On January 19, at a UTM town hall, it was announced that MiWay would be temporarily discontinuing the 101 and 110 bus routes — two lines often used by UTM’s commuter students who rely on the bus system to get to campus. 

Students spoke out against the closures on social media, and a student petition against the closures reached over 1,000 signatures. On January 27, the City of Mississauga tweeted that MiWay will reopen Route 110 University Express on February 7 as UTM begins to reopen for in-person activities. 

MiWay confirmed that currently, it is not reinstating Route 101/101A Dundas Express, but that customers could access Route 1C Dundas-Collegeway “as an alternate service that travels to and from UTM.” 

Route 110 reinstated

According to a statement from MiWay, Route 110 was temporarily suspended due to UTM’s delays to in-person learning, which reduced the demand for the route. MiWay is also experiencing staff shortages due to COVID-19, and since Route 110 was not being heavily used at the time, MiWay decided to suspend the route.

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

Student outcry 

Many students took to online platforms to anonymously express their frustrations following the announcement of the closure. One student claimed that, with the discontinuation, their commute time doubled as they were forced to take a different route that included more transfers. 

A petition was created to advocate for students who would have to drastically adjust their commute due to the cancellation, arguing that “[they] do not have any other mode of transport as a viable option.”

In an interview with The Varsity, Shen Fernando, UTM student and creator of the Instagram account @transparentutmsu, explained his frustration with the lack of initiative taken by UTM administration after MiWay’s announcement. “[MiWay put] students in a very, very difficult situation,” said Fernando. “Not everybody can afford to own a car… Not everybody can afford the extra bus tickets or the extra transfers.”

Mitra Yakubi, president of the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU), wrote in an email to The Varsity, “Before the winter break, we brought forward students’ concerns and feedback from our U-Pass survey to Mississauga MiWay. This included talking about increased service, important routes, COVID-19 safety protocols for the winter term.” 

Yakubi explained that a number of students reached out to the UTMSU when the cancellation of the 110 and 101 routes was announced. “We immediately brought forward our members’ concerns and [MiWay] confirmed that the 110 service will restart when classes resume,” she wrote. The UTMSU endorsed the reopening and posted the update from MiWay on their Instagram story. 

Fernando was happy that MiWay acknowledged the petition once it was brought to their attention. He expressed enthusiasm that MiWay not only reinstated one of the lines, but reallocated all of its available 60-foot articulated buses to be able to “increase passenger capacity and prevent potential instances of overcrowding.”

He explained that a lot of students were also hoping to get the 199 bus from Brampton to begin running again. Route 199 was also discontinued due to lack of demand as a result of online learning. Fernando said that some students have reached out to him to try getting this route reinstated.