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Where do you like to sit on the bus?

For some Friday fun, let’s do a poll!

Come on, I know you’ve all got an opinion on this—the lineups for the 99 B-Line are always far bigger for the back door than the middle. Feel free to leave a comment to defend your position if you like :)


  • By Eugene Wong, January 23, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    The middle of the bus provides a smoother ride. The back is a bit dirtier. I avoid the front to give the seats to others. When I’m not wearing clean clothes, then I’ll sit in the back.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 23, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

    That’s interesting, Eugene: I never actually thought about seating position in terms of the smoothness of the ride.

  • By Ryan, January 23, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

    I prefer the back of the bus, especially the seat facing the back doors. There is better lighting for reading while going to and from work. I also find that in the summer, it is usually cooler back there as it tends to get more air flow when the windows are open.

  • By Brandon, January 23, 2009 @ 11:13 pm

    It depends. In the morning/day I sit at the back. If it’s late I sit closer to the middle/front because the back is usually where loud/inebriated people sit. Do Transitcops ever ride on the night buses? Do they ever ride on the buses?

  • By Michael, January 23, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

    Not a lot of thought goes into where I sit on the bus. If the driver seems friendly enough, I’ll chat with him or her. Otherwise, I like to sit where I can get some fresh air.

    Ventilation-wise, on your standard low-floor bus, slide open all the windows from the rear doors back (passenger load permitting), and pop open the roof vent so that the front side only is open. Then sit in the middle seat on top of the engine. When the bus is moving, it’s a quite refreshing feeling. Wish we had air conditioning on all the buses, though.

  • By ben K, January 24, 2009 @ 4:18 am

    I generally aim for the middle-rear; far enough back to have an overview of the bus, but close enough to a door to exit without having to pre-queue for too long prior to my stop.

    (On a different subject — what happened to Short Turns, that wonderful bus-driver blog from Fingers McGinty that was linked here recently? It seems to have suddenly vanished from blogspot. Did Translink higher-ups lay the screws to our wonderful spokesman?)

  • By :-|, January 24, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

    Thanks for opening up this discussion. Yes, I too go for the rear doors in the 99 BLines, because that’s where the seating for “able bodies” can be found. The bench seats also provide ample standing room, especially with idiots who refuse to take their backpacks off. I’m tired of the dirty looks seniors give me when you sit in the front half of the bus.

    The front and mid doors have a number of issues
    • Slower loading due to driver fare inspections
    • Slower loading due to strollers, seniors and disabled
    • Slower loading because of front wheel congestion as people fight to dump their groceries, luggage, backpacks etc…. and then “stand” on both sides, creating an obstacle course to navigate around them.
    • Slower loading because the entrance way is blocked by cyclists demanding to watch their bikes left in the racks
    • Slower loading because the driver is busy chatting with another driver on his way to his shift
    • Prepare for the occasional senior “shoulder check” if you get in their way for those front doors. I was almost knocked off my feet once when a clumsy senior, with her groceries, wanted to be the first to board. Instead of an apology, she said later I had violated her “senior rights”.
    • By the time you clear the front of the bus, the seats are filled by people loading from the rear doors.

    I was very disappointed when they came out with the current trolley buses. It’s as if 60% of the bus is reserved for seniors and the disabled. Able bodies were crammed in the last third of the bus. When the articulated trolleys came to the Main and Victoria routes, it was a huge joy as able bodies suddenly have more choices. My favourite seats are the three single seats across from the rear doors on the articulated trolleys. With my wide “girlish” figure, I can sit comfortably without worrying about “invading” another passenger’s space. With winter coat and a newspaper/iPhone, there just isn’t enough space in the double seats. With reduced legroom, people don’t stand up for you to get to the window seats anymore. The side turn into the aisle is just not practical.

  • By Masaki, January 24, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    On articulated buses, on the right side just in front of the rear door because I can use the glass barrier as a headrest.

    On high-floor city buses, usually the mid-rear of the bus on the right side.

    On low-floor city buses, rear, right side, one row behind the the rear door.

    On coaches, anywhere but the front. Right side of course.

    I like the right side because I can look at the roadside unobstructed by traffic, and I prefer leaning on my right.

    If I’m on a bus with non-functional stop announcements/display I try to sit on the right side near the front so I can actually see the cross street overhang signs.

  • By Britt, January 24, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

    Well this is a difficult one for me. I ride the train mostly, but do take a “baby bus” (C4) part of the way home each day. The bus is so small that there isn’t really a middle. But I usually ride in the 3rd or 4th row to save the front seats for those that need them. I’m still close enough to chat with the driver if we feel like it. I don’t know his name, but he’s a really nice guy that always has a friendly word for everyone.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 26, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

    Thanks everyone for commenting! This is really interesting bus insight, actually: Michael & Ryan, the tips about the breezy seats on the bus are great, and Masaki, I totally understand your appreciation of the right side of the bus :) Britt, glad to hear your driver is so nice!

    PS: looks like the middle of the bus is winning with 46 votes right now. I think I’ll keep the poll up until Friday and then report the results.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 28, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

    By the way, ben K, as far as I know, Fingers took his blog down. That’s all I’ve got — sorry I can’t be of more help!

  • By Ryan, January 30, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    I find it interesting that only Brandon brought up the question wondering if Transit Police ever ride the bus. I would be interested in how many fare evaders there are on the B-Line buses now that people can enter by any door.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 6, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

    Hi Ryan & Brandon,

    Sorry for how long it took me to put together a reply!

    Anyway, the Transit Police currently do not ride the night buses. Their late shift ends at 2:15 a.m., and up to that time they and Transit Security officers attend to bus situations, and do walk throughs when possible. As the police service grows, they will have more officers working on buses, however.

    As for the B-Line: well, the thing about three door boarding is that it isn’t just put on any route. Routes were chosen where fare evasion rates would likely be quite low in the first place. The 99 is a good example — since it’s going to UBC, a large majority taking it are likely to be U-Pass holders. Also, since Commercial Drive Station is the other end of the 99 route, you have lower chances of fare evasion there, since people are often transferring from SkyTrain to the 99. Similarly, the 98 B-Line has a high number of FareCard holders, and Waterfront is at one end of it.

    Just out of interest’s sake, another key thing about three-door boarding is that it actually saves us money and can increase reliability.

    Here it is from one of our planners:

    A key benefit of all-door boarding is that it speeds up customer loading times, particularly at high-volume bus stops such as UBC Loop and Commercial Drive Station on the 99 B-Line. Faster loading times reduce overall bus travel times. If the reduction in the round trip time achieved is more than the scheduled time interval between successive buses (known as the “service headway”), one or more buses can be saved. This results in both capital cost and bus operating cost savings for TransLink. Alternatively, more frequent service can be provided using the same number of buses on the route. All-door boarding can also increase the reliability of a bus service, by reducing the
    incidences of long delays required to load customers at busy bus stops.

  • By O, January 22, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    I like the back bench- more engine action!

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