BY MARIA VELOSO
Sheridan students commuting to school want the college to consider installing more heated bus shelters on all of their campuses.
Students who use local transit, as well as GO Transit, are fortunate enough to have a bus shelter to stay warm in while they wait for their bus. However, students who take Sheridan’s shuttle buses are not so lucky.
Nastassia Chai, an Early Childhood Education student at Sheridan, uses the college’s shuttle bus system. “With the snow and traffic, your bus could be really late. Waiting in the freezing cold is actually horrible. A lot of students are severely underdressed, and the wait times for the buses are too long for us to be in that kind of weather. We could get sick, or worse.”
Chai is enduring her second winter as a commuter. “There aren’t a lot of seats on the bus, so if you aren’t in line by the time it gets here there may not even be enough room for you. Then you have to wait even longer.”
Lines for Sheridan’s shuttle buses are unavoidable. Also, since shorter days mean dark mornings and evenings, students who commute wait for buses in lower temperatures.
Jacqueline Sicard, a Photography student at Sheridan, claims to have skipped classes to avoid the cold. “Sometimes my feet get so cold that my toes literally hurt, and I wear proper boots.” Sicard also carries several pieces of equipment to and from school, which make the trip even more treacherous.
“It sucks that we don’t have a bus shelter. A heated one would be ideal, like the students who take the GO have. But we don’t even have a roof, so even while it’s raining and I’ve got all of my equipment with me, I’m standing in the rain, waiting for a bus. Now picture that but in a snow storm and at -15 C.” Sicard also claims that frigid temperatures affect her grades, because she will skip classes if the weather is too extreme.
Canadian winters can be both romantic and inherently dangerous. The GTA recently experienced record-breaking low temperatures of -22 C without wind chill last month, as observed by the Toronto Pearson Airport. According to Environment Canada, this broke a 57-year-old temperature record. The previous record was set in 1960, when Toronto Pearson Airport reported temperatures of -18 C.
Students who are exposed to these extreme temperatures are at risk for hypothermia. The cold weather also weakens your immune system, which could lead to sickness and ultimately affect a student’s ability to participate in class.
Sheridan students are claiming that a lack of bus shelters causes complications all year round, with winter the most difficult time of year to commute.
“I already hate taking the bus, but I hate it even more when it’s cold out,” says Sicard.