National Public Transit: Student transit U-Pass deal extended three years at 10 universities and colleges in Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The province is putting forward nearly $35 million to extend its discounted transit program to all public colleges and universities in Metro Vancouver.

According to a news release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the government has committed $34.5 million to help TransLink offset the costs of the U-Pass B.C. over the next three years, so students can purchase a transit pass for $35 per month — saving them between $56 and $135 each month.

The discounted pass is an initiative from the government, TransLink, students and their schools, to help encourage 140,000 students to use public transit.

The current U-Pass program expires March 31, but students at 10 schools voted to continue it for the next three years.

The $35 U-Pass will roll out May 2013, but the program price will increase to $36.75 in 2014 and $38 in 2015.

“B.C. is the only province in the country to support this kind of program, and I am committed to providing funds for another three years to help students lower their cost of post-secondary education by encouraging them to take transit,” Transportation Minister Mary Polak said in a statement.

In 2010, British Columbia became the first and only province to provide the universal transit program to post-secondary students. The pass provides access to the Metro Vancouver transit network including bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and discounts on West Coast Express.

Students at the following schools have access to the programs:

• B.C. Institute of Technology

• Capilano University

• Douglas College

• Emily Carr University of Art and Design

• Kwantlen Polytechnic University

• Langara College

• Nicola Valley Institute of Technology — Burnaby Campus

• Simon Fraser University

• University of B.C.

• Vancouver Community College.

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