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UBC Reports | Vol. 46 | No. 19 | November 30, 2000

Class times shift to ease transit bulge

Plan will see about two-thirds of each day's first class start at 9 a.m.

by Hilary Thomson staff writer

It's a hard way to start the day. It's raining, you've got to get to an early class and a packed bus has just zoomed by leaving you stranded at the bus stop.

A newly approved change in class start times aims to change that frustrating scenario.

UBC's Board of Governors has approved a shift in class start times by 30 minutes to alleviate transit congestion at the peak hour between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m.

Targeted for implementation next September, the change is one of the ways the UBC TREK Program and TransLink are working to improve commuting to and from campus.

"This is really a landmark decision for the university because it will make such a huge difference in people's ability to commute by bus," says Gord Lovegrove, director of Transportation Planning at UBC. "It's only a half-hour difference but it will take us a long way to achieving our alternative transportation targets."

Departments and faculties will co-ordinate lectures and labs to fit the new schedule that will see, on average, about one-third of classes formerly starting at 8:30 shifted to start at 8 a.m. The remaining two-thirds of classes that started at 8:30 will be shifted to start at 9 a.m.

Most classes will start on the hour instead of the half-hour with the majority of classes re-scheduled to start 30 minutes later.

The Office of the Registrar is providing overall co-ordination of the changes. The shift increases classroom booking availability by five to 10 per cent due to the extra hour provided by the new schedule.

In addition to helping to address current bus over-crowding, the change supports plans for the U-TREK Card, a universal transportation pass program targeted for implementation next year.

U-TREK is expected to add significant ridership demand onto UBC bus routes by September, creating a need for new buses to serve the morning peak demand. The shift in class times offers a cost-free way to increase transit capacity because it would eliminate the commuter bulge at the peak hour, Lovegrove says.

"This move will be a real benefit because it opens up bus ridership to so many students and keeps the costs down for the U-TREK program," says Maryann Adamec, president of the Alma Mater Society.

The new program has been designed by a committee comprising Lovegrove; Student Services' director of Classroom Services, Justin Marples; and Audrey Lindsay, the associate registrar and director, Systems, Student Services in consultation with staff, faculty and students.

About 23 per cent of the campus community commute by bus. UBC's TREK Program aims to reduce single occupancy vehicle traffic to and from campus by 20 per cent.

For further information on the class start time change, check the Web site at www.trek.ubc.ca.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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