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By Matthew Le Blanc

Mohawk students who ride public transit will have a little extra money lining their pockets as the new student bus pass comes into effect.

The pass is a mandatory fee of $121.80 that is built in to a student’s first semester tuition payment. Students will receive eight months of coverage with the pass, enough to cover travel for the fall and winter semesters.

Currently, the HSR bus pass runs $87 per month, which makes the savings substantial for any student having to take public transit.

The pass will come in the form of a sticker affixed to a student’s I.D card. When boarding a bus, students will be required to present the card allowing the driver to confirm the expiration date and the sticker itself.

Even though the pass is good news for some, anyone owning a vehicle and parking pass seem be out of luck.

“The HSR busing company does not allow opt-outs for student discounted rates,” said the Mohawk Students’ Association President Kathleen Cullen. “I have already spoken to [other schools] trying to set up a partnership to see if when we go back to the negotiating table we can work out some sort of opt-out. It’s always on the table, but nothing concrete yet.”

However, not all is lost. The MSA has negotiated a few opt-out options for a select group of students. Students living over 50 kilometres away from the HSR service area and are currently in their co-op term may receive reimbursement. In addition, students who are a part of the visually impaired program can also opt-out.

Conversely, an opt-in option will be available for Brantford campus students who wish to catch a shuttle from the Fennell campus to Brantford.

15 per cent of Mohawk’s student population signed a petition last January in hopes of obtaining a student discounted HSR bus pass. 30 per cent of the student body turned out for the vote, with 67 per cent voting in favour of the pass.

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