by Megan O’MearaFulcrum Staf A A CIY Council meeting on Dec.8, ollowing months o presentationsand lobbying eforts by representa-tives rom the University o Ottawaand the Student Federation o the Uni- versity o Ottawa (SFUO) in avour o a universal bus pass or students, Ot-tawa’s city councillors amended theproposed $125 cost o the potentialU-Pass to an inated price o $194.According to the SFUO’s Decem-ber bulletin, this meeting was held“without student representation.” TeSFUO had planned to attend a Dec.10 meeting to witness the city’s deci-sion but were surprised to hear thatcouncillors had already made up theirminds days beore.“We were not given any noticationthat they were going to do that,” saidSFUO President Dean Haldenby. “Hadwe been [aware], we would have beenthere in orce. It disappoints me thatthey brought it up earlier without noti-ying us, and also that they’ve approvedsomething that we don’t eel is right.”Te combined eforts o the SFUOand the U o O to establish the U-Passhas been a years-long process, andthose working on the project are notsatised with the city’s latest ofer.Jonathan Rausseo, the U o O’ssustainable development coordinatorwho has been involved in the U-Passproject since its early stages, claimedthat the city has not given them clearreasons or the inated price.“We’re still looking or the reasonsto make sure that it wasn’t a techni-cal error,” he said. “We spoke to onecouncillor who wasn’t exactly surewhat it meant and it hasn’t been listedin any minutes rom the budget pro-ceedings yet, so we’ve been tryingclariy that $194 is the actual pricethey’re [proposing].”Knoxdale-Merivale Ward Council-lor Gord Hunter, who indicated hissupport or the U-Pass but said heonly voted against it or its nancialrepercussions, explained that the $194number came rom OC ranspo. Hesaid they took into consideration thenancial implications o current rev-enue rom students through tickets,passes, and cash ares, compared to a$125 U-Pass that only ull-time U o O undergraduates would pay into.“It’s very important or the contin-uation o the project behind the pilotproject stage that you cost it at theright price point right away,” he said.“Te suggestion was $125—there’s no[point] in having that i that’s thencosting the city bus company a losso several million dollars in revenue,and we can’t aford to sustain that.”A number o councillors at theOct. 15 ransit Committee meetinghad made it clear that making the U-Pass revenue neutral was a priority.At that meeting, city representativesexplained that a $125 per semesterU-Pass would potentially cost OCranspo and the City o Ottawa $2.1million, although the committee end-ed up supporting the pilot project.
REJECTED continued on p.7
Jan. 8–21, 2009
Emma GodmereNews Editornews@thefulcrum.ca
by Jolene Hanselland Emma GodmereFulcrum Staf UNIVERSIY OF OAWA studentsliving of-campus and away rom thedowntown core have returned romthe holiday break to nd the same sit-uation they experienced during De-cember exams: no OC ranspo busesdriving down any city roads.Te city o Ottawa has been withoutbuses since Dec. 10, and thousands o students must continue to cope withan absence o transit services or atleast the rst week o second semesterclasses. In an efort to help studentsmake their way to campus or the rstour days o classes, the U o O andthe Student Federation o the Univer-sity o Ottawa (SFUO) have reinstatedthe hourly shuttle service that was inplace or much o the exam period.“Right now, what’s conrmed isthat the shuttle will go on [rom Jan.]6–9, and the reason or putting thisshuttle in place was to accommodatestudents as they come back or thenew session,” said Gisele Charlebois,assistant director or the Parking andSustainable ransportation Divisionat the U o O. “Aer that, or the timebeing, there will be no additionalshuttle ollowing [Jan.] 9.”According to the Parking andSustainable ransportation Divisionsection o the U o O website, noemergency shuttles will continue tobe provided, or “the University o Ottawa, as any other institution andworkplace, must respect that the OCranspo workers are on strike”.SFUO President Dean Haldenby explained that there are still otherpossibilities being considered to helpstudents get to campus aer Jan. 9.“We looked at a couple o optionsbeore we made the decision to putout more buses or the our days, andthe other option was to make it sothat the proessors would adjust in acertain way to not having the studentsin the classroom and using technol-ogy to our advantage,” he said. “Tatis still an option, should the vote ail,so we’re open to that and the univer-sity’s open to that as well.”Te over 2,000 members o Amal-gamated ransit Union Local 279—the union that represents OC ranspodrivers, mechanics, and dispatchers—are obligated to vote on the latest o the city’s contract proposals by Jan. 9,adhering to a Dec. 31 ederal govern-ment decision to orce a vote.ransit workers o cially went onstrike shortly aer midnight on Dec.10—six days into the U o O’s examperiod—aer contract talks brokedown, primarily over schedulingchanges or drivers that were recently proposed by the City o Ottawa.While Haldenby pointed out thathe wants to see an agreement reachedsooner rather than later, he indicatedthat the SFUO is in support o thestriking union.“Ultimately, we want to see an agree-ment [between both sides]. However,we are a union and we do support thetransit union,” he said. “We see the way that the City o Ottawa has treated usand it wouldn’t be highly unlikely thatthis is the same type o manner thatthey’re treating the AU members, soultimately, we want to see an agree-ment come out o it, but we want tomake sure that it’s the right thing oreveryone involved.”Charlebois indicated that whileshuttle service will not be continuingaer Jan. 9, several parking lots oncampus are ofering reduced pricesor students wishing to drive to theuniversity, and those reduced priceswill be maintained throughout thestrike period.
For more inormation about the emer- gency shuttles ofered by the university,visit protection.uottawa.ca/en/added_shuttles.html.
No buses in back-to-school commutes
SFUO supportsstriking transitunion as additionalshuttles are oferedor rst week back
City rejects U-Pass, SFUO rejects city
Councillors amendproposed pilotproject cost to$194 per semester
The Campus bus station has seen no passengers nor buses since the transit strike began on Dec. 10.
photo by Martha Pearceillustration by Alex Martin