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Infuriating transit representative

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Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: "U-Pass up for debate," Oct. 9, 2003,

Transit representative David MacDonald infuriates me with his comment implying rural students should drive into the city, park their car at a station and take the train to school. I live in the Bearspaw/Cochrane region: transit is not an option.

Perhaps it is feasible for someone who lives South or East of Calgary to drive to a station but what does MacDonald want me to do? It takes me 20 minutes to drive to the university (in the morning rush-hour traffic). Instead, MacDonald thinks it is more appropriate to drive 10 minutes to Rocky Ridge, attempt to find a residential street where it is legal for me to park for 12 hours, and then sit on a bus for an hour.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Furthermore, if, as MacDonald's arrogant comment implies, on-campus parking issues are a driving force behind the U-Pass, he should realize all holders of the U-Pass are now paying Calgary Transit customers. Moreover, this means that all University of Calgary students now have the right to park at the Brentwood station. I contribute to making parking easier by parking off campus in a private parking lot (which is also more convenient and exponentially cheaper than any lot on campus).

I don't need to pay for others to take transit. I sincerely hope that the Students' Union is not pretending to be a communistic regime and expecting everyone to do their part for the common good.

While I appreciate the convenience of not having to pay for fare when I take transit, I don't need to apply advanced calculus to realize that I am paying $28 each way. I hope the SU realizes that many students are pleading for the option of opting out of the U-Pass and will act to do something to make "their people" happier and avoid any up-risings or class-action law suits.

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or McMahan Stadium? Or the Park n Ride at 14st and Northmount drive (only about 4 minutes on the bus to campus) that is always empty? Or just slightly off campus where parking is free and its even less of a ride, a couple stops?

If you don't use your U-pass, it's because you choose not to. That's certainly your choice, but you paint an awfully hopeless and depressing picture.

(The traditional response is that "students voted it in!" but I'll refrain for now...)

And spare me the ridiculous "communistic regime" rhetoric. It's subsidization, yes, but it is cost-sharing that could benifit everyone, especially those who can now park in Lot 10 (cheapest lot) instead of the Arts parkade (2nd most expensive) because the lot isn't full by 9:30am like it used to be. Or the fact that you couldn't get a spot at all some days just two years ago (I've experienced it, driving around campus, waiting in line for upwards of 45 minutes or more... these lines are almost unheard of now).

What about your tuition? If you want to talk about socialism and cost-sharing, you should start there. I'd assume that, given the choice, you'd gladly foot the whole bill for your university education. Instead, you're just a burden on the taxpayers. It's a shame that the communist regime that is the Klein government forced you to accept public education. Maybe you should go to DeVry instead, and then you can look down on the lefties at Marxist university. Or go to Trinity Western University, one of the only (and certainly the first and most established) private universities in the country (read: absolutely NO government funding).

TWU Tuition: $12,810

Now that's more like it, right?


There is a simple solution to this: if you don't live in the city of Calgary, then you should have to pay the applicable user fees if you use the city's services. For example: why should Calgary taxpayers pay the same for user fees (such as public library fees) as does someone signing out our materials who live in Cochrane or Okotoks? What goes around, comes around. Out of towners pay nothing in terms of additional user fees for our city's services. But when you have to pay for a u-pass fee, you have the nerve to bitch and complain? Think before you complain, please.