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