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Friday Fun Poll: How do you spend most of your time on transit?


Do you read on transit?

I found the last poll so interesting, fun and popular that I thought I’d keep the poll vibe going with a fresh one. This time around, I’m curious about human behaviour on transit. We’ve had polls on what people do when waiting for transit, whether people read what others are reading on transit and what people read when riding transit, but we’ve never asked the bigger question: How do you spend most of your time on transit?


Do you chat on transit?

There are many things to do on transit. I won’t try to capture them all in this poll. I’ve created answers I imagine cover the majority of activities people perform while getting from a to b.

How do you spend most of your time on transit?

  • I look out the window (28%, 104 Votes)
  • I listen to music (23%, 84 Votes)
  • I read (17%, 62 Votes)
  • I people watch (9%, 35 Votes)
  • I access the internet (9%, 34 Votes)
  • I daydream (9%, 32 Votes)
  • I sleep (4%, 13 Votes)
  • I have a conversation (with someone on transit or on the phone) (1%, 4 Votes)
  • I watch videos (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 371

The comments on the last poll were arguable more interesting than the poll itself, so I really look forward to reading your thoughts on your habits on transit in the comments section.

This poll is actually a two-parter. This part (Part One) is devoted to what you do on transit. The next poll will be about the motivations behind those activities (to think about your day ahead, meet people, work, etc.)

Okay. Enough of the preamble. Let the polling (and comments) begin!


  • By Rob, September 23, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    I get really up close and friendly with my fellow bus riders because they still haven’t run enough buses on 49th ave.

    I’m sick of seeing elderly people hanging on for dear life because the seats at the front are already full of other elderly and disabled people.

  • By Alan Hawker, September 23, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    I put listen to music, but that is only if alone. However I am a chronic multi-tasker, so I would actually be listening to music, looking out the window, checking the internet and probably be playing Scrabble online all at pretty much the same time.

  • By Midori, September 23, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    On my commute I read a good book and listen to my music. Occasionally, the morning ride becomes more interesting in a quirky way when someone uses the time to apply their makeup including mascara, oblivious to anyone around them. For someone like me, who feels compelled to ensure that all of that is done before I set foot outside my door, this total lack of modesty is sooo interesting!

  • By Laura-Beth, September 23, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

    I observe the interesting people on the bus/train. It’s a good way to pass the time.

  • By amfriesen, September 23, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    I do many things while accessing the internet on my commute – read, figure out my day, play games, etc. so I REALLY appreciated that the Canada Line allows a cell signal. I’ve noticed that Granville & Burrard stations seem to have more signal than before as well.

  • By MacKenzie, September 23, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    I catalogue people annoying behaviors and make a point to do something rude to them on my way out.

  • By CLC, September 23, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    on the worst bus ever aka #49, it is all about listening to “please move to the back of the bus” message looping at every stop, and counting the number of pass-ups from my boarding stop until my Canada Line transfer.

  • By ;-), September 23, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

    I check this blog on my Blackberry!

    Otherwise, I’m using the mobile site to see if I need to run for my next bus connection.

  • By Peter, September 23, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    Most of my time is spent waiting for a late bus to show up.

  • By Chris Yuen, September 23, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    Its interesting that the picture chosen to accompany this poll is of a woman reading a newspaper on a nearly empty bus- which implies the bus is losing money. I would check and reply to emails if I had a smart phone but since they’re so expensive here, I just twiddle my thumbs when I get to sit, or pretend to read advertisements to avoid awkwardly looking at those standing within close proximity.

  • By Chris, September 23, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

    If I can sit, I’ll read. If have to stand, I people watch.

  • By JKKT, September 24, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    I people watch, and look at what that person is looking at out the window, so, Can I pick 2 answers?

  • By Shannon, September 24, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

    I used to read on the bus but now that I’m rarely able to get a seat on the B-Line when I commute to/from work so I look out the window or people watch. I look forward to Broadway Corridor upgrades so that I’ll be able to enjoy and be productive on my commute again.

  • By Steven, September 25, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    For a couple of weeks I have the daunting prospect of commuting from Vancouver to Langley which is longer than my commute was from London to Paris! So I guess I will be taking plenty of reading material and hope I don’t need to pee en route!

  • By Dora, September 26, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    Most frequently, if I can get a seat I read, or check my email or Facebook on my iPhone. I often listen to music as well, and if I’m standing I’ll generally listen to music and look out the window (if it’s not fogged up!).

  • By EM, September 26, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    I read or listen to music and drink my coffee. When I was in school I used to do my math homework on the bus.

  • By AP, September 27, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    If I am by myself, I listen music. However, if I am with another person, I usually have a conversation with them.

  • By Reva, September 27, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    When I’m by myself I like to look out the window and/or listen to music. But when I ride with my husband, we watch the other people on the bus, and make up stories about interesting-looking passengers. Sometimes we even end up giving secret names to passengers we come across regularly. It’s fun. :)

  • By Julia, September 28, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    I always have to listen to music (especially in the morning!), but I also occasionally read the free dailies if I have a chance to grab them, check my email/facebook, and play games on my phone. Sometimes I people watch, especially if it’s sunny (so I can be sneaky and wear sunglasses).

  • By Donna (CMBC), September 28, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    Mostly, I read — the kindle is a wonderful device, so nobody knows I’m reading utter shlock. I often check twitter or my email on my iPhone, and on occasion… I knit. :)

  • By Alan, September 28, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    I look out the window and listen to my music. I absolutely refuse to talk to anybody on the bus knowing that other people will be listening in due to the fact there’s that or staring on the window.

  • By Erik, September 29, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    I wait for Skytrain to be fixed, and for my stopped train to resume any type of movement. The fact that it breaks down as much as it does is unacceptable. I don’t pay my fare to have to wait an hour to go 3 or 4 stops.

  • By zack, September 30, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    On sunny days I mainly look out the window especially on the SkyTrain,given the vast beauty of Metro Vancouver’s landscape! :) Other times I read or listen to music. I try not to make direct eye contact with other people due to it’s awkward nature. That is unless that person is carrying heavy items next to me or is a senior, then I give up my seat as a courtesy. It’s just the right thing to do. :)

  • By Andrew S, October 2, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    If I ride by myself, I like to look out the window to see where my stop is so I can beat the stop announcer by ringing the bell before it announces the stop :D and if the bus is so full that I can’t see out the window, I can’t help but people-watch :P The Canada Line is mostly underground, so I’d rather choose to watch people than to look at kilometres of concrete wall hahaha. And usually my ride isn’t long enough to read or study, so I’ll ring up one of my friends on the phone, and maybe text too. But calling is wayyyyyy cooler :D and I always try my best to keep my voice low to avoid disturbing other people

    If I’m riding with a friend then the ride is just gonna be filled with chatting. and ofcourse occasionally looking out the window to make sure we’re not lost, LOL.

  • By intoxiastaina, November 9, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

    Hi! i’m repost you post: to my @saqbiqii twitter

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » The results of the September “How do you spend most of your time on transit?” poll — October 4, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » Friday Fun Poll: What motivates how you spend most of your time on transit? — October 14, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

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