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What is going on with the buses?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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  • Getting to school on time is becoming more difficult as buses zoom by

    Getting to school on time is becoming more difficult as buses zoom by

 As university students, many of us rely on the bus system as our main source of transportation. This service, which we do not control, is something we trust to take us to our classes everyday. However, as most of you might be aware, the bus system is very flawed.  At peak hours it may take up to five attempts to actually get connected with Next Bus. Furthermore, buses are usually early or late, but rarely on time, and taking the bus is becoming very time consuming. During the busiest hours it is very difficult to get a seat and sometimes you are left to wait for the next bus asking yourself the horrible question will I make it to school on time?

There are some very helpful bus drivers who will actually try to get everyone to make space, but others will simply use the bus full sign when it is only half full. Normally this might not be such a large problem, but when you are trying to get to a midterm or exam it makes a big difference.

My favorite scenario is when you are walking toward the bus loop at the university and you see your bus. Of course, you immediately start walking faster and right as you get there the bus starts pulling out. When you make eye contact with the driver, he/she often has a guilty expression as the bus pulls away. I understand this rule of not being able to stop once the bus has left the platform, but sometimes it just seems cruel when you are steps away from the bus.

On another note, if you look at the emails the CSA has been sending students, you have noticed that starting in January there will be new bus routes and times. Instead of the standard twenty minutes, there will be a fifteen minute schedule . After looking at this new schedule I noticed that my route had been changed and although the change did not affect me, it affected a lot of people that rely on these services.

 Essentially, the two bus routes that go down Gordon St. (the 51 and 54) are being combined into one and another corridor type of route is being added. I have many questions about this because I am already having trouble getting on my bus. It is difficult to understand how the new area the bus is covering will be beneficial. Based on the trouble of getting on the bus in the original route, how will adding a completely new section to this single bus route be helpful to anyone?

Out of sheer confusion I emailed Guelph Transit. After weeks of waiting, I still have received no answer and have lost hope. I finally started asking some of the bus drivers that I see regularly and they told me that they were just as confused as the rest of us.

Thankfully the city had made the decision not to implement the new routes and schedules in November, but to wait until January instead. Come January, for better or for worse, it seems as though we will be having a new bus schedule and routes. Hopefully these routes will be better than the current ones, but for now I am anxiously awaiting what the next semester and new routes will bring.

Jasleen Dhillon is a student at the University of Guelph and a dedicated volunteer at thecannon.ca

The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.

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  1. Posted by: Jason Gallina on Nov 15, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    If you have any concerns about the new bus routes or transit in Guelph in general, make sure to email the CSA Local Affairs commisioner Derek Alton at [email protected] , its his job to act as an advocate for all students regarding transit

  2. Posted by: Derek Alton on Nov 17, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Hi Jasleen, this is a fantastic article and I have forwarded it to Michael Anders who is the head of transit. As Jason mentioned, I am your CSA Local Affairs Commissioner and therefore your advocate to transit. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know and I am happy to help. Contact me at [email protected]

    I am also anxious about the new routes. I will be working with Transit to get the information out to all of you as best we can. In the end though the only way to see how effective the new routes are is to see them in action. It is important for us to get our feedback to Transit, so any concerns or experiences you have please send them to me, the more detail the better and I will bring them to the attention of Transit.

  3. Posted by: Alanna on Nov 20, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    I have sent multiple complaints to Guelph Transit regarding drivers ignoring their contract duties (refusing to verbally call stops for individuals with disabilities, delaying routes by 5+ minutes for a smoke break, etc...). The only time I ever received I response, it was to tell me my "inquiry" had been forwarded on to the "appropriate department" for review, and they would be in contact with me regarding follow up. This was a year ago - I'm feeling doubtful I'll ever heard the outcome, but I know that the issues I have raised have NOT been resolved. I had a co-op term at City Hall, and face-to-face interaction with the department is no better. Fantastic that routes are being "added and improved", but without commitment from your staff, why should we expect any sort of improvement at all?

  4. Posted by: Isaac on Dec 3, 2011 @ 10:53pm

    The Guelph Transit system is atrocious.What sort of bus service ends at 6 15 on Sunday evening ? Does the city magically shut down ? What about students coming off the Go Bus ( I have taken the last bus from Mississauga at 10 at evening) Sundays - you are practically stranded on campus.

    How is this merger of the 54 and 51 going to benefit any student?

    I have had troubles with bus drivers disregarding my presence at stops. Despite being at the stop well before the arrival of the bus , flagging the driver to make evident someone is at the stop , they have neglected to notice a few times. You can imagine the frustration this gives rise to. And I forgot to mention, this is at 6 06 /6 26 am there is more then adequate space. Regardless of the location of the stop , the driver has no right to discriminate or miss stops ; they are responsible for their routes.

  5. Posted by: Isaac on Dec 3, 2011 @ 11:01pm

    The city lacks shelters or protection from the weather. The frustration of being drenched is further compounded by the bus passing you . We pay for this metro pass and make up a majority of passengers to use this service . Where is this money going to when the city is not providing sufficient refuge to ensure the happiness of most of their commuters ?

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