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Friday fun post: do you have a favourite bus route?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to take the poll on buskers.

From last week: do you like buskers performing near transit?

Last week, I asked this question:do you like having buskers perform near transit?

There were 160 votes, and the most popular answer was “Yes” with 56%. “No” received 21% of the votes and “I don’t care” had 24%.

In the comments, most people had positive things to say about buskers, and a few suggestions. Here’s ericmk:

I really like musician buskers! Being a musician myself, I really appreciate hearing all the talent our area has. However, I don’t think I would like to see other kinds of performances during the weekdays. I don’t really have the time to stand and wait to see what a performer would be doing and I would much prefer to continue walking, but still be able to hear the performance. Perhaps on the weekends there could be non-musical performances because generally people have more time and visitors are out and about. Definitely keep up the program! :)

Although Rvie wasn’t as enthusiastic.

I don’t really care about the presence of buskers at SkyTrain stations. Sure most of them play nice music but when there’s a train I need to catch then I really need to catch that train before it leaves or gets full.

Cliff, on the other hand, was just bursting with ideas to improve the program.

It would be great to see non-musical acts or even unusual instruments. Someone who plays steel drums, or even a xylophone. (Pretty much anything that isn’t a guitar to be honest).

Bring a fellow who does the robot in gold/silver paint and have him stand in the middle of Burrard Station. Have someone do magic tricks at Granville Station.

Have someone run an organ grinder, monkey and all at Metrotown station!

How about someone on busy buses to do stand-up using the bus’ PA system? (You could even mark it in the schedules!)

Something like this done right would really make Vancouver a spectacle, and in a good way!

Check out the rest of the comments for more thoughts on the busker program!

This week: do you have a favourite bus route?

Time for a simple poll!


Feel free to champion your favourite route in the comments :)


42 Comments

  • By ;-), April 16, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

    Canada Line, followed closely by Skytrain Expo!

    I can understand, Many were upset by their construction. But it’s amazing how fast I can get from one part of the city to another with clean electricity with a lot of riders.

    In a city where roads can’t be widen much, the grade separation is essential to attract riders as buses are choked with vehicle congestion, festivals, and protesters.

    Now if we can only get the frequency higher and more station down escalators.

  • By Noname, April 16, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

    #20 Victoria/Downtown
    Brings me to school allot of homeless people doing funny stuff

  • By Tim Choi, April 16, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    SeaBus! :D

    Real bus:
    135 Burrard…SkyTrain…Station/EsEfYu.
    Even though I don’t use it a lot (well, relatively), I do find it the “best” – high frequency, almost always a seat, and generally timely.

  • By Dave 2, April 16, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

    The #15… in London England ;)

  • By Nick, April 16, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    11pm-12am late runs of the 49. Had some really nice drivers.

    Worst route though… 10. Without a doubt in my mind, downright unreliable. x.x

  • By Daniel, April 16, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

    I love the 28! Since I live along the route, it mostly runs through a good quiet peaceful neighborhoods until it hits boundary road but a quarter of the route is quiet. Also when it arrives at Joyce there’s a pizzeria to grab a bite for 2.50 for pop and a slice and bubble tea to cool off on a hot day!

  • By Andrew S, April 16, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    I don`t have a favourite bus route… because I like all of the ones I ride :) most of the bus drivers are really nice. A question for bus drivers: what`s the reason for refusing payment of bus fare even though the machine isn`t broken? Not complaining… =P

  • By David, April 16, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

    Can’t believe ;-) actually likes Canada line. Sure it’s fast (lack of stations will do that), but being stuck underground just isn’t pleasant. All that artificial light and bad air…

    I don’t really enjoy taking the bus. It’s more of a means to an end that’s affordable, reasonably convenient for work and better for the environment than driving. It’s also low stress compared with driving which is something I need at the end of the work day.

    If I had to pick I’d say the #33 because it’s very fast and always has seats when I’m travelling and the #4 because it’s a trolley and the western half of the route is interesting.

  • By Ric, April 16, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

    It use to be the 98 B-line. It was the first route that I ever got to ride that used articulated buses. I always enjoyed sitting right at the middle where I got to feel all the action.

    Now it varies as it will be any route that uses a highway coach.

  • By Ric, April 16, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

    Oh, to add to my last comment, if I really had to chose a favourite bus route, it would be the 301. This route has allowed me to travel directly between the Richmond and Surrey Kwantlen campuses without any transfers required.

  • By Ric, April 16, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

    One more thing, Jhen, think this could be a future post question: What is your favourite skytrain line(Expo, millennium or canada line)?

  • By Cree, April 17, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    #25 Brentwood Sta/UBC……………..when it’s on time.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, April 17, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    I don’t really have one anymore. It used to be the 351 or 601 when they terminated at Burrard, not that I really liked being held up on Granville Street, but I just rarely use those buses now that the Canada Line is here.
    I always enjoyed looking at the Highway 99 scenery while listening to some music on my iPod. A lot of the coach operators were usually very nice and helpful as well.

  • By Dave 2, April 17, 2010 @ 12:29 am

    @David, though this was supposed to be a thread about bus routes… I don’t mind being “stuck underground”… it probably originates from being exposed to the London Underground at age 9…. a network of trains, running 100s of feet underground with subterranean passages connecting various lines that made sense thanks to the heirs of Harry Beck’s iconic map…I’ve always enjoyed the original escalator at Granville… reminds me of the long escalators at Trafalgar Square.

    (PS, there are 4 ways to travel from Golder’s Green to Victoria with a single transfer…. some better than others)

  • By Cliff, April 17, 2010 @ 12:41 am

    The 190 Coquitlam Station – 701 Haney Place (interlined) is one of my favourites. It’s so long!

  • By Holly, April 17, 2010 @ 7:03 am

    My best bus rides have been on the 32 with the gregarious driver who hosts trivia contests and gives away chocolate bars as prizes! I didn’t want to get off at my stop!

  • By Sean (CMBC), April 17, 2010 @ 7:05 am

    Always liked riding the #250 out to Horseshoe Bay… Used to also enjoy the old #100 when it ran all the way out to PoCo city hall… It was called the Midway Connector way back then…
    Of course, always liked my local #601. The A/C equipped buses are really nice on a hot summers day…

    Haven’t tried it yet myself, but it’s never been easier to get from south Delta to Haney Place! The C76 takes you to 64th & Scott, then the newer #364 takes you out along 64th to Langley Ctr, and then (most trips) continue as the newer #595 out to Haney Place via the new Golden Ears bridge! Will have to try that one day soon!
    Oh, and the #160 is always an interesting ride from Coquitlam into Vancouver…

    My favorite route to DRIVE doesn’t exist anymore, not in it’s original form anyways. That was the old #42 Chancellor/Spanish Banks route… A community shuttle does parts of it now…
    I’d say I enjoy driving the #430 alot, and the #620 too… Something about limited stops appeals to me…

  • By Eric, April 17, 2010 @ 8:21 am

    394 is my favorite route, at least, when it runs… (and shows up on time?)

    The 364/595 combination Sean mentioned is definitely pretty nice too (i have taken it from 132nd in surrey all the way to maple ridge on several occasions. Saves several transfers and a lot of time. (not to mention it’s much more peaceful…)
    Unfortunately it’s not all that often that I need to get from home to maple ridge…

  • By David Arthur, April 17, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    The sights along no. 24 in London are rather nice, and it’s run with double-deckers that aren’t usually very crowded. And if you prefer the countryside, the 554/555/556 between Windermere and Keswick has some fairly spectacular bits.

  • By Ed, April 17, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    Definitely the old 98 B-Line, brings back good memories of busing downtown with the family. Otherwise, my vote goes to the 430 for a fast route from Richmond to Metrotown, and it certainly is an express route seeing how the stops are rather spread out.

  • By emily, April 17, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    for scenery:
    22 — love going through chinatown, never to seem to end up walking the neighbourhood, so might as well enjoy the view from the bus!
    7 — love going by the old sugar refinery building, and the docks & vancouver port…also powell has some interesting older Vancouver buildings…
    160 — so much contrast in all of Lower Mainlands different neighbourhoods: downtown Port Moody; beautiful stretch of Barnet Highway (view of the Inlet, even Indian Arm); bustling Italian North Burnaby; DTES (interesting in its own way); and then downtown!

  • By Amy, April 17, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    Well, it’s not a favourite, but the #20 Victoria is always….. interesting!

  • By peter b, April 17, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    Absolutely the #99 B line — I remember the days when the old #9 trolley lumbered down Broadway, sometimes 2 or 3 of them would back up behind one with riders packed in like sardines… now 99 is so fast, I have once or twice missed a stop because the stops come up so fast. I think of those buses as traffic eating monsters and can never figure out why people would actually want to drive on Broadway.

  • By peter b, April 17, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Speaking of scenery… on trips to Vancouver Island… sometimes I leave early and catch the 250 (local service) to Horseshoe Bay… there are some stunning vistas there… cliffs on one side, water on the other… Vancouver beyond… it’s a beautiful way to leave the city.

  • By C.Cassidy, April 18, 2010 @ 12:32 am

    No doubt, the C12 and 259 routes to Lions Bay win. Nice highway ride up right beside the ocean, cannot be topped by anything else.

  • By ericmk, April 18, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    I have to agree with peter b- my favorite is the 99 B line. It’s fast, frequent, and efficient. And it just brings a smile on my face when I see the articulated buses packed full of riders. Never have I seen a bus line so popular- just think about how much the riders are doing by not driving (saving the environment, reducing congestion, etc.)! That’s why the 99 B line is a shining example of bus rapid transit and my favorite bus line! :)

  • By student loan, April 18, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    this post is very usefull thx!

  • By zack, April 18, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    For scenery
    321 and 301 were the best. I also like the #7 route to the scenic, pleasant neighborhood of Dunbar. I also like the #5 Robson route especially during the summer trips to English Bay. :)

  • By Dennis, April 19, 2010 @ 5:25 am

    The old 133. SFU to Metrotown non-stop direct…actually used the Freeway! It was faster and much more pleasant than enduring the 145 sardine can to the badly-designed Production Way Station.

    The old 142. Nobody knew about it, and you could get a seat on a bus to SFU a five minute walk from stops where 144 after 144 would pass you by.

    The old 145. SFU direct to Lougheed Mall (and sometimes Scott Road Station!). Seriously, can we force some decision makers to make a round trip from SFU to Lougheed around 4:30pm on a rainy Wednesday in October to understand just how badly implemented the bus-train interchange is?

    The 95 B-Line, if they ever run it. Or better still, the 195: my dream of an express bus from Burrard Station which would operate non-stop between Kootenay Loop and SFU.

  • By David, April 19, 2010 @ 11:06 am

    @Dave 2
    In what has to be a coincidence worthy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I once made one of those single transfer trips from Golder’s Green to Victoria in order to catch a flight home from Gatwick. It’s truly bizarre that you would choose that example.

  • By Bryan, April 19, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    @C. Cassidy
    Yep, I would agree with you on that. C12 and 259 are one of West Vancouver’s best routes, scenic and quiet.

    @Dennis
    Its funny you mention the 142, I remember when I was younger and I would catch it with my folks and go up to SFU.

    I can’t say if I actually have any favorites considering that most of the routes in Burnaby and the tri-cities are quite scenic. and all go in a circle, but i digress. But if I had to pick, it would probably be;

    106 – I’ve got a love hate thing with this route; it shows a bi-section of Burnaby and new Westminster. Sure it can be crowded but its an interesting route.

    110 – This goes past the deer lake and burnaby lake areas, so you see lots of trees and in the winter its great for nature photographers.

    Former 154 Lougheed/22nd – Now called 156 Lougheed Mall/Coquitlam Rec Centre/22nd Street Station – This is great if you just want to sit back and relax and look at all the old homes in Coquitlam.

    101 – This also cuts right through Burnaby and New West but its also quiet and has some good views of some older homes in Burnaby and New West.

    28 – As for this one, where else can you catch a bus that goes right past one of the depot’s and eat pizza on the way there? Plus it’s right on the border of Burnaby and Vancouver so you see some interesting things along with Lions Gate film studios.

    112 – This is a great alternative to the skytrain, it gives you some interesting views of the Fraser river and goes right through the heart of New West.

    While this is a long list, I’m a little biased here because a few of the routes I picked are routes I’ve used to get home or school. Actually all but one has been used to get me home or school, but that’s why they’re my favorites. I grew up using them. As someone once said “Youth, you must embrace it!”

  • By David M, April 19, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    Today it’s the 620 – nice fast connection from SkyTrain to the portal to paradise (Tsawaassen Ferry).

    In the old days, I loved the 640 Valley-to-Sea” route – I just loved the name – too bad it disappeared. And as posted above, the old Midway Connector – but it was too long a route to be reliable.

    For scenery – the 250 to Horseshoe Bay and the 351 to White Rock.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 19, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    Ric: sure, that’s a good poll question :)

  • By zack, April 22, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

    I have a couple of more favourite routes. Today I was on the new 595 and 791.

    While I was on the 595 I went through the brand new Golden Ears Bridge, and the scenery there was spectacular. The Fraser river and the surrounding Mountains were amazing!

    On the 791, my favourite spots were the Pitt River Bridge and Lougheed hwy especially when it went through the flat plains of Pitt Meadows, and the lush green trees surrounding the highway.

    I took the 791 from Haney Place all the way to Braid SkyTrain station, and I gotta say it was quite the trip, and probably my top route! :)

  • By Dave 2, April 23, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    @David… I remember you (or at least a “David”) mentioning that particular journey in this or another local transit blog recently… I’m not clairvoyant, just blessed/cursed with a memory for useless trivia… time to get on Jeopardy!

  • By Dave 2, April 23, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    640 Valley-to-Sea certainly had a descriptive name, but what the heck was the meaning behind the 100/800 Midway Connector? Midway in relation to what??

  • By Eric, April 23, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    @Dave 2: Found this on an old timetable from 1983: “The 100/800 Midway Connector provides regular transit service along Marine Drive to and from the Departures level at the Vancouver International Airport. […] Buses numbered 800 route only as far as New Westminster”, whereas the 100 would continue all the way to Port Coquitlam Centre. There is nothing in the text that differentiates the 100 or 800 in terms of frequency or stopping procedures.

    So I guess the 800 only goes to the “midway” point of the YVR-to-PoCo run?

  • By Unknown, April 24, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    I have a hatest bus route – 144. Buses are always full, bus drivers are mad, and many of the passangers are students who smell from cigarettes!!!

  • By Jacob, August 13, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

    1: Skytrain-the views
    2: 257-the views and the nice drivers and how fast it is
    3: 160/190-how fast it is
    4: 301-how fast it is
    5: C21 Beach/Burrard Station- the views of downtown, and the late drivers, and the friendly drivers

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