By Billy Wu
Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "New Day for the U-Pass," Jan. 10, 2002,
I think that the universal pass is a great idea but something should be done to make the terms more acceptable. Some people, no matter how efficient and cheap transit is, will still prefer to drive or get a ride from someone. These are the people who live way down south, where it takes at least an hour to an hour and a half to get to university from home and vice versa. Even if they don’t have to wait for the bus and manage to make a smooth switch from bus to bus without much delay, they still need to wake up at 6 a.m. to make it to their 8 a.m. class.
Who wants to do that just to save some money by riding the bus?
It would be better if the policy included an opt-out option for people who live a certain distance from university. While the distance would have to be quite far, it would make the policy more fair even if it means the U-Pass would cost more.
Also, the policy will most likely go through a referendum first and I think the chance of a majority supporting it is very slim. We are all adults and most people regularly drive to and from the university. To gain drivers’ support, the special opt-out option will be appealing since they know that they can opt-out while people who live close to university but used to drive will be forced to take the bus, resulting in more open parking spots.
It wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for drivers who can’t opt out either because they live within the limit and will be better off taking the bus since they won’t be using up as much time. While they may not like it, they will grow to accept it. And they’ll save more money too.