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Life on transit: do you have a secret friend on transit?


For March/April 2013, we’re spotlighting Life on Transit—observing and illuminating the quirks and habits of daily transit rides around our region!

Are any of these people secret friends on transit?

Are any of these people secret friends on transit?

For March/April 2013, we’re spotlighting Life on Transit—that is, observing and illuminating the quirks and habits of daily transit rides around our region!

Life on transit is all about sharing your ride, which means you’re rubbing elbows with a lot of different people throughout your day.

But as we talked about in the print Buzzer this month, amid the crowds you can sometimes find a secret friend—that is, someone you regularly see on transit, but you’ve never talked to before!

In 2010, we ran a blog poll asking readers if they had secret friends on transit, and 73 per cent said they did. And we heard some amazing stories, like the one from Dan B. below:

I see two guys on the bus — one gets on one stop after mine, another two stops after mine. We ride the same bus and train every day and we work at the same company, yet we’ve never spoken to each other nor do we know each other’s names. We spend a total of 45 minutes of travel time using the bus and SkyTrain — even the elevator sometimes! — yet we never feel this urge to even say “hi.” I like to call those people my “secret transit co-workers.”

But it’s 2013 now, and high time to check in again—do people still have secret friends on transit? Cast your vote now!

Do you have a secret friend on transit?

  • Yes (70%, 83 Votes)
  • No (30%, 36 Votes)

Total Voters: 119

Yes or no, feel free to share your stories in the comments. We’ll report back with our findings on Monday, March 25, 2013!


  • By Sandra, March 19, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    I would see the same people every morning on my way to work on the bus. This person and I worked in the same block, I knew she worked at the library. One time I saw this person on the street, and I like perked up, smiling, and she like looked at me like I was weird. Now when I see that person, she like makes a face at me, or when she or her friend sees me, they start taking like crazy and looking at me (not in english). I see them I avoid them. I moved, rarely see them, I see her friend once in awhile, I just keep on walking. lol. Never again.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 19, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    Ah! Oh well. I guess it’s a delicate balance, the secret friendship :)

  • By Chelsea, March 19, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    I used to take the same bus back and forth from work and home and as can be expected I had a bit of a schedule worked out. I often caught the same bus at the same time each day, and other then the bus driver, who after 15 or so of our trips aligning started becoming my early morning 30 second chit chat, there also happened to be one older lady. Call me creepy, but she was very interesting to watch. Over all of my trips I noticed she had a very specific routine, and it included a certain seat on the bus. I could see her get visibly upset if her seat was full, but she would never asked someone to move. She used to ring her hands together (think “evil plan”) over and over and over, a certain number of times I’m sure, or perhaps for a certain length of time. Through overanalysis, and my absolute 0 years education in any doctorate, I diagnosed her with OCD of some sort. I eventually switched jobs and that bus route was over, but I still think about it sometimes when I pass by the area.

  • By Nick, March 19, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

    I often ride the first bus of the morning home from work, and see lots of familiar faces there.

    Other than that…well, this person isn’t really a “friend” — they stick out to me because when I first saw them, they were being roundly chastised for making homophobic remarks about a couple, and trying to defend themselves by labelling everyone chastising them as mentally ill. I cringe whenever I see that person, because, ew, bigots.

    “Through overanalysis, and my absolute 0 years education in any doctorate, I diagnosed her with OCD of some sort.”
    Um. ‘Obsessive-compulsive’ traits aren’t necessarily OCD; Autistics display them too. At any rate, not cool. Professionals aren’t supposed to make public diagnoses without permission, much less of people they haven’t had a consultation with; common courtesy suggests you should do the same.

  • By Wendy, March 19, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    I take the first 345 every day. My stop has several regulars. There’s myself, the older white woman, the older aboriginal woman, the two male construction workers and myself. We don’t spend a lot of time on the bus as it’s only 10-15 minutes but we do spend a lot of time waiting for the bus together. The first to arrive is always myself or he older white woman. We are always at the stop by 5:10-5:20. I do not know a thing about her. I often wonder what she does as I can only assume that’s she’s going to work that early on a regular basis. She looks so statuesque and never says a word. The other woman looks like she does labour based on her workboots. The two men know each other and talk to each other. Other than that we make a silent group. When he bus is running late we all keep checking by leaning out into the street but we never say “I see it” or “hey, did we miss it?” We get on the bus in our order ( my only words being “good morning” to our bus driver) and even if we sit next to each other we don’t say a word. These are my transit friends.

  • By Eugene Wong, March 22, 2013 @ 5:43 pm


    I don’t think that she was handing out an official diagnosis. I believe that only you believed that for some odd reason.

    Since you, on this blog, get to call somebody a bigot, I think that it is only fair that you extend a common courtesy to let her express her opinion and perspective.

    As it is, she all ready added a disclaimer, admitting that she has no studies in the topic of discussion.

    If you want to be tolerant, then speak out on behalf of all the people that you have annoyed. Belittle yourself. Suggest courtesies to yourself.

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