So now I’m a Online Advocate?

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?

3 Replies to “So now I’m a Online Advocate?”

  1. No, David, you def­i­nite­ly did not sound like an idiot.

    Much more like an “online advo­cate”, I’d say! 🙂

  2. total­ly agree with your assess­ment, mr. online advo­cate. these bus­es just look a lit­tle new­er, oth­er than that they’re not an improve­ment at all. but what do you expect from our tran­sit system. 

    and no, you don’t sound like an idiot. but then you nev­er do .

  3. The weird cush­ion, I fig­ured out about a week ago, is for peo­ple in wheel­chairs to back up against, so they have some sta­bil­i­ty when the bus stops quick­ly. Not a bad idea, but yeah, the whole front area of the new bus­es often seems like a des­o­late waste­land — no seats, no peo­ple, no nothing.

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