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Confiscation of Student IDs by GRT


RideTheRocket
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This is not a GRT issue. This is a university issue and students should be holding the University accountable for poorly made student IDs. Personally I have an issue with the University developing all these wonderful designs for their cards which makes it difficult to see whether the card is valid or not. Not very practical!

I agree. They use the same design year after year. It probably should be changed each year so at least the driver would know what year the student was in or something like that. Its more work for drivers to remember all the colours/pictures but if they want to keep track of it, it might be needed. Unless they want to get the electronic readers installed where we just swipe it on the fare box or something. I'd be cool with that. But that = $$$$$

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The real problem here is that the university agreed to allow drivers to confiscate the card that allows students to eat and to get into their own residence building. If you ride the bus on a Friday night and have your card confiscated because the picture has faded (something that I don't think a reasonable student should be expected to anticipate -- geez, enough with the tired and pointless student-bashing, you guys!), you could be locked out of your residence for three nights. It could also affect a student's ability to write a weekend exam.

The only real solution is a dedicated physical bus pass for students. I'm not sure why this is so hard. It can't cost more than a few dollars to print a Watcard, so why don't they give students a second GRT card to use for the bus? Seems like a really easy fix.

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As far as I can tell, the WatCard policies include no mention of a faded card not being valid.

From the link:

Each transaction the cashier will examine the photo on the WatCard to ensure that the person making the purchase is the WatCard holder. In all cases where the cashier suspects that somebody is using a WatCard other than the cardholder, the cashier must keep the WatCard and prevent its use. The WatCard will be forwarded to the WatCard Office within four hours where it can be picked up by the proper cardholder at that time, or the nextbusiness day. Fraudulent use of WatCard funds to purchase food for other people may result in loss of all discount and tax exempt privileges.

I bolded the portion that is of particular interest.

I think it would be safe to say that they too would confiscate a card if they can't ID the person presenting the card because the image is faded.

Although the link is a start, the top of the pages does say that the these "are basic WatCard policies" and there is a reference to "rules and regulations associated with the use of the WatCard".

The real problem here is that the university agreed to allow drivers to confiscate the card that allows students to eat and to get into their own residence building.

And if the card is stolen, someone other than an authroized person would have access to the residence. Might not be good for the person who's neglected their card and has if confiscated, but if someones lost or their card or had it stolen, if the bus driver confiscates it, it sure beats the hell out of having some break into your residence.

The rules are ultimately there for the protection of the card holders, and the card holders have to follow their own rules associated with the card to ensure the card remains secure. This applies to virtually every type of card or pass.

It does seem the best option would be a seperate bus pass.

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Yes, if it is something that is so important it should be seperate.

When I went to Brock my UPASS was seperate to my student ID, but I had them in a plastic wallet (or whatever they are called) so the driver could see both of them at once.

I will admit however that I would give my pass to my roomate once so that he could go to work. :(

Now at my work they issued the photo ID on the building pass (magnetic card), glued it on. After several years my ID faded so I had it replaced. Now the photo ID is separate to the building pass.

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The only real solution is a dedicated physical bus pass for students. I'm not sure why this is so hard. It can't cost more than a few dollars to print a Watcard, so why don't they give students a second GRT card to use for the bus? Seems like a really easy fix.

I've been saying that for years! Give them their own GRT bus pass each year, WITH A HUGE 'FREAKIN' EXPIRY DATE! Seems simple enough, doesn't it? In the Fall, pick up your student card/WatCard, and at the same time pick up your GRT annual bus pass. But then again, this is GRT, so it ain't going to happen, just like they said a "card swipe" system would be installed the first year "One Cards" were to be accepted!

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Being a student at Waterloo, I think it's time to state my opinion.

For the expiry date problem, the positioning of the date is not in a good spot. A lot of students tend to cover the expiry date with their thumb and index finger so drivers don't see it (and possibly avoid confiscation). I would agree on having a different styled WatCard every year, though it would mean more work for drivers to identify which year is which.

In terms of the fading problem, the only problem I've seen with my fading is my signature at the back. Not an iota of my image has faded, and I can't seem to comprehend how your WatCards can fade so easily. I swipe my WatCard just as much as the next person, and it still doesn't show any fading. Even my friends' WatCards haven't faded at all, and I know some 4th years whose WatCards are still in perfect condition! The only reason why a card might be faded is if you put it through the washing machine/dryer, and in that case, SOL.

For some background information for those interested:

The WatCards store two kinds of money - Your meal plan (if you have one) and flex dollars (again, if you have one). The meal plan is accepted at the residences and at Tim Horton's, Subway, and Teriyaki inside the Student Life Centre (forgive me if I'm missing some), while Flex dollars are used for services like certain off-campus restaurants (mainly on the University Plaza), printing credits, laundry, GO tickets, Greyhound tickets, taxi rides, and Coach Canada tickets.

You get a 50% discount before tax for your meal plan, but your flex dollars are deducted at full price.

Getting back on topic, what I might consider for those who have their WatCards confiscated due to faded pictures, to have a second ID ready. Then the driver can quiz the student AFTER checking the card is not expired (Full name as written in the card, ID number, Program, Undergrad/Graduate student).

The issue with this is it would cause more time, and with rush hour boarding as much as 5-10 minutes at Waterloo (yes, I've timed), I think it would suffice if the driver would just take the card and return it to the university. Hey, it ain't expired or lost, so you don't have to pay to retrieve your card. Though getting another non-faded card, that might be another story.

But again as I said, I can't see how WatCards can be faded simply by swiping so much, and I would feel no shame if you're my friend, and you have your WatCard stolen. I might support you into getting your card back, but after GRT returns it to the university.

Riding the bus "free" (quote on quote, you technically paid for it) is a privilege, not a right.

My 2 cents.

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So true! Most of them can't even figure out how to open the rear doors and exit through them! (Or read, "Please Exit Through Rear Doors") Seems the Engineering & Math students are the worst! :rolleyes:

Agreed, for the buses that have the push poles to open the doors, some people put their hands between the poles and try to open it, I laugh in my head when I see that :P

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Agreed, for the buses that have the push poles to open the doors, some people put their hands between the poles and try to open it, I laugh in my head when I see that :rolleyes:

Man, those people who don't know (and probably don't care) about the intricacies of all the bus models used by GRT! How silly of them to assume that buses might work the same as other buses!

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The irony here is that the driver probably had good cause to take the pass and will end up getting hassled by management.

I on the other hand who does not worry about such things will have no such hassle. Funny how that goes.

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The irony here is that the driver probably had good cause to take the pass and will end up getting hassled by management.

I on the other hand who does not worry about such things will have no such hassle. Funny how that goes.

It's only a hassle if you let it get to you, but as I'm sure I've stated many times here already, It is your job to check to pass of every person who gets on the bus weather that takes 10 seconds or 10 minutes, the amount of time is not your concern, that is the job of scheduling, if there is a problem go to them and they will make the adjustments.

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As a proctor, I don't encounter any faded WatCards (those who are double-degree with Laurier) when I inspect them. However, there are a lot of faded Laurier OneCards. I don't know if it has anything to do with a different printing technology for the cards.

As of now, GRT has yet to return my OneCard back to the Student Office. The GRT supervisor made a trip Monday morning to drop off a batch of cards, but mine was not in there. So I can't book a room in the library, I can't swipe into computer labs, I can't get into the school bars, I can't go to the gym, and I still can't take the bus that I paid for in my tuition.

If I lost my card, that is my responsibility. At least it may have dropped on the ground or on campus or maybe even a different city. The likelihood of a good samaritan picking it up or anybody that isn't an identity thief is extremely high. Having a person that wants your card and takes it away from you without authorization, on the other hand, gives me much more worry about what they are doing with it (especially since its now been 104 hours and counting).

As for saying its not GRT's problem and the university should deal with it - well GRT claims to have problems with invalid University cards, so why don't they do something about it like put a swipe system in place or issue out a separate bus pass? Students, especially those who don't use the bus often, never knew fare fraud with student cards were that big of a problem, and shouldn't be the ones to be penalized by GRT. GRT should be preventing the problem if its that much of a concern to them without punishing honest riders. Why blame everything on the student or the university?

I have no idea why an argument of "student's can't figure out how to open the rear doors" is even brought up. There can be just as many non-students who don't know how to open the doors. Unless you have solid facts that students are more likely to not know how to open the rear doors than non-students (assuming they take the bus the same amount of times), this argument should not be discussed further.

As smably said, the real problem is that for some reason the University has gave in to GRT's demand to confiscate the cards that are used for many other things and there is no communication to students of this situation on GRT buses advertisement boards, GRT website, nor the University website for students to be aware of.

Keep in mind that OneCard/WatCard policies in regards to confiscation of cards is directed towards University faculty or staff. No where does it mention an external third party can confiscate cards. Heck if a GRT driver is allowed to do it, what prevents a cashier at Zellers from doing it as well (when student wants a discount with SPC card)? How would I know they, as external parties, have authorization from the University to confiscate cards if neither party makes this information publicly available? Also, it is much harder to trace down a person outside of the University who confiscated it then that of someone that works in it.

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You assume (erroneously) that most university students your age have a brain in their head.

My experience tells me, sadly, that this isn't the case.

I find this to be a rather broad assumption. In my experience with high school and college students, the number of ignorant ones is about on par with the rest of society. I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazingly smart and talented young adults.

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So I say to "RideTheRocket" and others, the student bodies voted on these cards and agreed to have a tuition increase to include usage on GRT - and with that came a promise of increased service - but as we all know half the time you cannot get on the bus because it is full. Do you believe they will "fix" the problems before you complete University or is your money down the proverbial crapper ? I'd be most interested in the view of a student(s) as opposed to the rhetoric we get from GRT. :rolleyes:

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As for saying its not GRT's problem and the university should deal with it - well GRT claims to have problems with invalid University cards, so why don't they do something about it like put a swipe system in place or issue out a separate bus pass? Students, especially those who don't use the bus often, never knew fare fraud with student cards were that big of a problem, and shouldn't be the ones to be penalized by GRT. GRT should be preventing the problem if its that much of a concern to them without punishing honest riders. Why blame everything on the student or the university?

Well how exactly are the drivers suppost to know which students are frequent riders or not? Whether the students are aware of the fare fraud problems or not, is not GRT's problem. The bottom line is if the student card is in question for whatever the reason may be, the driver has the right to confiscate the card.

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Well how exactly are the drivers suppost to know which students are frequent riders or not? Whether the student is aware of the fare fraud problems or not, is not GRT's problem. The bottom line is if the student card is in question for whatever the reason may be, the driver has the right to confiscate the card.

I don't see it as a student problem either. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is dumped on us. Please don't give me the "thats the real world" talk either. We expect a service to be provided to us and when it screws up, its our problem. Then, we have to cause a scene to get anything done about it. Its getting really old now...

Im not trying to start arguuments or anything either so no offense to those who feel otherwise. But its always passed on to the student eventually when we already have so much to worry about.

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The bottom line is if the student card is in question for whatever the reason may be, the driver has the right to confiscate the card.

I have to wonder if that may be set out in the terms and conditions when applying for the card itself ? Hmmmmm. Anybody know for sure ? (No speculation please).

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I have to wonder if that may be set out in the terms and conditions when applying for the card itself ? Hmmmmm. Anybody know for sure ? (No speculation please).

Disclaimer: OneCards are the property of Wilfrid Laurier University. It must be carried at all times and presented to University Officials upon request. Cards are non-refundable and may only be used by the person the card is issued to. Unauthorized use, alteration or duplication for fraudulent use warrants confiscation and/or disciplinary action.

OneCards must be surrendered upon request. (I think this refers to the university only)

Source: http://www.mylaurier.ca/onecard/faq/privacy.htm

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Watcard:

WatCards are the property of the University of Waterloo. They must be carried at all times and presented to University Officials upon request. Cards are non-transferable and may only be used by the person that they were issued to. Unauthorized use, alteration, or duplication for fraudulent use warrants confiscation and/or disciplinary action. Cards become invalid upon termination of affiliation with the University and must be surrendered upon request.

http://watcard.uwaterloo.ca/policies.html

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Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is dumped on us. Please don't give me the "thats the real world" talk either.

................................. when we already have so much to worry about.

Well, I'll be the first to say it ........... "that's the real world". I'd also like to add, "grow up, and show some responsibility. You want to be treated like an adult, and be given some respect, show some in return, and be responsible for your actions, or lack of"

................. "we already have so much to worry about" ....................... LMFAO! Really?

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Well, I'll be the first to say it ........... "that's the real world". I'd also like to add, "grow up, and show some responsibility. You want to be treated like an adult, and be given some respect, show some in return, and be responsible for your actions, or lack of"

................. "we already have so much to worry about" ....................... LMFAO! Really?

I am responsible for my actions. But im tired of this "its the students problem" mentality. Maybe someone else needs to show some responsibility as well such as the Unversities.

Students love ripping on GRT in this city. Its almost a pass time of sorts. Any article I read at school is always negative. Why did we agree to pay the fee? It was thought the other end of the bargain would be upheld. So far, it has not.

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I am responsible for my actions. But im tired of this "its the students problem" mentality. Maybe someone else needs to show some responsibility as well such as the Unversities.

The UNIVERSITIES make the cards, issue them, develop the designs, etc. NOT the students or GRT or the DRIVERS. The students are responsible for their cards and IF they abuse them then they will be held accountable by having them confiscated by the DRIVERS. If students are not abusing them and have a legit concern then they need to address it with the university. GRT runs the transit system, NOT the drivers. Drivers have taken their issues with the cards to GRT management and management states they have no control over the designs, etc. Seems to me that some responsibility is being taken here on all sides.

Students love ripping on GRT in this city. Its almost a pass time of sorts. Any article I read at school is always negative. Why did we agree to pay the fee? It was thought the other end of the bargain would be upheld. So far, it has not.

I disagree with the slamming of students that goes on here, as for the doors and how to use them - the doors on the all the buses are f&%*@ d. I also disagree with the slamming of the drivers that goes on here, drivers are being trained to follow conflicting rules and are disciplined for a mismanaged transit system. As for the other end of the bargain being upheld - HA - this is the Region we're talking about, there is no accountability to uphold anything. So Nova I absolutely agree, I'm also tired of 'it's the students problem' mentality AND I'm tired of 'it's the drivers fault' mentality and personally I don't care if the card is faded, valid, not valid, or whatever! If fare fraud in this Region was a big concern, our Regional Council would be on the news speaking against it like the Mayor of Guelph did. Here the answer we're given is: "Our studies indicate it is ONLY a small percentage, around 1 or 2%" Apparently that's an acceptable figure. Which means my job responsibility consists of customer service where the customer is always right, even if they fail to pay their fare.

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[sNIP] If fare fraud in this Region was a big concern, our Regional Council would be on the news speaking against it like the Mayor of Guelph did. Here the answer we're given is: "Our studies indicate it is ONLY a small percentage, around 1 or 2%" Apparently that's an acceptable figure. Which means my job responsibility consists of customer service where the customer is always right, even if they fail to pay their fare.

The question should be really, how much information actually makes it from the transit staff to our elected officials? <_< I read the council and committee reports religiously and maybe once have I seen something about misuse of fares, and IIRC the report downplayed it (I'd have to hunt for whatever report that was again...but I digress...). The problem is, if the rates of fare fraud that we believe to be out there really do exist, and they were ever published in a report to committee or council the media would be all over it like flies on s#!t.

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