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NEWS RELEASE · 9th June 2010
Office of the Premier
B.C. is the first province in Canada to offer an affordable, universal U-Pass transit program to students at all publicly funded post-secondary institutions, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

"This fulfils our commitment to establish a universal U-Pass program for all students studying at B.C. colleges and universities," said Premier Campbell. "Students will enjoy the benefits of discounted transit passes to help with the costs of getting to and from school."

Once implemented, U-Pass BC will be the most comprehensive student transit program in Canada, providing significant savings for students. In Metro Vancouver, post-secondary students will pay $30 per month for a system-wide U-Pass, compared to $81 they would pay for a monthly pass. Students will have the opportunity to vote in referenda on whether to join the new U-Pass BC Program.

Starting Sept. 1, 2010, U-Pass rates at Langara College and Capilano University will be decreased to $30 per month. Rates for students at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University will stay as they are now until Sept. 1, 2011, when they will be eligible to enjoy the same subsidized rates as other students.

"Not only will the U-Pass BC Program make transit more affordable for post secondary students, it will create a transit culture resulting in more people leaving their cars in the driveway, leading to less congestion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond.

"The Province and TransLink are to be congratulated for implementing a common U-Pass program for Metro Vancouver at an attractive price," said Nimmi Takkar, Canadian Federation of Students' B.C. Chairperson. "Affordable transit will be of tremendous benefit to post-secondary students in British Columbia and the communities where they live."

"The new U-Pass BC program is a great opportunity for students in our region and the province as a whole, and the partnership that made it all happen opens up great new opportunities for us to move forward and fulfill our region's transportation goals," said chair of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation and the mayor of the City of Langley Peter Fassbender. "The Province, TransLink and regional partners have created something that will generate sustained, widespread and long-term benefits right across Metro Vancouver."

The Province will invest over $20 million through April 2013 to support implementation of the U-Pass BC Program in Metro Vancouver. In all other regions, the Province will provide funding as required to ensure the U- Pass rate remains below $30 per month or to enable new institutions to join the U-Pass BC program at existing rates.

"The U-Pass program has the potential to help almost 439,000 students across B.C. achieve their educational goals," said Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. "I'm so pleased we've been able to work with our partners to support so many of our students."

The U-Pass BC Program is a partnership of the Province, TransLink, BC Transit, local governments, post secondary institutions and students.

Post-Secondary Institutions

* There are 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions in British Columbia with a total student population of approximately 439,000.
* Post secondary institutions currently with the U-Pass BC program:

Metro Vancouver:
* University of British Columbia
* Simon Fraser University
* Capilano University
* Langara College

Rest of B.C.
* University of Victoria
* Camosun College
* College of the Rockies
* Thompson Rivers University
* College of New Caledonia
* University of the Fraser Valley
* University of Northern British Columbia
* University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Post secondary institutions with option to join U-Pass BC Program:

Metro Vancouver
* Vancouver Community College
* Douglas College
* Emily Carr University
* Kwantlen Polytechnic University
* Justice Institute of British Columbia
* British Columbia Institute of Technology
* Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (Burnaby Campus)

Rest of B.C.
* Royal Roads University
* Okanagan College
* Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
* North Island College
* Northern Lights College
* Northwest Community College
* Selkirk College
* Vancouver Island University