They finally, really did it! The Varsity would just like to give SAC a big ol’ hug in thanks for getting us the TTC discount. Several generations of Students’ Administrative Council members have campaigned to gain a TTC discount for U of T students. Just like high-school students, senior citizens and nearly every other post-secondary student in the country, financially strapped U of T patrons can get their Metropasses with a 12 per cent price reduction, beginning in January.
This is quite an achievement, but it goes way beyond a simple discount. By sealing the deal with the Toronto Transit Commission, SAC has had an immediate, tangible effect on the day-to-day lives of the students. This is not something that happens very often.
It isn’t hard to go four years at U of T only barely aware of SAC, reminded of its existence only when it occasionally graces the headlines of campus newspapers. Now, each time commuting students get on the subway or buy a new Metropass, they’ll remember that SAC is looking out for them—well, at least for a little while.
SAC has a well-deserved pat on the back coming, and no doubt the atmosphere has been a bit lighter at the old observatory over the past few days, but we shouldn’t get too carried away.
Unless you ride the rocket at least ten times a week, it’s often cheaper to buy tokens in bulk than to buy a Metropass, even with the 12 per cent discount. At the moment, the cost of the discount is absorbed by the TTC, but SAC’s planned next step will be to get the U of T administration and a student levy to kick in amounts equal to the TTC’s generous contribution. This would reduce the price of a Metropass dramatically, but it would also mean students who don’t purchase the pass would be paying for the discount. Similarly, the administration would most likely raise its share of the money by raising parking fees on campus, so the actual savings will be a little less than advertised.
Nevertheless, any discount will benefit a great number of students who live or work off-campus and use a Metropass on a daily basis.
More importantly, whether you find the discount useful or not, you have to agree that SAC has outdone itself in managing to finally get the thing after so many years of difficult campaigning. From the editors of The Varsity: Tally-ho SAC! Keep up the good work.