While all roads lead to Rome, many paths lead to Humber College.
With two campuses located at opposite ends of Toronto and more than 50,000 combined students and faculty between Lakeshore and North, there are a lot of people that need to be transported to and from the college.
Whether by car, bus, on foot or by bicycle, students and faculty commute to Humber in a variety of ways from all over the GTA and beyond. Based on locations in Toronto’s northwest and southwest edges, Humber College is significantly a commuter school.
A survey conducted by Humber’s Sustainability department in 2013 polled more than 5,000 students and faculty and found that around 70 per cent of those surveyed commute to Humber by car. Another 17 per cent arrived by public transit.
These numbers show a very low percentage of commuters get to Humber using alternative means, which is why the college’s sustainability office is promoting a healthier, cheaper and arguably less aggravating mode of transportation – biking.
“It’s really part of our whole sustainable transportation strategy,” said Associate Director of Maintenance and Operations at Humber North campus Spencer Wood.
“If you’re riding your bike, you don’t (produce) greenhouse gas emissions, you don’t have to pay for parking, you don’t have to pay for the car, or gas, and it’s healthier,” said Wood.
First-year child and youth work student from Lakeshore campus Jess Hessels said she bikes to school everyday. “It’s the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get to school. Also, it’s a good quad workout,” she said.
The sustainability survey found that less than one per cent of students and faculty use bikes as their primary mode of transportation to North campus, as opposed to five per cent at Lakeshore. This may be due to the fact that the North location is sandwiched between major highways and busy streets.
In spite of these numbers, the sustainability program is doing whatever they can to promote biking to Humber.
“We’ve installed bike fix-it stations (at both North and Lakeshore campuses) where you can pump up your tires or tighten up a couple screws before you head home without having to worry about where you might do that,” said Manager of Sustainability at Humber Lindsay Walker.
Humber has also provided students with special rooms that are exclusively for bicycle storage. For a $5 fee, students at Lakeshore campus can have unlimited access to an indoor storage room for their bike. There is a room available at North campus as well, but it is exclusively for students living on residence. -