High and Dry

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!

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About Jen S

The purpose of life is to find humorous blog material
This entry was posted in Is it just me?, Routes, Service. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to High and Dry

  1. Matthew says:

    Translink has tracking ability for the buses, it’ll be nice when they make real time updates available.

    However it’d be even NICER if they tracked and appropriately disciplined operators running sharp (transit lingo for early). We’ve seen via photos from a tour of T-Comm on The Buzzer Blog that their real-time system is even colour coded, they can see with a glance if a bus is early, late or very late. Any time a bus blows through a timing point early an alarm should go off and T-Comm should remind the driver that running sharp is inappropriate and will not be tolerated.

    They have the technology already in place to make life for us riders more pleasant and convenient, I hope they’ll start using it.

  2. Running sharp should only truly be penalised on routes with 15 minutes or more of a gap between buses.

  3. You just noticed that? Translink doesn’t care. Most of the people who take the bus don’t have a choice, so it’s not like people are going to do anything about this. I read the Buzzer Blog article on T-Comm, it’s ridiculous they haven’t developed a way to make that information available to the public. There’s no way to keep every bus perfectly on schedule, but if passengers can use the Translink iPhone app to find if it’s left its originating station and if so how many blocks away it is, they can tell if they can make it to the stop with plenty of time left, should run for it or wait for the next one.

  4. Timothy Choi says:

    I live in Surrey as well, on the 335 route (every 20 on weekday rush hour, 30 non-rush weekdays and mid day Saturday, 1 hour Sunday and early/late Sat), and my rule is to be at the bus stop 10 minutes early, even though my bus is hardly ever early. 5 minutes isn’t really enough, depending on how far your stop is from where the starting point of the bus trip is.

  5. bq says:

    I absolutely agree …growing up in surrey, it has been the biggest peeve.
    I hope they will huurry up and implement rapid bus transit
    I have even lost a job due to the unreliable service of buses in surrey.

  6. Me too. I live in Surrey, near Scottsdale Exchange. The service is way better than the service at a quiet arterial, but it still sucks. I think transit users in Surrey miss out on a lot of social opportunities.

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