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These are the top back-to-school transit tips, according to you

These are the top back-to-school transit tips, according to you

A person with a bike, walking alongside a SkyTrain at a SkyTrain station

September marks the start of many things – the fall season, transit service changes, and the school year! With that in mind, we asked you on Instagram: “What are your transit tips for back-to-school?”

With over 60 responses, let’s check out the top tips you gave!

1. Be early and plan ahead!

No two days of commuting are the same. Forgetting your lunch, traffic conditions, or just staying up late for a late-night study session can all be reasons that your commute is not what you expected. That’s why planning ahead and arriving at your bus stop or station early can make your life easier!

Using transit navigation apps like Google Maps or the Transit app provides real-time information, so you can better plan your commute ahead of time. With both apps, you can set an arrival time, so that you can see when you need to head out.

Using the Google Maps app, setting an arrival time
Setting an arrival time can help you map out when you should leave

Along with that, be the first to know of any disruptions to your commute by registering for Transit Alerts! Transit Alerts is the go-to spot to check for any service impacts along your travel.

2. Have an alternative route planned

Just like carrying a battery pack for your phone, having an alternate route can be a lifesaver when something unexpected happens. It can be useful, for those just-in-case situations. Instead of last-minute-panicked planning, you’ll just walk to the nearest route and get on with your day!

3. Time-shift your commute

Between 7 and 9 a.m. in the mornings and between 4 and 6 p.m. in the afternoon are the busiest times on transit as that’s when the majority of commuters shuffle around the region. Instead of travelling during these peak hours, try commuting to campus earlier and leaving later if you can.

Not only will you have a quicker and more comfortable commute, but you can also use this time to get some extra homework or studying done!

4. Move in from the doors and all the way to the rear

Boarding transit can sometimes be like playing Tetris when it’s busy. So, a good rule of thumb when getting on the bus is when the seats are full, move as far back as you can. Just like Tetris, you’ll create more space for other pieces (passengers) to fill up!

5. Put down your bags

Let’s level up the Tetris example by clearing some rows! Place your bags on the ground when standing or on your lap when seated. When you do this, not only do you clear extra space for others, but you also give your shoulders a well-deserved break!

6. On the RapidBus and 99 B-Line, use all the doors for boarding

Many of you noted most passengers tend to prefer boarding from the back door of the RapidBus or 99 B-Line. But remember, there’s also the middle and front doors!

Using all the doors while boarding helps everyone save time

7. Load your U-Pass BC each month and set monthly reminders

One of the perks as a post-secondary student is access to U-Pass BC! It provides eligible students with unlimited travel across all three zones in our transit network. Link your adult Compass Card with U-Pass BC at

You can request your U-Pass BC on the 16th of each preceding month. That means you can request your October U-Pass BC starting on Sept. 16 for example. It may take up to 24 hours for your U-Pass BC to load onto your Compass Card, so be sure to set a monthly reminder ahead of time to load your card!

Did we miss any important back-to-school transit tips? Comment below!


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