Survey: late-night buses friggin' sweet

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Response to year-long bus pass survey

The London Transit Commission asked students: Rate the likelihood you would support an increase in your bus pass fee (approximately $25) if the pass was valid year-round.

The results are in: students at Western agree late-night bus service on the weekends would be friggin’ sweet.

The London Transit Commission has finally released the results of a transit survey conducted in October 2007. The survey aimed to address student satisfaction, frequency of use, the popularity of a year-long bus pass, and the possibility of late-night service.

When asked if students would use a year-long pass, reactions were mixed. The survey asked students to rate the likelihood they would support a $25 increase in annual bus pass fees if the passes were valid year round.

Although 36 per cent of respondents were in favour of the change, 27 per cent were opposed.

Around Western’s campus, students gave a wide range of responses on the issue. “I would take the year-long pass,” fourth-year management and organizational studies student Yi Nwan Mi said. “It’s worth the money.”

Fourth-year music student Gabriel Lee was not so positive about the pass. “I have a car so it’s really not a service I would use,” Lee said, adding he does not live in London during the summer.

Despite divisions on the year-round bus pass, a vast majority of Western students were excited about extended bus hours on weekends.

The survey asked: “If the LTC were to implement a late-night bus service on weekends (a service running until 3 a.m.), rate the likelihood that you would use this service.”

Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents said they were “extremely likely” to use the service, while an additional 21 per cent were somewhat likely. Only 13 per cent said they were against extending bus hours.

“[Late night service] would be a lot cheaper than taxis, and warmer than walking,” Devon McCurry, a third-year media, information and technoculture student, said.

University Students’ Council President Tom Stevenson said the survey will help the USC prioritize student needs.

“Transit is an important service to students and these results show there’s always ways to improve.”

The survey included questions about overall satisfaction. Although the majority of students rated LTC’s service “good” or “average,” only two per cent said London buses exceeded expectations.

The data collected in the survey will be reviewed by the LTC, and a report is scheduled for release at the end of the month.

Stevenson said he was enthusiastic about the changes to come.

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