The Edmonton Real Estate Blog

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Edmonton Mayor cries for money and other things

The Edmonton Journal reported today that the mayor of Edmonton is looking about 8.6 billion dollars. Phew. I thought it was going to be some stratospheric amount. I should mention that he is asking for that over the next 10 years and it is supposed to help pay for all kinds of much needed infrastructure work. It seems to me though that the province collects the windfall of the oil boom here and hands out useless $400 cheques, our cities have to go hat in hand for money.

That's ok though, in a separate article in the Journal today the mayor mused on the inability to find a way to give post secondary students their bus passes for free.

Mayor Stephen Mandel says a special transit pass for post-secondary students will face delays unless the city agrees to subsidize the program.

The idea for a specially priced U-pass has been discussed for years as a way to encourage students to take the bus and the LRT.

But plans have been held up, in part by a dispute over how much students should pay.

A University of Alberta referendum held in 2004 found students would agree to pay $60 per semester, while the city has said it needs at least $120 per semester to cover the costs of extra transit vehicles and staff.

To break the stalemate, the city may have to swallow some of those costs, Mandel said. He agreed that $120 per semester is too much for students to pay.

I'd personally be willing to let the students ride for free. If they'd agree to community service. I know, I know, life's tough but in one of the greatest places on earth to live this is what we have to cry about.


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