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Friday fun post: guess the year of this transit ticket

If you like, skip to the end of this post to guess the year of this transit ticket.

From last week: where do you get your transit information?

Last week, I asked you where you got your transit information.

And after 265 votes, it was no contest: the web and mobile solutions won hands down, with the TransLink website taking 42% of the vote, followed by the SMS service (22%) and the iPhone app or mobile site (15%). Hardly anyone said they called the transit phone line, either to speak to a rep (5%) or to use the interactive voice system (5%).

Now this is obviously a fun poll and is more than likely skewed toward web users, considering you had to be reasonably web savvy to even find the Buzzer blog and take the poll in the first place. But it still gave some illuminating insights. For instance, I was remiss in forgetting to put the Buzzer or the blog on the poll. And there were a few other crucial items I missed that people still depend on. Here’s Deano:

I thought I was going to be all alone here, but I’m with Jacob; the printed timetable is the best when I need to quickly check transfers.

Same with Reva:

I mainly use the Translink website and the trip planner for route & schedule info. But if I’m out and about I’ll refer to a schedule capsule on a bus stop pole, or even — A PAPER SCHEDULE (yeah, I went there!) that I carry around in my purse! :)

Gregory Marler mentioned a few more resources:

I got a folded map with my UPass when I arrived at UBC. It’s served me well when checking how many stops to go or what spontaneous route I should take. It’s battered and worn now, perhaps I should have got one of the slightly larger (not so pocket size) Olympic ones. But I didn’t want to seem like a tourist! is great for so many reasons and you should do a blog post about it. It’s not an official Translink website but it’s good that it can use the data.

Thanks Gregory — there is in fact is a blog post about TransitDB already :)

And Rvie and a few others said it really depended on context, too.

It depends on where I am, honestly. When I’m planning to go somewhere in the next day or so and need to know what time the bus comes, I go to the TransLink website. But when I’m at the bus stop and I don’t know what time the bus comes I use the SMS service instead. =)

As always, check out the rest of the comments for more on how people get their transit information!

This week: guess the year of this transit ticket

A while back, a treasure trove of old tickets came to reside in our office. Here’s one of them: can you guess what year it’s from?

The front side

The front side

The back of the pass.

The back of the pass.

If you get closest to the pin, I’ll mail you a set of Buzzer buttons, plus a terrible pocket-sized TransLink radio! I have two of these left, discovered after a cleanup in the office. I can also throw in an Olympic transit map because I found another of those too!


  • By ;-), May 7, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    Wild guess…. 1947

  • By Michael Macfarlane, May 7, 2010 @ 3:59 pm


  • By Donna, May 7, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    1949. :)

  • By Sean (CMBC), May 7, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    I’ll guess something closer to 1930…

  • By Andrew S, May 7, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

    let me guess.. 1941!!

  • By Sewing, May 7, 2010 @ 5:37 pm


    I’m going to say 1944, although it could have been 1939.

    W.G. Murrin (whose signature is at the bottom of the front side) was the president of BC Electric from 1929 to 1946.

    Weekly passes were introduced in 1932, which narrows the time period down to 1932 to 1946.

    Assuming that “week ending Aug. 6” means that August 6th was a Sunday (with the pass expiring at 5 a.m. on Monday morning—see reverse of pass), then during the above time period, there were 3 years when August 6th fell on a Sunday: 1933, 1939, and 1944.

    We can’t narrow it down more by mode of transportation, because during that whole time period, streetcars, interurbans, and buses (as referred to on the pass) were all operating within the Vancouver city limits. Also, conductors were employed during the whole time period, although some vehicles only had a single motorman or driver who also collected fares.

    But the silhouettes of the streetcars on the left-hand side of the front of the pass look vaguely like stylized PCC cars, which were first introduced to Vancouver in January 1939.

    Since the introduction of the PCC cars was piecemeal, I’m thinking it’s not likely that the design of the pass would have been changed so quickly (by the summer of 1939) to feature a handful of just-delivered vehicles, so maybe it took a couple of years to update the design, taking us to 1944 as year of the pass.

    This page shows images of passes from other years during the same period. The 1936 pass is a completely different design than the pass we’re talking about, so that rules out 1933. The 1945 pass is a similar (but not identical) design to the pass we’re talking about; and the 1947 pass has the signature of Murrin’s replacement, A.E. Grauer.

  • By Sewing, May 7, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    Now that I’ve posted that, it takes all the fun out of it. Sorry.

    Jhenifer: Even if I got the year, please give the prize to someone else who got the closest guess.

  • By Sewing, May 7, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

    Sorry again, everyone. As soon as I posted my answer, I realized what a dumb, discourteous thing that is to do. Man, I feel like a troll.

  • By Sewing, May 7, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

    Or to make up for it, here’s a related trivia question. (Jhenifer: feel free to edit or delete any or all of my comments.)

    There is a building somewhere in Vancouver named after W.G. Murrin. What is it, and where is it?

  • By zack, May 7, 2010 @ 6:22 pm


  • By Mark!, May 7, 2010 @ 6:25 pm


  • By Vincent, May 7, 2010 @ 6:42 pm


  • By Brian, May 7, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

    I’d say about 1937 or so. I’m probably way off though but no problem guessing

  • By Brandon, May 7, 2010 @ 7:37 pm


  • By Deano, May 7, 2010 @ 7:57 pm


  • By Sean Turvey, May 7, 2010 @ 9:06 pm


  • By Alan Robinson, May 7, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

    I’ll say 1938. After the war, service would have expanded quickly south and east.

  • By Marc, May 7, 2010 @ 10:02 pm


  • By Ric, May 7, 2010 @ 10:43 pm


  • By Ric, May 7, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

    No. I decided that the previous answer was too early. The new and final answer is 1948

  • By drew86, May 8, 2010 @ 12:02 am


  • By Donald, May 8, 2010 @ 12:45 am

    The pass is good until Monday at 5am… I’m guessing that means a Sunday timetable. Sunday August 6th occurred in 1944 and 1950, so one of those two.

  • By Dora, May 8, 2010 @ 3:53 am

    I’m with Sean (CMBC) — 1930.

  • By Rob, May 8, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    I’m also thinking it’s 1944 since Aug 6th fell on a Sunday. W.G. Murrin was also president of B.C. Electric until 1946.

  • By Frank, May 8, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    I think it was 1945. A bit of historical (horrible) trivia is that on Monday August 6, 1945 the atom bomb was used at Horishima.

  • By Frank, May 8, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    Oops. That should be Hiroshima.

  • By Tessa, May 8, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

    1945 or 46 sounds right, though I’m jumping on the bandwaggon now. I couldn’t read the president’s name properly which made looking it up a bit more difficult.

  • By Reva, May 9, 2010 @ 3:32 am


  • By Ed, May 9, 2010 @ 11:00 am


  • By Daniel, May 9, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

    Imma go with 1930 as a wild guess

  • By Sean (CMBC), May 10, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

    Well, after a little calendar research, Aug 6th did fall on a Sunday back in 1933???

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 11, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    Ah Sewing, don’t be so hard on yourself: it’s fun reading your analysis. Didn’t stop lots of other people from posting their guesses either :)

  • By Sewing, May 11, 2010 @ 11:49 am

    Thanks, Jhenifer: You made my day!

  • By Bill Kinkaid, May 11, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    Okay, since nobody else has replied to Sewing’s challenge: the Murrin building is a BC Hydro at the northwest corner of Main and Union. If you bike or drive west on Union from Main, or drive onto the Dunsmuir Viaduct from Main, the building is on your right.

    I presume everyone knows where Murrin’s name can also be seen if you drive from Vancouver to Squamish?

  • By Bill Kinkaid, May 11, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

    Oops, hasty editing and posting there. It’s a BC Hydro *substation*.

  • By Sewing, May 12, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    Bill: It’s the name of a provincial park on the highway from Britannia Beach to Squamish (which, to be honest, I didn’t know until I checked on Google).

  • By Bill Kinkaid, May 12, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    Got it in one. It’s mainly a small lake and a picnic site on the west side of the highway, with a parking lot that always seems to be busier than you’d expect it to be. The trailhead to Petgill Lake used to be just a bit further up the road.

  • By Corey, May 22, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    I’d like to see images of passes, transfers and tickets from the early years of the West Vancouver Blue Bus system. If anybody has any please either post a link or post some images. I’m kicking myself for not keeping my transfers and day passes from my trips to Vancouver the last few years. They would have eventually become archival documents. Oh, and I say visit Vancouver because I’m from Prince George.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Friday fun post: where do you like to sit on transit? — May 21, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  2. — April 20, 2011 @ 2:37 am

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