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17 transit things that were totally normal in 1999

A lot can change in 20 years, including these 17 transit things that were totally normal in 1999. Take a trip down memory lane and remember these iconic moments in Metro Vancouver’s transit history.

Carrying a coin purse around to pay for your transit fare

Now you can tap your Compass Card or contactless credit card and be on your way!

Nervous Spongebob Squarepants GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Seven-digit dialing for Customer Information

You gotta dial 10 digits now – 604.953.3333.

Season 7 Phone GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Showing your GoCard to get a discounted transit fare

Your valid student ID will get you there.

Movie GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Picking up the bus schedule from the library

It’s all online! You can get real-time transit information at and use different apps that take advantage of our open API.

Frustrated The Office GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Walking down steps to exit the bus

It was a thing! Horray for low-floor conventional buses.

The sound of the coins hitting the bottom of the farebox

It was like music to our ears.

Scratching off the zones on your Monthly Pass

It was all fun and games until you accidentally scratched the wrong zone!

Lottery Ticket GIF by Awkwafina - Find & Share on GIPHY

Listening to Cher’s “Believe”on your Sony Discman

Every bump, dip and jump would leave you skipping.

Jennifer Lawrence GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Reading Seventeen magazine while waiting for the bus

A teenaged right of passage.

Cha Cha Slide Magazine GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Playing Pokémon Gold and Silver on your Game Boy Color

Fingers crossed those double A’s didn’t run out before the end of your trip.

Video Games 90S GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

When the bus driver accidentally added an extra 15 minutes to your transfer

It didn’t happen often, but when it did…

Reading Harry Potter on the bus and basically everywhere

We’re still secretly hoping for a SkyTrain Platform 9 3/4.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

People talking loudly on their Nokia 3310

Sadly, it still happens on their iPhones.

Phone Battery GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Not knowing which bus stops at your bus stop

Today, all bus stops are equipped with at 5 digit stop number and route information so you always what’s coming!


Colour coded and hole punched bus transfers

Pay with cash and you can grab a modern day remake on a community shuttle near you!

Asking your bus driver for a heads up when your stop was coming

Now, thanks to onboard GPS, next stop announcements ensure you know where you are at all times!

When pulling the cord was the only option

Press the button, pull the cord or even yell “next stop!”. Variety is the spice of life.


Were these iconic transit things totally normal in your life in 1999? If you have something to add, leave it below in the comments section!

Author: Allen Tung & Sarah Kertcher


  • By Matthew Walker, April 13, 2019 @ 6:53 pm

    2019 we still have a limited number of buses with stairs. Orion V suburbans. This will change in the next two years.

  • By Robert, April 15, 2019 @ 4:31 pm

    No. 19 Stanley Park bus turns left against oncoming causeway traffic to enter Stanley Park loop near Lost Lagoon.

    Trolley buses have 41st & Oak on their destination signs (location of the former Oakridge Transit Centre).

  • By Derek Cheung, April 16, 2019 @ 3:57 pm

    AKA the Chilco Loop.

  • By Kelly, April 28, 2019 @ 1:26 pm

    All bus routes #123, 135, 151, 152, 160, 190, 252, 253, 256, 351, 352, 354, 401, 402, 403, 406, 407, 490, 601, 602, 603, 604, 606 and 608 all went to Downtown Vancouver. If I forget the rest, I’m sorry, but you know what I mean. Also bus #22 MacDonald did an express route to and from Downtown Vancouver.

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