RRC students saved time, money on transportation by learning online

By: Robin Ringland

An 18 bus heading toward downtown. A number of people take this bus to get to EDC./ROBIN RINGLAND

Every year RRC students and staff pay to get to campus. With online classes, most people had the chance to put away their bus passes or get out of the driver’s seat.

Some students are considering the commute to campus with the student U-Pass suspended and the potential for more blended learning in the fall semester.

Kyle Dotullo, 21, a second-year Business Information and Technology student, took the bus to and from the Exchange District Campus every day before the pandemic. He said a one-way ride for him took about 30 minutes and cost $2.75.

According to Dotullo, he spent about 80 hours commuting and about $440 on bus fare during one semester.

This year, Dotullo said he was able to put some of the money he would’ve used for transit into his bank account, which boosted his savings.

Dotullo said he doesn’t mind the cost of the commute though, and it’s worthwhile to be in-person.

“They moved everything to online, and it was tough,” Dotullo said. “I learn better when at school.”

He said he preferred taking the bus over driving to school because parking was so expensive.

Rebecca Larson-Johnson, 21, graduated from the Graphic Design program this year. She said she spent almost four hours every day commuting using public transit last year. Over a whole semester, she spent about 320 hours on the bus.

Larson-Johnson said she’d still prefer the commute to school over online classes.

“I liked having the time to be alone and listen to music and daydream. But I didn’t like when the bus got crowded,” she said.

Larson-Johnson said she purchased a student Peggo card through the college but hasn’t needed it this year, so she saved some money.

RRC offers monthly parking permits to students at the Notre Dame, Portage, and Stevenson campuses. Pay stations and the PayByPhone app are available for students who don’t have valid permits or have classes at the Exchange District campus. 

A U-Pass survey on this year’s SA election ballot asked students if they were in favour of including a fee for the U-Pass in tuition. Out of 229 votes, 75 students voted yes and 154 voted no. The U-Pass remains suspended for the the upcoming fall term.

The Students’ Association President Yash Chopra said the SA will hold a meeting in May with all stakeholders to discuss implementing the U-Pass for the 2022 winter term.