Many UTSC students are calling the new 198 U of T Scarborough Rocket from Kennedy Station to the Scarborough campus an improvement over the previous 116E bus service, but some say more could be done to improve the commute between UTSC and the St. George campus.
The new Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) 198 bus service came into effect on September 2.
Over the past few years, Scarborough students have increasingly advocated for the implementation of a direct shuttle between the Scarborough and St. George campuses, which already exists between UTM and UTSG.
At a Governing Council meeting on December 13, 2013, Guled Arale, then vice-president external of the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU), asked the council to consider a direct shuttle bus service for UTSC.
Last February, Tahsin Chowdhury, the newly elected SCSU president, reiterated the importance of such a shuttle bus.
Later in July, at a Board of Directors meeting, Chowdhury said that the SCSU could not acquire a direct transport shuttle bus because the TTC holds a monopoly on transportation in Toronto, and it would not be possible to have free, direct transportation between the two campuses.
SCSU did not respond to requests for comment.
Over 10 years ago, UTSC offered a shuttle bus service between Scarborough and the downtown campus, but it was discontinued due to low demand.
Kassidy Bruce, a student at UTSC, said the new TTC bus route is a marked improvement over the previous route. “[The new route] is more reliable. I don’t have to get up at — let’s say — 5 am to make a bus … now I know there will always be a bus there,” she said..
Another UTSC student, Gracie Phan, said the new route was a good start, but expressed hope that the campus would eventually get a direct shuttle between Scarborough and St. George.
“I believe the experience has improved, since it has become more spacious and comfortable, but the service is the same,” Phan said, adding: “There is always room for improvement, but this is a good start.”
According to the TTC, service on the route will operate every 10 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes in the evening. One-way travel between Scarborough and St. George will take approximately 30 minutes. There are 12 stops between Kennedy Station and UTSC.