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Province announces $30 U-Pass for all post-secondary students

B.C. will expand a popular universal transit-pass to include all of theprovince’s 439,000 post-secondary students, the premier announcedWednesday in Vancouver.

B.C. will expand a popular universal transit-pass to include all of the province’s 439,000 post-secondary students, the premier announced Wednesday in Vancouver.

Beginning in September, students at institutions in the Lower Mainland (except UBC and SFU) will pay $30 a month for a U-Pass.

The long-awaited pass follows an extensive lobbying campaign by students that ran the gamut from baked goods to Youtube videos.

“We knew we’d have to do something different to get the attention of government,” said Nimmi Takkar, B.C. chair of the Canadian Federation of Students.

“We wanted to have a really positive campaign that gave government an opportunity to hear us and make things better.”

The OnePassNow campaign included a music video on Youtube, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. A large pink cake was even baked for Premier Gordon Campbell and Transportation Minister Shirley Bond.

“Students used the things that they were most comfortable with,” said Bond, who had chocolate U-Passes delivered to her office.

“I think it’s appropriate when it’s done in a creative and thoughtful way.”

Students at UBC and SFU currently pay less than $30, and will move to the new rate in September 2011.

Other schools that already have a U-Pass, like Capilano University where students pay $38 a month, will see the cost of their U-Pass decreased this September to $30.

In other parts of the province with less transit coverage, the U-Pass will be less, Campbell said.

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