Photo credit: Sara Ericsson, Kings County News
My name is Meg, and I’m a first year Politics student at Acadia. Maybe you have seen me around campus lately, paper petition in hand; wild sparks of hope in my eyes? I’ve spent my first semester talking to my classmates and wondering what life would be like for us all if we had better access to public transportation. All of this wondering has left me with this dream that Acadia students and Kings Transit could collaborate to make our world a better place through a UPass.
I’m no fool. I’ve done my research and I know that this was offered before. Looking at the previous offer, I’m not surprised that it failed. Talking with Kings Transit, I see that they have learned from their past proposal and understand that Acadia students are financially prudent, educated consumers, who aren’t interested in a service that doesn’t work for them. They took the comments from the last UPass attempt and worked to improve their service. That’s the cool thing about Kings Transit; they are adaptable and agile as an organization. Because of comments from Acadia students, each bus has free wifi and real-time, live-tracking route information through the DoubleMap app, which is free for anyone to download. If Acadia students are willing to join and create a UPass for the school, Kings Transit has created an amazing offer for us, and every time I read the details my mind is blown a little more.
So, what’s the offer?
You need later service hours in the evening? You’ve got it Acadia. With the collective purchase of the bus pass, Kings Transit will be able to extend service hours until midnight on a newly created route for Acadia students between Wolfville, Port Williams, Kentville, and New Minas.
You want to be able to ride the bus on Sunday? You’ve got it Acadia. Kings Transit would be able to provide a Sunday service on the aforementioned route, with an increased frequency to every half-hour.
You want to travel to Halifax more often, and more affordably? You’ve got it Acadia. Kings Transit will create a weekly shuttle to Halifax for Acadia students, leaving campus Friday night and returning on Sunday afternoon.
Kings Transit would be able to provide these extended services alongside unlimited access to the current services for the low rate of $180 per student, payable at the start of each school year. That works out to $20 per month. The going rate of a round-trip ticket to Halifax is over $40. Not only would the student population have more independence and mobility, but also this pass would pay for itself with infrequent use alone.
If you like the sound of this, I’m currently collecting signatures on my petition to have the Acadia Students’ Union facilitate a referendum vote in February and I would be thrilled if you would sign. If you really like the sound of this, please come and vote YES to a student UPass, and tell your friends too! If you’d like to chat transit, or campaigning, or just get a beer, please email me at [email protected] and lets get this party started!
Meg Hodges is a first year Politics student and a Municipal Councillor for the County of Kings