The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union is currently undergoing negotiations with Metrolinx regarding providing students with a GTA U-Pass.
During the 2017 spring elections, the winning-slate, Fresh UTM, advocated for a GTA U-Pass as part of their electoral platform. Salma Fakhry, UTMSU’s president, stated to The Medium that although discussions with GTA transit companies are ongoing, no definite agreement has been obtained yet.
“Last year, the exec[utive] team had a chance to sit down with transit authorities, such as MiWay and Metrolinx, to discuss concerns of a commuter campus like UTM,” Fakhry said in an email to The Medium, “What came out of it [the discussions] was that they wanted to know more about where students were coming from when they went to UTM, which is why Metrolinx gave us the instruction to release the GTA U-Pass survey.”
Fakhry stated that her goal is to expand the current U-Pass to encompass transit lines such as TTC, Brampton transit, Zum, Halton, Oakville transit, and YRT.
“To make it as cost effective and efficient as possible, a lot of research and work needs to go into this, rather than band aid results,” Fakhry continued.
Upon discussion with Metrolinx, a survey was requested in order to determine the level of demand for the transit pass at UTM, according to Fakhry. During the U-Pass distribution, volunteers for UTMSU handed out surveys to students, which questioned their transit usage, commuting times, distance from campus, and how much students were willing to spend to implement the new pass.
With the growth of the UTM population, several new bus routes, such as the Brampton 199 route, have been added to the campus, although it is not covered by the current pass.
Fakhry stated that the GTA U-Pass is an ongoing discussion among students, although no details were provided what would happen to students who have the current pass if the UTMSU succeeded in an expansion.
Fakhry added that she and the rest of UTMSU’s executive team hope to update the U-Pass membership in any possible way this year. Meanwhile, the current U-Pass distribution will continue until September 15th in the Student Centre.