We asked you to #ChooseYourRoute, and the results are in:
Students vote in favour of a U-Pass at Sheridan
From November 26-30, all eligible full-time students at Sheridan were asked to vote in a U-Pass Referendum, jointly hosted by the Sheridan Student Union (SSU) and Sheridan College. The referendum was held to determine if students were in favour of establishing a non-refundable ancillary fee to adopt a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass). The U-Pass provides eligible students with unlimited ridership on public transit routes operated by the municipal transit authorities in Brampton, Mississauga, and Oakville.
For results to be binding, it was required that a minimum of 15% of eligible voters participate in the referendum. The SSU and Sheridan College are happy to report a voter participation rate of 25%, with 4805 of the 19,260 full-time Sheridan students who were eligible to vote casting their ballot last week.
In the online vote, eligible students were asked if they were in favour of establishing a non-refundable ancillary fee of $197.15 per term to enable the proposed U-Pass to be introduced at Sheridan College. The votes were as follows:
2742 - YES
2063 - NO
The majority of voters were in support of the U-Pass implementation. As a result, the SSU will work collaboratively with Sheridan College to begin Steering Group meetings immediately with our transit partners to ensure a seamless transition to the U-Pass for September 2019.
Once the U-Pass is implemented in September, 2019, the Sheridan Shuttle (which is funded jointly by Sheridan College and student ancillary fees) will cease to run. Over the coming months, Sheridan will determine where it will redirect the annual funding that it has normally used to support the Sheridan Shuttle. Given that the Shuttle was established to benefit our students, Sheridan is making a commitment to redirect these funds in support of another student-related project. The project will be selected as part of the process to plan the College’s 2019/20 budget.
We will continue to inform the Sheridan community about next steps through our website and social media channels. Thank you to all the students who voted and helped shape the future of transit at Sheridan College.
⬇️If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us below. ⬇️
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass)?
The U-Pass is a student transit card that gives all eligible Sheridan students unlimited ridership on all public Oakville, Mississauga (MiWay) and Brampton (including Züm) transit routes as well as a direct route between Davis and Trafalgar campuses. Go transit is not included.
How much will the U-Pass cost?
A mandatory U-Pass fee of $197.15 will be added to eligible Sheridan student ancillary fees each semester. This will give these students discounted and unlimited transit between Oakville, Mississauga (MiWay) and Brampton (including Züm) for each semester they are enrolled as full-time, which is an average savings of over $300 per term for comparable usage.
Who is eligible for the U-Pass?
Full-time students are be eligible to take part in the U-Pass program. As long as you are a full-time student (as defined by your program) and have paid your fees, you would be automatically enrolled in the U-Pass program for that semester. Part-time, co-op, continuing education or joint program students are not eligible to participate in the U-Pass program.
What about the shuttle bus?
Once the U-Pass is implemented in September, 2019, the Sheridan Shuttle (which is funded jointly by Sheridan College and student ancillary fees) will cease to run.
Will there be an option for part-time, co-op or continuing education students?
Not at this time. Currently only full-time students are eligible for the U-Pass.
NOTE: If you are on a co-op work term , you will NOT be considered FT for the purposes of this program (since you would not pay ancillary fees) and therefore not be eligible to participate in the U-Pass for that term. If you are studying at a FT level in a program that has field placement, you ARE considered FT. Since you would be paying FT ancillary fees in that case, you would be eligible to participate in the U-Pass program for that term.
Will students be able to opt in?
Part-time, co-op or continuing education students are not eligible to participate in the U-Pass program at this time and would not have the option to opt-in.
Will I be able to opt out if I do not need to use the U-Pass?
Full-time students will be automatically enrolled and there will be no option to opt-out. Only students with accessibility needs preventing them from using public transit may have the option to opt-out, which will be assessed on a case by case basis.
Why can’t students opt out if they need to?
Providing the option to opt-out would be challenging for this proposal as it affects the funding model significantly, driving a much higher price for such a pass. This is why many U-Passes generally do not have opt-out options.
As part of the U-Pass proposal, it was outlined throughout all communications prior to the vote that students would not the ability to opt-in or opt-out of the program.
We understand the frustrations of students for whom the U-Pass may not be ideal and will bring those concerns to the attention of the steering committee. SSU is committed to making this as seamless of a transition as possible.
When and where did voting take place?
Voting took place online at thessu.simplyvoting.com starting November 26 through to November 30. Voting was accessible 24/7 and from any device (laptop, mobile browser, tablet, etc.) There were also in-person voting stations available during that week for students who wanted to vote or had questions.
Who was eligible to vote in the U-Pass Referendum?
Full-time students at Sheridan were eligible to vote on the U-Pass. Part-time, co-op, continuing education or joint program students are not eligible to participate in the U-Pass program and therefore, were not eligible to vote.
What routes will the U-Pass have available to students?
The U-Pass will allow for unlimited access to to all Mississauga, Oakville and Brampton public transit routes, including MiWay and Züm.
There will also be a direct route from the Trafalgar campus to Davis, specifically for Sheridan students. Below is an outline of specific routes between campuses.
With a U-Pass, eligible full-time students will have access to these and all public routes as listed above.
Since the U-Pass will give you access or more information about public transit routes, visit:
Mississauga (MiWay) Route Maps - Click to view.
Brampton (including Züm) Transit Schedules - Click to view.
Oakville Transit Schedules and Maps - Click to view.
Is the U-Pass eligible for an income tax credit?
Yes, the cost of the U-Pass is generally eligible for a tax credit on a Canadian income tax return. When a student is automatically charged for a U-Pass as part of tuition and fees, the cost is included in the student's T2202 "Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate" for tax purposes.
If a student instead wishes to claim this expense on the public transit line of Canada's federal tax Schedule 1, the equivalent amount should be subtracted from the amount shown on the T2202.
What if I withdraw from my courses or complete my program early? What if I am only studying for one semester?
The U-Pass fee would only apply and be valid for the semesters in which you are enrolled as a full time student. If you are only studying for one semester, the U-Pass ancillary fee would only apply once and you would only be able to use your U-Pass during that semester. This fee would be applied at the start of the term for all eligible full time students. Once applied, it is not refundable.
Will you be reducing parking fees for students who drive to school and have to pay for both?
Sheridan Student Union does not oversee or have any ability to amend parking fees for Sheridan College. Annually, Sheridan’s parking permit rates are submitted to the Sheridan College Board of Governors for approval in the fall term for the following academic year. There is no plan currently to decrease rates following the adoption of the U-Pass.
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