Kwantlen Polytechnic University students will have access to a special shuttle bus this fall.
It comes as part of a modified U-Pass system (known as Multi-Pass) for Kwantlen students, and it is yet another proof of the inadequacy of the transit system south of the Fraser.
Last summer, Kwantlen students organized a unique test to see just how easy it was to get from the Surrey campus in Newton to the Langley campus. One student cycled, one used the transit system and one ran.
Not too surprisingly, the cyclist arrived first, in just under an hour. But what was quite surprising is that the runner also beat the bus, arriving 13 minutes before the student who took transit arrived.
The shuttle bus service will run between the Langley, Cloverdale and Surrey campuses. It will allow students and staff to more easily get to classes or meetings at another campus, without the cost of driving and the challenge of finding a parking place, which can be difficult.
With Multi-Passes, Kwantlen students will still be able to use the transit system as well, and undoubtedly some will use it to get to the Langley campus. But given the fact that most Langley residents have very liimited access to transit, it is doubtful that too many from Langley will be able to use the U-Passes in the way that students in Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond do.
Kwantlen student leaders and administrators are to be commended for coming up with a creative idea which should work well for both students and staff. While students will pay $40 per month instead of the $30 they would pay for a standard U-Pass, they will be able to use the transit system, the shuttle bus and get access to several other services, including Car2Go.
The Kwantlen solution to the transportation problem is one that civic politicians should bring up every chance they can. They need to impress on provincial MLAs and TransLink the real difficulties that transit users face in the South Fraser region. Before drivers are hit with higher gas taxes, some concrete solutions to the lack of transit service in the region must be offered.