year.
2019-08-23 Lyon Station LRT Ottawa Confederation Line 6
Lyon Station on Ottawa's Confederation Line, August 23, 2019. Mike Vlasveld/ CityNews

The City of Ottawa's plan to reward transit users for sticking with OC Transpo while light rail service has been down has excluded some of its most faithful commuters, according to the University of Ottawa's student union president.

Students pay their transit fees at the start of the semester and it's too late now to opt out, says Tim Gulliver, which means they won't get a break when the city offers free fares in December.

"Public transit is the most affordable, and supposed to be the most reliable way to get to campus, but clearly, this year that just hasn't been the case," he told CityNews' The Rob Snow Show on Thursday, November 4.

Gulliver thinks Mayor Jim Watson is just making transit free in December so that "he can escape some responsibility or backlash with the LRT."

"I'm not too sure what the political implications are," said the student union president, "but the reality is that students are now going to be paying for free transit."

Gulliver adds, the R1 buses have been no substitute for light rail service to campus, since the buses are often late and crowded, and he expects the lack of service to be an even bigger issue once midterms and finals get underway.

The light rail service disruption has compounded transportation issues for students, says Gulliver, as they've already dealt with the loss of Greyhound earlier this year.

Listen to Rob Snow's full conversation with Tim Gulliver:

Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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