Full-time student bus passes unaffected by LTC fare increase

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: EMILY STEWART
The London Transit Commission (LTC) is raising their fare prices in 2020, but that will not affect the bus passes available for full-time students.

Londoners will see local bus fare prices go up when the big apple drops and 2020 begins. However, tuition-based bus passes for fulltime Fanshawe College and Western University students won’t be affected.

The London Transit Commission (LTC) announced that as of Jan. 1, 2020, there will be higher prices for bus fare, including cash, tickets, and passes. All of the updated prices are listed within the Sept. 26 announcement on the LTC website.

It will cost $3 in change to ride the bus, and as always, a 90-minute transfer is included. Tickets can be bought in advance for sets of five.

It will be $11.25 for a set of adult bus tickets, $9 for a set of bus tickets for students between Grades 7 to 12, and $8.50 for a set of senior bus tickets.

Monthly citipasses, which grant transit riders unlimited trips, will be $95 and weekday passes for those using the bus Monday to Friday will be $81.

Caroline Roy, the LTC’s corporate communications manager, sent the Fare Strategy Staff Report to Interrobang. The report indicated that since Western’s University Students’ Council (USC), the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS), and the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) include yearly increases to the students’ bus passes in the contracts, the new fare prices for the New Year won’t affect bus passes for full-time students.

The reported also said that tuition- based bus passes, however, are the only type of fare that witnessed a price increase over time. The cost of the 12-month bus pass grew by around 46 per cent from 2009 to 2018 to its current price of $250.76.

The staff report also indicated that in 2018, tuition-based bus passes take up about half of the ridership at 51.9 per cent, and 38.5 per cent of revenue for the LTC.

Julia Brown, the finance coordinator for the FSU, said that their agreement began on Sept. 1, 2018, and will be up for re-negotiation on Aug. 31, 2021.

“We have built into our agreements the Ontario Transportation Index, so that is where we slightly increase each year,” Brown said. “Based on just increasing the needs for transportation and the costs associated, but the [LTC’s] individual fare increases for cash fares don’t affect the fees that we have for our pass.”

In a news bulletin called “Update on Fees and the Student Choice Initiative” on the Fanshawe College website, the bus pass for fulltime Fanshawe students is listed at $129.26. Part-time students are required to purchase their own bus pass from the LTC office. The fare increase announcement on the LTC website indicated the new price for the monthly post-secondary pass will be $82.

Brown explained that the bus passes for full-time students are provided to eliminate any transportation barriers. She said that parttime students, on the other hand, aren’t on campus as often as fulltime students because they are taking less classes and if their classes are online, they can take those classes anywhere.

She said when the FSU is negotiating the price of the bus pass for its students during contract re-negotiations, they have their best interests in mind.

“We’re trying to negotiate the best deal for students and I think it might be comforting for them to know that we have their back in that regard.”

Brown said that any student with questions about the bus passes, whether they are full-time or parttime, can come to the FSU front desk.

Visit londontransit.ca for more information on their fare increases.