It’s not likely to change before the school year begins, but university students in Ottawa will start making their case against the 27-year-old age limit this Thursday at the pedestrian and transit advisory committee meeting.
“They may say that the age limit should be eliminated or that they are happy with it,” said committee vice-chairman Shawn Menard. “It is becoming an issue, and legitimately so. There are students older than 27, who have more debt than other students, who aren’t getting a discount on bus passes anymore.”
If the advisory committee decides to pass a motion pertaining to the age limit, it would then go to the transit committee, but Menard said this issue would most likely be brought up during the 2010 budget discussions in December.
Transit committee chairman Alex Cullen encouraged students to make their case to the transit committee and target the 2010 budget for a possible change.
To revoke the age limit sooner than the 2010 budget would require three quarters of council to vote for reconsideration, which Cullen called a “significant hill to climb.”
There is little pressure to repeal the limit right now, since most of the affected students have not even attempted to purchase passes yet.
“We’re already hearing a lot of feedback … through email or Facebook,” said Carleton University Students Association president Erik Halliwell.
A Facebook group called Against the Age Cut-off for Student Bus Passes was set up last Thursday and had 950 members as of last night.
UOttawa student federation president Seamus Wolfe predicted there will be a greater outrage about the age limit in September.
“They’re going to be very angry,” said Wolfe. “They need to know that their student federation is working on it so they can join our movement and be able to put pressure on the city.”