Student unions trying to organize bus charter

Dave Stewart
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Strike at Acadian Lines leaving students with limited options

The president of the UPEI student union says an effort is underway to get students home for the holidays.

Rob Livingstone says the Acadian Lines bus service strike is putting some students in a bit of a predicament.

The bus service, which many students count on, has shut down over a labour dispute.

Livingstone said the student union at UNB is spearheading an effort to charter buses from Trius Tours.

"Just recently I've been talking with colleagues with other student unions across the Maritimes and they were looking into what type of interest there is,'' Livingstone said Wednesday. "We put out feelers to say if there was an alternate service offered by some other bus, such as Trius, would students be interested in doing that?''

Livingstone said he hasn't talked to any UPEI students that may find themselves stranded over Christmas.

"But I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case,'' he said.

Trius is interested in working with the universities to find a solution, said one official with the transit service.

"We have contacted all the universities to see if there's any interest from the school body to hire us, not on a per-person basis, but hire a charter bus to move people from campus (to their) home,'' said Doiron. ‘We haven't heard back so it's kind of premature to kind of tell you what we've heard.''

"Just recently I've been talking with colleagues with other student unions across the Maritimes and they were looking into what type of interest there is,'' Rob Livingstone, UPEI Student Union

Doiron said his sense is that it will be difficult to do because someone has to spearhead it and time is running out. Exams will soon be wrapping up.

"We haven't had a whole lot of luck with feedback but time will tell,'' Doiron said.

The Guardian did contact Holland College for comment but the call was not immediately returned.

Buses don't just transport people, they are relied on at this time of year to ship presents as well. While there are two shuttle services on the Island, shipping packages home would be a challenge.

"There are definitely students wondering how they're going to get home and there's some students who rely on (buses) because their families don't have cars,'' Doiron said.

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Organizations: Holland College, Acadian Lines, Trius

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