Volume 95, Issue 56

Friday, January 11, 2002
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Operation Massive II?

LTC gets new buses, but long waits continue

Home-schoolers fight to get into university

Prof: Canada ill-prepared for threat

Lung cancer photo album

News Briefs

LTC gets new buses, but long waits continue

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

The London Transit Commission has ordered a total of 36 new buses to replace some of its aging fleet, but concerns the purchase will do little to ease the human congestion along campus routes remain.

Depending on the time and bus route, some Western students find LTC's service grossly inadequate, said Peter West, president of the Media, Information, and Technoculture Students' Council.

West raised this point at Wednesday's University Students' Council meeting.

"Some people wait for two or three packed buses [to go by] before they get one," West said.

The new buses are intended to improve service on some routes during peak hours, said LTC general manager Larry Ducharme. "[Buses will be added] based on surveys and commentary from the public-at-large," he said.

While the size of LTC's fleet will not increase, the new buses will increase service reliability and allow LTC to augment certain routes.

"By increasing service reliability, you increase the number of [available] buses," Ducharme said.

USC VP-finance Rob Irvine said LTC monitors the routes and number of passengers through surveys to ensure adequate service.

"That's their commitment to the USC, as far as service is concerned," he said.

The LTC is intending to add a couple of buses to the Wonderland and White Hills routes, but other important campus routes – such as the Wellington and Richmond routes – do not currently have priority, Ducharme said.

Without changes, students may continue to find LTC service inadequate, West said. "I'd like to see students get value for their money," he added.

"The service right now is a problem and [it] is only going to get worse [as the student population increases]," said USC president Mike Lawless.

"It's important to note that, [with] 23,000 students, we have influence to address concerns with LTC," Lawless said. "There's an open line of communication."

Ward 5 city councillor Gary Williams said potential problems with the new buses could hamper LTC service.

"There's some backlog getting them on the street," he said.

"We'll have a relatively short period of time to get them on the road [and tested]," Williams said. "If it was a perfect world, we'd have had the first 11 last year. There's been problems in the industry that things have been bunched up."

Lawless encouraged students to contact the USC if they find bus service to be a problem.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002