As the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) continues to flourish, so does the issue of overcrowded transportation. With over 15,000 students, navigating daily commutes is no small feat.
In an email interview with The Medium, a spokesperson from UTM stated that the UTM campus and its parking facilities experience a significant influx of both first-time and recurring visitors at the outset of each academic year. Visitors also stay for longer than typical during this period. Parking spaces are at the highest demand between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The university encourages students, staff, and faculty to allow extra time to find parking and reach their destination. Overflow parking is also available in the P11 and Alumni House parking lots.
Julian, a fourth-year economics student, highlighted UTM’s insufficient parking: “I think there should be more parking spots made available for the students. I also think parking can be expensive as well.” He suggested that UTM and MiWay should collaborate to provide extra buses during rush hour along the same routes, potentially alleviating overcrowding.
Faress, a third-year sociology major, provided insights into the challenges faced by those who drive to school, stating, “You would expect, with the amount we pay for a parking pass, to have a spot assured within five to ten minutes—but sometimes it takes 20 minutes to find a spot.” He also pointed out the issues arising from construction and traffic funneled through limited exits, emphasizing the need for better traffic management on campus.
The Medium also interviewed students who commute to UTM by bus.
Philandra, a fourth-year microbiology specialist student shared her morning commute experience: “In the mornings [on the 199 route], they bring the larger bus, but in terms of getting home, especially the 5:30 bus—the latest one, they bring the shorter bus, and we do have to stand sometimes on the highway.”
Brianna, a molecular biology specialist student, lamented, “I take the 1C west and 1C east, and the worst time is the mornings.” She mentioned that the bus was overcrowded, and she ended up standing during the trip.
When inquired about whether the digital U-Pass speeds up the boarding process, a third-year student who commutes by bus expressed, “No, it didn’t speed up boarding. I’m never able to scan it well, and other people can’t do it either. Even the bus drivers are now aware that it sometimes struggles to scan.” Several other students echoed this concern.
The experiences shared by these commuters provide valuable insights into the daily challenges associated with transportation overcrowding at UTM.