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Friday fun post: what do you read when you ride transit?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to take the reading on transit survey.

Last week’s poll: as of Friday, Aug 28, how many times have you been on the Canada Line?

In the poll from last week, I asked you how many times you’d been on the Canada Line as of August 28.

And out of 201 votes, the highest percentage picked “5 or more times” (39%). Two times came in second (20%) and once was third (18%), followed by three (16%) then four times (6%). Someone called “Not my real fake name” pointed out that I forgot to include zero again — and argh, I’m guilty as charged.

In the comments, we heard why everyone got on the line. Lots of people certainly were taking it just for the ride, but it is starting to become a useful link. For example, here’s Jaye Sunsurn:

I’ve taken the Canada Line more than a few times, and while the first few were for novelty reasons, I do find myself more apt to head to south Vancouver or Richmond now because of the accessibility that the Canada Line affords heading into that part of town.

Not my real fake name also had a similar tale to tell.

For me, twice for the heck of it, connecting to the M line via the 84 at Olympic Village or the 99 at Broadway City Hall instead of my usual Burrard to Brentwood via “Commercial-Broadway”. Maybe one day I’ll take the 25 from King Edward to Brentwood, but the 41 minute rush hour ride is a bit of a downer.

Also, once last weekend to attend a wedding reception near Aberdeen; that was the one trip that was not contrived, and it was great that the line was open in time to use it for “real” reasons.

Off topic, but still interesting: the comment thread discussed why the train curves at 33rd Avenue, and it is actually due to volcanic rock in Queen Elizabeth Park. Did you know it sits upon an extinct volcano? And that it was originally mined for basalt?


This week: what do you read when you ride transit?

The New York Times is currently asking people what they read on the subway, and I thought it would be fun to do the same thing here. They’re posting the answers today, but don’t look: let’s compare our results next week!

Here’s the intro from the Times article, for some inspiration:

Americans seem to be doing less recreational reading these days, spending time instead watching television, surfing the Web, sending text messages and talking on cellphones. But one place where a vibrant culture of reading remains strong — to some extent out of necessity — is the New York City subway.

So, click here to take the reading survey for Vancouver! No registration or personal info is required.

It’s just four questions and only the first is mandatory. I’ll repeat them here too if you’re curious:

1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
2. What was the last book you read on transit?
3. What was the last magazine?
4. What was the last newspaper?

Feel free to share any thoughts on transit reading in the comments. I’ll make up a fancy infographic next week once we get the results!


19 Comments

  • By daniel, September 4, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

    my main bus route is the 28 and 29 to school and the last newspaper i read was the Buzzer!

  • By cree, September 4, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    -#25 UBC/#15 Downtown
    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    -Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
    4. What was the last newspaper?
    -24hrs (Hard to avoid, really)

    For what it’s worth, I do read blog entries from Engadget, Buzzer Blog (of course!^_-), et al from my mobile.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, September 4, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    Q.1
    What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    Canada Line (and 401 / 405 to get to the Canada Line, school, and Richmond Centre)

    Q.2
    What was the last book you read on transit?
    Blood at the Root by Peter Robinson

    Q.4
    What was the last newspaper?
    Metro (It was actually 24, but I read Metro more often).

    I used to just listen to my iPod and stare into out the window, or sleep, or twiddle my thumbs while on transit, but ever since I had to go without my PC for an extended period of time, I started borrowing novels from the library again to keep myself occupied.

  • By Ashley Chow, September 4, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    It will soon be the 25 UBC/Brentwood Mall

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    Probably 24 Hours.

    I don’t normally read on the bus. I’d rather look out the window and see what’s going on outside. Of course, I grab The Buzzer whenever I see it :)

  • By Rvie, September 4, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    The Canada Line (to get from Richmond Centre to Broadway), the 410 (to get from my house to Richmond-Brighouse station and back), and the 9 (to get from Broadway-City Hall station to my school and back).

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    Oh, it has got to be my Canadian Fundamentals of Nursing textbook! ^^

    3. What was the last magazine?
    I stopped reading magazines like years ago… XD

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    The 24 and the Metro. =D

  • By Sally, September 4, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

    I’d love to be able to read on the bus but I would be so ill I’d need to be met by an amublance!! Just can’t do it……

  • By Steven, September 5, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    Good question. I used to read books but since taking the Canada Line I have to change 3 times to get to work (!):
    Kerrisdale 43 to Oakridge
    Oakridge Canada Line to Waterfront
    Waterfront to Broadway-Commercial
    Broadway-Commercial to Brentwood (argh)

    With all those changes I can’t really settle anymore. However, I like to catch up with the news and feeds using the blackberry/iPhone app Viigo.

    Because I am on information overload I tend not to read newspapers and like to be selective to general news and specific stuff according to my area’s of interest – so Viigo is perfect for me.

  • By Eric, September 5, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

    It’s been a few months, but
    394/321, Expo line, Millennium line, 145

    Too many transfers and too many people for reading.
    Maybe some video games if I’m up for it.

  • By Nick, September 5, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    Canada Line

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    “Why Do Men Have Nipples?” By Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg, M.D.

    3. What was the last magazine?
    H&M Magazine

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    24 Hours!

  • By Cliff, September 5, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

    I’m awfully tempted to bring a hidden camera and record people’s reactions to my reading the Kama Sutra on transit.

  • By Bryan Gal, September 6, 2009 @ 7:13 am

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    112 Edmonds Stn/112 New West Stn/112 Lougheed Stn.
    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    Left Behind by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
    3. What was the last magazine?
    4. What was the last newspaper?
    24hrs And Metro

    Occasionally I’ll be on my BlackBerry, but for the most part i usually read.

  • By Devin, September 6, 2009 @ 9:37 am

    I’m a little non-conformist…

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    Metro Orange Line BRT/Metro Red Line Subway
    (Probably Expo and Canada when I’m in Van)

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    Inside the Red Mansion: On The Trail of China’s Most Wanted Man by Oliver August

    3. What was the last magazine?
    GOOD Magazine (which is an awesome magazine, http://www.good.is)

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    Los Angeles Daily News on paper. I also read NY Times, LA Times, CNN, and CBC News on the iPhone.

  • By Reva, September 6, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    The #240 Vancouver/15th Street and/or the SeaBus.

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    Probably the instruction manual for my new camera.

    3. What was the last magazine?
    Does the Buzzer count as a magazine?

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    The Georgia Straight.

    It’s simply not possible to read on the SeaBus though — the scenery is just too incredible and I never get tired of it. :)

    P.S. @Nick: I just finished reading “Why Do Men Have Nipples”! Hilarious and interesting book. Must be fun watching other passengers do a double-take when they realize what the title is.

  • By Not my real fake name, September 6, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    See, now that’s why I don’t use my real fake name, it’d be splashed all over the front page of The Buzzer Blog :=o

    (Actually I didn’t use my real fake name as I revealed my home station on SkyTrain, TMI in this day and age)

    And to top it off, I was wrong in my count of three, I’d forgotton the 1st trip on the first Tuesday the C-Line was in service, heading downtown after picking up a prize won on Breakfast Televison.

  • By Stephan Scharnberg, September 7, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    In the morning: 49 Metrotown bus from Fraser to Metrotown, then SkyTrain from Metrotown to Royal Oak (summer) or to Edmonds (during school year), and the reverse in late evening.

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littel (big, fat novel).

    3. What was the last magazine?
    The current issue of Canadian Geographic.

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    I don’t read newspapers.

  • By Dora, September 7, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    135, 160, 144, Millenium Line

    160 is often my first/last leg going to work (I substitute teach all over the Tri-Cities) and also takes me into Vancouver, 135 takes me into Vancouver, 144 takes me to the Skytrain and the Millenium Line is my closest Skytrain line

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    Traitor’s Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley, although it was on London transit because I’ve only been back from the UK for a few days and haven’t taken the bus much.

    Once I start working again I’ll be doing quite a bit of reading on transit, I find that taking the bus to and from work is a great chance to read for fun even if I have all sorts of things I need to do once I’m home.

    3. What was the last magazine?
    I don’t really read magazines at all, so I couldn’t possibly remember.

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    24 hours, on the bus coming home from the airport on Friday (we rode the Canada Line downtown, which was excellent — now I need to take it for fun and explore the line).

  • By M. Diane Rogers, September 8, 2009 @ 7:36 am

    I have to use the Millennium Line for most trips to/from Lougheed Mall area.
    The last book I read on board was ‘Experimental Travel’ !(Saturday); the last magazine was ‘Family Chronicle’ and the last newspaper was the ‘Georgia Straight’. Hope to see lots of readers today on the trains/buses as it’s Burnaby Reads Day!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 9, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

    Dudes: are you entering your reading info in the linked survey too? I can always put it in afterward, but the tool does make managing the info easier.

  • By Eric, September 10, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

    1. What is your main SkyTrain line or bus route?
    19 and 22

    2. What was the last book you read on transit?
    Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

    3. What was the last magazine?
    Runner’s World

    4. What was the last newspaper?
    Georgia Straight

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