One of Adam Fearnall’s platform promises may soon find its wheels.
Currently, the University Students’ Council has a surplus of approximately $130,000 from the $12.93 student fee that was collected in 2011-12 to fund the Mustang Express service. With this surplus, the USC hopes to fund a pilot project that would see a shuttle service to London transportation outlets, such as the airport or the train station, which would operate during the December and April exam periods.
On Wednesday night, the USC finance standing committee voted to look into the feasibility of this project and bring it forward to council at the end of the month.
USC president Fearnall was pleased to know one of his platform visions could soon become a reality.
“We wanted to make sure finance committee had an opportunity to be the ones to drive it though,” Fearnall said. “It was nice to see, and I was happy to see there were people at finance committee that saw value in the idea, and were willing to start the discussion at council.”
Tony Ayala, vice-president finance for the USC, explained the reason for the surplus is because the $12.93 fee put forward was an estimate, and the price for the Mustangs Express service ended up costing much less. Although he explained the surplus could be used for a similar service, the fee itself can only be put toward Mustang Express.
“The new 2012-13 fee cannot be used to go to a new service,” he said. “Even if it’s similar. The referendum question was very clear that this $12.93 is collected directly for a midnight shuttle from the hours of 12 a.m. to 2 a.m.”
Ayala explained if students enjoy the new exam shuttle service, a new referendum could be drafted for next year that would change the wording and include the new service in the fee.
Currently, the USC is looking to implement the service in time for December exams.
“That’s the hope anyway—to try and hit the December exam period,” Fearnall said. “I think we have the capacity to be able to pull something pretty strong together if it’s council’s will.”
Jackie Chisholm, a second-year Ivey student originally from Nova Scotia, is excited about the potential service.
“Out-of-province students are already paying a higher amount to travel to and from school, and the cab fare on top of that is brutal,” she explained. “It’s also hard to find people to share cabs to the airport with, as most people fly home at different times, depending on their exam schedule.”