Depending on where students live in the city, it can take over an hour to get to class. For MacEwan students Evan White and Ben Hickey, it takes them an hour and a half to get from southeast Edmonton to MacEwan by public transit. Their commutes involve multiple transfers by LRT and bus. Both White and Hickey would rather drive or get dropped off at school as taking transit is “wasted time.”
White, who takes the LRT’s Metro Line, says that the train runs every 15 minutes but is often late or not on schedule. This can cause him to miss the bus and LRT transfers which can increase his commute time to over an hour. Such time could be spent working on class assignments or working to cover his living expenses and tuition.
Hickey says, “The transit is dirty, and sometimes the downtown transit does not feel safe.” He has encountered situations while taking transit that made him feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Reports say violent crime on transit in Edmonton has increased by 53% in 2022.
“I can only get a spot if I’m there before 10 a.m., which doesn’t not always align with my class schedule.”
Evan White, MacEwan student
Other options, such as driving and parking at MacEwan, aren’t always affordable or realistic for students. Hickey has classes three times a week, so buying a monthly parking pass is not cost effective for him. However, he believes that the day pass price is more realistic ($15), but parking spots are limited. Students often find it difficult to find parking on campus. White says, “I can only get a spot if I’m there before 10 a.m., which doesn’t always align with my class schedule.”
An underground parking pass at MacEwan is $245 a month. White and Hickey believe that the parking prices and availability of spots are realistic compared to other locations. At the University of Alberta, underground parking passes range from $236 to $254 a month. White doesn’t believe that students should have to pay for parking when they pay so much for tuition.
“The transit is dirty, and sometimes the downtown transit does not feel safe.”
Ben Hickey, MacEwan student
Unless parking prices lower and availability increases, public transit seems to be the most practical form of transportation for students. However, it is important for students to feel safe on public transit and that transit isn’t a burden on their day.
Photos by Amanda Erickson