AMHERSTBURG, ON – Vanessa Dafonte still has plenty to take care of before her fall semester starts up at St Clair College. Buying textbooks, finding out where her classes are, and getting used to a new schedule is both exciting and stressful.
Despite living about half an hour away from St Clair though, one thing Dafonte doesn’t need to stress about is how she is getting to those classes.
“Without this service, I’d have to put a pretty big burden on the people in my life to get me to class. It would have been so much harder without this option,” said Dafonte, a Chemical Laboratories Technology student. “When I signed up I really only expected to get a ride to class. I didn’t expect … how friendly the drivers would be.”
Dafonte is talking about the St Clair Student Shuttle, which offers an accessible, county-wide transportation service to and from the college’s main campus. It has provided a simple solution to a problem faced by so many living in Essex County.
The shuttle has been provided to students since 2013 through a collaboration of three local non-profit organisations: South Essex Community Council, Essex Community Services, and Amherstburg Community Services.
“This service has become so important to so many people. For some it is absolutely life changing,” said Kathy DiBartolomeo, the executive director at Amherstburg Community Services. “The challenge of connecting the rural Essex County with the city has been discussed plenty of times, but this is a service that’s available now and ensures that no matter your situation or where you live, you have the opportunity to better yourself.”
Registration for the St Clair Student Shuttle is now open, and any interested students must register in advance. There is a monthly user fee of $240 to offset the costs incurred by the organisations.
Once a student has registered, they will be given information on pick-up and drop-off times and locations. Seating is limited and will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Students may call the organization closest to their residence to register.