The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
By STACEY BULMER Staff Writer St. Catharines Transit changed the downtown terminal platform layout on Aug. 24, requiring students to readjust to the new bus stops. Several weren’t aware of the changes until they took the bus to Niagara College. Tanis Harrington, a 20-year-old Welding Technician student, said the change “just kinda happened.” He said he didn’t take the bus often during the weeks before the change, and found it easy to adapt to the new system. Alan Burrows, the Marketing and Customer Service Supervisor, said, “The changes were announced to the public one week before the change and special service groups like CNIB or Mainstream were given one months’ notice to educate their clients.” Chase Robitaille-dombrowski, an 18-year-old student in Game Development, said the first time he arrived at the terminal last week, “some guy who worked there gave me a sheet with all the changes.” Apart from that, he hadn’t noticed anything too different. “The information was relayed to the passengers by on-bus announcements over our automated system, on bus posters and by staff on each platform throughout the first two weeks of the change. Having staff on site was well received by many passengers and [they] appreciated the assistance in getting to the correct location,” Burrows said. The new transit schedule was posted online on Aug. 24, going into effect on the same day. On the buses, a repetitive announcement played a week before the change. However, since several students use their phones or listen to music on the bus, this announcement may be missed. At the terminal itself, a few employees gave out a map of where the buses stopped to anyone who asked. Vex Nkomo, 32, said she was unaware of the changes until September. Nkomo, a Pre-Health Sciences student, said she thinks the buses are “running a bit late” since the change. She took the bus during the summer, but as school started, she said she prefers to “pay for parking than take the bus, because then I can leave when I want and I’m guaranteed to get there on time, and even leave early.” Terrence Hill said he agreed with Nkomo about the buses running late, but he blamed the St. Catharines Transit, as he said it had always been a little late. Hill, 27, studying Computer Programming and General Arts and Science. “Buses have not run late as a result of the changed platforms – that has nothing to do with running times around the city,” Burrows said. “Our system has gone through many changes over the last number of years, and this is the first time that all platforms were changed since we moved into this terminal in mid-1996.” For a map of the terminal changes, visit http://www.yourbus.com/news/platform-location-changes-at-the-downtown-terminal.