The Golden Mile Mall is about a 25 minute walk from the University and one of the main connecting stops for buses to pick up and drop off residents in Regina. Most of Regina’s main bus lines stop at the mall.
It’s also where many out-of-towners first move to – the Boardwalk apartments are home to many immigrant students, workers, and young families – so it would be the perfect place to live for newcomers. Wouldn’t it?
In Regina, social hubs like the Golden Mile Mall, the downtown area, and the university do not have any public transit running after 12:30AM.
You might think this is a fair deal. “You can’t expect buses to go through the night,” you might say.
However, you must remember the demographic Regina is hoping to attract the most: you, the out-of-towner, the immigrants, and the young twenty-something – often students – are the prime market. You’re the crowd to reach out to, because you’re the ones who are going to help bolster the economy and plant families here.
If you are a new worker in Canada or a student, you may have to spend several nights working very late at your place of employment or study.
“So I’ll get a car,” you might say. But not everyone can shell out another two grand upon moving when they have living expenses to worry about, or their children’s education or daycare fees to worry about, or even their own tuition for a four-year degree.
A taxi ride from the Galaxy Cinema in the Normanview area on the north end of Regina is about 20 minutes from the university. It costs $20 to taxi home – a distance that would have cost ten bucks of gas in a normal car. It’s the kind of invisible cost that might keep a potential citizen far, far away from Regina.
It’s not bad enough that the times end too early, but there’s also the issue of being late.
You might find that, on a Friday afternoon, during peak traffic times, you bus will not arrive. This is understandable.
What is surprising is that your bus, and the next two buses scheduled for your stop after it, will not come at all.
Combine unaccommodating schedules with the weather and it makes a formula for a confused start and end to someone’s day, every day. It means hurting relationships with employers and professors when you come late every morning, and being forced to sleep over at work. If you are a newcomer, you may find yourself feeling displaced in your new home.
Currently, the City of Regina’s Transit Department is reviewing its schedules and considering additional route expansions. It cannot be a Band Aid fix. Even with its improvements in the past five years, public transit in Regina is in an archaic state.
If the city wants to encourage and provide for Regina’s growing population, it will invest more into restructuring and adding to the public transit system. When it starts providing for the two fastest growing demographics in any city – young adults and immigrants – then maybe you, dear reader, can consider moving in.