Living in Surrey has a few disappointing aspects. Some more personal and not something I’m going to go into on this blog, but one glaring aspect has been transit.
Surrey, like many of the Vancouver suburbs, has a lot of side streets. The buses run down the main streets and people have to walk from their neighborhoods to reach the stops. As someone who until recently lived near a lot of bus stops, having to walk 5 to 10 minutes (often in the rain) to the closest stop sucks. But then again, in the sunshine I love the walk. Provided I’m not running late of course.
That could be my biggest pet peeve though. While I’ll often be running late, I have taken large strides to make sure I’ll be at my stop on time. Buses run only every half an hour, even during rush hour, so I’ll leave my house to allow me to get to the stop on time. So it’s extremely frustrating to see the bus pull up 5 minutes early while I’m still walking to the stop. Five minutes in Vancouver is no big deal, another bus will be along at the stop within a few minutes or there’s often another stop with another bus line within a few block radius.
Weekend traveling is an even bigger pain. I have troubles making plans with friends if I know that I can’t get a ride or borrow a car due to even more infrequency in the schedule. On my days off I don’t want to spend more time traveling to meet friends than I actually spend with them. So I tend to lose out in that regard.
It’s really hard to get behind public transit in hopes of reducing cars and pollution on the road when it’s not readily available or convenient to use. Nor are they making the decision easier on us by not showing up at their promised arrival time.
I think I would definitely turn my back on my 3 zone pass if I were to have full access to a car. Driving to work wouldn’t take much longer, even on Highway 1 during construction, and I’d love the ability to give little concerts on my commute without getting strange looks from my fellow transiters. Money wise I know it would be more expensive, but I can see myself getting pretty fed up and willing to do it.
It’s all a moot point though, since moving to this suburb was only done in an attempt to save money. So I’ll continue to commute into the city and do my time on Translink to find little gems to share on this site.
Never fear, it doesn’t look like I’ll be leaving you guys anytime soon.
I cannot be alone in my frustration with suburban services. Let it all out in the comments section, sharing is cathartic!