The following is a message that was issued to the York University community on Thursday, Dec. 13 from President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton:
As the University prepares for the holidays and the new year, I would like to take a moment to update our community on recent ongoing discussions between York, Metrolinx, York Region Transit (YRT) and the provincial government regarding the unfortunate decision to cease public transit bus service to our Keele Campus.
Despite our best efforts, including requests to the transportation agencies and provincial government to reverse the decisions to cease service to the Keele Campus, on Dec. 12 we received the discouraging news from the province that the agencies are not prepared to reconsider their plans.
We remain very disappointed that Metrolinx and YRT have opted not to reconsider their decisions and that effective Jan. 5, 2019, GO bus service to our community will no longer be available on the Keele Campus.
Part of the decades-long discussions that led to the creation and arrival of the subway extension to York University was that full fare integration between local and provincial transit providers would be in place when the subway opened. This was a key consideration for our community.
All transit providers made it very clear (Metrolinx, YRT and TTC) that they would be altering their service to Keele Campus and leaving the Harry Arthurs Common loop area once both fare integration and the subway were in place. Regrettably, the recent decisions by YRT and Metrolinx were made in the absence of full fare integration.
I understand that many of our York community members live in the 905 area and rely on affordable transit to access the campus. I remain very concerned that the extra TTC daily fare for GO Transit bus riders may pose a financial barrier for our community, in particular for our students, as they work to complete their post-secondary studies.
I want you to know that the University has reaffirmed to both the transit providers and the provincial government that we would welcome continuing bus operations from their traditional locations on our Keele Campus.
The University will continue to advocate for affordable transportation options for our community that includes implementation of full fare integration that reduces the financial burden on our students, faculty and staff. In addition, I will personally continue to emphasize the importance of this to our partners in government as part of our discussions regarding transit operations at York.
For more information about York University’s transportation services, visit yorku.ca/transportation.
For more information about the GO bus service changes, visit gotransit.com.