Some university towns are currently discussing the equality of public transport discounts. For a student, using public transport is often necessary and constitutes the only link between home, services and the campus. Students’ homes are not always centrally located from the standpoint of studying, which means travelling expenses are obligatory.
The terms that have been placed for student discounts in public transport place especially older students in a weaker position. Students are a diverse group, and this is why we are in favour of extending the discounts to treat all students equally. The reform should not be prepared at the expense of current beneficiaries.
Discounts are an important part of a student’s complex livelihood. Even though the changes will widen the range of users entitled to the discount, the support level should not be weakened. Every university town needs to introduce a 50 percent student discount.
“Equality among the discount groups needs to be guaranteed, but it should not be done at the expense of the beneficiaries. The currently ongoing Helsinki Region Transport case functions as an example for other cities, and it is extremely important to consider the impacts on students. A student’s living is made up of separate sources of income and discounts – when one changes, the whole ensemble starts to wobble”, says SYL President Miika Tiainen.