Of the nearly 16,000 students who are eligible for the UPass, over 14,000 have picked one up, according to the college.
Students who used OC Transpo last year are in for some significant savings.
Students will pay $400 per academic year for the UPass. An OC Transpo adult bus pass costs $127.25 per month, which would cost $1,018 over the same period.
This represents a savings of $618 on the year for students who are over 19 who use public transit.
An OC Transpo-issued student pass, available only to those under 19, costs $82.25 per month. This would set a student back $658 for an eight month period. Students who have the UPass save $258 per year.
The sheer number of students who are taking advantage of the UPass resulted in large lines for the first couple of days of the school year.
Students had the option to apply for the UPass online. Over 4,300 students chose this method in order to avoid the line ups. Some students also picked up their UPass before the start of the school year.
Lindsey Koivu, a second-year massage therapy student, went early and said she didn’t have to wait at all.
“There was nobody there,” she said of the lineups, or lack thereof.
“(The lines) were long the first two days of school, but those people didn’t use the online portal,” said Roch Lafond, manager of Parking, Lockers, Coin-Ops and Card Services.
“But it wasn’t an issue of distribution, just high volume,” he said concerning the long lines.
Despite the large number of students using public transit because of the UPass, parking pass sales remain strong.
“We still sold out of parking passes,” said Lafond. “Sales are the same as previous years but the wait list is much smaller,” he added.
Prices for parking passes have increased three per cent since last year. But the price increase is not related to the implementation of the UPass, according to Lafond.
“It’s about the average yearly price increase,” Lafond said. “Maintenance of the lot, things like snow removal and salting, costs money.”
Despite the fact that Koivu has a UPass, she says she is still not thrilled about having to pay full price for parking.
“It would have been good to at least get a credit on parking,” she said.