Many years ago, the powers that be at Translink (or Coast Mountain Bus Company – I’m never too sure who thinks these things up) decided that Richmond would be better served by having the 98 B-Line and a number of peak hour commuter buses deliver the masses to and from Vancouver instead of a number of suburban (or would that be interurban) routes. With this change, the powers that be also decided to allow both the pick-up and drop-off of passengers, albeit through a limited stop service, throughout Vancouver to assist with ridership in the city. However, two routes were left as express routes and therefore would “typically” be drop-off/pick-up only in and out of town.

And that’s what has me ranting tonight.

On your marks - get set -

On your marks, get set… – courtesy of Stephen Rees

For as long as I have taken either the 488 Burrard Station/Garden City and 492 Burrard Station/Two Road buses there have always been people who get on the bus in Vancouver thinking that the bus will stop and let them off before we reach Richmond. Although I feel for many as they simply have grown accustomed to most buses in Vancouver taking them as close to their front door as the yellow lines on the road allow, it causes quite a bit of conflict with the transit operators, the transit schedules and people like me who avoided the other choices to Richmond in the hope that we might get home a touch quicker. It doesn’t seem to matter that the bus will have “Express” flash on the front display, nor does it seem to matter when the operator mentions the matter to those boarding. There just always seems to be the one guy who “didn’t know,” and pulls the cord to get off at the “next stop.”

Now maybe it’s the cold I have talking at this point, but there is always a part of me that just wishes the bus kept going. Teach the person a lesson and give them a discounted tour of South Vancouver and North Richmond. How dare they slow me down on my regular commute home from work! I’ve never really counted, but how many different options did this person have to get where they were going in Vancouver, but chose the “quicker” option of a suburban bus? It’s not like it wasn’t going in their direction in the first place, right?

That’s just the problem.

It used to be a common understanding that if the bus was going to Richmond and you didn’t want to get there, you didn’t get on it. There was always that odd exception where someone who truly didn’t know the system or how it worked got on by mistake, but it was so infrequent that it didn’t bother a soul. But now it’s nearly every day. People see that the bus heads down Oak St. and think that it’s okay to inconvenience the majority. Courtesy is tossed to the side of the road. And if the bus doesn’t stop, heaven have mercy on the operator who gets and earful from the person who feels they have a right to do whatever they want.

And Chris sits there. Pissed off and motion sick.