UBC, SFU urge students to carpool as transit worker dispute leads to full-on strike

With Metro Vancouver transit workers threatening to walk off the job en masse for three straight days next week, universities are urging students to share rides to school.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) have already warned students, faculty and staff to prepare “alternative transportation” as the job action ramped up.

Now that a full-on strike is on the horizon, those schools say carpooling with friends or classmates may be the best way to reach campus.

“Right now what we’re encouraging our students, faculty and staff to consider is carpooling, cycling or other alternate modes,” spokesperson Matthew Ramsey said Wednesday.

“We know that a lot of our students come from far afield, and we understand that they’re concerned about how they’re going to get to and from this campus.”

Classes will proceed as normal despite the walkout, Ramsey notes — a fact repeated by SFU and other universities in the region.

Students and faculty can make arrangements for off-campus learning or teaching, but only after speaking with staff and academic advisers first.

How do I carpool?

UBC has posted a series of links and guides on how to organize carpools among friend groups, classes and offices.

Among the incentives offered are transferable parking passes, allowing multiple people to take turns driving their own vehicles while sharing the same parking pass.

The school also has printable maps of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver to help carpool organizers pinpoint where everyone in their group lives so they can plan their route to and from campus.

Many of those resources are also available to SFU students, who are also urged to connect with friends or classmates who use car sharing services like Evo or Car2Go.

“Print out a map and everyone interested in carpooling can put a sticker on the map to show the general area they are commuting from. It’s a good first step in setting up a carpool,” the school says.

Paid carpooling services

If students and faculty don’t know anyone with a vehicle, they can also sign up for Poparide.

Every major post-secondary institution in Metro Vancouver is represented — including SFU, UBC, BCIT, Emily Carr, Capilano and Kwantlen — with students and staff listed as members.

If those members are heading to or from campus at the same time as you, you can buy a seat in their vehicle for as low as $5 and get picked up on the way.

Students also get $5 worth of free rides if they verify their student email through the website.

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