Getting around St. Catharines and Niagara

Photo credit: Zoe Archambault

Photo credit: Zoe Archambault

For many, coming to Brock will be their first time away from home. There will be new challenges, responsibilities and experiences. Simply getting around the city can be a daunting task.

At some point you’ll need to get groceries, maybe you’ll decide to check out a show downtown or visit your friend in surrounding areas like Thorold. Whatever the reason, at some point, you are going to need to take the bus.

Luckily, your Brock student card also serves as a bus pass for the Niagara region, allowing you to ride without having to pay the $3 fare every time. The first thing you’ll need to do is visit the Vendor Fair, which takes place during Welcome Week. This is where clubs and activities advertise, but also where BUSU hands out the U-Pass stickers, which will validate your bus pass (if you can’t make vendor fair, the BUSU office can also validate your bus pass). You’ll still be able to use public transit in the days before Vendor Fair, but after the first week of classes, some bus drivers will ask to see your sticker.

Once students have the sticker, there’s nothing stopping them from getting anywhere they need to go. The following lines will likely be the most useful to you as a Brock student. One important thing to note is that during weekdays the line numbers in St. Catharines will start with a three, while during the evening and on weekends, they will start with a four (i.e. the 316 will become the 416).

316/416 — This is the route that will get you downtown. For students taking classes at the Marilyn I. Walker campus, this route will be particularly important. This is the most frequent bus, coming as regularly as every five minutes before and after classes. This bus will take you from the bus loop by the Brock statue, to the downtown terminal, with stops along Glenridge Avenue.

335/435 — This route will take you from the bus loop to the Pen Centre, the local mall in St. Catharines. There are also several stops on St. Davids Road and Burleigh Hill Drive, which are common areas where students live.

336 — This route will also take you from the bus loop to the Pen Centre, but it only runs during weekdays.

Other bus routes can be found on yourbus.com/routes-schedules/brock-university or the St. Catharines Transit app. The app will allow you to set reminders for when your bus arrives and see a map of the stops along your route.

You are also able to use your bus pass in Thorold, Welland and Niagara Falls. The 50/55 bus will allow you to travel to Thorold and Niagara Falls and the 70 will allow you to travel to Welland.

There are also other forms of transportation available to you not covered by the U-Pass that can take you farther than the Niagara region. You can catch Megabuses, Greyhounds and other coach buses at the terminal downtown. Megabuses will even pick you up at the bus loop on campus. Tickets for these trips can be purchased online or at the bus terminal and allow you to travel to just about anywhere you’d need to go. As for GO Transit buses, they can be boarded at the Fairview Mall (take the 316 downtown and from there take the 309 or 312 to the mall). These tickets can be purchased online.

The only way to truly become familiar with the transit options available to you is to get out there and use them. There will be bus routes that you use every day and then bus routes that you may only use once. You’ll probably get lost a couple times, you’ll definitely get stuck in construction and you will almost certainly hit a bump while you’re trying to stand, hanging on for dear life, and go flying into the lap of the person sitting behind you. It has happened to all of us, and we turned out just fine.

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