Thousands of students dealing with GRT strike as service disruption continues
KITCHENER -- Grand River Transit workers are still off the job, meaning buses are still parked.
As the strike wore on for its second day Wednesday, talks resumed in the morning but quickly broke down again with no word on when they could resume.
The transit disruption is now affecting thousands of students around the region.
High school, university and college students alike have faced challenges.
At Conestoga College especially, it's been very challenging because the Doon and Cambridge campuses are so far from the LRT, which is the only available GRT transit option.
"About 30 to 40 per cent of our student body is having trouble getting here," says Conestoga College President John Tibbits.
One student says she's had to take use ride apps to get home, increasing her transit costs by several times.
"Just to get a few places around town, one way is anywhere from $10 to $20 or even more," explains student Emily Hammer.
Classroom learning has also been affected, but schools are working on managing that.
"We are telling the faculty to try to put as much as you can online obviously we're not going to be holding exams," Tibbits says.
For students at the University of Waterloo, the LRT is still running to its stops on campus, but not everyone lives close to the line. The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association says that 17,000 students are being affected by the strike daily.
Vice-President of Operations and Finance Seneca Velling says that he's hearing students are skipping class or being forced to walk up to an hour and a half to get there.
For those with accessibility concerns, there are a couple of alternatives being offered by the association.
"There are some rideshare options," Velling explains.
"If a student has a permanent or a temporary disability, we do reimburse them for their cab fare into campus."
Hundreds of high school students are also being affected by the strike, prompting the Waterloo District School Board to assess how it might impact exams scheduled for Friday.