Monday, January 5, 2009

Shuttles to school will continue (sort of)

Students at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University will have access to shuttle buses until at least the end of this week.

At the U of O, buses will run until the end of this week to allow students to pick up their books and otherwise prepare for the semester. This is from the school's announcement, which provides details about all routes along which shuttles will operate:
In light of the ongoing OC Transpo transit strike, the University of Ottawa, in collaboration with the Student Federation (SFUO), will continue to provide a special free shuttle service to uOttawa students during the first week of classes from January 6 to 9 inclusive.

The service will offer round trips from Kanata, Nepean, Orleans and South Keys to the main campus during that period only, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. The drop-off and pick-up point will be near Montpetit Hall (near the Roger-Guindon shuttle drop off area). See below for further scheduling information.
The service will not continue after this week, however:
The University of Ottawa, as any other institution and work place, must respect that the OC Transpo workers are on strike.
Presumably, that means that the school wants to avoid interfering in the strike and undermining OC Transpo bus drivers. But Student Federation of the University of Ottawa president Dean Haldenby outlined three additional reasons the service couldn't be continued:
  • Volume: The supply of shuttles cannot keep up with students' demand.
  • Service: The shuttles cannot adequately serve the needs of student commuters without stopping more and servicing more areas of the city.
  • Cost: The only solution to the volume and service issues is simply too expensive to maintain.
Recently, the Carleton University Students' Association announced on its website that the operations will continue today. The announcement did not say how long the buses would run. To address the cost of the service, CUSA added the following to its release:
We will be accepting donations of OC Transpo equivalent fare from students that take the shuttle service in order to help pay for the service.
UPDATE: A spokesperson in the CUSA office said that the buses might not run after this Friday, and that the student union and administration are still figuring out next steps.


Ben said...

It's very understandable that these shuttle services cannot be kept up forever. All the more reason why students unions should be pressuring both the city and the ATU to get a deal done.

Anonymous said...

And why they should be pressuring the City and federal government to make sure that this is the last OC Transpo strike in history.

Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

If the student union is seriously considering solidarity with another union as a reason to jeopardize THEIR members best interests, they are seriously out to lunch and should all be voted out.