The Toronto Transit Commission says students enrolled in private career colleges across Toronto are ineligible for the new discounted monthly pass for post-secondary students.

The exclusion has angered the Ontario Association of Career Colleges, calling the move “unfair” and “discriminatory” for the more than 40,000 students enrolled in private career colleges in Ontario.

“These are some of the neediest of the post-secondary students, some are on UI (unemployment insurance), others are participating in government- sponsored career programs,” says John Nunziata, a spokesperson for the association that represents about 250 schools mostly in the GTA.

Nunziata estimates there are 10,000 to 15,000 private college students in Toronto. “It means a lot of money to them, especially to those that are unemployed and anxious to start a second career.”

The pass, which became available Aug. 24, provides a discount for full-time or part-time degree or diploma students at $99 a month for the transit card.

The TTC’s website says students in post-secondary certificate programs are not eligible for the pass. A regular adult monthly pass costs $121.

TTC chair Adam Giambrone says the exclusion had to do with budgetary concerns and the complexities of keeping track of the numerous private career college programs, where students may only be enrolled for a couple weeks.