UPASS satisfies most students

November 27, 2003, vol. 28, no. 7
By Howard Fluxgold



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Most students are satisfied with the UPASS system after its inaugural semester, but still want improvements to bus services.

“Students are overwhelmingly happy with the system,” says Louis Julig, internal relations officer for the SFU student society, “but they still expect service improvements.”

“Translink needs to continue to accommodate the increased demand,” he adds, “and that means more buses more often. The other things would be to increase the number of buses on Thursday nights when we run a pub night. There's lots of people on the hill and we want them to get off the hill safely.”

Julig also wants more late night service on Friday and Saturday “so students can get into the city and back home safely.”

In the meantime, students continue to use the buses at a surprisingly high rate. Ridership on the Gagliardi Way route (bus 143) is up 107 per cent in the current semester compared to fall 2002, says Leanne Dalton, associate director of the UPASS program at SFU.

Dalton reports that “during afternoon peak hours this semester, there has been a 54 per cent increase in students taking the bus to get off campus compared to last fall.”

She says that Translink was surprised at the immediate popularity of UPASS. “The success has been so overwhelming that Translink had to re-jig capacity to try to make sure the students are being accommodated. They moved every spare articulated bus on to the SFU and UBC routes.”

Dalton says new passes for the next semester are currently being processed and most will be mailed out to students during the week of Dec. 15.

The pass is a cooperative effort of SFU, TransLink and the student society. The student society adds $92 to student fees for four months' transit while the university pays TransLink $8 per student. The regular price for a comparable student pass is $63 a month, or $252 for four months.

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