Can you hear the back-to-school bells ringing? It’s the last weekend before Metro Vancouver heads back to the books, lectures and the daily hustle!
Classes for (most) students start right after Labour Day on September 3rd after a well-deserved summer break. We’re here to provide tips on how to make your commute efficient so you have more time to enjoy the first week back to school.
Did you know? In Sept 2018, we had an average of 515,000 fare gate entries for both Expo and Millennium lines! It’s the busiest month for us as our annual average daily Compass boardings was almost 350,000! 
So what’s rush hour ridership like?
During morning peak, between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. nearly 14,550 people exit downtown fare gates at Main Street, Stadium–Chinatown, Granville and Burrard Stations. That’s about 70% busier than the 60 minutes before, and about 60% busier than the 60 minutes after!
To help prepare transit commuters for the annual Post-Labour Day Hustle, here’s a list of helpful tips to improve the transit experience for commuters.
1. Don’t be late for class (or work)!
An important lesson for students – and employees, is to be prepared- so know before you go! Our Trip Planner  helps you plan your trip before you leave. Sign up for Transit Alerts  to receive up-to-date information about current transit conditions and system-wide transit alerts. Have your fare ready before you arrive at the fare gate or bus so you’re not holding up the line! Our friends over at Transit Police also have some tips to help students stay safe  on their return to school too.
Hey students, don’t forget to load your UPass onto your Compass Card before the first day of classes! It can take up to 48 hours for the pass to load onto your Compass Card. (Not a student and off to work? You can also set your Compass Card to AutoLoad  so you never have to worry about not having correct fare!)
2. Be Courteous
We’re all in it together when it come to commuting via public transit. Even more so when everyone is getting back into the groove of things, that’s why being courteous and respectful to your fellow commuters can make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. One of the biggest transit etiquette complaints are items occupying seats. In 2011, customers voted Birdy Big Bags as one of their biggest Transit Pet Peeves.  Be kind to your fellow passengers, make room and keep your bag by your feet when travelling on transit. That way everyone can get to where they need to go.
3. Have Patience
Aside from planning ahead, having patience helps everyone with their daily commute (which can sometimes be easier said than done). We’re all living the hustle life in one way or another and having empathy for each other will make it easier for everyone. It’s important to remember to keep back from all doors, allowing room for passengers to exit the vehicle before adjusting to accommodate more passengers. The first weeks of September are the busiest and people are getting used to their routine again (or in process of creating a new one). So putting in the extra time and being prepared for your commute never hurts!
4. Try Time Shifting
This is a tip dependent on your schedule and commitments, but try traveling during off-peak hours! Use the spare time you have to discover what’s around your transit hub and some other cool study places, networking or social hangouts. Don’t know where to start? Check out our favourite cafes  and bubble tea  spots around the transit network.
Find balance between routine and flexibility
Routine is great to keep track of your goals (anyone here trying to commit to their gym schedule?), but life happens and knowing how to adjust and be flexible will be your superpower. (Especially in university!)
Use our handy Trip Planner  to see if an alternate route may be available to help get you to your destination faster. Check out our TravelSmart program  to learn ways to reduce your costs, impact on the environment, and improve your health just by the transportation choices you make every day! Mixing modes of travel can speed up your journey and help to avoid crowds.
Did you discover a new way to combat the Post-Labour Day Hustle? We love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below!
Author: Helen H