City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

CPS Public Report
CPS17-16

Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology U-Pass Program

Information

Department:Office of the City ClerkSponsors:
Category:Administration Report

Attachments

  1. Printout

Report Body

CONCLUSION

 

Administration have agreed on a non-binding Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with the Administration of SIIT on a Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) program at the University of Regina for students of SIIT. The MOI sets out the key commercial terms that will form the basis of a legal agreement for the U-Pass program, should both parties receive approval from their respective organizations to proceed with an agreement. The MOI ensures 100% cost recovery of the projected forgone revenue and any operating funds required for the program, which equates to $34,200 annually. In exchange for this payment, the City of Regina would provide bus passes to all students for ten months, generally corresponding to SIIT’s fall and winter semesters.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City of Regina currently provides a U-Pass program through contract with the University of Regina Students Union for students attending the University of Regina. That program started in August 2016 and includes additional bus service while remaining cost neutral for the City of Regina.  The benefit is a discounted bus pass for students attending the University of Regina and overall increased bus services at no additional cost to Regina taxpayers.  Ridership among post-secondary students increased by 75% in the first year and continues to expose a new generation of riders to Transit.

 

SIIT Administration approached the Transit Department in May 2017 to see what a U-Pass program could look like in Regina as it currently has the program at the SIIT location in Saskatoon. It was determined that since the Regina campus is smaller than Saskatoon’s with about 140 students, the Transit system can manage the increased ridership and will not require any additional buses to accommodate the new program.

 

The calculated fee for a U-Pass program to be received from SIIT is a recovery of estimated revenue lost from implementation of the program.  This is similar to U-Pass agreements SIIT has in Saskatoon and amounts to $34,200 each year (split between two semesters). Similar to The University of Regina Students Association, the unit price per student will be set by SIIT.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Negotiations with SIIT went quickly with agreement on the following items:

 

·              SIIT will set student fees based on the price of the program from the Transit Department. SIIT’s fees for year one will be $34,200. This amount will be paid in one lump sum payment each semester ($17,100 per semester). This is similar to the agreement with the University of Regina Students Association.

·              SIIT will be responsible for collecting fees from students and will handle any exemptions. This ensures the additional administrative requirements rest with SIIT and not the City.

·              SIIT will notify the Transit Department of any lost or stolen passes so they can be deactivated. This will help control any abuse of the U-Pass system.

·              SIIT will provide the Transit Department with data consisting of current numbers of students that have a U-Pass. This information will assist the City with future transit planning and decision-making.

·              The Transit Department will supply SIIT with U-Pass cards with smart card technology that will act as a bus pass and their student ID. This will provide an all-in-one card that students can use at SIIT and will also act as their bus pass. Students will be required to swipe their pass on the electronic fareboxes on the buses where the data will then be captured.

·              The U-Pass will only be active during the fall/winter semesters. The U-Pass will only be active during the two semesters, starting from September to June.

·              Students will receive approximately five (5) months of unlimited bus service per semester. The passes will be active from September to mid-January, and mid-January to the end of June.

·              SIIT will provide the Transit Department with the start dates for the fall/winter semesters so the Transit Department knows in advance.

·              The Transit Department and the SIIT will have annual meetings to review the program. These annual stakeholder meetings will discuss how the program functions and if any changes need to be made.

·              Starting September 2019, Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be applied to the lump sum for the life of the agreement. This is to account for any increase in the cost of operating expenses during the life of the agreement.

·              Three (3) Year Agreement - September 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021. A short contract was desired as SIIT may be moving facilities in the near future.

An overall agreement must be approved by SIIT’s senior management and City of Regina Council. Both parties must approve the agreement prior to implementation.

 

The Transit Fare Bylaw, 2009 sets out all pass types which may be used on Regina Transit and the pricing for those pass types. This report therefore recommends that the Bylaw be updated to include reference to the SIIT U-Pass as an acceptable bus pass to be used on Regina Transit as well as that the rates for such pass are to be set by SIIT.

 

RECOMMENDATION IMPLICATIONS

 

Financial Implications

 

Unlike the University of Regina U-Pass, there are no additional resources needed for this proposed U-Pass program. The student body is small enough (approximately 140 students) that current service will handle the anticipated ridership. In consultation with Finance, the revenue to be received from SIIT is a recovery of estimated revenue lost from implementation of the program. This is similar to other smaller U-Pass agreements in Saskatoon where it is cost-neutral because any potential lost revenue is recovered in the agreement. CPI will be applied to the agreement starting in 2019.

 

Environmental Implications

 

Cultivating a new generation of transit riders at SIIT will encourage new lifelong habits in students with regards to transportation in Regina.

 

Policy and/or Strategic Implications

 

The implementation of a U-Pass helps achieve the transportation goals and policies in Design Regina: The Official Community Plans, specifically, “Goal 2: Public Transit: Elevate the role of Public Transit” in Section D3:

 

Policy 5.11: Enhance transit service in existing residential neighbourhoods to support continued residential and employment growth.

 

As well, the U-Pass helps to achieve the financial policies in Design Regina: The Official Community Plan specifically, “Goal 1: Financial Principals - “Use a consistent approach to funding the operation of the City of Regina” in Section B:

 

Policy 1.2: Consider, except where prohibited by The Cities Act or other regulations and where appropriate, establishing user fees and other similar charges in excess of full cost recovery for the program or service to which the fees apply. Such resources shall be considered and general revenues for the payment of costs associated with public benefits are shared city-wide.

 

Other Implications

 

None with respect to this report.

 

Accessibility Implications

 

Registered paratransit customers who attend SIIT are also eligible to use the U-Pass on paratransit service. At present, there have been very few paratransit trips to SIIT.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Communications will work with Administration at SIIT to promote and to raise awareness about the U-Pass program to ensure consistent program messages are communicated to SIIT students.

 

DELEGATED AUTHORITY

 

The recommendation contained in this report require City Council approval.

 

Respectfully submitted,   

Respectfully submitted,

Brad Bells, Director

Transit Department

 

 

 

Report prepared by:

Nathan Luhning, Manager of Business Development