ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Friday fun poll: have you ever fallen asleep and missed your stop?

If you like, you can skip to the end of this post to answer the sleeping on transit poll.

Results from last poll: running for boarding transit vehicles

Last week I asked about whether you run to catch a boarding transit vehicle.

And after 175 votes, 62% of you said Yes and 38% said no!

The comments were really interesting. Tsushima Masaki said it was dependent on the situation — if it’s an infrequent bus, that’s when you run. However, ;-) said he didn’t run often because more frequent service and better mobile access to scheduling makes it easier to predict when you should be at the stop, so you can plan ahead. And Steven expressed that frantic running for transit could in fact be dangerous for many—drivers, passengers, pedestrians, etc!

We also got a few interesting observation/tips. Here’s Dave2 regarding waiting for the SkyTrain:

Broadway/Commercial is too crowded, and if I miss an E/B Millenium line train I’ll just resign myself to a 5 minute wait for the next train. What gets me is people that run for a W/B train at Broadway in the AM rush…trains dwell there for 45 seconds so usually I just casually walk on after the runners have passed, and if the train leaves it’s only 90-100 seconds until the next one.

And George had a few more thoughts:

I have also noticed that generally drivers on the less frequent, evening, and community shuttle routes are more likely to wait for a running passenger. That makes sense since waiting for another 30 mins would waste so much time. Furthermor I think if you are the last passeneger to enter a bus, you should quickly look back to see if someone is running to catch the bus and maybe you could kindly hold up the bus for that person. Someone did that for me and it’s really appreciated.

Again, Eric, who suggested this poll, wrote a post on his blog explaining why he doesn’t run for buses: his thoughts are very similar to mine, actually. And many more comments can be found at the original post, as always.

This week’s poll: have you ever fallen asleep and missed your stop?

Well, have you?

Also, if you have fallen asleep on transit, did you pass several stops before you woke up? (Personally I fall asleep on transit a lot, but I’ve never actually missed my stop!)


  • By Cow, May 22, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

    I haven’t on TransLink, but once, when I first moved to Seattle (freshman year of university) and had been living there only a few weeks, I fell asleep on the bus on the way to work/school at the UW. The 44 turns into a 43 at campus and continues on into a residential neighbourhood. I woke up to have absolutely no idea where I was in a city I didn’t know. Thankfully, the driver told me he was going to loop around soon and head back to school, so I just got to work an hour late.

    I don’t sleep on transit after that; I’m always afraid the bus will turn into the #big-number to somewhere I’ve never been. :-)

  • By Dan, May 23, 2009 @ 12:33 am

    YES! Fortunately it was only one stop. I was coming back from Metrotown to UBC and it was late (lots of shopping of course) missed the broadway stop on the skytrain but I my friend realized something wasn’t right when we got to main. :p We just had to wait for the next train back but still unneccesary after a long day and we still needed to catch the 99 before we were officially “home”.

  • By Jamie, May 23, 2009 @ 1:11 am

    Hi Jhennifer, I had a quick question. On the “Not In Service” buses, the back LED panel says “CHK”, what does that stand for?

  • By david b, May 23, 2009 @ 1:22 am

    the kneeling bus beeping noise gives me headaches.

  • By Richard, May 23, 2009 @ 3:23 am

    Once and only once, and it was on a frequent service bus, so it was a matter of hopping on the same route going back. Every other time I fell asleep on the bus I woke up a stop or two before, almost as if my brain was trained to know that I was about to get off.

  • By Dan, May 23, 2009 @ 9:34 am


    “CHEK” or “CHK MW” is a software issue when they program the destination signs. This Mainly is an issue only with the “New Flyer” buses and not the Nova buses.

  • By Scott, May 23, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    I’ve missed my stop when I’ve fallen asleep on the bus and been intoxicated before. Other then that I don’t think I have.

  • By Eric, May 23, 2009 @ 11:40 am

    Like Richard, I would always wake up just before I’m about to get off. But one time, I overslept by a few seconds, waking up just as the bus was pulling away from my intended stop.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, May 24, 2009 @ 11:31 am

    This happens to me a lot, especially when heading home the next day after a hard night of partying. Actually… it happened to me this Saturday morning, on a southbound 351 to Crescent Beach. I must have fell asleep around 41st Avenue and my stop was Steveston Highway. When I woke up I was in South Surrey.

    I, however, live within walking distance of the Richmond Transit Centre so I’m not too worried about missing my stop when I’m on one of the last buses of the night. The bus operators I’ve encountered are usually very nice and will drop me off before they head back to the depot. Actually there was even a time when an operator of a #49 gave me a ride to Richmond since he was heading to RTC.

  • By Anonymous!, May 25, 2009 @ 12:25 am

    Ever fallen asleep on transit? Yes, I confess! But not recently. I used to commute the long subway ride from downtown Toronto to Royal York station, where after a long day at school or work, I would be lulled asleep by the long straight path down Bloor, overshooting my stop by ending up at either Islington or Kipling.

    Now when commuting out of Vancouver, I’d typically become vulnerable to napping around Royal Oak (after the rush of Metrotown). It was easy to end up in either Sapperton, Braid, or Scott Road (I’ve done all three over the years). Now I’ve perfected my technique and take the Millennium line round the other way, and by the time I come home to Columbia, the train makes a rather acoustic and dramatic re-entry into the tunnel. By shuffling around on the tracks, it’s a pretty good natural-nudge indicator that I have arrived!

    Why do I fall asleep on the train? I blame the Internet, not because we have wifi on the Skytrain (which I dream of often!), but because the Internet has clearly robbed me of at least 2 hours of quality sleep a day. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, this message was composed on an iPod touch and emailed to myself once I came in range of wifi, helping to keep me awake all the way home! ; )

  • By ;-), May 25, 2009 @ 7:34 am

    Looking at everyone’s stories, I think I’m the worst.

    In my college years, the trip to Cap college was a 90 minute trip each way. Leaving home at 6am and returning at 8pm each day for 5 years was a killer. On the evening 239 trip, it was not uncommon for me to miss the Seabus stop to wake up at Park Royal, Seabus terminal on the return trip or return trip to Phibbs Exchange. Cap service is better now with direct Vancouver routes.

    I somewhat agree with an earlier iPhone comment. However with my Blackberry, I never fall asleep as I’m always awake. However, I’m now tuned out with texting and reading news stories which I occasionally miss my stops. I’m bad….

  • By Jamey, May 25, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

    I used to all the time. A couple times, a driver has had to wake me up at the end of the line (which is quite embarrassing…). Luckily, I take the bus right to the end of the line, so I didn’t have to backtrack too much. I’ve learned my lesson, so I set my cell phone alarm for 10 minutes before my bus arrives at its stop.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 25, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

    Cell phone alarm! CLEVER!

  • By Dora, May 25, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

    Yes, although I usually manage to wake up before my stop when I fall asleep on the bus. A few times during my years at UBC, though, I ended up at Granville instead of Macdonald, and more recently I’ve ended up a quarter of the way around Burnaby Mountain instead of getting off right after the 160 eastbound turns left onto the road around (Inlet, which becomes the Barnet Hwy). Now that I’m a (bitter and jaded) suburban transit commuter who often rides once-every-half-hour buses, rather than a 25-or-99 rider to and from UBC, I worry a lot more about falling asleep on the bus!

  • By Eugene Wong, May 25, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

    I often fall asleep on transit. It’s like asking if any of us have fallen asleep in an RV. :^D ;^)

    I missed my stop a few times, but usually I don’t. I often get off at the end of a bus route, etc., so I don’t have to worry about that.

  • By daniel, May 27, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

    ok to admit i have fallen asleep once on transit! i was coming home from a wild party so i hopped onto a 28 phibbs exchange. next thing i kno i’m on the 2nd narrows bridge when i wake up!so i had to phone my dad and said” um hey dad um, do you kno where i am right now? well i’m in north van i think” when i got home he was furious but it was fun!

    o and p.s. i have another idea for the next pole! do you pull the string for your stop request or do you press the red stop button?

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Please read our Participation Guidelines before you comment.