Carleton-University of Ottawa bus shuttle to stop running in 2014

Students travelling between Carleton and the University of Ottawa (U of O) will no longer be taking the white shuttle bus downtown in April 2014.

The contract with the service provider for the U of O-Carleton shuttle bus is coming to an end after a five-year term.

The cancellation that was first announced May 2013 by the Board of Governors, Carleton’s financial decision-making body, is set to reduce the university’s expenses by about $100,000.

The demand for the shuttle is not as high as it used to be, Carleton’s registrar Suzanne Blanchard said.

“Before there was the bus pass, before there was the O-Train, [the shuttle bus] was something that was developed with the collaboration of the University of Ottawa,” Blanchard said. “Now with that transportation between the two [universities] it is not as necessary to have a specific bus.”

She said the shuttle, which transports students directly to and from both campuses, is also commonly used by students who are registered in courses at both universities.

“There are graduate level joint programs and there are also exchanges between students taking courses,” Blanchard said.

The overall cost of the bus is shared between the two universities, U of O’s manager of media relations Caroline Milliard said.

She said U of O is undergoing its own review of the shuttle bus.

“We are now in the process of reviewing our students’ prior use of our shuttle services, and will be finalizing the review before issuing a new contract with a service provider,” she said.

The shuttle runs from Monday to Friday starting at 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., transporting students hourly.

Haotian Guan, a Carleton student enrolled in several classes at U of O, said although the scheduling is not always ideal, the shuttle bus is a very efficient form of transportation.

“The timetable does not always fit my classes but for certain students it’s more convenient to take the shuttle bus than taking the bus to Hurdman,” Guan said. “Instead of taking it they would have to take at least two buses.”

First-time rider and Carleton student Kristina Wazen said she believes the lack of students taking the bus is partially due to it not being promoted enough.

“There should be more advertising about it,” Wazen said. “The only reason I found about it is because it was parked here.”