College and university students in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have launched a survey to gather feedback about the accessibility and affordability of public transit in the region. To date, almost 5,000 surveys have been collected from students.
"Fare hikes, route changes, cuts and spending priorities for new transit services impact the daily lives of students in the GTA," said Alastair Woods, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "We need a public transit system that ensures that students can afford to travel to school, are not stranded after late night work shifts, and can fully participate in student life."
The survey asks about the routes and services students use; when students use transit the most; whether they use or would use services such as request stop programs or discounts for college and university students; and whether issues with public transit had caused them to miss a class, drop a course, not attend a social or sporting event or be late for or miss a shift at work.
"While public transit has been a hot topic for municipal and provincial politicians, the needs of students have largely been ignored," said Woods. "Students are ready for action on improving transit in the GTA and this survey will provide important research to ensure transit policy recognizes student priorities."
In addition to the survey, students are organizing a series of campus town halls to raise awareness about public transit, including one hosted by the Scarborough Campus Students' Union with Toronto City Councillor Paul Ainslie.
The survey is available here.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province, including students at George Brown College, OCAD, Ryerson University, York University and the St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough campuses of the University of Toronto.