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Translink Buzzer Blog

Friday fun poll: when standing on a bus, do you move as far back as possible?

Sitting in the back of the bus!

We haven’t done a transit riding behaviour question in a while! So here’s one about moving to the back of the bus. I caught this tweet at the start of this week:

Hate it when people are passed up and there’s empty space at the back of the bus. #movetotheback @translinkless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Which prompts the following question:

When you're standing on a bus, do you try to move as far to the rear as possible?

  • Yes (80%, 161 Votes)
  • No (20%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 201

If you’re a “Yes,” well done, and let us know if there are any further tips to maximizing the passenger space! And if you’re a “No,” please do share why you try to avoid the back of the bus. Is it an exit strategy thing?


79 Comments

  • By Cow, October 29, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    Yes when the bus/train is quite full. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but often there’s a lot of space in the back even when the front is crowded, since so few other people move back.

    When it’s not standing room only or if I’m only going a short distance, I will crowd near the doors a bit.

    Also: one tip (and this is more for the transit company than riders); I have noticed, both in Vancouver and elsewhere, that routes with all-door boarding like the 99 tend to have much better balance in front and back. I think a lot of people just hate pushing all the way back from the front door–but if they can board at a rear door, they’re more likely to use the space in the back.

  • By peter b, October 29, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    Yes — those transit card readers for the back doors of the buses couldn’t come sooner — on the other hand — I love the back of the bus, because there’s far fewer people lurking around waiting to dive for the next available seat. We’re just like a bunch of eagles lurking over a creek full of spawning salmon — who’s gonna dive first?

  • By brit, October 29, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    i agree with the comment about how the 99 is better balanced. i understand this system wouldn’t work for all busses.. but i think it would for the 160! i live downtown but my family is all in port coquitlam. that bus gets SUPER crowded and everyone congregates at the front of the bus which results in a lot of shouting and pushing and i dread boarding the bus : ( there really isn’t another option to get all the way out to poco from downtown, i really think boarding at all entrance/exits would help!

  • By Sylvan, October 29, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    I voted no because I usually stand wherever there is the most space. During crush load conditions, I will move as far back as possible, and I always make sure not to block the aisle if anyone else wants to move back. But if there are a few people standing, I don’t like to go up the stairs at the back.

  • By Alan Robinson, October 29, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

    I’m very happy this question has come up. If I’m standing, I move as far back as possible, mostly as an example to others. I wish I didn’t have to do this, as the ceiling at the back is a little low for me. Don’t make me bonk my head, MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS PEOPLE!

  • By Scott, October 29, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    This drives me crazy! People should ALWAYS move to the back of the bus if they are standing if there is a ways to go in the route or if there are a lot of people standing. How hard is it to climb 2 stairs and stand at the back?!?!?! In Surrey especially on routes like the 502 and 319 I see this all the time and drivers don’t often go on the the intercom to tell people to move back (Not that they should have to tell people to do something that is common sense). I will never understand people crowding around the rear door either. It’s rude not to go to the back of the bus to let people who want to board get on. There used to be a driver on the 502 in the mornings who would get on the intercom and make people go to the very back and would try not to pass up people. Too bad she isn’t on the 502 trips anymore!

  • By Abeo, October 29, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

    If there aren’t that many people standing up already, I will hang around near the doors, much easier to let people pass you there than when standing all the way in the back. If it is crowded, I will go to the very back, of course.

  • By Jay Cowan, October 29, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

    I always move to the back of the bus, unless if there’s nobody standing by the back doors. I prefer leaning on the glass pane, unless if somebodys head is right next to it. At the back of the bus, it might be a little awkward being the only person standing at the back, but theres more room to stand. I’d rather stand alone at the back than be squished with people by the rear doors or the front of the bus. I’ll only stand at the front if I have to.

    Suggestion for next poll: Have you ever witnessed an altercation or fight between the driver and passenger or between 2 or more passengers on the bus?

  • By Jacob, October 29, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

    No, but yes.
    On usual bus rides, no, because I put my bag and stuff at the front. But when the bus is full, I’m one of those people who would do anything to get to the back of the bus, like push, and shout, and point, and glare, and make people take their backpacks off, and people think Im crazy, but I’m just trying to help those poor people standing out in the rain.

  • By zack, October 29, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    Yes with a but, I do try to move as far back as possible, however though, when I’m to trying get off at home I try to lean on the back doors because it’s much easier to get off from there than constantly saying “excuse me!” but even that is a challenge especially when the announcer keeps saying “Please move to the rear of the bus!”. One thing that really drives me nuts, is when the people in front of me who don’t want move back and the people behind me who keep squishing me, add that to loud rants coming from the driver. At one point a driver on a crowded 106 bus threatened to pull over to the curbside and not move until all of the people moved back.

    Finally I would like to add, a message to all commuters, when driver or the announcer says move to the back of the bus DO IT!!! EVEN IF IT MEANS MOVING TO THE REAR END!

  • By ???, October 29, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

    I try to move to the back, but these low floor buses are such a challenge.

    Seniors like the front section and need grab bars around the wheels. Cyclists hover at the entrance way to watch over their bike. Parents bring on their SUV strollers with cupholders. Shoppers want the front wheels for storage. Lost tourists want to be near the driver. Airport travellers have luggage blocking the aisles. Idiots stand at the rear doors blocking the exit. Too often I’m left behind waiting for the next bus.

    With regards to the “move to the back” announcement. I think it’s time to be translated into at least the top 6 languages (French, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, & Punjabi). It’s not uncommon for the announcement come on to ethnic seniors oblivious to the call.

    It’s not uncommon to for me to reach for my car keys because drivers refuse to pick me up at my local stop.

  • By Hilary, October 29, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

    I try to move to the back both because it is The Thing To Do and because it’s almost always less crowded back there. Sometimes there’s even seats. However, if I’m not going very far I’ll park myself near the doors, and if the aisle’s completely impassable I’ll try to find somewhere out of the way to stand.

  • By Meraki, October 30, 2010 @ 2:32 am

    At first I head to the centre of the bus, near the rear doors (but not standing in the doorway.)

    If the bus starts to fill up, I’ll move up to the raised rear section if need be.

    It also depends on how close to my stop I am. It’s kind of a pain to fight my way through the crowd from the back of the bus during crush load.

    If I’m up in the back, as we get closer to my stop I’ll slowly start making my way forward, so that when we arrive at my stop I’m around the back stairs so I can get to the doors relatively quickly.

  • By Reva, October 30, 2010 @ 4:47 am

    Unless I’m having a bad knee day and need to sit down right away, I ALWAYS move my way to the back of the bus. No matter what the crush conditions at the front of the bus, there is nearly always room upstairs at the back and very often seats too. It’s great for me, and it means at least one more person can get out of the rain and onto the bus.

    I like to intimidate — I mean encourage — the person(s) creating the bottleneck at the stairs to either move back, or stand aside so others can go up there. I am not beyond forcing my way past people who won’t move when I say “excuse me please.” The funny thing is, once one person moves up the stairs into the back of the bus, many others follow.

    I think the bottlenecking is inherent to the design of the accessible buses. We’ve traded roomy aisles for roomy entrances & exits. When the bus gets full, it is difficult for people NOT to block the entrances/exits, because there is nowhere else to stand. The narrow back stairs being next to the back door, plus the lower ceiling in the back, is not conducive to moving back there easily — you have step up there deliberately, not just keep shuffling along like you could in the older high-floor buses. Not hard to do, but it is still obviously too much for some people.

    One thing I cannot figure out though, which drives me absolutely bananas and I wish Translink could do something about, is people unnecessarily exiting through the front doors. I have watched people (able-bodied people — I’m not talking about seniors or disabled folks or anyone else with a reason to be up front), who were actually sitting right next to the back door, walk up the aisle and even patiently wait for parents with strollers to disembark out the front, just so they can leave through the front too! Even when other people are using the back doors and there is nothing whatsoever preventing use of the back doors! I see this all the time! Why!! People collide at the front doors! Loading & unloading takes twice as long! It is ridiculous! Does anyone else find this? I would be very grateful if Translink would address this in its next round of transit etiquette ads (you know, the “don’t hog extra seats”, “turn down your darn iPod” etc. ones).

    /end rant

  • By Sean, October 30, 2010 @ 9:09 am

    I always move toward the back because I always plan to exit through the rear doors. Exiting through the front doors just slows down the people boarding the bus and makes everyone’s trip take longer.

    And the other posters are right – there’s almost always a lot of empty space at the back, so you can stand comfortably with easy access to a stanchion without feeling like a sardine – or sometimes even score a seat!

  • By Andrew K, October 30, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    generally i try to get to the back
    there’s usually more wiggle room since people are reluctant to move back there
    odd exception, 99, where i try to move to the “fold” area, since no one ever stands there, i have lots of space

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, October 30, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    I alway move to the the back if possible. The only time I won’t is if I have my bike on the front rack. In that case I try and stand off to the side as best as possible.

    I’m starting to seriously wonder if people are psychologically scared of going to the back of the bus. A trend I seem to notice is people will walk back there or shuffle their way back there. But when they get to the stairs they stop. They seem to act as if something bad is going to happen if they walk up the stairs.

  • By Jo-Anne, October 30, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

    No. I don’t move right to the back anymore because my balance is not what it used to be and my arthritis keeps me from stepping up the stairs at the back. Any minute that bus could lurch and my knees would be toast. So, I move to where I can find something to hang onto and then I HANG ON! Let the more able move right to the back.

  • By zack, October 30, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    I almost got into an altercation today, with an idiotic passenger because of his refusal to move to the back of the bus. I bluntly told him to move back, but he wouldn’t listen, so I tried to squish through him but once as he saw me, he body-checked me. Angrily, I responded “What the is your problem!”. This highlights a real problem growing in Metro Vancouver. While routes like the 99 B-line and 135 SFU have successful crunch measures, other crowded routes are left. My solution, examine the busiest and overcrowded routes in Metro Vancouver, once that is done either add the articulated buses during peak hours or increase service levels for accessible buses. Overcrowding on Nova buses can be a real nightmare because once the bus fills up, the people that lean next the rear exit doors get squished and the door constantly opens. Another problem, which hasn’t been mentioned in this thread is that driver need to slow down and not to speed or brake like insane when driving on overcrowded buses!! It’s not likely that everybody will be lucky enough to have a yellow stanchion to handle.

  • By Alan Robinson, October 30, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

    As another variation on this, there is the odd crush loaded bus where even the back is full up. I was on a 44 in an early D60LF once where I found a very nice corner cantilevered above the front left wheel well. It gets the arms tired after awhile, but it got one more person on the bus.

    Also, do D40LFs ever carry their rated load of 72 people? Does anyone count?

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, October 30, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

    @Jo-Anne. Being unable to move to the back do to medical reasons is ok. That is why the courtesy seats are at the front. But if you have to stand for what ever reason. The best thing to do is make sure you don’t block the way for others to get through.

    This is why people need to take off their back packs. They have no idea how much room they take up.

    @Zack. I don’t even bother to tell someone to move. I just go past them. Chances are if you ask someone to move they will tell you where to go. So I can’t be bothered with asking.

    I need anger management class over this one issue :)

  • By Audacity, October 30, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

    Moving to the back of the bus is indeed a good policy. But one rule in particular is kind of bothersome because a lot of people don’t even know about it, and that is the “stand behind the blue line” rule.

    For those who don’t know, there is a red line and a blue line. Everyone knows about the red line, so I don’t need to explain that. But the blue line rule is in place whenever a wheelchair user is occupying the wheelchair bay. The line is marked on the wall behind the first row of front-facing seats.

    This rule is so obscure that even I, a wheelchair user, wasn’t aware of it until quite recently when some drivers started to enforce that rule. A lot of passengers simply move behind the red line but stop in their tracks, instead of continuing to move back.

    At one point, this created a near altercation when a passenger decided that he didn’t need to move back any further because “there’s space at the front.” He basically pushed down/aside fellow passengers to move up to the “space at the front.” Why he would move FORWARD on a bus is beyond me.

    Anyways, there should probably be more clarification about how far back passengers should move back.

    (As an aside: I don’t really care whether you move that far back or not, as long as you make space for me and my wheelchair when I need to get off. But I really hate to see people get angry at the driver for enforcing a rule that he’s apparently supposed to enforce.)

  • By ???, October 31, 2010 @ 8:59 am

    With friends in wheelchairs, I think the blue line is a good courtesy rule to follow by.

    Sadly given the choice between having passengers between the blue ‘n red versus being the passengers left behind at the stop for countless buses (have you seen wheelchair passengers left behind because the bus was full?)…..

    Also because of the issues mentioned earlier….
    -cyclists wanting to keep watch over their bikes on the rack
    -Shoppers want storage above the front wheels
    -tourists wanting directions from the driver
    -seniors wanting the security of vertical grab bars
    -parents and friends wanting to be together when they are travelling with ONE stroller

    You will need serious enforcement on each bus to keep that blue line policy. Drivers are having a tough enough time trying to keep people sneaking on the rear doors.

    I’m not a big fan of these new Nova buses…. It appears 2/3rd of the bus is designed for limited mobility passengers (the area between the doors). Only the last 1/3 is allocated for the able-bodied. As most passengers are able-bodied, they just overflow into the front half as standie’s because the rear half is full or hard to get to as the asile is so narrow. For future design, the left half should be single seats all the way down to give people room to get to the back and pass one another when they need to get off the bus.

    BTW… to keep idiots from blocking the back doors. I think we need to bring back the McKay gate.

  • By Eric, October 31, 2010 @ 9:24 am

    Alan.
    I have actually counted how many people are on a 77 person capacity full troley bus: only 57, 62, and 59 passengers. that means that there is still lots of room til capacity.

    Another comment:
    The “Please move to the rear of the bus” is not clear, and very unpersuasive. Regularly, the driver has to shout it to whoever is in the bottleneck. But that person always has an ipod in his ears, and cant hear anything.

  • By Ric, October 31, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    I always move as far back as possible. When a bus is full I at the front moving as far back as possible, I often happen to find a seat at the back. People are just too lazy to move to the back.

    I hate it when a bus passes me by because the driver thinks it’s full but there is in fact space at the back.

    I think that in order to maximize passenger space all buses should have a sign that says “please move as far back as possible while standing”.

    Also rather than the driver announcing the please move to the back of the bus announcement through the PA, there should be a pre-recorded announcement that will announce automatically when there are too many people standing near the front.

    I remember the 98 B Line used to do this when there were too many people standing near the front.

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, October 31, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    @Eric

    “Another comment:
    The “Please move to the rear of the bus” is not clear, and very unpersuasive. Regularly, the driver has to shout it to whoever is in the bottleneck. But that person always has an ipod in his ears, and cant hear anything.”

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. The biggest problem I find is those that choose not to go to the back that end up blocking the way to the back. They never pay attention to what is going on around them to see if maybe someone wants to go to the back. I wear my Ipod. But I also pay attention to what is going on around me. For pure safety reasons people should know what is going on around them.

  • By zack, October 31, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

    In Toronto, All TTC buses have signs on the window clearly saying saying “Please move to the rear of the bus”. Man! whoever brought that idea was a genius!! We should do the same for TransLink!

  • By Dan T, October 31, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    One innovative idea courtesy of my 84 driver the other day – the new Nova buses have the ability to fold up all the seats in the front area – the driver asked all the students in the front to stand and fold their seats, and voilà, instant room for about 8-10 extra standing people. Of course, this only worked from UBC, because the second someone needs to sit in the front area… it doesn’t work so well anymore.

    Oh, and of course I go straight to the back (if i’m in a rush), or simply wait for the next bus in 5 minutes, since I’m boarding at a terminus.

  • By Ric, October 31, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

    The bus pictured in the blog question appears to be a Nova bus.

    Any idea as to why there are 3 seats at the back bench? What is that big box at the back of the bus on the right side of the picture?

  • By Mark, October 31, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

    I agree with many of the coments on here. Many times people with ipods are people that english is not the first laungage are the ones that keep from getting more people on the bus. Also agree with the fact there is not much room to move around, you almost have to have people get off and get back on. A few times espcially after school on routes like the 211 the driver has had to get people to enter in the back just to get more people on. I think it needs to be a combo of things to make things better. One signs in more then one language telling people to move to the back and yes I agree with the sugestion of single seats in the new nova buses, some of the old high floor buses had only a single seat in the few rows near the rear door. This would also be nice as if you are on your own you don’t always want to sit next to someone. I also agree that the new Nova Buses do not have the room the older buses have, not sure if the seats are bigger or what but does not seem to have much room to move. People are not all tiny so if you get a bigger guy like me standing in between seats I almost have to sit on a lap to let someone pass unless I stand in the door area, witch I try to most trips anyway.

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, October 31, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

    Ric,

    The big box in the right side of the picture would be the engine of the NovaBUS.

    The keenest eyes would note that this is a North Van NovaBUS.

  • By zack, October 31, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    A 2008 Nova LFS to be exact, for the comfy blue seats.! :)

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, October 31, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

    To add to what Derek mentioned on the big box being the engine. You will also notice that the back row of seats is right at the rear window.

    The other layout for the Novas is to have the rear engine in the back with the full rear bench seat. Both are used quite a bit I’ve notice on routes in Vancouver.

    The one thing I’ve never liked with the Novas is the face to face seats at the. When you have long legs like I do it can be a pain sitting with someone right across from you.

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, October 31, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

    Just wanted to add for layouts. I find the best layout is the ones on the Flyers especially the newer models with the same type of material seating as on the MKII. The 60 foots have probably the best layout out for getting around in this regard.

  • By Sheba, November 1, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    I figured I’d add my 2 cents to this. You wouldn’t know it to look at me but I actually have disability status. I try to avoid taking transit during rushhour but can’t always. I eternally see teenagers sitting in the courtesy seats and it’s safe to assume that most of the time they don’t need them.

    The Skytrain also has the problem (esp on the older train cars) of people standing in the doorways making it difficult to get on/off the train. It’s pretty common to see people crowded in there while there’s plenty of room and sometimes even seats available.

    What is it with all the SUV baby strollers??? It used to be that if you didn’t have one of the small fold-able strollers you weren’t getting on the bus. Now these behemoths are allowed on, limiting how many people can get on the bus, and blocking doors and/or seats on the Skytrain.

    Some of these problems might get better if more comments were added to the recorded messages on the bus/train, as well as written on the bus. Of course that’s assuming that people have the ability to think…

  • By zack, November 1, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    Paul C: I definitely agree with you on that subject. Mostly I find it manageable to go through crowds on trolley buses and the new MKIIs. The reason being, is that there are single seats on the left side and double seats on the right, thus giving more breathing space for passengers to move around.

    However, for the seating design of the D40LFs, I graded them a big fat F because there more double seats on both sides which narrows the gap between the exit and front doors. This makes it really painful for people to squish through and rush for the exit.

  • By zack, November 1, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    ???: btw, what the heck is a Mckay gate?

  • By zack, November 1, 2010 @ 11:12 am

    Oh! now I get it.

    http://transit.toronto.on.ca/images/bus-8502-04.jpg

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 1, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    Paul C: I totally hear you on this one.

    I’m starting to seriously wonder if people are psychologically scared of going to the back of the bus. A trend I seem to notice is people will walk back there or shuffle their way back there. But when they get to the stairs they stop. They seem to act as if something bad is going to happen if they walk up the stairs.

    I’m not certain if they’re actually scared, but in my experience there really does seem to be something about the stairs that just halts people in their tracks. “No” people, if you’re out there: what is it about the stairs that stops you?

    (Also, for interest’s sake, I did idly ask someone in our fleet management department about whether the stairs could be optional in buses. But it turns out that buses put their engines in the back and that’s why the back is raised to accommodate—so if you pulled the stairs out, you’d probably have to make some major modifications to the structure and engine placement, etc.)

  • By Joanna, November 1, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    I always move to the back of the bus, whether there are seats or whether I have to stand. The height feels a lot more comfortable and the area past the stairs also tends to be less crowded and claustrophobic. The issue of people NOT willingly filling the back of the bus is really an issue at Capilano where many people will just crowd by the back door rather than fill up all the space, even though the wait for the bus might be 2 loads long.

    One thing I don’t understand is why mothers with strollers insist on entering the bus first. Yes, I agree they should have priority so they can make it onto the bus, but couldn’t the people with strollers wait for other passengers to enter first so they won’t have to navigate around bulky apparatuses? They don’t exactly need the extra time to secure themselves much like someone in a wheelchair, so it would actually be a convenience to everyone if able passengers were allowed first… but only if they display proper transit etiquette and make their way to, you guessed it, the back of the bus.

  • By ???, November 1, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

    Perhaps the only issue with going to the back is getting off (rearaphobia?). Getting off at a major stop (Skytrain, terminus, college, university) is not an issue. Trying to get off at a sidestreet from the back is a major challenge. I’ve seen a few cases where an impatient driver will close the doors while passengers are screaming at the driver to stop as he tries to make up time. I’ve learned to make my way to the doors a few stops before and freeing up a seat as others rush past me.

    Yes the SUV strollers are getting ridiculous. Some seniors I know are now skipping the “courtesy section” knowing they will be asked to leave the moment when one or two SUV stroller shows up. Too often the one side is looking at the opposite side see to who’s going to get up first.

    To followup on an earlier comment, when I got off a diesel bus (#100) to this morning. I looked back to see there was no blue line on that bus. Then I realized the wheelchair was right up against the rear door. That means 2/3rd of the bus is reserved for the courtesy section.

  • By CJ Stebbing, November 1, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

    Wow! Haven’t posted in a while! XD.

    My answer……….no. And here’s why:

    See, imp 6’7. Most seats on the bus cannot accommodate people that have long legs. The reason I sit at the front is because those are the only seats that have enough leg room for us. With the exception of the Canada Line (which does have it thankfully :) ) I am forced with 2 options: either sit at the front, or stand. Granted, the seats at the back on most buses do have room (with the exception of the highway coaches, some of the older model buses used in Richmond, and the community shuttle buses.) However the roar of the engine and the bumpiness of the bus when it hits a bump on the road is not an ideal place to sit.

    Now I know that a whack load of you will say: “but CJ, the front seats are for the elderly and disabled. You cannot sit there!” To that I say: I know they are. However, I do not sit at the very front (unless there’s no one there, or I know the driver.) I sit near the front. And I try not standing up, because if I do, I risk hitting my head.

    And really, do you want me to get a concussion?

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, November 2, 2010 @ 12:54 am

    @Jhenifer.

    Maybe scared isn’t the exact right word. But it does seem as if they see an invisible brick wall at the stairs. And getting them to go up is like trying to take candy from a kid.

    @Joanna.

    The only problem with having the strollers load after is that other people would just fill up the front end. Thus making it very difficult for a stroller to come on.

    What would be nice is if people heading towards the back started loading first. When the people who are standing start filling up the isle to the courtesy seats. At that point anyone with a stroller or wheelchair would then load. Then the rest of the people who are going to stand would then load filling up the centre part at the front of the bus. Sadly though I don’t hold much hope for humans to do this. :(

    @???

    I’ve thought the same thing as you in regards to people being afraid of not getting off at their stop. One way to help cure that is to have people start to move towards the door a stop or two before. But it really depends on how full the bus is. Also just because a bus is full when they board, doesn’t mean it will be when they want to get off. There have been quite a few times where I’ve boarded the 41 at either Joyce or Cambie and it is packed full. Yet when I get to Knight it isn’t all that full and I’ve easily gotten off. Although sometimes it still is full.

  • By ???, November 2, 2010 @ 8:24 am

    @zack: I’ve having troubles locating the McKay gate that was discussed in older threads (can Jhen assist).

    In the 80’s buses used pressure mats to open doors. In the 70’s I remember buses used a swing door or large paddle to open the rear doors. These devices also served a second purposes which discouraged people from standing in the rear door area today. If someone stood there risking injury when the door opened…. the bus would not move as the door would remain open.

  • By zack, November 2, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    Has anybody noticed that the Nova buses tend to tilt either forward or backward once the bus stops or accelerates. That’s why I always rush to the rear end so I wouldn’t feel imbalanced or even dizzy.

  • By Reva, November 2, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    @ ??? : The 70’s swing door / large paddle you describe is a McKay Gate.

  • By Andrew S, November 2, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    I think there should be a choice for “Sometimes” =D

    If I’m on the bus for a long distance, then I would go to the back, of course. A short trip after a transfer (maybe just 5 stops) I would just go to the door if the bus isn’t full. It also depends if I’m carrying my instrument case. The back doesn’t really give me a lot of space so I have to take up some space in the front. I liked how the layout of the seats in the old highfloor busses gave much more space in the aisle.

    (I think the pressure pad method for opening the doors was more hygienic because people didn’t have to touch it with their hands but I had to jump on it to open the door when I was little cause I was too light =P)

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, November 2, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

    @Andrew

    Sorry to post offtopic, but are you looking for a band? I’m part of the Vancouver Orchestra Club, and we are looking for more instrumentalists. Would you like to contact me for more info? This invitation goes out to everybody.

  • By ???, November 2, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

    @Reva: Yes, I know. However I remember coming across a picture on the Blog long ago, but I can’t find it. I want to clarify the description.

  • By ???, November 2, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

    Wait, I think I found a small glimpse of the paddle guarding the rear doors… http://members.shaw.ca/dave_too2/bus/P1000648%20(2).JPG

    I miss the old buses… check out how much standing room there was in the 70’s!

  • By ???, November 3, 2010 @ 6:45 am

    Yes…. that’s it…. thanks for adding the link. With expensive motion sensors, pressure mats, door door poles….. this simple paddle would be perfect to discourage people from sneaking in the back and blocking the back doors.

    I don’t know what it is, but it just feels roomier in the aisles with these older buses.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/revatudor/2597431412

  • By Dennis, November 3, 2010 @ 9:34 am

    @zack

    YES! The Novas are horrible for standing because of the sudden acceleration and braking.

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only person who thinks that transit users have developed an irrational fear of stairs. I have seen so many pass-ups on the 135 because people are not moving back. On that route, it can be a challenge convincing people to go beyond the “fold”, let alone up the stairs.

    And, somewhat off topic, but since we’re talking about the good old days when buses wouldn’t move if someone was too close to the exit doors, how about the good old days when the only strollers allowed on the bus were a) collapsible and b) collapsed. All too often I have seen the Senior vs Stroller standoff described above.

  • By Beth, November 3, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    It’s an exit strategy thing. I try to stay near the doors so I don’t have to push my way out. But if it’s super packed and I really have no choice but to move to the back I will.

  • By Ric, November 3, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    Why weren’t the back stairs needed for the high floor buses?

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, November 4, 2010 @ 1:35 am

    @Ric. The answer is in your question. The stairs were at the doors. Thus why they were high floor.

    Worst case of not moving to back happened about a year ago. I was cambie and 41st waiting for either the 43 or 41 to go EB. 43 arrived first. I could tell by the amount of people that were at the stop that it was probably going to fill up or close to it. So we start boarding and this woman walks along the isle. Then we she got to where the accordion section is she just stopped cold. She would not step across the platform. What makes it worse she stood blocking the way. And the back section was 98% empty with only 2 people sitting down. I basically lost it and just pushed my way through.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, November 4, 2010 @ 8:28 am

    @Paul

    I hate it when people do that. Your post inspired me to try something: I will politely push myself through, and then politely hold the person aside, while I encourage others to come past. I think that the humiliation should be enough to send a message.

    We hold elevator doors open, so why can’t we do the same with people?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 4, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    Eugene: Well, I can definitely see the frustration, but let’s not go out of our way to humiliate people on transit :)

  • By ???, November 4, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    I’m going to have to agree with Jhen on this one. Making physical contact with another can be a huge liability.

    You might be able to get away with this in another country that’s known for crowded public transit, but in North America you might get a lawsuit.

    Yes I’ve been known to push back a few backpacks that smack my head when I’m seated and the jerk standing refuses to remove it. But
    -touching women can be a sensitive issue for assault
    -touching a male can lead to a fight
    -touching a senior may cause a fall from being startled

    I have no problems walking past the arctic joint, but I find too many ask me to move while the bus is MOVING. My balance isn’t the greatest and people are not prepared wait for the bus to stop. When I do move when the bus is stopped, the impatient jerks don’t hang around the joint either as there is hardly any place to hold onto.

    Instead I would rather spend time appealing for better designed transit vehicles.
    -bench seating for wider aisles on trains.
    -making the left side single seated like in the 70’s so more people can stand
    -removing one of the seats in the arctic joint so people can pass one another more easily.
    -older artics in the 80’s had a couple of vertical bars, new artics only has a couple of seats that are difficult to pass and can’t be held onto for standees.

  • By Ric, November 4, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    Why not just switch back to high floor buses then, if the back stairs on the low floors are causing problems?

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, November 4, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

    @Ric

    The low floor buses are actually easier to load. It may not seem helpful to someone who walks. But for those on wheel chairs and with strollers it helps a lot.

    @??? I’m not condoning pushing someone around. But if I want to get around someone I’m not afraid of brushing against them. I try and do it as inconspicuous as possible though.

  • By zack, November 4, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    @Eugene: I’ve already experienced what it’s like once you make physical contact with a stranger, a perfect example was that idiot on the other day, who deliberately pushed me on a crowded bus.

  • By Sewing, November 4, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

    Jhenifer…great topic, but of course the poll is skewed, considering the Buzzer blog’s audience: we’re all a bunch of conscientious, transit-riding goody two-shoes!

    And yes, I move to the back of the bus, too. There’s always so much room back there! :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 5, 2010 @ 9:19 am

    Sewing: Of course — this is why it’s called a “fun poll,” it’s not meant to be representative :)

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, November 4, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    Only 3 people disagreed with me, so the rest of the readership must agree. ;^p

    Alright, I’ll be careful. I don’t want a lawsuit. Thanks for the warning, I really do appreciate it.

    I think that it is just so sinister to force the bus to pass up passengers because somebody doesn’t move.

    Perhaps it would be wise to force those types of people off of public transit, by public displays of disapproval, and then the freed up space would allow for more passengers. I suppose that I would sing a different song, when I accidentally block somebody. ;^P

    That being said, it is just so selfish of people to assume that their comfort is more important than the person on the street, who has to make an appointment and be on time.

    On a slightly off topic, but interesting, note, I noticed that passengers at Waterfront Station, of the Canada Line, literally cleared a path for those getting off the train. It was the clearest path that I had seen in a long time, or perhaps in my entire life. A while ago, I suggested to Translink that they paint lines on the concrete of an exchange to guide people on where to line up, so that things could be done in a more orderly fashion. Jhenifer, how hard would it be to do that? I honestly think that the majority of passengers would agree to comply with that in busy time periods. Also, what about doing that on a station platform? Like I said, it is off topic, but if we can experiment with crowd control, then we might discover a way to make it easier for the public to move to the back of the bus.

    As I was typing, I just thought of something. Maybe riders going to the end of the line could get priority boarding, if they go to the back of the bus, during the initial load. How hard would it be to test something like that? I bet that if you gave people priority boarding privileges for the back of the bus, then the back will become recognized as first class. People will cram themselves on there just to ensure that they get priority, so that they will not miss a bus. It also favours the cooperative passengers.

  • By Andrew S, November 5, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    @Eugene: [Reply to your comment on Nov 2nd (off topic heheh), well I’m currently member of a band in air cadets and unfortunately also busy. I have asked a friend if he was interested, but his studies are “killing” him =P ]
    I also noticed something funny at Broadway City Hall Station… I wonder what makes riders line up so obediently in such straight lines while waiting for the 99 eastbound? No cutting lines, nothing. I just despise it when I’m clearly waiting at the head of the line (for the back door) and the bus arrives and some old lady just cuts in front… grrr. (I haven’t tried boarding at Cambie yet though)
    Another thing I noticed (kind of hard to explain in words though) I think everyone at one time or another, notices that sometimes the city tries to make the sidewalk look pretty by paving some parts differently, like how most is just concrete and some have little pebbles stuck into the surface. Well, at the 99 westbound stop at Cambie, I noticed that three of the paved strips on the sidewalk, about the width of a bus door, that are paved with the little pebbles stuck in the surface, line up almost perfectly with at least the front and rear door. (I haven’t tried boarding the middle door yet =P but I’ll check today and report back =D)

    Arghh Internet Explorer is making me angry whenever I try to type comments on here… the comment box keeps bouncing back to near the top whenever I type something longer than the size of the box… can it be fixed?

  • By Andrew S, November 5, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    Ahh! For clarification when I said, “(I haven’t tried boarding at Cambie yet though)” I meant eastbound.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 5, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

    Andrew S: Wow, that’s a weird error. Can you screenshot it so I can send this on to our web team for investigation?

    Btw I am also in awe of the lineups… it seems that at Commercial-Broadway the tradition has been established, but at other stops it can be a lot more chaotic. It’s so weird how different stops develop different queuing traditions!

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, November 5, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

    @Andrew

    Thanks for the reply about you and your friend. My advice is to quit studying. Look at how it helped me. ;^P Seriously, though, I totally respect you both focusing on more important stuff.

    Yeah, I hear you about cutting in line. If we ever get to do that painted line thing, then maybe the line up would have to be further away from the curb, so that if the door is off a bit, then it would not seem as far off, if you know what I mean. In other words, we wouldn’t really have to point the line up to the new door location.

    Regarding the pebbles, I think that I know what you mean. Also, sometimes the pavement strips line up really well with the doors, but it is hard for the bus to aim for the pavement strips.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, November 5, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    @Jhenifer

    I just thought of something. I bet that the line ups are related to the waiting space, the angle of attack, and the number of doors.

    With Broadway City Hall, you come right out of the station to the line up, and would need to actively walk past the end of the line up, in order to cut in. This is probably subconsciously inconvenient for people who are inconsiderate, but who do not really care either way, so it reduces line cutting. With other stations and exchanges, there might not be much waiting room, so out of consideration, we tend move away to make more room.

    I think that this is because centre platforms and areas like Broadway City Hall have more *uninterrupted* room. I bet that if we did a survey, then we’d see that they have more line ups that are perpendicular to the tracks or road, and I bet that the line up will not naturally curve.

    Lining up parallel to the train would cause problems, because a disorganized line up could easily end up blocking a set of doors. Also, trains often do arrive at the same spot on the platforms, but there is no guarantee that it will happen each and every time. Lining up parallel to a train might mean backing up the line up, so that the first person can enter first, and this would be inconvenient.

    Buses, on the other hand, typically stop right at the bus stop pole, and the start of the line is always the same. Therefore, people are not afraid to line up parallel to the bus.

    The only naturally curved line that I can recall is at Bridgeport Station. It is the stop for the #311 [i.e. my bus], and the #601. Strangely enough we all get in the same line. When a bus comes, we all move forward, and as we approach the end of the new line, those remaining for the next bus will step aside to a new line. That bus exchange is equivalent to a centre platform.

    On a more humourous note, I tried to start a trend a while ago. Instead of waiting in line for a bus, and facing the street, or facing forward, I would face the sidewalk to watch people walk by, or to look back at the line to see who had lined up. I was beginning to lose hope of making some converts, and then I eventually saw some people doing the same thing. It was weird. They stuck out like a sore thumb. I do not know for certain if I was influential or not, but it sure made me wonder. :^)

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, November 6, 2010 @ 1:04 am

    @Andrew

    I’ve noticed the pattern of people lining up for the 99. I think it has to do with the fact that it has high pass up rate. So people want to line up to make sure they get on. Or put another way they don’t want to be standing around and then find out then can’t get on. As for the little old lady cutting in front. Little old lady or not if I’m there first I’m getting on before her.

    This does bring up the the not going to the back routine. I find it funny that a lot times the ones that rush to the door to board are usually the ones who don’t want to go to the back. It would be nice if they could grow a brain and realize that if they aren’t going to the back why not let those who are board first. Nope that would be too easy :)

  • By ???, November 6, 2010 @ 8:37 am

    One solution is to paint a line for people to stand on…

    At the Metrotown loop. The #49 has a reputation of blocking the escalators…. Today they painted a white line at the loop to show where they should queue up. Perhaps the same should be done at other locations where congestion is high.

  • By Sewing, November 6, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    It is interesting how some stops and loops have a “queuing culture” and others do not. Metrotown Station is actually exemplary in this regard!

    As for the Canada Line, queueing is easy (if a sufficient number of people set the example for the rest), because all trains are the same length, and the doors always open in the same locations.

    I’ve been lining up that way at Waterfront from day 1, based on my experience taking subways in Seoul, where door locations are marked, and people are expected to line up in orderly fashion on either side of each set of doors.

    Also, I have the same problem as Andrew S., when the comment gets to be a certain length. I use IE 8 on Windows XP. After a certain point, as I type each character, the text in the comment window jumps rapidly to the top, then back down to where I’m typing. (So far in this comment, it hasn’t happened yet: so it has to be a really long comment.) Because of the nature of the bug, it would be impossible to actually get a screenshot of it.

    But on the Expo and Millennium Lines, it would be virtually impossible to do at the present time: some trains have 4 40-foot cars; some have 4 60-foot cars; and some have 6 40-foot cars; and in each case, the doors are in slightly different locations. Pity: there’s a lost opportunity there to bring some order to chaos (especially at high-volume places like Commercial-Broadway and Metrotown).

  • By Sewing, November 6, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

    Switch the 4th and 5th paragraphs:

    But on the Expo and Millennium Lines, it would be virtually impossible to do at the present time: some trains have 4 40-foot cars; some have 4 60-foot cars; and some have 6 40-foot cars; and in each case, the doors are in slightly different locations. Pity: there’s a lost opportunity there to bring some order to chaos (especially at high-volume places like Commercial-Broadway and Metrotown).

    Also, I have the same problem as Andrew S., when the comment gets to be a certain length. I use IE 8 on Windows XP. After a certain point, as I type each character, the text in the commenwindow jumps rapidly to the top, then back down to where I’m typing. (So far in this comment, it hasn’t happened yet: so it has to be a really long comment.) Because of the nature of the bug, it would be impossible to actually get a screenshot of it.

  • By Bill Kinkaid, November 6, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    @Eugene

    At 29th Avenue, I think waiting space is definitely a factor. The 29 Elliott stops where the passenger waiting area is a narrow strip, and hence they don’t have much choice but to form a queue. The 16 and 29 have more space so it’s usually more of a free for all. The 33 has a bit more trouble – there’s lots of space but most of it is at the base of the steps going down from the station entrance, so there are often multiple queues on the steps!

  • By johnthomas, December 17, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    It is interesting how some stops and loops have a “queuing culture” and others do not. Metrotown Station is actually exemplary in this regard!

    As for the Canada Line, queueing is easy (if a sufficient number of people set the example for the rest), because all trains are the same length, and the doors always open in the same locations.

    I’ve been lining up that way at Waterfront from day 1, based on my experience taking subways in Seoul, where door locations are marked, and people are expected to line up in orderly fashion on either side of each set of doors.

    Also, I have the same problem as Andrew S., when the comment gets to be a certain length. I use IE 8 on Windows XP. After a certain point, as I type each character, the text in the comment window jumps rapidly to the top, then back down to where I’m typing. (So far in this comment, it hasn’t happened yet: so it has to be a really long comment.) Because of the nature of the bug, it would be impossible to actually get a screenshot of it.
    sena smh10

Other Links to this Post

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  2. The Buzzer blog » Fun poll results: 80% do move as far back as possible when standing on a bus — November 5, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  3. RealTime - Questions: "Poll: Do you hate it when...?" — December 1, 2010 @ 4:18 am

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