Opinion: I’m tired of waiting for the ‘LateyLate’

Transit to campus is terrible. Can the college do anything to fix it?
Writer Claire Donnan wonders if the college can do anything to improve public transit for students.

It’s the first day of classes, and I’m running late.

I tap my foot impatiently at Hurdman Station, waiting on the 88 bus to take me the 28 stops from the train station to campus. Since I got to the station, the 88 has skipped two scheduled departures.

I left my house in Sandy Hill an hour early thinking this would be enough, although I was clearly, sorely mistaken.

The bus finally reaches Hurdman with 30 minutes to spare, and I burst into my first class as it begins. Since that first day, I’ve left the house an hour and a half early just to make it to campus 15 minutes early for class, and I’m not alone doing this. Indeed, the 88 in particular is absolutely packed morning and night, with the bulk of people getting on or off at campus.

Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, where buses seem to take longer than just walking to your destination, I was quite unused to the idea of relying so heavily on public transit. To that end, I was – and still am – reticent of the idea of relying on transit that is this unreliable, skipping departures, running late, and constantly packed.

Simply put, the commute to Algonquin is terrible. Is there anything the college can do to fix this?

From downtown Ottawa, there are several main bus routes that service Algonquin College. The first three, buses 73-75, depart from the Tunney’s Pasture station frequently, but require you to go further on the train and drop students off at Baseline, a 10-minute walk from most campus buildings.

That just leaves the Terry Fox bus: The 88, which departs from Hurdman station every 15 minutes (allegedly). On Reddit, this bus is lovingly called the LateyLate bus, which replaced the former 118 (OneLateteen) bus route.

In the future, the City of Ottawa hopes to expand the LRT as far as Algonquin College, rendering these long haul bus routes less essential. But until then, surely the college can do more?

Aditya Mishra, the new Board of Governors student representative, believes the college can do more for commuting students, and that currently, buses don’t come often enough.

“Weekdays it [buses serving the college] is fully packed, like a matchbox,” said Mishra. “I think buses every 15 minutes, should be reduced to like, seven minutes or something.”

In addition to this, Algonquin College has a Transportation Strategy. Within this 2017 document prepared by Urban Equation, they stress the importance of improving transit to the college, and previous steps they had already taken to make the commute more reliable.

“In 2011, the college partnered with OC Transpo to redirect Route 118 [now 88] through the Ottawa campus, and add two new bus stops,” said Urban Equation in the document. They additionally planned for the expansion of the LRT and what this would mean for transit to the college.

These steps have admittedly already made significant improvements to the commute to Algonquin. However, with the LRT expansion looming further and further away, Mishra believes the college should do more to help students now.

“In my opinion, I think the college should talk to OC Transpo about the frequency because, they can do that,” said Mishra.

As it stands, I’ve restructured my commute to campus. Sick of waiting for buses in the cold, I instead brave the extra time on the train and the longer walk to take the 73-75 in the mornings. It’s much less packed, and actually comes when I expect it to. I have to admit, from Tunney’s Pasture at least, buses are dependable and fairly quick.

However, a lot more will have to be done before I can describe my commute as anything close to “reliable.”

Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times on Instagram

Sections

Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times podcast

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter

You have been subscribed. Thank you!