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Friday fun post: do you usually talk to your transit operator?

Friday fun post: do you usually talk to your transit operator?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to answer the chatting with your operator poll.

Last week: ever been the only one on a transit vehicle?

Last week’s fun post asked if you had ever been the only one on your transit vehicle, besides the operator.

We had 194 people weigh in, and the vast majority (91%) said they had been the only one on a transit vehicle before. Just 9% said it had never happened to them.

There were a great many comments on this one! Most seemed to show that you end up riding alone if you travelled very late or early, or to not-very-busy destinations, or on new routes that were building ridership. For example, here’s typoprone:

When I took summer school at UBC a couple of summers ago, I often rode an empty 480 to campus and pretended the bus was my limousine and the bus driver was my chauffeur. Ah, memories…

And Steven had a cautionary tale from outside our region:

In Budapest we got on a subway and we were all alone on it. The next thing we new it was going into the sidings – it was there for 10 minutes and thought we would be there overnight!! Luckily the train did go back the other way. Since then whenever I have been on my own on public transport I get the feeling I am going the wrong way!

Many people also mentioned the challenge of deciding whether to talk to the operator or not. Sally was in favour:

If that happens, I feel like I should move up to keep the operator company!

Last 351 was more torn:

Sometimes it’s a tough call whether to strike up a conversation or not. In those cases I figure it’s the driver’s choice to break the silence since they’re the one stuck there!

Dora had another view:

When I’m the only one on the bus I usually feel really awkward, and go sit in the back half of the bus and read my book rather than striking up a conversation with the driver… Sometimes when my stop is coming up I’ll walk up front and just let the driver know, instead of ringing the bell, though.

And Cliff had another take on the situation:

The most awkward thing about being the only one on the bus is letting the driver know when you want to get off.

If it’s after 9:30pm and I’m the only one on the bus, I’ll use that and ask the driver if he wouldn’t mind dropping me off somewhere specific (Request Stop). That opens up the conversation and there’s no awkwardness of stopping a conversation to say “That’s my stop, bye!”

It was a hard time choosing just a few quotes to spotlight — however, as always, you can check out the full list of comments to see what everyone said!

This week: do you usually talk to your transit operator?

Since the last poll involved so many comments about chatting with operators, I thought that would make a good poll for this week.

I have to say I don’t usually talk to the operator. But operators out there: want to tell us if you like it when passengers strike up a conversation? Are you more likely to stop for them if you see them running :) It would be nice to hear your side of the story!


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