Students board a bus bound for downtown, Friday on University Avenue.Students board a bus bound for downtown, Friday on University Avenue.

Student ridership to drive transit development: officials

It was a ribbon-cutting 25 years in the making. Officials of the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance, the University of Windsor and Transit Windsor gathered Friday at a bus stop on University Avenue to officially inaugurate the U-Pass service, which provides public transportation for full-time students.

Students have advocated for a comprehensive bus pass since at least 1991, said UWSA president Moussa Hamadani.

“We are so fortunate to be able to introduce this beautiful service to the University of Windsor,” he said.

Hamadani estimated that 2,000 students had claimed their passes by Friday morning.

Ryan Flannagan, UWindsor associate vice-president for student experience, said that in his experience, using public transit was effective and economical.

“The University is thrilled by the implementation of this program,” he said. “We are taking a very firm step toward making sure people have affordable transportation.”

The program will benefit the broader community as well as students, said Transit Windsor executive director Pat Delmore.

“This initiative is really going to spark everything,” he said. “Ridership means growth and that means more investment to improve service for everyone. We are very excited about the potential.”

The company has already boosted some services, extending late-night operating hours from downtown to the main campus on weekends. Learn more about the U-Pass on the website of the UWSA.