Reviews of Vancouver Bus Routes

99 B-Line // Claire Vulliamy

The snootiest of the buses is the 99 B-line. Too good for the majority of the stops, it races down the roads at the speed of light. This bus is also the only bus where they let you weasel your way in through back doors. Fell asleep? You’re screwed. You’ll end up in middle-of-nowhere UBC before you know it. Better yet, take the evolved form of the Broadway B-line: the mythical 99 Boundary B-line that only appears when direly needed, or when you sacrifice a goat. While the regular B-line does an awkward turn down Commercial, dumping all of its passengers to stampede through the Skytrain Station, and then turning away to sit uselessly on an awful looking, short diagonal street, the Boundary B-line goes all deep into the wilds of single-house East Vancouver, and continues to Burnaby. Burnaby! Who doesn’t want to go hang out in Burnaby? Right on Boundary too, so you can shuffle between two cities. Taking the B-line is like being rich and owning a limo that you can take anywhere for free. I live on this bus.

4 Powell/UBC // Marco Ferreira
The number 4 bus meets most requirements for a daily commute. The drivers do a suitable job and the passengers are usually reserved. During peak hours the bus can get quite full, but it's never at capacity. It's dependable, and costs an affordable $2.50 per ride. However, I had this strange experience on it: at about 10:45 AM on a Thursday, I was commuting to work, as usual. Suddenly, the driver slowed the bus and turned into the side of a building. A few passengers took note. We scraped along the wall for under a minute before plummeting through the ground into infinite blackness. Some passengers let the driver know that we were no longer taking the normal route. Suddenly, there was a blinding light, and there we were, suspended on the eighth floor of the Bay building downtown. The front of the bus was situated in the mall, so when the driver let the passengers know there would be a major delay, most of us got off. I work close to the Bay, so I walked the rest of my commute; others may have been up to an hour late. For this reason, I can't give the 4 a perfect score out of 10. I give it a 9.2.

135 SFU // JJ Brewis
You wait. You wait some more. And then you realize they switched the stop AGAIN, just as the 135 goes roaring past, splashing rain, last night's piss, and beer in your face. You chase the bus, only to make it because there are three people in wheelchairs arguing about who got there first. You cram in, and are treated to a tirade from this dumb girl telling her friend over her flip-phone why she doesn't like giving that new guy she's seeing head (his dick smells). Then the bus takes off and you fall into a homeless man and get remnants from his recycled cans all over your new H&M tweed blazer. The bus sails past Main, as the driver jovially yells, "Always be careful when crossing this street, folks. Last week, a pedestrian got SMOKED here!" Awkward laughs fill even the “accordion” middle section. And just as you relax, you realize you are going to be late for the dentist, because never mind anyone getting on, barely anyone is getting off, and you're so far back, you're going all the way to SFU, rotten teeth and all.

The Seabus // Shannon Elliott
The seabus is basically Translink’s way of shitting on everyone who lives in North Van. It takes 15 minutes to cross the Inner Harbour! That’s forever when you’re already late for work. That’s also 15 intermiable minutes of staring awkwardly into a stranger’s eyes, because the seats face each other … the same hard, plastic seats made entirely of right angles. To add insult to injury, the “nice” cushiony new seabus constructed for the 2010 Olympics was deemed too good for regular public use. I presume it now spends most of its time ferrying the dead across the River Styx. It all stinks, but Translink gets away with it because they have tricked tourists into thinking that it’s some kind of cool attraction. That’s right, Korean tourists ride this thing for fun. It’s not the Staten Island ferry, people. Are you expecting a pod of fucking orcas to breach off the starboard bow? The most memorable thing that ever happened on this vessel was that a man jumped off his harbour booze cruise in January and had to be picked up by the seabus mid-voyage. Legend has it that when he realised he was on the seabus he asked to be put back in the water. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since being forced to take satanic boat rides seems to be a transit tradition in our fine city. I’m talking about you, BC Ferries.

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