The STCUM public transportation system can be unreliable, causing Concordia students to either be late for class, late for assignments or miss class altogether
“I can’t depend on the bus,” said Concordia student Steve Persaud. “I drive to school now because the bus was either late or it just never showed up at all.”
Most students do not have the luxury of driving to school, and instead, they depend on the bus system. If the buses do not arrive at their scheduled time, it could mean serious problems for the student.
“I missed a final exam once because my bus showed up late,” said Kevin Peel, a Concordia student. “I got a re-write but I still missed the initial exam because of the bus.”
Students, depending on their respective program’s policies, cannot arrive to class late on a constant basis, cannot be absent from class more than a certain amount of times, and must hand in work by a set time. If the bus system fails them by not being punctual, their grades could suffer.
The STCUM has 165 daytime routes and 20 night time routes. With over 3,000 drivers working for them, it’s very hard to keep track of what each individual driver is doing.
“The only way we can ever know that our drivers are not respecting our policies is by receiving complaints,” said a STCUM spokesperson. “If people do not tell us which buses are constantly late, there is no way for us to do anything.”
Buses run late for many legitimate reasons, such as traffic, accidents or disturbances on the bus. But they can also be late if the driver stops to use a pay phone in the middle of his or her route, or to get a coffee or a pack of cigarettes. Some drivers will even delay the bus for five minutes so they can have a quick smoke.
“Some things are unavoidable,” said the STCUM spokesperson. “But if our drivers do take these extra breaks on our time, and our customer’s time, we will have no choice but to reprimand them.”
A survey taken in 2002 stated that the STCUM had 83 per cent of its routes running on schedule. The 17 per cent that were not running on schedule was due to the creation of new routes and addition of new drivers.
Students who rely on the bus will have to continue to deal with the possibility of it being late. The STCUM does pride itself on their relationship with their customers and are willing to listen to suggestions regarding their routes. However, the only way they can rectify any problems regarding chronic lateness is by receiving complaints about that specific route.
To make a complaint about a bus that is continuously running late in your area, contact STM-INFO at : (514) 786-4636.
STCUM at stm.info