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Friday fun post: when did you start riding transit?

Friday fun post: when did you start riding transit?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to take the poll about when you started riding transit.

Last year (!): your top transit moments of the decade

The retired trolleys, who left us for sunnier pastures in 2009.
The retired trolleys, who left us for sunnier pastures at the end of the last decade.

The last fun post of 2009 asked for your top 10 transit moments of the decade!

As always, you shared some great items, especially about our local system. We have had some huge changes in the past 10 years, and spotlights were on the new types of buses, the Millennium and Canada Lines, and more. FOr example

For the most part, people focused on the local system, which has been through some big changes in the past 10 years. For example, here’s Stefan‘s top 10:

1. 98 B-Line, especially because of its technology (busway, signal preemption, stop annunciators–and eventual transition to all-door loading on the 98, 99, and 145).

2. Millennium Line (and we could say the concurrent introduction of the 97 B-Line).

3. NightBus (which started out as all night Friday and Saturday nights only on a few routes, and has morphed into an enhanced pre-2001 Owl network, but with improved coverage compared to the old system).

4. The new trolleybuses–in particular, the articulated trolleybuses (and with them, the completion of an all-accessible fleet)

5. Canada Line

6. New or improved crosstown urban and suburban routes (33, 43, 84, 130, 364, 388, 410, 595)

7. Community Shuttles (though their route numbering that bears no relation to the conventional buses bugs me)

8. The new Dunsmuir entrance at Granville Station (not in the same class as the above changes, but it made one of the busiest SkyTrain stations–and the only non-accessible one–accessible, and also gave it a proper entrance of its own for the first time).

9. The new trolleybus extension into Stanley Park (again, not earth-shattering, but it was 10 years in the making, and offset the disappearance of other trolleybus routes like the Hastings Express, Cambie, and Forty-First).

10. Other new equipment or amenities (though some of these may date back to the 90s):
* New SkyTrain rolling stock
* New SeaBus
* West Coast Express TrainBus
* Bike racks
* Orion highway coaches

Steven had some great items from other systems (plus a few mentions of ours :)

I would say my favourite transit moments have been:

i) Opening of St Pancras Station close to where we lived, an amazing meld of national and international train services along with some great restaurants such as french bakeries and the longest champagne bar in Europe. A concept other large train stations should follow, in my opinion.

ii) Seeing the christmas light show at New York’s Grand Central station, where people would be stopped in their tracks, if you pardon the pun, and actually start talking to each other.

iii) Seeing how the staff at Camden Town tube station reacted to a lady who had passed out on a platform, how quickly they reacted, and how much they took great care of her. You never know when something like this is going to happen to us and thankfully there are staff around to look after us.

iv) Seeing how incredibly kind Vancouver public transport staff are to members of the public who need that extra assistance getting onto and off the buses. Bus drivers here are actually so friendly this is certainly unique to me of all the cities I have lived in.

v) Travelling on the number 16 bus in Vancouver where driver John would run a trivia quiz and award chocolate to people who gave the right answer. He puts so many smiles on people’s faces.

And I must do a special mention of Cliff‘s story here:

There was a story about how a bus driver was coming on shift one day at one of the stops downtown. He decided to play a joke on the passengers and put on a pair of black sunglasses and used a white cane as he got on the bus.

He asked the outgoing driver to make sure the wheels were pointed straight. I’m sure the passengers on that bus found it very humourous or very frightening.

Supposedly it’s a well known story around the Oakridge depot and was supposedly published in a book about transit. If I had been on that bus, I’m sure it would have ranked as one of my top 10 transit moments!

Again, do check out the past comments to read everyone’s lists! Henry and Eric even made posts at their own blogs on the topic, with some lovely photos!

This week: when did you start riding transit?

Since we just did a flashback to the launch of SkyTrain in 1986, I thought we might all look back to our own transit histories.

I have to say it’s always been due to school — I rode the bus in Edmonton to get to high school, and the U-Pass in Vancouver made me a devout rider here. What about you?


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