By: Aaron L. Pope

OC Transpo’s recent decision to limit discounted fares to full time students under the age of 19 will be counted as the most recent stupid decision made by a small group of thoughtless out-of-touch officials to save the city a little money.

The collectivist mentality shown by OC Transpo’s recent decision to raise student fees is embarrassing.

This idiotic decision does nothing to comfort the beleaguered masses who have no choice but to cram themselves into those overcrowded cow cars they call public transportation.

If we were to pay bus fares based on a few easy criteria, including; buses showing up on time – or at all – having enough seating, or even ease of payment, then OC Transpo should only be allowed to charge a nickel — if that.

People over 19 who have made the decision to go to school to gain an education and a better chance at a well-paying job should be entitled to a few perks. They shell out thousands of dollars while making very little if any of their own money. One day they will be full-fledged taxpayers who will be able to contribute to the next generation of students, something the older generations seem to forget.

What’s obvious to every generation, however, is that some students live across the street from the college and have no use for a bus pass, period. Other students will choose to bike in from further out, or they will carpool with friends and classmates. And some student’s need to take the bus to and from class every single day, rain or shine.
The point is, how someone chooses to get to school is an individual choice, and one group of people shouldn’t have to shell out $180 so another group can also shell out $180.

Ottawa is not the only city who is expected to accommodate students. Toronto’s student fairs are not limited to age, only program status. If you’re a full time student, you get a student pass. Montreal has an age limit of 25 for their post-secondary students. Still stupid, but at least they are making an effort to accommodate their students.

In a recent email to the student body from SA president, David Corson, everyone at the college was made aware of the SA’s efforts to right this idiocracy in its own way, calling the decision a human rights violation. It’s nice to see the SA is taking the side of students this year.

However, it is unlikely anyone will take that claim seriously, because, let’s face it, it’s a $20 difference between a student pass and an adult pass. Not to mention, post-secondary education is nowhere to be found on a list of human rights that need protecting. At least until poverty is recognized as a disability.

Algonquin students should expect no less than complete equality across the board, no matter his or her age, race, sex, and religion or physical abilities. Anything less could easily be viewed as discrimination.

It is just another notch on OC Transpo’s bedpost of poor decisions leading to terrible public relations.