We want to hear from our students in residence to better understand how we can help promote learning in our residence communities. One way we do this is through the Single Graduate Consultation Council (SGCC).
Over time one recurring topic raised by graduate students has been the functioning of the shuttle bus between the Columbia Lake Village (CLV) community and the main campus. In this blog post I want to summarize the concerns that have been raised along with the rationale for our current practices related to the shuttle bus to/from CLV and main campus.
First, let me point out that three regular shuttle bus services for students operate at the main campus, as follows:
Residence operated shuttle
Operates Monday to Friday - not on weekends or holidays – in the morning and evening.
The service is provided from the Thanksgiving weekend until the end of the winter term. The shuttle does not run in the spring term.
Residence grocery shuttle
Operates Saturday from 2:00 - 5:00 to Bridgeport Plaza
FEDS/Police operated shuttle
Operates two on-campus shuttles from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am
Covers Ring Rd., UWP and CLV
Operates two off-campus shuttles from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am
The first two shuttles listed above are the responsibility of Waterloo Residences and the services have been contracted to an external company to operate. These two shuttles cost approximately $100,000 and $30,000 per year, respectively, to run.
Basic passenger records are kept for the CLV shuttle bus and the number of passengers by month in the Winter 2016 term using the shuttle can be seen in the chart below.
Number of CLV shuttle passengers by month in Winter 2016
|Month||# business days||Morning passengers||Afternoon/Evening passengers||Morning average||Afternoon/ Evening average|
The most common concerns and requests made by graduate students can be summarized into the following two points:
- More convenient if the shuttle stopped in CLV-North as it would be closer to home when carrying heavy items (eg groceries) and when the weather is poor.
- A school bus stops for kids in CLV-North; thus, the shuttle should stop there as well.
Our current practice has the shuttle bus use one central stop in the CLV Community Centre parking lot. The shuttle bus will often wait for a period of time in the parking lot to maintain a consistent schedule.
The rationale for this practice can be summarized in the following points:
- The community centre parking lot is a central location for both CLV-North and CLV-South residence students. Input into this location was originally provided by the UW Safety Office and UW Police Services.
- The shuttle bus provider does not have the ability to use flashing lights which means stopping on a street unsafe. School bus operators picking up children have flashing lights which signals that cars must stop.
- One central stop allows more time for the bus to wait in one location. This results in greater certainty to assist with student's planning and more trips to/from main campus. More stops would allow for less travel time.
In short, the CLV parking lot location provides an appropriate place to stop that is safe, central, efficient and easily accessible to our CLV community.
We appreciate the importance of the shuttle service to our students in the CLV community. We want to look for opportunities to continuously improve this service. In fact, feedback from our students caused us to introduce an earlier start time this year so students could get to lab/clinic hours on time. Thank you for working with us to introduce this change. Please do not hesitate to share additional feedback with Waterloo Residence staff such as your Community Assistants and Residence Life Coordinator.
By: Glen Weppler, Director of Housing