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Buzzer Podcast: John Abou-Samra, the bus driver with a trivia contest

Listen to the trivia contest that John Abou-Samra runs on his trolley bus, plus an interview with John, all in the third podcast from the Buzzer blog!

Who is John Abou-Samra? John is a trolley bus driver who holds a trivia contest on his bus during the morning and afternoon rush hours. He gives away chocolate bars to the lucky winners who correctly answer his challenging trivia questions, and for many riders, his contest has become a wonderful part of their daily routines.

He’s been featured in articles in the Province and the Sun, and CTV News did a story on him this past summer. In this podcast, you’ll hear John’s trivia contest, plus an interview about how he came to do the contest and more. (You can also check out the article on John in the Oct. 10 Buzzer for more!)

John Abou-Samra

John Abou-Samra


To listen to the podcast, press play on the player above, or download the mp3 here. You can also subscribe to our podcast via RSS, so this audio file will download straight into iTunes or your RSS reader, and you’ll get all the future Buzzer podcasts by refreshing your subscription.

You can also listen to our previous podcasts:

Keep watching the blog for more podcasts! And if you have suggestions for a podcast you’d like to hear, please feel free to let me know!


  • By Dan, November 18, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

    I took John’s #7 Nanaimo run 33 when heading downtown from Kits one day. I had never heard of him before, but he sure brightened my day up really quickly! I was even telling my room-mate about it at dinner. Strangest thing happened — the Friday of the week when I told her the story of my experience meeting John, she shows up with a copy of The Buzzer with this story on the front!

    Unfortunately for me, I have to take a completely different route to work now, so I don’t know if I’ll ever have John as a driver again.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, November 19, 2008 @ 10:03 am

    You might still run into him yet! Drivers do change routes throughout the year. John is currently driving the #7, but I first encountered his trivia contest last year on the #10 Granville. I know he’s driven the #16 in the past too.

  • By Anne, December 9, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

    OK. This podcast totally made my day. My friend takes his bus in the morning and was telling me all about him. What a gem. This podcast is fabulous. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

  • By Adam, August 21, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

    I’ve been on John’s bus, and it’s great, but I find it funny that this Podcast contains a trivia question, the answer to which John was wrong. Mozart was 35 when he died, not 32.

  • By Ric, March 24, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    Does he ever do any Richmond or Surrey routes? Does he do community shuttle routes as well? I would love to meet him and enjoy the fun while I am riding the bus.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 24, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

    Ric: John works out of Vancouver Transit Centre and generally does trolley routes… so I don’t think you’ll find him in Richmond or Surrey!

  • By Ric, April 30, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    Is he still doing this contest?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 30, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    Yes, he continues to do the contest.

  • By Ian, January 28, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    Is John still driving? I haven’t heard about him in a while.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 28, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    Ian: As far as I know, he is! If he were to stop I’m sure somebody would have let me know.

  • By Thomas, December 22, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    Hi, is John still driving?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 14, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    As far as I know, yes!

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » CMBC stuffs a bus full of food donations for the Food Bank — November 4, 2009 @ 11:15 am

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