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LU students deliver landslide bus pass referendum victory

The Lakehead University student body joins Confederation College in voting in supporting a new five-year agreement with the city for collective bus passes.
Lakehead University vice president of finance and operations Farhan Yousaf was an advocate for the "yes" side of a referendum to keep the U Pass under a new deal that will expire in 2021.

THUNDER BAY -- Lakehead University students have resoundingly voted to keep their bus pass bulk purchase agreement with the city. 

After five days of online voting, 81.8 per cent of participating students elected to give the Lakehead University Student Union the permission it needs to sign a new five-year U Pass deal with the City of Thunder Bay.  

Twenty-seven per cent of registered students voted in the referendum, more than LUSU vice president of finance and operations has seen voice their opinions in this kind of vote. 

"I'm very happy with the results. I'm glad we not only met quorum but also received one of the highest number of votes in recent memory," he said.

"That was a big shock and it showed how important this vote was for the students."

Under the deal, annual bus pass rates paid through student fees will incrementally increase to nearly double their current rate of $104 by 2021.  

"It's going to increase every year slightly. by the end of the fifth year, it will be $195, which is again still significantly lower than the $924 you would pay if you were to get a normal pass to the city for a year," Yousaf said.

Sixty-five per cent of Confederation College students voted to support a similar deal in January. 

Student Union of Confederation College Inc. president Jodi Connor said the agreements also include those students with mobility challenges, who have "Lift+" passes.   

"The lift was put into this agreement, which is really important for students that need accessibility, that have to pay that extra cost for a lift pass so now it's negotiated in that U pass. I feel that's a great benefit for both schools and the students who need to have that access, which will save them money in the long run."

City council has not yet ratified the deal with either student union.





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