Angry UTM students petition for return of suspended bus routes in Mississauga


Published January 22, 2022 at 12:06 pm

With the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) planning to increase in-person learning starting in February, many of the university’s students have been left confused or angry about their transit options.

A recent petition is urging MiWay to reinstate bus routes 110 and 101 to help students return to in-person classes at UTM.

The petition’s creator, listed only as “UTM Student”, argues that the school’s thousands of undergraduate students, graduate students, and employees rely on routes 110 and 101 to get to and from the school.

“The cancellation of these routes will make it unnecessarily difficult for numerous of these staff and students of UTM to make their commute to campus as many of us do not have any other mode of transport as a viable option,” says the anonymous student.

“We urge MiWay to reconsider their closure of these very important and crucial lines for UTM students and to plan for the influx of numerous UTM students and staff who will require these lines to be reinstated for the in person return on February 7th to make their commute to campus.”

Routes 110 and 101, among several other bus lines, were temporarily suspended by MiWay in response to a “significant shortage of drivers due to COVID-19.”

MiWay officials say about 16 per cent of bus drivers are currently sidelined either because they have COVID-19 symptoms or they’re in isolation due to an exposure.

“So, that COVID bump is really impacting us,” said Geoff Wright, the City of Mississauga’s transportation and works commissioner.

Routes 110 University Express and 101/101A Dundas Express were suspended, as well as 76 City Centre-Subway and 107 Malton Express. Service frequency was also reduced on Route 103 Hurontario Express.

Route 110 runs between Clarkson GO station and the City Centre Transit Terminal via University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and South Common Mall in Erin Mills, making it an essential line for many UTM students to get across the city.

As of Jan. 22, over 70 people have signed the petition to reinstate Routes 110 and 101.

The University of Toronto said it plans to increase in-person learning and activities across its campuses starting Feb. 7, 2022 as it seeks to “balance the learning needs of students with ongoing efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

“Our students have told us how important physical presence on campus is to them – both for their academic work and for their mental well-being,” said Cheryl Regehr, vice-president and senior administrative officer at U of T.

“For these reasons, in the coming weeks, we will return to more in-person activities across the three campuses. We know there will be some uncertainty and apprehension around in-person study and work – and we are relying on expert advice to support our community with enhanced safety measures.”

In transit-related news, the city has received nearly $19 million from the Ontario government to help keep MiWay buses running smoothly and on time.

Mississauga’s public transit provider received $18,932,146 of the $375.6 million in total delivered by the Province to 107 Ontario municipalities to operate and improve public transit amid the pandemic.

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