Before the SkyTrain ever plied the rails in Vancouver, life on transit was, well, slower. If anyone had to travel along Broadway, there was only the #9. The 99 B-Line didn’t start running until the late 90’s, so there was no quick way across town.
I was a kid back in the 80’s. And my brother and I had to head out to UBC. It was so long ago, I don’t remember why we were heading out that way. We lived out in East Vancouver. So East Vancouver to UBC was pretty fast by car. Without a car, though, you’d have to take the #9 milk run across town.
It was a very hot summer day. Vancouver buses don’t have air conditioning now and they definitely didn’t during the 80’s. You just open the window and hope the bus keeps moving to create enough of a breeze.
We got on the bus at Rupert and Broadway. I don’t remember much being at that intersection back in the day. It was already noon from what I recall. The bus was a now-decommissioned white trolley with the red and blue BC Transit trim. The destination sign was the large yellow words on black. That’s a classic now.
The interior of the bus are the classic bucket seats with vinyl red upholstery. The vinyl was great for sliding around on, especially when buses made a sudden stop. In the summer with shorts, though, the seats could be pretty sticky.
I’m sure the ride from Rupert Street all the way to UBC wasn’t over an hour long, but the ride felt like it took forever. The midday sun was blazing. The only seats left were the window seats on the sunny south side. The heat definitely added to my distorted sense of time. It probably also didn’t help being a young kid and anxious to arrive at our destination.
I wonder if anyone ever takes the #9 from end to end anymore. With the 99 B-Line now in place along Broadway, I know I wouldn’t. Perhaps, though, there’s still some who prefer the slower trolley because they feel it’s a more comfortable ride.