New digital bus pass will help Mississauga university students get around the city

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Published January 6, 2023 at 12:18 pm

Editor’s note: Felipe Nagata, executive director of the UTM student union, told insauga.com that the cost increases mentioned in the article are not yet confirmed. The final cost will be announced in the coming days. 

Mississauga’s public transit provider says a renewed agreement with University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) students will allow them to travel the city more conveniently with a new digital bus pass.

As MiWay seeks Mississauga city council approval to continue the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) program that has existed for 16 years between the City of Mississauga and UTM students, it says a proposed two-year renewal includes plans to “move from a paper-based U-Pass student card to digital U-Pass on mobile phones and on PRESTO fare cards.”

U-Pass provides eligible full- and part-time UTM students with unlimited travel each semester on all MiWay routes.

The City’s transportation and works commissioner Geoff Wright, via a report to be presented to councillors at next Wednesday’s (Jan. 11) meeting of general committee, is recommending council approve a two-year extension of the U-Pass program that would keep the pact intact through Aug. 31, 2025.

The current deal expires at the end of August 2023.

“The MiWay U-Pass program with UTM has been successful for 16 years and has proven to be of great benefit for students and the community,” Wright says in his report. “For students, it reduces transportation costs, creates new and convenient travel options and makes it cheaper and easier to use transit more often for school, social outings and work. Our goal is to encourage students to continue to use transit after they graduate as the City benefits from reduced automobile traffic, which leads to a healthier community for all.”

If approved, the new agreement would see a pilot project take shape this coming summer to test the digital U-Pass, with full implementation slated for fall 2023.

The proposed extended deal would also see the cost of the U-Pass increase to $309 from September 2023 to April 2024 and to $324 from September 2024 to April 2025.

The current cost of a U-Pass is $283.

In his report, Wright concluded that renewal of the deal represents a win for all.

“The U-Pass experience provides significant benefits to all groups by providing an affordable travel option for UTM students and it supports community transportation goals by reducing the need for a car.”

The City (MiWay), UTM and the UTM Student Union have partnered in the U-Pass program since 2006.

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