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Transit fines students

Parking and U-Pass problems prompt punishment

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Recent infractions have brought the University of Calgary to the attention of Calgary Transit.

U of C students repeatedly parking at the Brentwood Station Park'n'Ride have caused the city's transit service to consider punishing the offence. Calgary Transit Communications Coordinator Ron Collins said observations in recent weeks have led Calgary Transit to believe students are illegally parking in the lot and then walking to the university.

"The parking lot is for Calgary Transit users," Collins said. "The message we want to get out is that you can't park in Calgary Transit parking spaces, and not use Calgary Transit."

Accordingly, Calgary Transit has decided to issue warnings and eventually fine students caught taking advantage of the unwatched, free parking space provided for Brentwood LRT users.

"We have sent out a notice to all students via Campus Security e-mail," Collins said. "We will be issuing warnings over the next week and, after that, our people will start tagging cars."

A second series of recent offences involved U of C students attempt- ing to use the LRT without a proper U-Pass. A $150 fine is issued to people who don't have a proper proof of fare payment.

"Where do we draw the line?" asks Collins. "It's no different than an adult saying they left their pass at home."

Director of Ancillary Services Pete Fraser points out that although Ancillary Services can inform the students about the situation, obtaining and updating U-Passes is something students have to do themselves.

"In some media outlets, it said [the fined students] forgot," Fraser said. "Whose fault is it that they forgot? We try several avenues to communicate with [students], but, in the end, it's their responsibility."

Fraser also ruled out lack of time, long line-ups and lack of information as an excuse for students to not get their U-Passes updated.

"The longest line we ever had was three minutes," he said. "Not having enough time is not an excuse. Also, we put up banners, posters, and sandwich boards."

"Our officers are out there, and they are always checking for fare evasion," Collins warned.

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Comments

So, doesnt the entire UofC student body have to pay for a U-pass in their student fees? Now if thats the case, then if the 'lazy ol, unimformed student' went to the u-pass office to get their fancy little sticker on their id...then they have proper transit fare, and thus should be allowed to park in the lot. Not that its in my favor, but the whole fact they HAVE TO pay for a u-pass, should allow them to park in a calgary transit lot. Shouldnt it?

Yes, fining students who are likely already struggling with money is extremely logical.

The $150 fine for those who are unable to prove payment is already excessive, and Calgary Transit, an expert money-grubber, knows how to abuse it. For instance, when someone is rushing to the catch the train while on the outdoor end of a station, they must turn around and run to validate, which in many cases will result in a missed train. So they don\'t validate, and are often ticketed because of it, though they have paid for the service. Easy to see how this illogical, inefficient design has been making our transit system good cash!

Did you know that the ticket machines at all Calgary Transit Stations had to be specially programmed to NOT give change. They normally give change but they are intentionally programed not to by Calgary Transit. Not surprising, then, that no fares come in simple, easy-to-pay denominations.

There has been two stabbingsin just the past three weeks on our train platforms, and the transit cops waste their time ticketing kids who can\'t pay for it. It\'s ridiculous.