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Friday fun post: share your top transit moments of the decade

Friday fun post: share your top transit moments of the decade

If you like, skip to the end of this post to put in your top transit moments of the decade.

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

Last week’s fun post asked if you usually talked to your transit operator.

And after 114 votes, most people (71%) said they didn’t speak to the operator unless they were spoken to first. Just 29% said they did try to talk to the operator unprompted.

In the comments, many said their interactions with operators were quite limited: usually a “hello” when boarding and a “thank you” when departing. There was some concern that talking to drivers could distract them from driving. Here’s ;):

I love the opportunity to start conversations with strangers every chance I get. I find drivers to be generally friendly and it’s an opportunity for driver/passengers to share issues (traffic? why a bus was delayed?) in a healthy way.
However I always wonder when chatting with operators is it “appropriate” comparing to the cellphone driving controversy. Would my driver be distracted? Am I endangering others on the bus? I believe in Hong Kong, they have signs stating it’s illegal to hold conversations with drivers. I guess it’s far safer for me to hold my transit conversations here on this blog with my Blackberry.

But transit operator Brandon mentioned a way to mitigate that issue:

As a transit operator, I always enjoy talking to my passengers when the chance arises. Some like to talk about the service, some like to ask about the bus itself and some just like to tell a story. If I find that I am getting to distracted at a certain time, I will just nicely let the person know that I need to concentrate on the driving and they appreciate that. I also find it amazing how much the public know about the workings of transit.

Sean, however, had his own take on talking to operators.

I ride an average of 15 bus trips a week and my goal is to make at least one of them laugh at some point in my trip. Having said that I rarely strike up arbitrary conversation and seldom sit on the front half of the bus, which makes my task more difficult but usually can crack a smile with my one-liners.

And CJ highly recommended chatting with your driver:

And believe me. Its a good thing to talk to ur drivers. I remember when the comm shuttles first rolled out into White Rock. All the drivers were super friendly and nice to talk to. You get to know a lot from the drivers, and know a lot of the inner workings of translink.(Hence my knowledge of the system. Wouldn’t have known without those guys.). While most of the original 12 have gone on to other endevors (Head office, and conventional). Some remain on the comm shuttles like Sue and Dave. Their friendliness and attitude is what makes me like the system the most. There’s mike, who currently runs out of RMD doing conventional, that sometimes comes into my work when he has time. And there’s two other ladies that used to run out here, but their names escape me…so sorry ladies if u read this.

As always, check out the past comments to read everyone’s responses!

This week: what are your top transit moments of the decade?

As we come to the end of 2009, the media has been churning out a billion lists highlighting the top events/items/websites etc of the decade. So I thought we could do the same thing here, only with transit!

I’m going to start with my top five here, but feel free to name more or fewer moments if that’s what your heart desires. Any criteria will do, as well. (Also, if your comment has a link, the spam filter will hold your comment until I moderate it. So be creative with how you put your link in, since I’d rather your comment go up fast than wait for me!)

Jhen’s Five Most Memorable Transit Moments of the Decade

A Brussels train station.
A Brussels train station.

5. Brussels 2008

Brussels has a nice little 70s-style LRT system, but this item is more about the stations than the trains. What’s memorable is that Brussels plays music in all the stations, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the song choices. I remember getting on at one station playing “Conga” by Gloria Estefan, then exiting into another station playing epic classical music. Hilarious.

A new Edmonton LRT station.
A new Edmonton LRT station.

4. Edmonton 2009
My hometown is just now expanding its LRT system, and while I’m no longer living there, it’s really nice to see the network take shape. For so long it only went to a quarter of the city – now it’s going to go everywhere! And I finally got a chance to ride the newest extension to the line in June this year.

3. Chicago 2009

Well, you know about this one: six hours, 10 trains, 11 trips on Chicago’s fabulously large train network.

The tube on July 8, 2005.
The tube on July 8, 2005.

2. London, UK 2005

Perhaps an odd one to bring up, but it’s truly a transit moment I will never forget. I was an intern at the CBC in London, and happened to be on the system when the bombs went off on July 7 (nowhere near my stop, though). It was a sad, strange, and shocking moment to be present for. I took the train the next day still, though few passengers joined me.

1. Vancouver 2009

And last, I must say the Canada Line’s debut this year has been my favourite transit ride of the decade. The launch day of our region’s brand new transit line was filled with such enormous excitement and energy!