It seems that in the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, there is a new rule for student bus passes. Apparently, OC Transpo, Ottawa’s public transportation agency, only considers a person under the age of 28 to be a “real” student, so any full time student over the age of 27 will be required to buy a pass at full price, regardless of income or scholastic status. This reeks of ageism against mature students and students going for Masters and Doctoral degrees. After all, being a full time student over the age of 27 is deemed to be a different class of full time student as one who is 27 years of age or less.

OC Transpo representatives claim that other transit systems around the country have a student cut-off age of 25, so they are being magnanimous by setting their cut-off age to 27. Isn’t that like saying that other places in Canada discriminate against many races, but here we only discriminate against a few? Being less wrong is not the same as being right, or even better. If we as a country want to have a more educated society, we need to stop placing artificial barriers in the path of those who want to expand their knowledge, and start to tear down as many of these artificial barriers as we possibly can.

For screwing over mature students, and for thinking less bad is the same as good, I have to rate OC Transpo’s student pass policy an EPIC FAIL!!

September 9, 2009: Ottawa City Council has unanimously voted to remove the maximum student age provision in student bus passes! Way to go, Ottawa City Council! You did the right thing!

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