UTM is partnering with Brampton Transit to launch an express bus route from Brampton Gateway Terminal to the campus; it is a pilot project for the duration of the 2016–2017 school year.
The proposed schedule will include six return trips between the terminal and UTM during peak hours. An express trip is estimated to take just under 40 minutes, which the university states will save students 30–40 minutes each way. The continuation of project beyond the trial period will depend on its popularity among students.
The route will not be covered by the MiWay U-Pass — the monthly transit pass available to UTM students. Riders can either pay the standard Brampton single rider cash fare of $3.75 or use a Presto card.
UTMSU President Nour Alideeb showed enthusiasm for the proposal and optimism for the future of the route beyond the trial period. “We hope that we can work with City of Brampton to create a permanent route after demonstrating demand,” said Alideeb. “UTMSU will focus on outreach initiatives that will solicit input regarding the new express route, and also find out what other routes students and community members can benefit from.”
“This can only be accomplished if provincial agencies like Metrolinx are mandated by the provincial government to invest in infrastructure expansion and the operations of public transit in the GTA,” Alideeb continued.
Last fall, the UTMSU worked with MiWay to survey thousands of UTM students on their use of transit and the changes they would like to see. According to Alideeb, the Brampton express bus is a result of the data gained through this survey. At the time of the survey, the UTMSU also reported that the results might help bring Brampton Transit into the U-Pass.
Alideeb has not given up on this goal: “I believe this is one of the stepping stones to accomplishing a number of different priorities like increasing accessibility to the UTM campus and lowering costs associated with commuting to UTM, including the potential introduction of Brampton Transit in the current U-Pass program.”