The prospect of a universal bus pilot project for students at Carleton and the University of Ottawa has crept up again during the public delegations into the city budget.
The Upass has been a highly divisive issue around the council table. The last attempt to bring the project forward for uOttawa students for a fee of $125 per semester died on a split vote of 12–12.
If council had approved the pilot project, OC Transpo estimated it would add $1.5 million to their budget. This proved to be the main stumbling block.
A new attempt at Upass is in the works around the council table that could see students from both universities paying $145 per semester for a transit pass starting next fall, if all parties agree.
Capital Ward Coun. Clive Doucet is proposing a motion to include the Upass in the 2010 budget.
If city council approves the motion, it would still need to pass student body referendums at the schools.
Pedestrian and transit advisory committee vice-chair Shawn Ménard argued that the OC Transpo estimates are inaccurate. He said the Upass program would end up generating revenue for OC Transpo.