You’re waiting for a train… (or a bus)

Volume 50, Issue 5: Editor’s Desk

Carlo Javier // Editor-in-Chief

“Everybody move to the back of the bus” – Outkast

Every year, the important figures of Capilano University plan their own respective strategies on how to alleviate one of the school’s biggest and longest lasting challenges: community.

The Administration, the Faculty, the Blues, the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) and even us. We all come into the fall semester with grand plans about creating a community that students will be proud and excited to be a part of.

While varying degrees of success is sometimes reached, there are two obstacles that make it damn near impossible to truly accomplish the collective goal. One, community already exists, it just happens to be segmented into little groups that are more or less apathetic about grander plans based around ideas of campus unity. Two, and arguably more pressing, is that there is an important figure that would have to “buy in” for the CapU community to achieve the holistic ideals that everyone aims for – TransLink.

Coming into the 2017-2018 academic year, we saw one of the biggest community boosting amenities that CapU has ever established: residence. The only problem – at least regarding the community question – is that residence is off campus. This isn’t really a knock on CapU’s newfound housing since actually having housing, regardless of it being on or off-campus, is more than enough of an accomplishment for a first step.

In the years that I’ve worked in student press, the lack of housing would often be a common answer for questions about building an energetic CapU community. The case was that CapU is a commuter school and staying on campus for any sort of festivity is the last thing on the minds of many students. That still rings true today. Even the students living on the residence take two buses just to get to campus.

A few weeks ago, hordes of CapU students and staff found themselves trapped by a massive, near motionless traffic accident. The Iron Workers Bridge, as per usual, was a bottleneck that stalled traffic to a standstill. Those going to CapU, such as myself, other Courier staff members and what I imagined to be hundreds of students, were effectively stranded.

There are two buses that connect Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri-City area to CapU. The 28 from Joyce Station, a route that picks up a high volume of students from Gilmore Station and the 130 from Metrotown Station, which also picks up its fair share of students when it stops at Brentwood. Students from Vancouver can take either the 210 or the 211 to get to Phibbs Exchange, and there’s always the option of the SeaBus.

Other than the waterfront route, every bus that leads students to CapU goes through the dreaded Iron Workers, and when something happens, which might very well be every damn day, all hell breaks loose. The poor, built-for-failure road system that students take to CapU every day is a nightmare waiting to happen and it would be amiss not to put more effort in pressuring both TransLink and the provincial government in working towards improving North Vancouver traffic.

Much of our efforts and resources are placed on organizing parties and festivities. While these events sure draw crowds and sometimes truly impress the community, their benefits are ultimately restricted to short term results.

Currently, the CSU is discussing with TransLink to increase bus service at the residence. While TransLink has stated that any changes to the schedule won’t come until the new year, the CSU’s efforts are an endeavour that I hope inspires more members of CapU to put the spotlight on our favourite transit providers.

Community at CapU will never really prosper until the school becomes more accessible. Unfortunately, fixing that is out of our hands – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

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