My Switch To Trolleys from B-Line in September

A Vancouver trolley bus, but not the one I take during my morning commute

As usual, the Tuesday right after Labour Day is famously the most busy day for traffic via all modes of transport across the city. I personally change my transport pattern at this time of year.

The B-Line is part of my usual commute.  It’s actually a somewhat pleasant ride in the summer because it’s quick and spacious when less people are going to school.  That’s high school and university that I’m referring to.  However, September brings everyone back to school and work.  I find the “B-Line Crush” really crazy at this time of year.  The line up at Broadway & Commercial tends to wrap around the corner past the Blenz Coffee.  Often there are 4 buses that pass me up before I can get on a B-Line.  I don’t mind one, but 4 is ridiculous.

So instead of taking the B-Line, I go through downtown to take a trolley to West Broadway.  It seems counter-intuitive, but I decide to sacrifice speed in favour of sanity.  The B-Line is guaranteed to be a sardine can.  It is quick once you’re on a B-Line, but it’s quite the jostle to get on the bus itself.  (At least I’m not one of the poor Main Street riders trying to board an already overflowing bus).

The trolley can be admittedly slow, but as long as I give myself enough time, it can be a much more pleasant ride.  Sure, it stops all along Granville Street on its way out of the downtown peninsula. And occasionally, the trolleys get really snarled in traffic.  However, I am always pleasantly rewarded with a scenic ride over the Granville Street Bridge.  Plus, at this time of year, I will probably arrive at work roughly in the same time frame if I had taken the B-Line.

My only exception to this transit pattern change is Thursday.  Thursday is the day at UBC where the most students have somehow managed to wriggle a day off in their schedule.  So on Thursdays, I take my chances with the B-Line.

One new wrinkle this year in the commute.  The Up Escalator on the north side of Broadway Station has been down since May of this year.  When I passed by last week, it looked nowhere close to being finished.  This escalator is the one that most Millennium Line passengers take when they transfer to the Expo Line.  So now they all have to take the stairs or elevator.  It’s already been busy during the summer when Millennium Line passengers use those stairs.  It’s only going to be worse with the September rush.

By the way, how long does it take to fix an escalator exactly?  It’s been 4 months!!

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