U-PASS delayed

Feb 06, 2003, vol. 26, no. 3



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While students narrowly voted in favour of a universal transit pass (U-Pass) at a referendum last December, implementing the pass is proving to be more complex than expected.

Rick Johnson, associate VP-administration says establishing the necessary information system for production and distribution of the U-Pass will take two to three person-months of work. In addition, there are privacy and distribution issues to iron out. Compounding the difficulty is the university's current urgent commitment to transfer its student information system to a new computing platform, a commitment which is keeping most staff fully occupied. Despite hiring an external person to take on the U-Pass project, Johnson says the U-Pass won't be available until September. It was originally slated for distribution in May for the summer semester.

As well, a final contract has not yet been signed between SFU, Translink and the Simon Fraser student society.

Johnson estimates that creating and implementing the information system to manage the U-Pass will cost the university between $50,000 and $100,000. As well, the university will contribute $2 per student, per month, to reduce the cost of the pass, bringing the university's annual cost to approximately $400,000 per year.

Jan Gunn, internal relations officer with the Simon Fraser student society, points out that the U-Pass will help to alleviate the university's congested parking and will be a great help in recruiting students.

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