Long lines, getting to classes late and unpredictable Montreal construction and traffic may be infuriating some Concordia students, but shuttle bus services from the Sir George Williams campus to Loyola campus could get even slower in the year ahead.
As of fall 2003, the new Science Complex at Loyola is set to open. The result: more students travelling back and forth for classes.
With approximately 4,600 students using the shuttles daily, for a total of about 700,000 passengers every year (from September to April), the influx is sure to have a huge impact.
Mike Russo, who works with Transportation Services at Concordia, said “upon confirmation of the increase, we will establish a plan of action to deploy and ensure that the addition be reflected in our contract with [Autobus Transco], the transport service provider.” Although, it would seem that, “a six or even seventh bus will probably have to be added,” Russo said.
This year, there are four Concordia shuttle buses and at peak times (11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.), one school bus is added. The buses make 74 trips daily Monday to Thursday, and 35 trips on Fridays.
Recent construction on the Ville Marie expressway has definitely kept buses off their scheduled 15 to 20 minute rides. “It’s one of the biggest problems we face,” said Norman Guillemette, a veteran shuttle driver. “With one standard route and three alternatives,” he said, “we just have to work with it.”
Some students are not convinced. “It’s ridiculous,” said Kealia Curtis, VP internal for the CSU. “It takes almost 45 minutes to get to a 6:15 p.m. class. Next year will be much worse. More buses and alternative routes are [crucial].”
Some, like Sebastian Sangalli, opt for public transportation as “it always keeps moving.” Others prefer the direct service. Melanie Perrett finds “shuttles are a lot simpler and easier than public transportation. Only one bus gets you where you have to go.” Helen Angelis agreed. “The shuttles are less crowded than public transit,” she said, adding: “The service is doing the best it can.”