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I Love Transit 2012: An interview with Rebecca Bollwitt, owner and operator of Miss 604

If you’ve read only one Metro Vancouver blog in your lifetime (besides the Buzzer of course), chances are it was the very popular Miss 604. Rebecca’s blog has a little bit of everything for almost everyone who lives in Metro Vancouver, including entries on travel, history, interviews, events and contests like the I Love Transit summer gift pack! Oh, and she’s won pretty much every award a blogger can win.

Rebecca grew up in Metro Vancouver, and transit was part of her childhood. As you’ll find out in this interview, she not only has some fond memories of transit, but she’s also still an avid user of the system!

Do you have a first memory of public transit?

Rebecca at a Vancouver bus stop

I do! I grew up in Newton [Surrey], and my grandparents lived in Whalley [Surrey]. I remember I was in pre-school. My mother and I would walk down to the Newton Exchange. We’d get on the #324, and we’d take it to my grandparents house and have lunch with them. When I was in preschool I remember having my old stuffed animal with me on the bus. The #324 was always my route growing up.

Then, when I moved to Vancouver I decided to trade in my car that I had when I lived in Surrey to subsidize my rent. We lived closed to everything anyhow. My husband and I moved to West End of Vancouver seven years ago, and we got a car two years ago. We didn’t use it for the first year because of the Olympics. The roads were closed, we had our media badges for events,which came with free transit access. So, we’ve only been driving our car for about a year. We only got it so I could do trips for my blog; Whistler, the Okanagan, Seattle, that kind of thing. We hardly use it around town.

What’s your favourite mode of public transportation?

The Canada Line is beautiful.

Why’s that?

It’s just beautiful. It’s got your nice wide aisles. We go to the airport a lot, so it’s nice to have enough room for your bags. You can hop right on at the airport, and you can get 3G most of the time even though it’s mostly underground.

Otherwise, living in the West End you have to love the trolley buses. I even miss the old trolley buses. They came off the wires a lot, but there’s a certain charm to them. Before they were discontinued, my husband made a recording of the sound they make. They sort of sounded like the Jetson’s Car. Woooooo! But the new trolleys are so much nicer over all. I think anyone who lives in the Vancouver area has memories of transit.

You mentioned the #324. Do you have a favourite transit route now?

I think it’s the SeaBus. My friend calls it the $3.75 harbour cruise. It’s super cheap for a harbour cruise from downtown to the North Shore (laughs). He drew us a sketch of the SeaBus with mountains and the port and all that. It was for my anniversary, and it’s hanging in my house.

Where do you like to sit when you’re on the bus?

I’m one of those people that goes all the way to the back. On the busy routes that I take like the #5 and the #6, most people get on and stand right at the front even though the whole back upper section of the bus is empty. I sit there not because I want to be the cool kid at the back of the bus. You need to leave room for the strollers and everyone else.

How about on the Canada Line or SkyTrain?

Anywhere where I can find a seat. I don’t mind standing. When I’m traveling with my niece and nephews, I know they like the “driver’s seat.”

SeaBus?

If I’m going to the North Shore, I like looking back at the city and watching it move away from me. I like watching the city fade away.

Why do you love transit?

It’s cheaper than gas. If I’m going across town for a meeting, I’ll be spending the money on gas and parking. A parkade will cost you $10 wherever you are. If you’re parking at a metre near the Vancouver Convention Centre, it will cost a few dollars minimum. Instead of driving around the block with your car looking for a parking spot, you hop off your bus, and you’re there. Transit saves money and time.


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