TRANSIT UPDATE: Traffic steady, van shuttle launched

By Communications Staff
November 16, 2009

Day one of London's first transit strike in nearly 30 years hasn't caused increased traffic congestion on Western's campus, according to Campus Community Police Service (CCPS).


Director of CCPS, Elgin Austen, says overall it has been a good morning on campus.
 
"It's going very well this morning," he says, noting the Aboutown buses (blue) have expanded their services on campus and Londoners are not using campus as a throughway. "It appears the general public are not coming through campus as much today, which has helped to reduce any potential congestion."

Signs discouraging non-campus bound traffic flow from travelling through the university have been posted at the gates at Lambton Drive, as well as Richmond Street gates and Philip Aziz Drive. 
 
 
London drivers are being asked to steer clear of campus streets for through travel. Signage discouraging through traffic is posted at the Richmond Gates, Philip Aziz Drive and Lambton Drive to minimize non-campus bound traffic flow.
 
This afternoon at 5:30 p.m. Western Community Vans will begin running. Western has arranged to rent 47 vans to assist students and employees in getting to and from campus. Western officials met with the transit union and was assured the union does not wish to interfere with student safety or the ability of students to complete their academic requirements.
 
The free vans are meant to assist members of the Western community who live more than a 30-minute walk from campus. The university has arranged with local businesses to use their properties for pick up and drop off. The vans will operate Mondays through Thursdays (7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and 9 to 10:30 p.m.) on Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m.). The vans will not run on weekends.
 
Vans will be driven by volunteers 25 years and older with valid driver's licenses. Interested volunteer drivers can email their interest to transitvolunteers@uwo.ca.
 
Click here to see the route map for the Western Community Vans. 
 
The university has set out two parking options for people who do not normally drive to campus but will be doing so due to the transit strike:
 
• Purchase a parking permit on a monthly basis. Obtain information through Parking Services. http://www.uwo.ca/parking/.
 
• Park in a coin-operated lot. Huron Flats and Althouse North are $4 coin entry lots 24/7. All other lots require a permit before 4 p.m.
 
Acting Manager of Parking Services, Chris Bumbacco, says parking in the campus lots have run smoothly today. As of 10 a.m. there were well over 300 spaces available in the Althouse North lot and more than 150 space in Huron Flats. He adds the Springett Lot was at typical capacity.
 
 
Those carpooling to the university on Monday received a pleasant surprise at Westminster Hall parking lot as attendant Louise Fahlgren handed out $2 Tim Horton's gift certificates to drivers with three or more people in their vehicle. As part of the initiative to help drivers during the strike, Parking Services also paid for half of the $4 parking fee at coin-operated lots on Monday for cars with three or more people.
 
 
Monthly parking passes are available for purchase through Parking Services. Campus parking maps can be found at http://www.uwo.ca/parking/map.html.
 
All normal parking regulations and enforcement are still in effect.
 
During the strike, Western is remaining open and classes will continue. Students are expected to continue attending classes during a transit strike. Employees will be required to report to work unless alternative arrangements have been discussed with their leader.
 
"We are a community at Western and it is our hope our faculty, staff and students will be able to assist each other during what will certainly be challenging days for some people," says Gitta Kulczycki, Western's Vice-President (Resources and Operations). "To that end, we call on the goodwill of people willing to help others to stay safe, and to help our students meet their academic goals."
 
Regular updates on Western's response to the transit strike will be posted at http://communications.uwo.ca/transitstrike/. Please visit the site regularly and refresh your browser for the latest information.
 
In addition to these options, Western administration and the University Students' Council have put several contingency plans in place to minimize disruption.   The plans include:

Share A Ride program: A password-protected website has been developed to help students, faculty and staff arrange rides with other members of the campus community who are traveling to and from campus. Students can register to participate in the program at https://student.uwo.ca/ while faculty and staff can register https://myhr.uwo.ca/.  
 
Flag A Ride program: Members of the campus community who wish to participate will receive a flag/tag to mark their vehicle or their backpack to identify themselves as a student, faculty or staff member willing to provide or receive a ride to and from campus. Students should bring their student ID cards to InfoSource in the UCC atrium to register for the program. Faculty and staff should bring their ID card to Room 5100 Human Resources in the Support Services Building to register. For more details on this program, visit http://www.mustangsmovingmustangs.ca.  

On-campus shuttle service expansion: The King's University College/Brescia University College campus shuttle service has been expanded in conjunction with the university. The service is now open to all Western students and will operate Monday through Friday from 8 am to 11:30 pm. The shuttles will run approximately once every 10 minutes at each stop. Shuttle route maps and stops can be found at the following links:
 
Bus 1-2 route (PDF, 1.15MB)
Bus 3 route (PDF, 1.15MB)
Bus 4 route (PDF, 1.15MB)
 
Bus 5-6 route (PDF, 5.19MB)
Bus 7 route (PDF, 1.19MB)  
 
Walking: If you live within a few kilometres of campus, consider walking. For those who may have to walk at night, walk with friends and stay in well-lit areas. Additional safety tips can be found at www.uwo.ca/police/beingaware.htm.
Campus Community Police will increase patrols during the hours of darkness. Western Foot Patrol's volunteer escort numbers will be at full strength and will accommodate as many persons as possible.
 
Biking: Information on cycling in London, including bike paths and lanes throughout the city, can be found at http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Transportation/bikepage.htm. Register your bicycle with the Campus Community Police in Room 57, Stevenson-Lawson Building. Information on keeping your bike secure on campus can be found at http://www.uwo.ca/police/bikesecurity.htm.
 
The USC is providing a free Bike Check service Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. which will be available to all students, faculty and staff. Simply bring your bike to the UCC Gymnasium and it will be stored until you return to pick it up. Staff will be on duty at all time to ensure security. Coat check tags will be issued to claim your bike.
 
 
Rachel Fairholm, a fourth-year English and Classical Studies student, usually takes the bus to school, but on Monday she rode her bicycle and checked it in at the temporary bike depot set up in the University Community Centre gymnasium during the transit strike.
 
 
CONTACT INFORMATION Students with questions concerning the transit strike can call the Office of the Registrar's help line at 519-661-2100. Staff and faculty are encouraged to speak with their supervisors if they have concerns about how the transit strike will affect them.
 
If you have questions, please email transitquestions@uwo.ca.























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