Were students misled in last year’s bus pas referendum?

(1) The ‘Yes’ campaign had much more exposure than the ‘No’ campaign.(2) The ‘Yes’ campaign posters offered advantageous reasons for taking the bus, but did not indicate a cost would be involved.

(3) ‘Yes’ posters indicated “the U-pass will service all students.” Well, it doesn’t.

(4) Advertisements were misleading. Information which can be found on www.brockbuspass.com/facts offered statistical comparisons to other universities using different time frames. For example, in an attempt to emphasize how “drastically” cheaper our parking rates are, our rates were recorded as $54.00/4 months for a parking pass, while McMaster’s and Laurier’s prices were recorded as $144/8 months and $113.00/8 months respectively. When the prices are listed properly, they appear to be quite comparable at $108.00 for Brock, $113.00 for McMaster, and $144.00 for Laurier.

(5) BUSU felt that with parking being “drastically” cheaper than paying for a bus pass, students are more inclined to drive. This does not make sense since there are many more costs associated with driving a vehicle to school than merely paying for a parking pass.

(6) To help bus students, BUSU felt the “University administration should increase parking rates whereas the extra revenue could be forwarded to the transit commission and allow for transit passes to decrease in price.” Well, our parking passes did increase by over 200 per cent. This increase was not used for the transit commission, instead the ‘Yes’ campaign was successful and students are now required to pay an additional $120.00 for a bus pass to help out bus students suffering from “colossal bus fares.” At $540.00 for a full year of transportation this cost to some does not seem “colossal.”

(7) Most of the bus fees are going to the transit commission (over 1.5 million dollars). Ultimately, bus passes are not only being subsidized, the money is being used or improvements to transit.

(8) Many believe those who take the bus are disadvantaged and could use the financial support from the more fortunate student drivers. Drivers are not necessarily more fortunate, they do however work hard and in many cases they are struggling just as much, if not more to pay for their transportation and should not be required to pay for someone else’s.

- Laura Fekete, BSc, third year

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