A couple of weeks ago I got an email and subsequently a quick phone call from a reporter for the Westender newspaper, a local (and when I say local, I mean really local, as in West End of Vancouver). Magda Ibrahim and I had a short chat about the electricity-powered buses around town, in particular, the new ones. She took some quotes from me, and put it into the issue I found in our lobby this afternoon. Of course, it has an online equivalent.
The part where I’m quoted is right near the beginning:
David Drucker, an online advocate for an improved transit system in Vancouver, says his main concern is that the new trolleys appear to have the same flaws as the old ones.
“It’s nice to see the investment, and they’re obviously being well used, but $273 million is a lot of money, and I’d have expected the system to be vastly improved with that,” says Drucker. “The overhead lines themselves are not really bad, but it’s quite a shame that the bus poles lose their connection to them so often. Not a week goes by that I don’t see some driver trudging out with their temporary orange uniform to coax the poles back into their overhead tracks.
“A design that keeps the poles more connected might help the situation, or, at the very least, clear directions and warnings to drivers of the most precarious places — if they don’t know already.”
Drucker adds that he is not impressed with the seating in the new trolleys; they have 30 seats — eight fewer than the old ones — but can hold an extra 12 people in total because of increased standing room. The pull-down seats at the front of the bus have proved to be a struggle for older people.
Not bad, I’d say. The only thing she didn’t include was my comment about that odd seat at the front left of the bus, right behind the driver. It isn’t so much a seat as a strange, cushion that looks like it might be something to lean against, although no one does.
At any rate, here I am, now an expert. (Hardly) I’m just a rider, and these days, it seems I’m riding the diesel ones (the 84 to and from the VCC/Clark Skytrain and the 123 from work to and from the Brentwood Station). Still, I guess those two years or so being car-less in the city gave me the right to 15 minutes of West Ender fame. Or perhaps 5. At least I didn’t sound like an idiot, did I?