Full time college students to receive bus passes

The letter F is now lucky for full-time students at Yukon College's Ayamdigut campus. The student ID cards they'll receive this coming school year have a large red F on them.

The letter F is now lucky for full-time students at Yukon College’s Ayamdigut campus.

The student ID cards they’ll receive this coming school year have a large red F on them. This will let them use their cards as bus passes on the city’s transit system.

The initiative, a partnership between the City of Whitehorse, Yukon College and the Yukon College Student Union, was announced yesterday.

The city will reduce the cost of monthly adult passes to full-time Yukon College students from $62 to $15.50. This remaining cost will be split between the college and the students union. The program will run from September to May and cost $77,000 for approximately 550 full-time students.

Student fees will not be increasing because of this, said student union president Daniel Ashley. But the amount the union is spending on the project is equal to its total annual operating budget. Right now, the union has a surplus of about $80,000. It’s using money from this surplus to pay for the bus passes.

Students have wanted to see a program like this for almost a decade, said Ashley. But the timing was never right, he said.

Part of the problem was the only evening that city buses run is on Fridays. This left students scrambling for rides, as many core classes are only offered in the evenings, said Ashley.

During his first year at the college, he often looked for rides home after night classes. He had to leave his car at home with his partner, who was caring for their young child. He has a car now, but still plans on using the bus during this coming school year.

The city plans extended bus service until 10:20 p.m. every weekday beginning this September, Mayor Dan Curtis announced yesterday. The latest bus will leave the college at 10 p.m. and arrive downtown at 10:20 p.m.

Right now, the last bus leaves the college at 7:20 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays and 9:20 p.m. on Friday. The change will make it easier for students and workers to use the buses at night. And it will also make the college more attractive to potential students, said Curtis.

The college, student union and city will review the program in the spring to see if they will extend it for a second year. If it goes well this year, the program may be extended to part-time students.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

mgillmore@yukon-news.com