EDMONTON -- Students at the University of Alberta are set to vote this week on whether or not they should keep their Edmonton Transit Service discount program.

Known as the UPass, the cost of the plan is normally added to the fees students pay to attend the university. This past year, UPass was suspended, as the COVID-19 pandemic kept many from attending physical classrooms.

The Student’s Union is voicing support for continuation of the pass, and is encouraging all who are eligible to vote online, March 3 and 4, to decide its future under a new four-year contract.

Alana Krahn, VP of operations and finance for the Student Union, says it recognizes it is an additional expense for over burdened students, but the mobility it gives is worthwhile.

“We’d love transit to be free for students, we want student fees to always be lower, but we recognize that the UPass represents about a 40 per cent discount for students off regular monthly fares, even just around Edmonton, let alone the region.”

Cost to students for the pass is currently $180 per semester.

Krahn says if transit use is not needed by a student with classes completely online, the fee will continue to be waived.

Students voting now on the four-year deal will be casting their ballot for the benefit of students in the future.

“Its sort of up to the students now, who know what its like to be on campus and understand the value, and represent the students who maybe haven’t come yet," Krahn said.