ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Friday fun post: are you the designated transit encyclopedia among your friends?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to answer the transit encyclopedia poll.

Last week: are you bothered by cell phones on transit?

Last week’s fun post asked if people talking on cell phones bothered you on transit.

Crazily enough, we had basically a 50-50 split, which has never happened in this history of these polls. “It bothers me” had a tiny one-vote advantage though — out of 177 total votes, 89 said cell phone chat bothered them, and 88 said they didn’t mind.

In the comments, it seemed you didn’t mind cell phone chatter as long as:

  • it’s not too loud,
  • it’s not frivolous, and
  • you didn’t take too long.

And many like Scott, lala, Reva, and Ric emphasized that it’s unacceptable for transit staff to be using phones while they’re working, too.

Lots of people also mentioned that other things are just as bad or worse than cell phone use. Tessa had a thoughtful take:

What’s the difference between having a conversation on a cell phone and a conversation with another passenger on a bus? I would think a conversation with someone on the bus would be louder and more disruptive, because you can hear both sides. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anybody having conversations – while transit is technically private it’s basically a public space – and most converations are very unobtrusive.

Of course, if someone is yelling/shouting, doing those kinds of things, then that’s a problem, regardless of whether they’re on a cell phone or not.

And here’s Kenny:

I bothers me more when people with earphones turn it up loud so that I can hear them…
1. – it ends up sounding to me like a repetitive endless pounding sound because I can’t actually hear the music…not good.
2. – I imagine how they’re ruining their hearing.

Henry also mentioned Japan’s etiquette laws around cell phone use too.

I was just in Japan and they have specific explicit ettiquette regarding cell phone use.

Near priority seats for the disabled and elderly, there are signs requesting that your phone be shut off in the priority seat area. In other areas, they kindly request you set the phone to silent and refrain from speaking on the phone.

When on the train in Japan, I rarely noticed people speaking on the phone. However, everyone is texting constantly around me. So it is definitely considered rude in Japan to be speaking on the phone when on the train. I even saw one gentleman receive a phone call and pardoned himself from the train in order to continue speaking on the phone.

In another case, I saw a man watching TV on his cell phone (Yes, some Japanese cell phones can get a TV air-signal!!). He was listening with the loudspeakers on and all the people around him were obviously unhappy with his behaviour.

This week: are you the designated transit encyclopedia among your friends?

This poll was suggested by Tsushima Masaki, who wrote in with the following:

Today I wondered if any of the other readers are heavily depended on by their circle of friends to provide them with transit information (best bus routes, transit news, or just how to get from point A to point B). I guess I would call myself the “designated transit guy” because all of my friends seem to call me when they need to get somewhere. If that’s workable as a quiz question that’d be great!

So, here we go!

Personally I would have to say yes, but I think that has a lot to do with my place of work :)


  • By MaxNV, November 27, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

    For me it’s gotten to the point where my friends will actually print out the route suggested by the trip planner and ask me if this is indeed the best route.

  • By Holly, November 27, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

    Almost all my friends are frequent transit users (guess we fall into the same car free demographic!) so we’re all equally well versed in transit lore.

  • By ;-), November 27, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

    Regrettably a Blackberry doesn’t help the situation.

    I’m glad to see our semi-annual St. Augustine’s get together to see there are others who have a bigger problem than I have. Those trivial game questions are HARD!

  • By daniel, November 27, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

    everyone of my friends know i’m the only transit fanatic they know of, so i frequently get questions about bus times, routes, etc. so ya i am a transit encyclopedia person

  • By Sungsu, November 27, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

    I’m not surprised that out of 50 votes so far, we’re at 45 for YES. Just coming to the Buzzer site at all will make you a transit expert compared to the general population! :-)

  • By Ric, November 27, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

    Yes, I am a transit encyclopedia among my friends. When I go out with my friends they count on me to find the transit routes that will take us to our destination. Since I know so much about transit I am considered the leader of the group when going out with my friends. They all say that I do a much better job than the on line trip planner. I show them how to use the SMS text message service to find out when the next bus is arriving, and I tell them that they can just sit back and enjoy the ride without the worries of missing our stop since the GPS system will announce the stops and we will know when it is time to get off. On question though why are some of the announcements from the GPS system louder than the others?

  • By Tsushima Masaki, November 28, 2009 @ 12:25 am

    Naturally, I am the go-to guy in all of my circles of friends. I’m always helping people find their way around when I’m on transit. Plenty of my friends say they don’t know why I don’t work for TransLink in some fashion.

    It does get tiresome though sometimes, when I get an MSN message from a lazy friend asking me how to get from point A to point B when they could just use the Trip Planner or Google Transit.

  • By Philippe G, November 28, 2009 @ 12:59 am

    It’s actually really bad…
    I routinely get calls at 3:00am to help get my less than right-minded friends home from downtown.

  • By Mike, November 28, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    Sort of off topic, new transit schedules for mid-December to April, including the Olympic period are scheduled to be released on Tuesday Dec 1.

  • By CJ Stebbing, November 29, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    ah yes…..something that fits me and my friends.

    i am considered the know it all on the bus system. everything from “where do i go to from here” to “where is this and how do i get to it.”

    i dont mind it though. at least they talk to me…lol

  • By C.Cassidy, December 1, 2009 @ 1:30 am

    I must admit, anyone in my school of 1300 students knows that talking to me about bus info is like calling Translink.

    There’s been a few times where people will call Translink, get a route plan, and then call me just to make sure they were right!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 1, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

    Mike: yep, I’ve got a post on this lined up!

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Friday fun post: ever been the only one on a transit vehicle? — December 4, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » Links and tidbits, Tue Jan 11, 2011 — January 11, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Please read our Participation Guidelines before you comment.