Why the Augustana Student is A Camrosian
by AUTUMN MACDONALD
The Camrose Community Bus was implemented a little less than a year ago in April, 2016 as the Camrose City Bus. Contracted by the City of Camrose, the Rose City Handivan Society manages most of the operations of the new bus transportation system. City Manager Malcolm Boyd and Rose City Handivan Society coordinator Dale Debnam work together, being receptive to feedback and continuously innovative when optimizing the service’s benefits for Camrosians.
Ever since my first year there has always been word of a bus system to be implemented in the City of Camrose and many surveys have been filled in regards to the feasibility and utilization of such a system. For myself, a vehicle-less penny pincher, a bus system in Camrose just made sense for me as an Augustana student.
However, despite the seemingly overwhelming hype (or maybe I was the only one excited about the bus conversation), student use of the bus is very sparse.
The benefits of bus systems are tremendous in terms of greening transportation around cities, including that of Camrose. Instead of travelling the short distance to head to the grocery store or the gym separately than the conglomerate of students who live around you (off and on campus), you could plan your journey ahead to optimize visits to select Camrose locations on the bus. Why not make the trip with friends? Or meet new people and build a sense of community with your fellow Camrosians?
Augustana has a tremendous impact on the Camrose community and vice versa. Whether this be through CSL, employment, use of services, or residing here for 8 out of 12 months, Augustana students are intertwined with Camrosians, and some even consider them selves Camrosians (even if it’s temporary).
Debnam mentioned that for students to ride the bus, “shows the city, shows everyone, that students are using the system,” dispelling the controversial view of “the seniors versus the youngins” when bus services are considered.
People often think that Camrose is senior based. Although the initiative is primarily focused on the senior population and those with accessibility needs, Debnam says “the Camrose Community Bus is here for students as well, getting them where they need to go.”
Needless to say, you’re getting there without the hassle of finding parking, adding to unnecessary traffic, and meanwhile connecting to the Community of Camrose.
“Conversation is plenty on the bus” as Debnam mentions and Isabell Stamm pointed out in her article last year regarding her own journey across Camrose on the bus.
There has been a recently added day of operation as well as extended location options. That being said, as students, we need to use this service. If students regularly use the bus services, there would be a demand for regular scheduling and more location stops.
Imagine how empty the roads would be if everyone commuted to work, school, or the dentist by the bus. We are often encouraged by our Augustana faculty to be leaders; to be a part of community. I think using the bus is a great way to start. Maybe when use increases, we could have our own “U-Pass” for the Camrose bus!
The fare is regularly only $2 one way but you’ll notice in this issue of the Dagligtale we are offering free bus tickets for you to try out the bus. Round trip fare is on us, but hurry, there are limited quantities! Let us, the City of Camrose or the Handivan Society know what you think about the Camrose Community Bus.