Students in London make up the single largest ridership for transit in the city of London. We rely on the bus to get us to school, to work and everywhere else in-between. But right now, the transit system in London is simply not working for students and it's not working for Londoners.
Almost every day, I hear that a student has been left behind by the bus, leaving them late for class, for an exam, for a shift at work. The current system isn’t working and that means it is time to reimagine what transit in London should look like.
In a recent survey conducted by the USC, 80% of respondents noted that transit was their primary mode of transportation. Alarmingly, students reported that at least once a week, buses are too full to accommodate ridership demand, leaving them behind at the side of the road. We need to imagine something better for London, because the status quo just isn’t working.
The Shift London initiative is the means by which all Londoners will be able to reimagine not just transit, but also what our city should look like. The Western University Students’ Council recently hosted our first ever Pints and Politics event on campus featuring conversations about transit in London. We were joined by staff from the transportation department, many Western students, and even members of the London community at large. This was a great opportunity for students to be a part of the new vision for London, to have their say about what transit should look like.
Moving forward with the Shift London initiative, city staff will be seeking the input of all Londoners. Rapid transit will be an important step in the right direction for London. Western University could be at the centre of these transportation improvements, with the establishment of the university as a transit hub. This would change the way students and staff think about getting to and from school and the USC will continue to work with the city to make sure what students want is reflected in the new transit plans. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in transit, including students, to engage in this conversation. Have your say about what you think London should look like and be sure to hold politicians from all levels of government accountable to building on London’s vision for the future.
Vice President External Relations
Western University Students' Council