Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: "The revolution of public transit," Jan. 11, 2001
Subsidies are a left-wing solution to almost any economic problem where the market is characterized by people in different financial situations. The mistake with making students pay for a subsidy is that they already don’t have any money. It is wrong to assume that all students who have a car are in a better financial situation than those who use the transit system and can, therefore, afford the additional cost of the universal bus pass.
My friends and I have never used public transit because we don’t live in the city. We too, though, must pay to get to school. Insurance, gas, car repairs and constant parental haggling is far more costly than hopping on the bus. City kids are the lucky ones in this situation because even the ones who have cars still have the option of taking public transit. Anyone who thinks paying parking fees and worrying the car will break down in the middle of winter with your three friends in the back and a midterm in half an hour is more convenient than paying the approximately $60 per month bus fee is dead wrong. Also, when you carpool from outside the city, there are times when school is missed entirely because of a lack of transportation. These are the students who really don’t have an efficient and inexpensive method of getting to class and on top of which will now be another $100 in the hole.
Why has it never been suggested that the Students’ Union set up a program to subsidize my method of getting to class each day? Why is it that those who take transit are assumed to be less well off than myself and my friends? For the past four years I have resented most of what the SU has spent our money on, but at least the cost was constant.
This is different because the proposal here is to add an additional cost for yet another thing I don’t want, can’t use and can’t afford. This is similar to the expansion of the SU office and MacEwan Hall. I am well aware this elected monetary dictatorship that supposedly represents us will change nothing about the proposal whatsoever, and will probably only let us take a vote on the issue as it now stands. My aspiration in writing this is so students can at least be presented a more-or-less balanced view on the issue.