By: Tyler Follett
Student response has been overwhelming to the SA’s OC Transpo campaign to redefine the cutoff age for student bus fares.
The SA has gathered more than 10,000 signatures in its’ campaign to keep the fares fair, with more coming in everyday.
“It was amazing, I am tired with this process, it has been frustrating and grueling at times,” said SA president David Corson.
The campaign arose from a decision made in 2012 by the city to impose an age cap for students over the age of 19. The change is due to an updated price scheme for all users, but there has still been no explanation as to why students over 19 aren’t given the benefit of discounted fares. Adult students want to know why their age disqualifies them from being classified as students.
Corson has been working with college ward councillor Rick Chiarelli on moving forward and what steps to take next. Showing strong enough support in the school against the imposed age cap was the biggest step for the SA to take and one they did in the form of a student petition. Students needed to provide their name to reach the desired number of signatures.
“The next step is us trying to reach Councillor Chiarelli and find out the process.
The response has given Corson renewed optimism for the movement.
“This surge was like a car battery jump. I am into my second wind and ready to take this to the finish and wrap it up,” said Corson.
The response has been demonstrated through student support of this petition, which is being handled by the SA.
In early March, with the petition close to the goal of 8,000 signatures, the SA sent out a school wide email in order to further the support, and bring the issue to any students who weren’t yet aware of it.
“The Algonquin Students’ Association feels that a student is a student no matter what their age,” said Annie Thomlinson, SA Manager of Marketing and Communications in the email sent to all students. A link to the petition is attached with the student.
Student response to this mass email was encouraging as well. The intention before sending the email to all students was just to get the petition to 8,000 names. Days after the email was sent, the petition had received more than 10,000 total signatures, well over the desired number.
Now that the desired number has been surpassed, the next step could be to bring the petition to council, with Chiarelli’s blessing.