This year students who would like to take the bus will have to purchase a semesterly bus pass at $119.
After consultations with the City of Kingston, the AMS decided not to reinstate the Bus-it Program for the 2021-2022 academic year. Instead, Kingston Transit will continue its temporary student pass.
The Bus-It program allowed students to use their student cards as proof of fare payment on Kingston city buses in exchange for student fees paid at the beginning of the year.
“City staff and the AMS have maintained ongoing discussions since the previous agreement providing universal access to Kingston Transit was jointly terminated in 2020 due to COVID-19,” Jeremy DaCosta, Kingston City’s Director of Transit Services, said in an email statement to The Journal.
DaCosta added that due to the pandemic, it was difficult to assess service demands.
“The City and AMS agreed that it would be difficult to re-establish a new contract agreement when student travel needs are not completely understood even with an expected return to in-person, on-campus learning,”
The Journal reached out to the AMS for a statement. They didn’t respond in time for publication.
DaCosta believes that ridership levels will be determined by the daily travel needs of students, hence why the student pass is a desirable option for many.
“The post-secondary student pass at $119 per term (about $1 per day) is an option available for eligible post-secondary students […] the post-secondary pass provides students unlimited access to all of Kingston Transit’s routes,” DaCosta said.
DaCosta added the bus pass can be purchased digitally with limited contact.
“The mobile/virtual pass allows a student to purchase and activate a pass on their mobile device without ever having to visit an in-person sales outlet,” DaCosta said.
“For students with a disability that prevents the use of the mobile/virtual pass or those without a compatible mobile device, alternate arrangements for a pass can be made by contacting the City’s customer service centre.”
Currently, more than 700 student passes have been sold to Queen’s students, according to DaCosta.
“There continues to be a shared desire and willingness by the City and the AMS to ensure there is an arrangement that ensures as many students as possible have access to Kingston Transit.”
The AMS and City will be meeting to determine the future of busing for Queen’s students, Dacosta added.
“The City and AMS will continue to meet throughout the 2021-22 [school year] to determine the approach for subsequent school years.”
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