Last but not least, on Tuesday evening I visited the UBC bus loop, as people started to head to UBC Thunderbird Arena for a women’s hockey match.
The 99 delivers most people here. It’s running at full school service levels right now, with 10 shuttles on standby at the edge of the loop to help out. (Eight of them are regular-sized buses, not the articulated buses with the accordion in the middle.) It seems to be going very well: no complaints here, and people were generally in good spirits and excited to get to the game, even if buses were full.
I hadn’t realized that a lot of the transit hosts at UBC were students from UBC! You learn something new every day. The most common question they get asked here is “Where is Thunderbird Arena?” And also how to get back to town once their event is done. Liz, one of UBC transit hosts who is a TransLink staffer, said “We have to convince them that they can get back on a bus that might be different from the one they came in on, and they eventually learn to trust us.”
A side note: it was getting immensely cold out there as the evening wore on, and I realized that Liz was not cold at all. Here’s what she said she was wearing: “I have Timberland fleece lined boots and my ski underwear. Tonight I’m wearing some Sugoi sports pants over that, but last night I had my camping rain pants. I’ve got a camping undershirt, a merino wool turtleneck, a down jacket, and this jacket, and a hat and my gloves. Last night I was dry and I made it through. I was one of the last women standing.”
Ian Jarvis, our CEO, was out at UBC saying hello to transit hosts too. He had lots of kudos for all the staff on the system. “This is a really great example of how all the companies in the TransLink family are working together well,” he said.
A few more photos to play us out. More crowds departing the 99 for UBC Thunderbird arena!