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Friday fun post: where do you like to sit on transit?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to tell us where you like to sit on transit

Two weeks ago: guess the year of this transit pass

The pass!

The pass!

Two weeks ago, I asked you to guess the year of this transit pass.

And the answer’s clear above: 1944! Which means that the winners of the contest are Sewing, Sean Turvey, Donald, Rob, and Reva.

Winners, e-mail me your addresses, and I’ll put the buttons, map, and two radios in the mail. (The radios will go to Sean & Donald since they were first to get it, and Sewing mentioned that he didn’t want a prize. Sewing, I can still send buttons and maps though!)

Also, I must say it was awesome to see everyone using their Nancy Drew skillz to get the answer. Check out Sewing’s comment: it’s richly detailed with a lot of fun history links to follow. And really, good effort all around, everyone!

By the way, this ticket actually came to us by way of a gentleman named J.A. Hugh. Mr. Hugh worked for the B.C. Electric Company long back when it started, and when he passed away, his memorabilia came through his friends to one of our staff members. There is much more to share from his collection :)

This week: where do you like to sit on transit?

OK, I wanted to revisit this classic poll, which was the very first one I ever ran here on the Buzzer. Since I think our readership has likely expanded and changed, let’s see what the winning answer is now!



40 Comments

  • By ;-), May 21, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

    Still the single seats on the bus for me is top priority with my girlish figure. Otherwise bench seats where singles are not available, however pay attention to where the stop announcement speakers are above my ears… doesn’t help the migranes.

    Generally the towards the back of the bus where it’s less congested.

    On Mark 1’s I really like the fold down seats next to the doors.

  • By Sewing, May 21, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

    Like ;-), where I prefer to sit depends on the seating plan, and maybe some deeply ingrained habits that I can’t shake.

    Articulated buses: left window seat in the first row of the back half of the bus.

    Novas: nowhere in the back half! (Too cramped and awkward.)

    Any other bus: left rear window seat.

    Expo/Millennium Lines: right-side single seat, if I can get it.

    Canada Line: right side of the train, facing forward.

    And if I’m planning to use my laptop, the right side of any bus, so that my elbow doesn’t jostle the person sitting beside me when I’m moving the cursor around the screen!

  • By Sewing, May 21, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    Jhenifer: That’s okay about the buttons and the map. Feel free to share them with the other folks who got the right answer.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, May 21, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    My preferences have changed a little bit…

    Orion V (Highway coaches)
    3rd forward-facing seat row, right side, window.

    New Flyer D40LF (Most Richmond buses)
    I used to prefer the window seat on the right side of the bus 1 row behind the back door, but now I find the right window seat just in front of the back door to be more to my liking.

    B-Lines
    Any right window seat that has a glass partition behind it.

    Community shuttles
    Not too much of a preference, I tend to sit in the front seats, left or right.

    SkyTrain Mk 1
    Any seat that does not require me to stare at another passenger in the face.

    SkyTrain Mk 2
    Besides the “Driver’s seat,” where I sit largely depends on what station I’m getting off at. I position myself to be closest to the escalator I need to use.

    Canada Line Hyundai ROTEM car
    If I can snatch a seat at the front (first 3 rows) on the right side I’m happy, but lately I’ve been noticing that no one really boards to the rear of the train at Brighouse, so now I slip into a seat in the last 3 rows facing away from the direction of travel.

    Seabus
    A seat with a view of the window.

    So… as you can see I have a preference for window seats on the right side of things. Also, I will always go for any empty 2 seat bench before sitting in an already occupied bench, but I assume that’s most people.

  • By Jacob, May 21, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    Pretty much on any bus or skytrain, I will stand in the front of the bus. I usually sit only if I’m tired, and the back right seat is open.

    The only exception is the community shuttles. I sit in the back left or right seats. If those are full, then I stand.

    Seabus, I like to sit in front most seats facing front.

    Skytrain, I almost always go to the first door after the middle joint of the skytrain.

  • By Reva, May 21, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

    Jhenifer, it is nice to know I got the answer right, but like Sewing above, I’d rather see the prizes go to the other people who got the answer right, as their reasoning helped me arrive at my answer! Not to mention I won a prize from you for something else not that long ago. :)

    I prefer to sit at the back of the bus or in the middle toward the back, but if the bus or train is one I expect to get really full, I’ll sit as close to as I can to a door!

    Hey, I also have an idea for a future poll: What do you do while you are waiting for the bus/train? — watch the street/track like a hawk to see if your ride is coming, read, make calls, pace back & forth, sit & do nothing, people-watch, etc.

  • By Cliff, May 21, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    I prefer to stand, but when the ratio of seats to people is too high I’m compelled to sit.

    One related quirk I have to positioning myself near the door closes to the escalator is keeping track of where the doors are when the train stops at certain stations. That way, I don’t have to run back and forth chasing the SkyTrain. I usually select an end door so people behind me are not compelled to butt in front.

    After all, I went through the trouble of figuring out and memorizing the door location!

  • By Dave 2, May 21, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    In the PM, I don’t mind standing. When sitting, I ‘d rather face the direction of travel. I avoid the side seating in the middle of the MK-1’s. The only time I like to sit sideways is the front window seats on the MK-1s, or if it’s a single seat on an MK-1 or MK-II I’m not a big person, but I find that having two people on either side of me on the MK-1s is not comfortable, unless we’re friends :)

  • By Daniel, May 21, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    If I’m taking an MK2 skytrain then I like to stand in the articulation joint. On a bus I like to sit in the back

  • By Dave 2, May 21, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    PS, I too plan where to board a Skytrain based on where the exit is at the station I’m planning to get off at; in London there’s a whole guide available for purchase that provides this info for the entire UndergrounD.

  • By Sewing, May 21, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

    Tsushima wrote:

    “Also, I will always go for any empty 2 seat bench before sitting in an already occupied bench, but I assume that’s most people.”

    It’s funny, but where I get on the 160/190, every forward-facing double seat seems to be occupied by exactly one person, and no forward-facing double seat is unoccupied.

    I guess it’s one of those unspoken social conventions, that it’s a little bit awkward being the first person to sit down right beside someone else (we Canadians are so uptight!), so I usually end up grabbing one of the sideways-facing seats, and then bracing myself every time the fast-moving bus stops for a passenger or a traffic light.

  • By Ric, May 21, 2010 @ 10:57 pm

    Where I sit depends on the type of vehicle, time of day, length of travel and if I’m with friends or by myself.

    On the Orion V highway coaches: in the middle by the window and if I’m with friends we sit at the bench seats at the front. If it is dark out, I sit in the back where the interior lights are on. If all the interior lights are on I sit in the middle.

    On the New Flyer D40LFs, D40LFRs and trolleys: by the window up the back steps. If I’m with friends we sit at the forward facing bench seats at the back. If it’s dark out I sit at the back forward facing bench seats where the interior lights are on. If all the interior lights are on, I sit somewhere up the back steps.

    On the articulated buses: either right in the middle or on the left side by the window right after the accordion. If I’m with friends we sit at the forward facing bench seats at the back. If it’s dark out I still sit in on of these places as the articulated buses always have all the interior lights on.

    On the novas I sit anywhere, if I’m with friends we just sit together somewhere in the back. If it’s dark out I sit at the back where the interior lights are on. If all of the interior lights are on I sit anywhere.

    Community Shuttles: anywhere. I never take my friends on the community shuttles. If it’s dark out I still sit anywhere as the interior lights on the shuttles are either all off or all on, so I don’t have a choice.

    Skytrain Mark 1’s: any seat that’s facing the same direction the train is going. If I’m with friends we sit on the side facing bench seats.

    Skytrain first generation Mark 2’s (White): same as the Mark ‘s. If I’m with friends we sit close enough together on an seat that’s facing the same direction the train is going.

    Skytrain second generation Mark 2’s (Black): same as the Mark 1’s and first generation Mark 2’s, either with friends or by myself.

    Canada Line Hyundai Rotem Trains: the front seat facing in the direction that the train is going, (a seat which I call “the driver’s seat”). If I’m with friends we sit at the side facing bench seats.

    Seabus: a seat with a view through the window. If I’m with friends we sit together in the middle.

    If I am just going to be on for a short period of time (5 minutes or less), I usually stand near the door on the skytrain and if I’m on the bus I either sit in the front or stand near the front.

    As you can see I don’t really have a favourite place to sit as it varies depending on the vehicle type, time of the day and if I’m with friends or by myself. I could say that I like to sit by the window and also sit in the direction of travel. I could also say that I don’t like to sit in a dark transit vehicle, as I tend to sit where the interior lights are on when it’s dark out, unless I don’t have a choice like in the case of the community shuttles.

  • By Sally, May 21, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

    It’s all strategy – at the front of the highway coaches so I can be first (or almost first) off because if you are at ground level and you hear the Canada Line train rumbling in, it gives you chance to sprint up the 2 escalators and leap onto the train. Heaven forbid I’ve have to wait 4 minutes for the next train!

    I then stand in the first carriage by the door so I can get off easily at Oakridge. (Although Oakridge is really bad for passengers getting on the train without letting anyone off first………..)

    Coming home I don’t care where I sit so long as it is on the right-hand side!!

  • By Cliff, May 21, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

    I’ve got a bit of a funny question, actually.

    I read somewhere that the doors stay open for about 19 seconds at each stop. The book, I believe is outdated and must be incorrect as it seems at stations like Metrotown and Lougheed the doors stay open longer.

    So, my weird question is this:

    Is there a place or technical resource to find out how long the doors stay open at each station? I’d like to compare stations like Royal Oak and Patterson and figure out why there is a difference if there is one.

    I suppose I’ll check a library the next time I go, but if you’ve got a resource that has such obscure technical data, I’d love to check it out.

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, May 22, 2010 @ 1:21 am

    As an operator, my favorite seat is obvious!
    :)

    As a passenger, I find the seat right across from the exit doors to be the most convenient as I tend to board an empty bus which fills up quickly. That way when I reach my stop it’s ZIP out the door!

  • By Hilary, May 22, 2010 @ 4:28 am

    I like to sit where I can see the most stuff out of a window on both buses and all three types of SkyTrain cars, which usually puts me in the middle of a seat cluster. I’d rather be facing the same direction I’m travelling, but I don’t mind facing backwards so long as I have a decent view. And I prefer single seats because then I don’t have to sit next to anyone.

    I like the SkyTrain driver’s seat position, but I rarely sit in it because I prefer the view from the side windows and, in Mark II trains, I can’t comfortably lean my elbows on the… ledge-thing… without putting myself at an angle where I have to crane my neck to see much beyond the tracks (vertically). Although it can’t be beat for getting a good view of the subway tunnels. The exception to this ambivalent position is on the Canada Line, where my favourite seat, no contest, is the aisle seat by the front window (either side), again for the subway-tunnels reason. Although, since those trains have a wider front window than the Expo/Millennium Line trains, it’s a good seat for the rest of the stations too.

    On the NovaBus LFSes (I had to look up the name…), I like the little vaguely-reminiscent-of-train-seats enclosed nook near the back where you’ve got two facing pairs of seats. But I usually only get to ride those in North Vancouver and sometimes downtown, since there aren’t any on the Coquitlam bus routes I typically use.

    If the bus isn’t very full and it’s one of the ones with seats facing a door, I like to move to those when it’s getting close to my stop, although this doesn’t actually save that much time. I do similarly on the SkyTrain if I’m in a hurry to disembark and catch my bus home; I’ll park myself near the frontmost left doors (I usually lean on the divider rather than actually sitting down) so I can bolt for the Lougheed bus loop and not waste time running along the platform.

    On the West Coast Express I try to make sure I get a seat on the water side because I don’t enjoy looking at various types of vegetation for most of the ride when I could be looking at lovely views of Burrard Inlet. I also try to sit on the top floor, except if it’s really crowded like during the Olympics. I’d prefer to ride in the last or the first car, but I usually just board through whichever door is most convenient and stick with that car because time wandering through the train would be better spent getting a good seat nearby. I don’t really care which way I’m facing, but I’d rather have a seat with a table because tables are handy for putting things on.

  • By Sewing, May 22, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Cliff:

    The SkyTrain doors do seem to stay open longer at Metrotown and Lougheed (and probably other stations like Commercial-Broadway).

    That’s likely to allow more time for the larger number of passengers who get on and off at those stations.

  • By ..., May 22, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    For Novabus, I’ll take the private seat behind the driver.

  • By zack, May 22, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    OK here’s my two cents on where I’d like to sit. ;)

    Buses

    E40LFRs: I usually like to sit at the back end of the bus, especially on routes like 5 and 6, where by the time the bus reaches Robson & Broughton or Davie & Richards the bus gets more crowded. Plus, when I mean at the back, I mean either the right or left side so I can stretch my long legs (Ahhhh!!!)

    New Flyer D40LFs: I prefer either the middle or the front, because the slippery blue seats in the back are really unstable especially when the bus driver is going at top speeds.

    Nova LFS (Hybrid and Diesel): Now I’m not really a Nova fan but if I had a choice on where to sit on these buses it would be either the middle or left side, considering that the right side is dedicated for people with disabilities. This is because I don’t like the rear seats where you are facing towards other people. The Hybrids however at least have more space at the back.

    SkyTrain

    Mark I

    I usually prefer a single seat by the window facing forward.

    2001-02 Mark IIs

    A shared seat with (yes) a window seat.

    2009 Mark IIs

    Both
    :)

    Canada Line

    To Richmond
    Middle-back of the train with seats facing forward.

    To Waterfront
    Front of the train, this so I can avoid the overcrowding between Oakridge & Broadway City Hall.

  • By Cliff, May 23, 2010 @ 1:12 am

    Obviously they stay open for longer at busier stations.

    But what I’m curious about is the specific length of times. Both Granville and Lougheed are busy stations, but do the doors stay open slightly longer at Lougheed because of reduced headways?

    Or do the doors stay open shorter than usual at Royal Oak because at Edmonds they stay open longer?

    I know it may sound silly, but I’m interested in these sorts of things so sue me :p

  • By Ed, May 23, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    On the Canada Line, it’s always at the back, where it’s less crowded. Ditto with the bus, though sometimes I may opt for one of the two seats closest to the back door.

  • By Bevis Parker, May 24, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    I like the SkyTrain driver’s seat position, but I rarely sit in it because I prefer the view from the side windows and, in Mark II trains, I can’t comfortably lean my elbows on the… ledge-thing… without putting myself at an angle where I have to crane my neck to see much beyond the tracks (vertically). Although it can’t be beat for getting a good view of the subway tunnels. The exception to this ambivalent position is on the Canada Line, where my favourite seat, no contest, is the aisle seat by the front window (either side), again for the subway-tunnels reason. Although, since those trains have a wider front window than the Expo/Millennium Line trains, it’s a good seat for the rest of the stations too.
    +1

  • By Sanjeev KUMAR, May 24, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

    I want to go to Victoria from surrey Bc and I need
    to know from where I can buy tickets and what’s
    the coast of the ticket is. I am planning for towmorrow
    Thanks

  • By zack, May 24, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

    @Sanjeev: Go to translink.bc.ca and use the trip planner from there. From there type your home address under FROM and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal under TO. For information on BC Ferries fares go to http://www.bcferries.com; usually they’re $14 one-way between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.

  • By Cliff, May 24, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

    Also note, you can purchase BC Transit day passes on BC Ferries in the convenience store.

    If I’m not mistaken, you’ll want to avoid the double deckers leaving the terminal if you’re in a hurry as they are not express. That should all be on the schedule at http://www.transitbc.com/regions/vic/

  • By John, May 25, 2010 @ 12:10 am

    Buses: As far back as I can get. Other people have to get on the bus too, and it drives me insane when someone is standing by the stairs and blocks off the entire back half, even after the “please move to the rear of the bus” message.

    Skytrain: depends on where the exit at the station I’m going to is.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 25, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    Cliff: I’ve just had a note back with regard to your question about timing the door openings: aka “dwell times.” Apparently it differs depending on the level of service, and I’m told it would be helpful if you could tell us if you specifically wanted to know the dwell times during weekday peak hours/off peak, evening, weekends etc.

  • By Cliff, May 25, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    Hmmm. The afternoon rush sounds the most interesting. I suppose during quieter times the ‘dwell times’ are more steady. So yes, I’d definitely like to know the PM peak dwell times.

    As soon as I read your post, I tried to Google “SkyTrain dwell times” without success.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 25, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

    Cliff: I don’t think anyone’s really had the answers out there before! I’ll let them know the times you’re interested in.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 26, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

    OK Cliff, here’s what I’ve got from SkyTrain:

    There are so many variations to our station dwell times so I won’t give
    you the complete list. Dwell times also depends if the train is on time,
    late or early and it depends if the train is heading eastbound or
    westbound. For now, I’ll give you the on-time dwells for Metrotown,
    Royal Oak and Patterson.

    Metrotown Eastbound: 28 secs
    Metrotown Westbound: 25 secs

    Royal Oak Eastbound: 14 secs
    Royal Oak Westbound: 12 secs

    Patterson Eastbound: 15 secs
    Patterson Westbound: 13 secs

  • By Cliff, May 27, 2010 @ 12:08 am

    Wow, that’s a lot more random than I expected. I thought that the dwell times would be the same in both directions.

    I think that’s pretty neat that the dwell times change if a train is late or early. It makes sense too because if a train is late, there’s no sense in having it wait, since the other train behind it is going to be just as late.

    That also kind of brings up an interesting situation. Generally, you’re better off not running after a train if you’re headed westbound because if it’s late, there will be another train in sooner than normal. Buses frequencies are much higher the further west you go, meaning it’s senseless in general to run after a train. This seems to confirm it.

    In the eastbound direction, running after a train may be worthwhile if you’re at the start of a line because generally speaking, trains leave on time from their termini. But if you’re at Broadway, it may be in your best general to hustle because as you go east, bus frequencies decrease and if a train is late, as it may well be as it’s often held up at Granville and Main, then your train ride will be slightly faster as the dwell times decrease.

    Heh, who knew?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 28, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    Cliff: Well, wow. That’s a really great analysis!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 28, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Reva: Good idea for a future poll :)

  • By Jacob, May 28, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

    I also timed some stops.
    Eastbound in morning:
    Burrard, Stadium, Comm’l Bdway: 18 secs
    Main st. 14 secs
    I noticed that Westbound during morning rush hour, the Comm’l Bdway stations open for a little more than 40 secs.

  • By zack, May 29, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Here’s the stops I timed
    Eastbound Expo Line
    King George 3 mins (sometimes 5 mins)
    Scott road 16 sec
    Columbia 14 sec
    Westbound Millennium Line
    Lougheed town centre 2 mins
    Comm’l Bway 25 sec

    Dwell times can also be affected if there is SkyTrain traffic. However, I’ve noticed something strange at Waterfront station. Sometimes during the afternoon rush, the westbound trains enter the eastbound platform instead of the westbound platform causing long delays at Waterfront.

  • By SkyTrainBoy348, June 4, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    Usually when i wait for a bus, I ride on the New Hybrid Nova Buses that were out recently. fabrics of the seat arejust like the new SkyTrain cars that were recently out in 2009. I really like the new seat fabrics :)

  • By Eddie, June 7, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    I printed a SkyTrain track diagram off of the internet that shows which side of the train the doors will open on at the next station so we can always be at the right door at the right time.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 10, 2010 @ 9:46 am

    Eddie: Ooh, where’s the diagram? I’d love to see it.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Friday fun post: ever read what someone else is reading on transit? — May 28, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  2. Hybrid Electric Cars — August 24, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

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