Cape Breton University students urge city to provide better busing for growing population
Published Thursday, September 19, 2019 10:29PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, September 20, 2019 7:40AM ADT
Some solutions are in the works for the busing problems confronting international students at Cape Breton University.
They're having trouble getting to the campus and some students have been missing classes or paying for taxis to get to school on time.
Long lineups of students waiting for transit buses is a common sight, both on campus at Cape Breton University, and downtown.
For some, waiting for the bus has come at a cost -- academically and financially.
One second-year student from India had enough and posted her experiences on social media.
"Especially in the morning. If I have a class at 8:30, if I try and take a bus, I miss my class and I have to take a cab," said Ekam Dhingra.
Gobindpreet Singh describes waits of an hour to two hours.
It's been another year of major growth for the international student population at CBU and CBRM transit has been forced to adapt. Getting to school is not the only problem. Some with later classes have had to find their own way home, because the buses had stopped running.
An emergency meeting on campus this week drew nearly 200 students.
"So we can find out what the high traffic zones are and we can go to CBRM and ask to get more transit towards those areas," said Gunny Brar.
The municipality said Thursday morning that they had all students cleared from the busiest downtown bus stop by 8:35 and that transit management is monitoring stops daily to determine new peak times.
They also said they're working on having four extra buses on at all times.
The CBU students' union says one other thing they'd like to see is improvements to shelters downtown.
"With snow, rain and, you know, high winds, there needs to be shelter than can accommodate the increasing student body," Brar said.
The university says a new bus shelter will be built on campus for the start of winter semester.
Students say all of this is a start, but more needs to be done -- starting with more buses.
"If we miss a bus, we'd know there's another bus coming in ten minutes, we wouldn't be lining up 30 minutes before in the winter," Dhingra said.
CBRM Transit has tripled its fleet, and number of runs, in the past three years, but still, there are growing pains that come with a growing student population at CBU.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald.