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Can I sit on your lap?

by The Concordian March 11, 2014
Can I sit on your lap?

It’s not laziness, standing on the shuttle bus is painful

If you’ve ever ridden the shuttle bus then you know that it can get pretty crowded and if you’ve ever been unlucky enough to have to stand throughout the 25 minute ride, you know how terrible it can be.

Unlike riding with the STM, the Concordia shuttle bus doesn’t make any stops. Because it doesn’t make any stops there is no opportunities for people to get off and for seats to open up. As a result anyone boarding the shuttle when all the seats are full must stand.

This isn’t so bad when there’s only a few other people standing, but it’s murder when the bus is full.Chances are you’ll be pushed up against a post or holding on for dear life to a bar above your head as the bus makes sharp turns and sudden stops. And if you’re on the shorter side holding on to that bar can feel like you’re on a medieval torture rack.

Throw in backpacks, lunch bags, purses and bulky winter coats and the walls are not only closing in but they’re pungent and clammy. This does not make for a pleasant experience.

Shuttle buses are often crammed because students need to make it to their classes and they can’t afford to wait for the next bus to arrive. Not only do students have to wait the 20 to 25 minutes for the next bus to arrive but there’s also the 25 minute ride itself, which adds up to 50 minutes. This makes students desperate to get on the first shuttle bus.

Therefore the university either needs to double the number of buses leaving at the same time or else decrease wait times so that if one shuttle bus is full the next one will be along in five minutes, leave in five minutes and allow students to make it to class without being made into the equivalent of a sardine in a can.

Is this a first world problem? Is this needless griping over being uncomfortable? Perhaps, but it’s not just about personal comfort, it’s also about safety.

Although as far as we are aware there have been no accidents on board the shuttle bus, passengers are likely to suffer bruises, strained arms and legs and are at risk for a number of potentially more serious injuries.

Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean some unfortunate student won’t lose their balance on a sharp turn and either knock into other students or be thrown into a post or onto the floor. This could result in their being stepped on, banging their head, twisting an ankle or a wrist, spraining a knee, or worse.

Also, what’s wrong with wanting to be comfortable? If students are paying for the shuttle bus service, shouldn’t it be an experience they enjoy?

The live mapping screens that show where the bus is are not really useful. Who cares where the bus is? If it’s not at the bus stop to pick you up, then it doesn’t matter that it’s on Sherbrooke, you’re downtown, that’s not going to help you. What would help you is if there was another bus you could get on that wasn’t full to bursting that would get you to class on time. Why wasn’t money spent on more buses instead of flashy-but-useless screens?

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