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SFUO vp Chris Hynes looks to 2015 to fulfill campaign promise

Students hoping for a summer U-Pass option will have to wait another year and pay adult fares for public transit services this summer.

Chris Hynes, vp university affairs for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), said that while part of his re-election campaign platform promised a summer pass, it will not be available this year. He said his goal is to implement the program next year.

“There’s absolutely no way we can get a U-Pass program running for this summer,” he said.

The regular U-Pass contract renewal will come under audit this fall and winter. Hynes said negotiations with city council and the transit commission on the terms and conditions of a possible summer pass halted the program’s development.

Under the current system, full-time students pay fees for a U-Pass that’s valid from September to April. OC Transpo only offers its student passes to people aged 19 and under, which excludes a large population of college- and university-aged students.

Hynes said he feels full-time students staying in Ottawa for the summer are “forced to buy an adult pass,” because they have no other option if they need to use public transit and that the SFUO will continue to advocate for their cause.

The summer U-Pass isn’t a new concern for the SFUO; Hynes supported the initiative last year as well in his election campaign.

“Last summer, we advocated strongly for some kind of student option during the summer. We had the colleges and universities on board with us,” he said. “It’s definitely something we tried hard to do to find affordable options for students.”

Hynes is hoping the summer U-Pass becomes something “solid,” but the program’s terms and conditions would likely be different from that of its September to April counterpart.