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Camping on campus? Commuting students plan for full-scale transit strike

Last Updated Nov 21, 2019 at 5:53 am PST

FILE - Commuters board a 44 bus in downtown Vancouver on Nov. 1, 2019. (Source: Monika Gul/NEWS 1130)

One student posted in a reddit thread they were considering camping on the UBC campus if the strike goes ahead next week

Many are looking for carpooling options in advance of next weeks escalated job action by Metro Vancouver transit workers

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –¬†With transit workers threatening a full-scale strike by next week, commuters are scrambling to find different ways to get around.

Unifor is moving from a work-to-rule campaign to a three-day walkout against Coast Mountain Bus Company next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which they say will cause a total shutdown of the bus system.

And that would make it very hard for many to get to class or work.

A least one student at the University of British Columbia has so few options, they’re thinking of ditching the commute entirely and pitching a tent on campus.

A post in reddit/UBC asks: “What’s a good place to pitch a tent on campus? Ideally: Not too cold, has a soft-ish surface, close to a shower.”

And people are jumping in with suggestions. Others are trying to find fellow students to carpool with, and some are registering for car sharing.

Matthew Ramsey, a media spokesman for UBC, says 80,000 people take a bus to and from the Vancouver campus every day.

He’s urging carpooling or cycling, and for students to speak to their instructors to determine their personal options.

NEWS 1130’s own Vanessa Doban says an expensive cab ride is her only alternative if the bus system is shut down.

“Pretty much my only option is to take an $85 cab ride to and from work or to and from the SkyTrain.”

An option commuters won’t have – ride-hailing, which isn’t supposed to launch in B.C. until the end of the year.

Unifor, which represents 5,000 Metro Vancouver transit employees, announced the full-scale strike, which would impact the SeaBus and buses for three days next week if no deal with CMBC is reached.

It has called on universities and colleges in the area to accommodate students during the potential shutdown.

With files from the Canadian Press