Students Request Fairer Transit Fines

News Staff - Tue Oct 15, 2013

The Students’ Union is concerned about the fine structure for students who are caught on the LRT without their U-Pass.

After a law student successfully had his fine dismissed, the SU proposed policy changes to Edmonton Transit Service, hopeful that tweaking ETS’s policy could save potentially hundreds of students unnecessary time and money spent fighting punitive transit tickets. Unfortunately, the city hasn’t budged in its position.

“I’m highly dissatisfied with the City of Edmonton’s response to this,” said Vice President Student Life William Lau. “While I’ve been pleased to see that at least one student was able to avoid this fine, many others may be unaware that the option exists to challenge these tickets. I’m worried that cash strapped students are facing further fines that are, as it turns out, not in the public interest.”

The SU has proposed that students caught on the LRT without their U-Pass be given a window of time, such as three business days, to produce valid proof of payment to have their fine withdrawn. This would save court time that will otherwise be spent prosecuting students who have paid for their transit pass, but might have simply misplaced it one day.

The $250 transit fine is meant to discourage fare evaders. As students have already paid for their transit pass out of their school fees, students cannot evade the fare. This fine simply becomes a substantial punishment for misplacing a card that U of A students use for attending the gym, paying for meals on campus, or printing assignments - activities that could allow a student to occasionally misplace their ONEcard.

We encourage students to contact Student Legal Services for further information on disputing any fines. U of A law student Scott Meyer successfully fought his fine and is leading the charge for rule changes that will benefit all students who use the LRT.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236

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