By Keith Capstick
According to Ryerson president Sheldon Levy, a new entrance to the Dundas subway station will be on Ryerson’s campus sooner rather than later.
“For Ryerson public transportation is going to become huge,” said Levy. “For the university having a new entrance and exit to the Dundas subway station is critical.”
The president was adamant about the close relationship between public transit and the growth of Ryerson’s campus and the huge role it plays in dealing with the impact of downtown density on expanding Ryerson’s campus.
“At some point there will come a time where there is absolutely nothing more important to the growth of our campus than transit,” Levy said.
This comes after the recent forming of a city-wide transit survey that involves Ryerson along with the University of Toronto, York University and OCAD. The survey includes more than 200 students and is meant to advise the administration at these schools to what is most important to students when it comes to transit.
“There’s about 150,000 students between these four downtown campuses, so we thought their voice collectively should be heard,” said Levy.
Levy says the school is looking at acquiring the property directly across the street from the entrance to the Student Learning Centre as a place to house this new entrance.
Despite this new entrance being a top priority for the school Levy would not say that making transit passes a part of tuition costs, like many other schools in Ontario, was a plan for the future.
Levy did say that with the speed at which Ryerson is growing the problem of public transit may even eclipse that of density for expansion, and that if “in twenty years we’re still 35,000 students it will likely be because of either transit or space.”
“The pressure may come, that it becomes our problem more than the TTC’s problem,” said Levy.
Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) president Andrea Bartlett says that it has been part of her team’s mandate to work with transit as well. Particularly in cooperation with other Toronto downtown schools, but that work hasn’t started yet.
“We have yet to have that one large group meeting with other campuses,” said Bartlett. “[We] did have a meeting about the cost of TTC passes and have the cost explained to [us] but we were told that it’s already as cheap as it’s going to get and it’s never going to get any lower.”
“Obviously that was a bit frustrating to hear right out of the gate,” said Bartlett.