Post-Secondary Ramblings

Archive for the ‘Commuting’ Category

Presenting: The New U-Pass Program!

with one comment

Starting this September, UBC will be having a different U-Pass program. After looking through the FAQs, here are some notable differences that I saw.

First thing of course is the new look of the U-Pass. Sorry to break it to everyone who loves collecting U-Passes, but starting in September, it will look like this:

Personally, I don’t really like the change. I quite liked the plastic-y feel of the card. It also no longer has your picture or name on the pass so it seems like a generic bus pass, without the ads. It is stated that it can only be used by the person whose name is written on the back of the U-Pass, but I can see this being exploited. Although TransLink employees do have rights to verify your eligibility, how often would they check?

Another notable difference is of course, the increase in price. The U-Pass currently costs $23.75/month for UBC students. Starting in September, the price will increase to $30. Even with the increase, it is still a huge discount from the $151/month for a 3-zone adult bus pass. The price for a replacement U-Pass has also increased from $26.50(?) to $35. I suspect that the increase in price of the replacement cards is partly to prevent the reselling of U-passes. It should also be noted that the prices will be the same across all schools participating in the program

Which leads to the last major difference I saw. Currently, the U-Pass program is named the “Vancity U-Pass Program” and only 4 schools are participating (UBC, SFU, Langara, CapU). This will change in September when program is renamed to the “U-Pass BC Program”. As the name suggests, more schools will be eligible to participate in the U-Pass program.

I’m indifferent about the new U-Pass Program, but I do think I will miss having my name and picture on it.

Written by Renee

June 28th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Commuting

I have a midterm at 7PM.

with 2 comments

I don’t know about you, but I really hate evening midterms. I know it’s all about having it standardized and all, but there are so many little things that make it not worth it.

1. It sucks when your classes end at 12 and you have to stay at school for 7 hours just to write a midterm. It sucks even more when you don’t have class that day and the midterm is on a Friday night. I had that happen to me once. It wasted my long weekend. It was a very sunny Friday too.

2. Staying late means I have to pack a dinner in addition to a lunch. I personally like to pack my own food because I don’t really like the food served on campus, and thus having to bring that extra meal in addition to my textbooks and possibly my laptop makes my backpack look like it’s going to explode. Lugging it around the whole day is another matter.

3. Commuting is a bother. I live about an hour commute from UBC, so when I have a midterm that ends at night, busing really sucks since there are very limited buses. It sucks even more because everyone ends around the same time and make it to the bus loop around the same time. The result? Overcrowded buses.

4. Building up on that, people are prone to talk about the exam you just wrote. I don’t know about you, but when my midterm is over, I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want to know what I got wrong. Just let me get home first.

Just my little rant about why I prefer in-class exams more.

Written by Renee

March 15th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Academics,Commuting

Surviving in Sub-Zero Temperatures

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Growing up in Vancouver, I still remember waking up when I was in elementary school and seeing white fluffy flakes outside my bedroom window. The first thing that I would do would be to turn on the radio and cross my fingers hoping that school would be closed for a school day. I learned to realize that VSB never closes their schools. Ever snowing day, I would hear the broadcaster list out every single school district, all the private schools, UBC, SFU, but not VSB. I guess you could say I’ve waited 13 years to attend UBC and experience my first school day. Needless to say, I was quite excited this morning! However, I knew from past experience that this was not enough snow for a snow day.

Being a commuter student, the past few days have not been the greatest. I’d have to wake up a bit earlier and put on more layers. However, it was all worth it this morning when I arrived around 7:20 and every step I took on campus was fresh crisp snow. Made my day (:

Here are some ways that I have been dealing with the shivers:

1. A scarf is your best friend. I can’t believe I haven’t had a really warm scarf until recently. It’s unbelievable how much warmer it can be with the addition of a scarf. Not only can it keep your neck warm, you can also tuck your mouth, nose..face in your scarf to keep more parts of your body warm. There are also lots of different ways to wear a scarf so you can experiment with it until you find your favourite style, or try a new one every day!

2. Bring hot tea in a thermos. This serves a dual purpose. First of a hot drink always warms me up on a cold day. There’s nothing better than sipping hot tea inside a frigid lecture hall. The second purpose would be that it keeps your hands warm by holding it. I don’t know about you, but my hands are always cold, thus the warmth of the tea always makes my hand feel great.

3. Wear long underwear. You may be laughing at me and asking who wears that stuff, but hey, it keeps me warm. You probably would not have guessed I wore it either since I wear it under my jeans. Leggings and tights can also work too.

4. Wear a toque! I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find that using an umbrella is just weird. Toque keeps my head really warm too. Like the scarf, it can also be worn fashionably.

I guess that’s all I really have to say for now. I’m really distracted by the white stuff outside. Hopefully I’ll get my long overdue snow day soon!

Written by Renee

November 25th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Commuting,Wellness

Bored of the B-Line? Me too!

with 4 comments

I was one of those lucky ones who rarely had to bus to school. My school was on the way to my dad’s workplace so I would carpool along with my dad. After school, my friends would watch in jealousy as I stepped into my mom’s car for a ride home. Next year will be different. As UBC is located in the most westernly part of Vancouver, it is no longer en route and I will have to bus to school.

Bussing isn’t totally new to me. Aside from rides to and from school, I use public transit as my main mode of transportation. Imagine my excitement when I finally received my U-Pass last week! I have to admit though, public transportation has frustrated me many times as the busses aren’t exactly always on time.

I’m sure that one of the busses that a lot of us are going to take is the 99 B-Line. I mean, why not? It’s fast, it’s frequent, it’s reliable…most of the time. However, during the rush hours in Vancouver, Broadway can be a pain to bus through. I would also think that taking the same bus route daily would make life less exciting. Have you ever considered the other bus routes that may bring you to UBC?

Students who take the Millenium Line to Commercial-Broadway can consider taking one more stop over to VCC-Clark. After getting off the SkyTrain, take the 84 at Bay 1 and it should take you to UBC in about the same time as the B-Line. In addition, it runs along 4th Avenue, giving you a nice tour of Kitsilano before heading into UBC.

Another option for students taking the Expo Line to Commercial-Broadway would be to stop at Joyce and take the 43. Running only during the peak hours, this bus takes the same route as the 41, except it only stops at major intersections. I haven’t bussed rush hour along 41st in a while, but from past experiences the traffic can get quite conjested around Victoria. I’m not sure if it’s still the case. One last thing, the 43 stops at Bay 5 at Joyce which is not located with all the other bays. Rather, it is located at the south-west corner of Joyce and Vanness. Right in front of Sunflower Bubble Tea.

If you’re waiting for the 99 late at night, taking the 9 instead may not be that bad of a choice. The 99 doesn’t come as frequent at night, and there is less traffic along Broadway. The 9 may get you to your destination just as fast, if not faster, than the 99.

Those are just a few alternatives that came to mind. Feel free to comment with your own!

Written by Renee

August 27th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Posted in Commuting

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