Thanks to COVID-19, the traditional AMS Bus-It Program has been scrapped for another year.
After consultations with the City of Kingston, the AMS decided not to reinstate the Bus-It Program for the 2021-22 academic year. Instead, Kingston Transit’s temporary student pass—$119 per semester—will be available again. Students can purchase the pass online.
The AMS/Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) Bus Pass Subsidy program, which aims to help students pay for the student pass, will continue to run for the Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Winter 2022 semesters. 263 students applied for the subsidy this semester, and they all received the amount they requested.
Alex Samoyloff, AMS vice-president (operations), told The Journal the AMS didn’t want students to have to pay the mandatory fee to fund the Bus-It program next year, given the potential for another remote term. The contract is usually re-negotiated every three years.
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“We were unable to confidently assume operations in the 2021-2022 school year and did not believe it was at the student’s best interest to negotiate the contract for the next three years,” Samoyloff wrote in a statement to The Journal.
The AMS originally terminated the Bus-It program in June due to the reduced numbers of students expected on campus and the limited operations of Kingston Transit.
“The AMS and the City of Kingston have a great relationship—we look forward to continuing this partnership on the Bus-It program once we have more certainty and clarity on campus operations,” Samoyloff wrote.
The AMS and the SGPS will continue to advocate Kingston Transit for the most affordable student bus pass options until the Bus-It program can be reinstated, Samoyloff said.
“Our goal is to have accessible transit for our members, while also addressing the needs of our students,” she wrote. “We recognize the financial strain COVID-19 has on our community, and our main goal is to alleviate as much of this strain as possible.”
AMS, Bus-It, Kingston Transit, SGPS
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