Tag Archives: commuters win this round

Make the most of your commute

As seen on the UBC FYI blog.

Confession: fall at UBC is my favourite time and place of the year.

There’s literally nothing to dislike about it. The weather is nice, I have a new set of school supplies (seriously, nothing beats fresh notebooks), and there are so many opportunities out there!  Student life is at its most vibrant at this time of year.

As a commuter student, I often find myself torn: do I stay at school to immerse myself in this crazy amazing atmosphere—or do I go home to get some work done, unwind, and of course get some much needed sleep?

The struggle is so real.

So every term, I do three things:

First, I scope out the ultimate spot for studying and relaxing. Sometimes it’s Brock Hall, other times it’s an unused classroom in Woodward IRC. In the long hours between classes, I need somewhere I can be comfortable!

Secondly, I plan out my bus route to a T. With two hours of public transit a day, I need to make the most of my commute by minimizing the time spent waiting at the bus stop, and using the bus ride to do something useful (i.e. nap time! Or studying time, if you’re into that).

Lastly, I find friends who have similar schedules to mine. Staying late at school to study is fun, but studying with friends is better!

I’m super excited for this year. Are you?

That time I rode a party bus to school

Yesterday’s morning transit was unusual, to say the least.

Usually, I take the Skytrain from Burnaby all the way to the VCC-Clark station, where I’d rush off to catch the 84 bus. I had expected that morning’s commute to be no different.

When the Skytrain pulled into the Commercial-Broadway station, however, it stopped on the other side—the side headed back where I had come from.

Obviously, I wasn’t going to stick around and find out if the train was really heading back east. Thus, I exited with all the other commuters and lined up for the 99 B-line Express although it doesn’t feel very express. As usual, I passed up on the first bus that came by in order to get a seat. 

A minute later, a big, black bus with decorated windows pulled up to the curb. Oi, I thought this was a public transit stop only!

Blacked out windows do not a creeper vehicle necessarily make.

A couple of well-dressed dudes hopped out and cheerfully shouted, “who wants to go straight to UBC?”

Oh. Well…

So after .54238 seconds of hesitation, I got on, unsure of whether I would actually make it to class today or if I was going to be a victim of a public mass murder. Hey, I have an active imagination.

The bus was decked out with streamers, red bull, and balloons. There were faded leather seats, and at least one onboard washroom.

Is EVERYTHING at UBC sponsored by Red Bull?

Once everyone was seated and the bus started pulling away from the stop, the men introduced themselves as “kind of” from the AMS, and told us that the free rental bus that we were sitting in was a thing to promote their campaign for better, more reliable transit. Their only request was that we texted a number (given to us at the time) to sign a petition.

I think the majority of the bemused commuters ended up texting the petition, but there wasn’t really a huge obligation to do so. From what I could tell, it was a multi-step process of texting my name and email to the petition line. Sidenote: I’m still not sure if I’ll actually do so.

What felt like 40 or so total strangers squished up on a cozy bus. Look at ’em, getting all friendly with their fellow passengers.

Just half an hour (and 5 major bus stops—Cambie, Granville, Macdonald, Alma, Sasamat) later, I stepped off the bus and onto the plaza north of the SUB.

People lining up for interviews at UBC

People lining up for interviews. Such an exciting ordeal!

And that’s the story of how I got to class 20 minutes early! Man, was I glad I’d waited.

For more information and a more accurate description, read the Ubyssey’s article.