- Ashin Wilfy
BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO TRANSIT CAPE BRETON
Updated: Apr 14
Welcome to Cape Breton University! If you are new to the area, you might be wondering about the best way to get around town. Luckily, Transit Cape Breton provides an affordable and convenient way to travel throughout the city.
Using Transit Cape Breton is straightforward and easy, and this article is designed to guide you through the process. Whether you are commuting to CBU from your apartment or exploring the municipality, you can use Transit Cape Breton to get to your destination. In this guide, we will provide an overview of the Transit Cape Breton system, including how to purchase bus passes and tickets, find routes and schedules, and use the real-time bus tracking system.
By the end of this guide, you will be confident in navigating the Transit Cape Breton system and making the most of this essential service during your time at CBU. So, let's get started!
FINDING THE NEAREST BUS STOP AND THE BUS ROUTE
Open Google Maps with your live location on. The street names might be new to you but do not worry. Look for bus stop symbols in the map in your immediate vicinity. You might have to zoom in for them to show up. Below is an example of two bus stops (Blue Icons Marked) in a residential area in Sydney.
Once you spot a nearby bus stop, click on it. Something like the image below will show up, letting you know which bus route you are in.
Alternatively, you could simply enter your starting point and destination, and Google Maps will show you the nearest bus stops along the way.
To find a bus stop near you, open Google Maps on your smartphone or computer and enter your current location. Then, click on the "Directions" button and enter your destination. Google Maps will show you the different routes you can take and the estimated travel time for each. Look for the bus icon on the map, which will indicate the nearest bus stop to your location.
You can also use the live bus tracker or follow the steps provided on the Transit Website.
FINDING THE BUS TIMINGS
To plan your trip, start by determining the time you want to arrive at your destination. Then, find the schedule for the route you need to take and identify the time you need to catch the bus at the stop nearest to you. Make sure to give yourself enough time to walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus. Unfortunately, at times Google Maps might have the bus timings wrong and it is always advisable to cross-check with the transit website https://www.cbrm.ns.ca/transit
Click on your respective routes to find the bus to CBU or the nearest transfer hub. Looking back on our previous example, this is the schedule for Route 13, which is quite different from what is available on Google Maps.
You may have noticed that not all bus stops are mentioned in this list. Hence, you need to find out where your stop is between the major stops mentioned in the schedule list and plan your trip accordingly. How? Google Maps comes in handy here. You can look up the route or the stops mentioned on the Transit website in it and identify where your stop is and estimate the time when the bus arrives at your stop. However, it is safer to be at your stop by the time the bus starts from the initial point to avoid any rush (unless your stop is 30 mins away from it).
Transit culture varies from one country to another and some of you might find the Canadian transit etiquette different from what you have had at home. The drivers try their best to provide the optimum experience for all the patrons and hence, often provide instructions to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for everyone. In the past, we have witnessed students argue with the drivers about things beyond their control, like scheduling. This will only make things more difficult for the drivers, who are often the nicest and most polite people you meet on the island. If you have a complaint, the best way to deal with it is to call 311 and inform the municipality about it.
Similarly, there are certain rules set up to ensure everyone is comfortable during their commute. The transit guidelines prohibit anyone from carrying and/or consuming food and beverages when they are on the buses. Occasionally, you will witness the drivers asking commuters to discard their beverages and food while they enter the bus. Spillage of food and beverages can cause discomfort to fellow passengers and hence this system is in place. Similarly, it goes without saying that vaping, smoking or consumption of alcohol, and similar activities are banned on the buses.
Furthermore, transit buses have a no-scent policy, which means that you should not be wearing perfumes of any sort while using the transit services. This might come as a culture shock to many but having a dozen strong scents attacking your senses while travelling in a packed bus is not going to do any good. Moreover, people who are sensitive to perfumes are also using transit buses. Hence, it is advisable to not wear strong perfumes or scented products while commuting on the Transit CB buses.
In addition to this, loud music and dancing are also not allowed inside the busses. It is 2023, everyone has their headphones, so enjoy your sick playlist in your own privacy. Having the bus pass/change/ticket ready when you get into the bus is advised to reduce the delay and discomfort to the people standing behind you, especially if it is not the best weather outside. The bus stops often get crowded and standing in a line usually helps everyone to board the bus in an orderly manner. Cutting the line or rushing in front of everyone who stood there patiently is not acceptable behaviour either.
Students can get a discounted bus pass from the Students’ Union office without much hassle. All you need is your student ID and the means to pay the discounted amount. Students who have classes in the Cineplex location are eligible for additional discounts, making the Transit one of the most affordable ways to commute around the municipality. Bus passes can also be purchased from the CBRM Townhall building on Esplanade.
You can also pay with cash if you are not a frequent user, but please have the change ready when you board the bus. The rates are available on the Transit Website, and it is the same for the tickets as well. Tickets can be purchased at the Shoppers Drug Mart located on Prince Street.
Commuting on the Transit CB buses is an unavoidable part of International Student life here at CBU. Contrary to its counterparts in other major Canadian cities, there are many limitations to what Transit CB could offer. However, the staff and management at Transit CB always try to provide the best possible experience to their patrons, even with all their limitations. Hence, commuters must also do their due diligence like checking the CBRM Facebook page for transit delays and cancellations, trying to catch an early bus, and being present at the bus stop on time.