The shuttle bus service between Carleton University and the University of Ottawa will conclude by the end of April. The current program, managed by both schools, allows students and professors from either university to travel to and from using only university identification as fare.
Currently, buses depart every half hour between schools. According to Chris Hynes, vp university affairs for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), most shuttle riders are using the bus as a “method of transportation rather than to get (between) schools,” according to a study.
Hynes said the decision to cancel the service came from Carleton’s administration during the last academic year when they decided to no longer fund the program. He explained that since January, both schools have agreed that the shuttle will no longer be operating as of April.
“The University of Ottawa has gotten them to extend their participation in the program until the end of April, but the reason the program will no longer happen is because it’s not being funded half-and-half,” Hynes said.
However, Alexander Golovko, president of the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), said the decision to end the shuttle service was mutual and made as a re-evaluation of financial priorities.
“Based on my understanding, the decision would have been made by the appropriate administrative bodies within the two institutions and ratified as a part of the yearly budget adopted by its Board of Governors bodies,” Golovko said in an email to the Fulcrum.
Hynes said the service costs $60,000 for the U of O to operate its half of the program. He added that he has since met with Lucie Mercier-Gauthier, the associate vice-president of Student Services at the U of O, to discuss re-allocation of funds previously used for the shuttle to other services. He said he didn’t know where the extra money would go yet but that he would follow up with the university.
“(We) advocate for better access to transportation but also ensure that money is going back to our student services,” he said.