Transit moments of the 2000sPosted: 28 December 2009
The Buzzer blogger asked readers what their favourite transit moments of the passing decade were. Based on the comments placed there already, there is no shortage of highlights. Rather than put a condensed version in the comments of the original post, I’ll put mine here, and add pictures! The fun begins after the jump.
2002: Montréal Métro
My first trip by myself, and I really, really loved Montreal. The fact the métro was there to connect me everywhere was just a bonus. At the time, I wrote that a métro train is much longer than a Vancouver SkyTrain simply because Montreal’s system is much larger, and the stations were designed as such. Still, it was fun just to ride and listen to the “Prochain station” announcements.
2002: opening of SkyTrain Millennium Line
It’s always a thrill to ride something new, and on opening weekend, I joined the masses to test it out. I even boarded the 99 B-Line on the way back, from the old Lougheed Mall loop to Commercial Drive; that section was of course dropped in favour of the Millennium Line.
2005-2006: visits to Los Angeles
I was visiting family in Orange County, but that didn’t stop me from making my way into LA County and trying out its Metrorail network. And as I documented here, I went from one end of the system to the other on a $3.00 daypass! I even tried a service from Downtown LA to Disneyland. Yes, you can travel SoCal by public transit.
2005, 2007: Brill trolley tours
In a decade that brought in a modernization of the trolley fleet, including, for the first time on regular service, 60-foot articulates, these reminders of the early days of Vancouver trolleys are a great trip to take. The vintage bus goes all over the city, and it’s great to see the reactions of people on the street as the bus passes them.
2005-present: Introduction of various intercity routes
The route planners at TransLink have been very busy in the second half of this decade, as they recognized the need for bus service between various suburbs, and not just suburb-to-Vancouver. Among them are the 130 extension to North Van, the 301 between Newton and Richmond Centre, and the 595 between Langley and Maple Ridge via the new Golden Ears Bridge.
Portland’s system is great, and it complements a great city. If I ever have to live in the USA, I’d choose Portland. A light-rail service that goes directly to the airport; a fare-free downtown; the downtown streetcar: they all integrate quite well with the bus network. Frequent bus routes are designated as such on timetables and on bus stops, so there’s really no need to figure out when the next bus should arrive.
Just as much a highlight of my few days in London as the sights I did end up visiting. The Underground wasn’t fun the first time, but I got used to it and I used it as much as I could. And I boarded a double-decker bus that went from Trafalgar Square to Westminster Cathedral that passed by the Parliament buildings and Westminster Abbey. And this was a public, not a tour bus! Oh, and one terminus of the Piccadilly Line – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see if you can keep a straight face when you hear it.
That was fun. Who knows what will happen in the next decade, let alone where I’ll be heading, but hopefully there’s more transit-riding in the future!