We are sitting next to you in lecture. We are in line behind you at the Blind Duck. We are ordering coffee at the cash next to you at Tims. We are studying near you in the library until our last bus leaves campus.
We are commuters. We have #commuterproblems. And we are all over campus.
Allow me to make a general statement: UTM is informally known as a commuter campus. The majority of students on campus seem to commute—that is, take some form of public transport to and from school.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard of some faraway lands that our peers commute from: Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Markham, Woodbridge, Toronto, Scarborough, Milton—a whole bunch of places in and around the GTA. Think about it: the person sitting next to you in lecture might’ve woken up three or more hours ago to commute.
Waking up early and getting to class on time can be hard. Sometimes you contemplate if the class is really worth attending. You wonder, is the extra five minutes of sleep worth skipping breakfast? Are the extra ten minutes of sleep worth skipping a shower? Are those glorious eight minutes of sleep worth going to school without a prepared lunch? If I take a later bus and run to the train, then could I sleep for an extra twenty minutes? If you ask yourself these questions in the morning, then not only are you a university student, but you are also one of the unfortunate commuters.
Other signs you’re a commuter:
- You have class at 10 a.m., which, hey! That’s not so bad! Except, you have to leave your house by 8 a.m. to get there – not on time, mind you – but just to be five minutes late. Of course, If you want to arrive at school twenty minutes earlier, then you better leave thirty minutes earlier (thanks to the new GO transit schedules, you no longer have to wait an hour for the next bus).
For those of you who don’t commute, this is an annoying green card that you load up with money to pay for your city transit, GO bus and GO train fare. You cry a little inside as you tap the card against the PRESTO machine and it takes your money to pay for the train fare. The annoying thing about this card is you always have to have a minimum of five dollars on it, and you can only load a minimum of ten dollars. So, you can see how this can be annoying, especially when you’re on the bus and the PRESTO machine beeps obnoxiously and flashes red because you’re twenty cents short of the minimum requirement.
- One or all of your modes of transportation:
You know, taking the bus, to the GO bus, to the train, to the city bus, to school. Then you take the MiWay transit to the train, to the GO bus and then you get picked up by your parents.
Yes, life as a commuter sucks!
There is none. Unless you fork up the money to pay for residence, off-campus housing, or a car with gas and insurance, then I’m afraid this cruel commuting life is all yours for the next four (or let’s be honest, five) years at UTM/St. George/Sheridan College. There is no winning for us commuters.
If GO Transit decides to create a Jetson transporting tube, I’ll let y’all know.