Make an Informed Decision

On March 25th, 26th and 27th the student body will be facing a referendum question regarding the potential for a U-Pass next year. As a future exchange student, who would not reap any benefits from the U-Pass next year and a member of the “Yes” committee, I full-heartedly endorse the prospect of a U-Pass as I see it as a viable part of a potential solution to the parking crisis that will occur next year. The U-Pass is a better alternative, as a change in student transportation behaviour is necessary in the upcoming years. While the “No” committee have come up with a couple of good ideas as to how to augment a transportation change, such as carpooling and bicycling, they also admit that they do not carpool, nor take their bicycle, in spite of living near by and in spite of the BUSU campaign last year, which was aimed at encouraging carpooling. Clearly, those ideas in themselves are not enough to create a solution.

The main issue here is that most people do not want to pay an extra $120 next year. That is understandable at the outset, given the substantial financial burdens that most students face. The problem, of course, with that logic is that most students don’t recognize that either way they will be paying for Brock’s transportations problems this year, and in the years to come. The additional parking spaces that are being built next year will do little to alleviate the parking problem at Brock, particularly in light of the double cohort. Each additional parking space costs $1000 to build, ($25 000 per space in a parking garage) and those fees will be subsidized by ALL students. There will also be the added costs of repainting the lines, HR costs, snow removal, property taxes and repair.

The point is not for bus students to get a cheaper ride next year. The point is to address the parking crisis at Brock. All students pay for parking at Brock, and therefore all students should be involved in the rehabilitation process. Regardless of whether we pay a direct $120 fee for a bus pass or through hidden fees in rising tuition costs, transportation will be paid for by the students. At $2.25/ride, it takes slightly over 3 round trips per month for the bus pass to pay for itself. It costs the average person over $17 per day to pay for a car (www.brockbuspass.com/links). Simple mathematics will demonstrate that the bus pass is a good choice for those who live in St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara Falls and Welland. Additionally, it will benefit those who are out of town through shortening the parking pass waiting list, freeing up spaces for those who need it and allowing students to go to the Pen Centre, etc during the day without forfeiting their parking places.

The parking and transportation crisis at Brock must be addressed, by this September. Make an informed decision. Do not let the fee scare you from recognizing the facts.

Leslie Roach
2nd Year Environment – stream of Politics

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