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I Love Transit 2019: 40 years behind the wheel

I Love Transit 2019

It’s I Love Transit week, October 7–11, and we’re bringing you stories about our customers, staff, transit enthusiasts and all things we love about transit. 

TransLink’s a team of nearly 8,000 employees. We’re all united in support of our customers — all 500,000 of you — who depend on us to get to and from work, visit an old friend and everything else in between.

Some people come to TransLink for a job, and others come for a life-long career. Angus McIntyre is the latter, retiring from Coast Mountain Bus Company after nearly 41 years of service.

I Love Transit - Angus McIntyre

Angus began his bus operator training in August of 1969, back when buses had no right side mirrors and part of the job was to sell tokens to passengers and provide change as needed.

Through nearly 41 years of employment, Angus steered his way through four different employers, three unions and four major labour disputes.

Driving trolleybuses almost exclusively, Angus was a night owl working the evening shift most days. Even 41 years ago, a career as a bus operator provided ample flexibility with shift trades and holiday work taking Angus and his diesel buses to Richmond, Surrey and White Rock.

I Love Transit - Angus McIntyre Stanley Park loop 1975

“My first shift out of training was a notice run for Marie, one of the female drivers who had started as a conductorette on the streetcars during World War II. For two months I worked the Stanley Park/Powell/Nanaimo run, with Friday and Saturday days off. This was a very senior run in those days, and a great way to start my career. Upon her return to work, we finally met, and she complimented me on looking after her ‘regulars’.” Angus recalls.

Angus drove four generations of trolleybuses and finished his career with four years of the present low-floor trolleys with the articulated trolleybuses being his personal favourite.

As the years passed, Angus watched Vancouver change from behind the windshield of the various buses he captained daily.

Despite being saddened by the loss of familiar old buildings and the disappearance of neon signs that brightened the night sky, through the years Angus witnessed False Creek industry replaced with housing and Expo ’86, and of course the remarkable skyline that stands today.

“Another memory of the first shifts out of training was with a Brill trolley on a Sunday evening on the Granville/Victoria line. Over forty years later, I bowed out on a Sunday evening with a low-floor articulated trolleybus on the Main/Victoria. Family and friends joined me on my final day with two Brill trolleys on my Dunbar/Nanaimo run.”

Today, Angus continues to volunteer with the Transit Museum Society (TRAMS), whose mission is to celebrate British Columbia’s transit heritage through the restoration, preservation and operation of historical vehicles significant to the history of public transit in the province. Last year, Angus was proud to be back behind the wheel of a Brill trolley for the 70th anniversary of the trolleybus system, and of course, celebrate the rollout of 100% Battery Electric buses to the CMBC fleet earlier this year.

Our new battery-electric bus on the left and an OG electric bus on the right.

A huge thanks go out to Angus McIntyre – Metro Vancouver’s transit historian. Angus’ passion for transit didn’t stop behind the wheel, he has been found behind the lens of his camera for years capturing and documenting transit throughout the region.  

Do you have a great I Love Transit story to share? Email us at thebuzzer@translink.ca or share it via social media using #ILoveTransit.

Author: Sarah Kertcher


1 Comment

  • By Prafful M, October 9, 2019 @ 11:45 pm

    I Love Transit.
    I want to be a transit operator .

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