With the OC Transpo strike in Ottawa, Ontario, entering its second
month, four area colleges have agreed to link their shuttle bus
services, collaborating on routes, schedules and pick-up locations.
Algonquin College, Carleton University, La Cite collegial
and the University of Ottawa forged the agreement last week, after OC Transpo’s
union workers voted to reject the city’s latest contract offer.
“All four institutions decided that it would better help our
students, especially those in joint programs, if we could put a system in place
that would permit the students from one institution to go to another,” said
Julie Tanguay, spokeswoman for the University of Ottawa. “In other words,
students from the three other schools who wish to ride our buses will be
allowed to do so, if there is space available after University of Ottawa
students have boarded.”
The 14 routes operated by the four colleges provide service
to several key suburbs in the sprawling city, which covers 1,800 square miles
and has a population of 1.2 million.
“They basically have got the entire geographic area of the
city covered,” said Steve Blais, a spokesman for Carleton University. To help
the buses operate efficiently during the transit strike, the city of Ottawa
announced that the shuttle buses will be given dedicated transitway access, he
“This strike has been a challenge and difficulty for
everyone,” Blais said. “We’ve been getting through it, though.”