2013 U-Pass Referendum - Official Results

The GSA Chief Returning Officer has announced the official results of the 2013 GSA U-Pass Referendum.

Yes 1468 votes
No 126 votes

For background information on U-Pass and the GSA Referendum please read the information below.

U-Pass Background Information and Referendum Wording

  • U-Pass is the student group discount program that provides students with unlimited public transit offered by Edmonton, Strathcona County, and St Albert.
  • The UofA U-Pass program has been very successful, including a 96% uptake (% of U-Pass stickers in use) for Fall 2011 and Fall 2012.
  • The University subsidizes 1/6 of the U-Pass fee for its students in order to promote public transit use (the only post-secondary institution to do this).
  • The current U-Pass agreement is due to expire. Over the last year the four student associations, including the GSA, have been negotiating with the transit providers for a new agreement. The ETS opening position was a U-Pass fee of $170.
  • After much negotiation, an agreement was reached that would see the U-Pass fee increase by $7.50 per year for the next four years. With the UofA subsidy, the U-Pass fee increase for UofA students is $6.25.
  • U-Pass has been around since 2007. In 2006, the GSA, along with the UofA Students' Union and the MacEwan and NAIT student associations, negotiated to implement U-Pass. The first GSA U-Pass referendum was held and approved by graduate students in 2007 to cover Fall/Winter 2007 to 2010. Again by a 2010 GSA referendum, U-Pass was extended to April 30, 2013.
  • As a result of a GSA initiative, a Spring/Summer (May-August) U-Pass for graduate students was approved by another GSA referendum and began in May 2011.
  • In late 2012, the three transit providers and their respective city councils approved new U-Pass pricing of $147.50 for Sept 2013 - Aug 2014; $155 for Sept 2014 - Aug 2015, $162.50 for Sept 2015 - Aug 2016, and $170 for Sept 2016 - Aug 2017. Once the UofA subsidy is included, the U-Pass fee for each of the Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer Terms for UofA students is: $122.92 for 2013-2014; $129.17 for 2014-2015; $135.42 for 2015-2016; and $141.67 for 2016-2017.
  • More information on U-Pass is available on the UofA website: www.upass.ualberta.ca
  • In February 2013 GSA Council approved the wording for the March 2013 referendum

Do you support the continuation of a Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) subject to the following conditions?

  1. The U-Pass would provide unlimited usage of regular transit service through Edmonton Transit System, St. Albert Transit and Strathcona County Transit within the participating municipalities' service area during the Fall, Winter, and/or Spring/Summer (May-August) Terms to all continuing graduate students enrolled in at least three credits in a term.
  2. The cost of the U-Pass fee to each graduate student would be mandatory and follow the price structure per term, below:
    1. 2013-2014: $122.92
    2. 2014-2015: $129.17
    3. 2015-2016: $135.42
    4. 2016-2017: $141.67
  3. The following graduate students would be eligible for exemption from the U-Pass program:
    1. Students enrolled in the Executive MBA program, or enrolled only in Off-Campus Thesis.
    2. Students not enrolled in at least three credits within the participating municipalities service area for the majority of a term.*
    3. For Spring/Summer Terms, thesis-based students engaged in Off-campus activities outside the municipalities' service area for the majority of the Spring/Summer Terms.
    4. Students unable to make use of ordinary transit services by reason of disability.
    5. Students employed by Edmonton Transit System, St. Albert Transit, or Strathcona County Transit.
    6. Students who are enrolled at another post-secondary educational institution and are required to participate in a transportation program similar to the U-Pass program (if any) being offered to students of this other post-secondary educational institution by said institution and the municipalities.

    7. *This does not apply to thesis-based students admitted prior to September 2011 and who are not required to register in Spring/Summer and who are assessed the Spring/Summer U-Pass fee in the previous Winter Term.

If you have any questions, please contact the GSA Chief Returning Officer at: gsa.elections@ualberta.ca