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WTF? No travel card discount for exchange students?

In the beginning of June, the terms for Tampere City TransportÂ’s student discount changed. Every student now needs a Finnish identity number and a Finnish place of domicile in order to receive student discount for their travel card. In practice, this means that exchange students are not eligible for the discount anymore and international degree students must register Tampere as their place of domicile at the Local Register Office.

Why is this the case, City of Tampere Product Designer Tanja Lehtonen?

"In the beginning of June, we started using a public transport customer register, and student discount is now available only for a personal travel card. We feel that Population Information System is the right place to ensure that the information in our register is correct, and the direction of costs between cities is always based on the customerÂ’s place of domicile.

However, everyone under the age of 25 years is eligible for youth discount which equals the amount of student discount. You do not need a Finnish place of domicile or a Finnish identity number in order to receive youth discount. Student discount is a benefit which the city may provide optionally and voluntarily, and our funds are limited."

What do you think about the change, TamyÂ’s Secretary for International Affairs Katri Suhonen?

"International students have the same need for affordable bus tickets as Finnish students. Over 12% of our exchange students are not eligible for youth discount. On the whole, the number is so small that it probably does not have a significant effect on the economy of Tampere City Transport."

Hertta-Mari Kaukonen

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  1. exstudent (26.11.10, kello 10:23)

    The real reason I would say is more simply the cutting down of costs. Subventions are needed in order to provide students with the opportunity to travel for half the normal price. It is a real pity because travelling around Finland is a really great way for exchange students to get to know the country better. I guess hitchhiking and carpooling could be alternatives but loads could (should?) be done to develop these forms of transport.

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