Program up for expansion



Rafe Arnott/metro vancouver


Tiffany Kalanj wants every college in Metro Vancouver to have access to a U-Pass that she has as a UBC student.

A motion to expand TransLink’s U-Pass program that goes before council next week is a chance for officials to keep their word to students, a Vision Vancouver councillor said yesterday.

"We’ve said for years that all students need an equal transit program, now we can live up to our promises," said Coun. Heather Deal. "I would hope that council pressure convinces TransLink to respond."

The U-Pass program was introduced to UBC and SFU students in 2003 and was soon followed by cries for expansion from student unions at other schools. The Vision motion calls for TransLink to open negotiations with the Vancouver Community College and the Emily Carr Institute.

Tiffany Kalanj, an organizer for the VCC student union said that Mayor Sam Sullivan promised to bring the U-Pass to the campus during a 2005 debate with mayoral candidate Jim Green.

"There was a great cheer from everyone in the cafeteria when he said that," she said. "But he hasn’t returned a call from us since."

Kalanj also said that TransLink has ignored letters from the presidents of VCC and Emily Carr urging them to open negotiations.

A spokesman for Sullivan said the mayor could not comment until he had a chance to discuss the motion during today’s caucus meeting.

TransLink did not return calls yesterday.