Thursday, March 8, 2007


  1. It's unreliable - The trains are supposed to show up every 4-8 minutes, but it's usually every 4-12 minutes.
  2. It's loud - It's almost impossible to carry on a phone conversation while on SkyTrain without yelling into the phone and disturbing other people.
  3. It's dangerous - For people who decide to throw themselves onto the electric tracks. Thus causing all of the trains to be behind schedule for upwards of 20 minutes between trains.
  4. It stinks - It doesn't seem to matter how often they clean the cars, they always smell. It's even worse when there's a group of people who are smoking marijuana in the back car, sitting at the very back of it. There's no ventilation and thus, you come out at the next station feeling quite "good".
  5. It's hot - In the older cars from 1985, there's no air conditioning and so when you get (on a busy day) 100 people in one car, body heat and environmental heat leaves you sweating profusely. And then you get problem #4 as well due to 100 people sweating.
  6. It's slow - Despite going about 70 km/hr, it seems to take forever to get anywhere. A drive that would take about 40 minutes, takes you about an hour on SkyTrain.
  7. The security sucks - Even though we have a section of the police force specifically on SkyTrain watch (guns and all), they never seem to be on the night trains or if they are, they're usually all on ONE train leaving the rest of us vulnerable.
  8. Homeless people - Because of the homeless crisis in the Lower Mainland, it's uncommon to get on a train at night and find a homeless person hitching a ride to keep warm (especially in the winter). Due to lack of #4's circulation problems the rancid smell of urine, feces, dirt, mud and rotten food permeats through the air in the car making you try to see how long you can hold your breath and if you can make it to the next stop by not breathing. It doesn't matter if you breathe through your nose either, you just end up tasting the putrid smell.
  9. Schedules - This is more for buses than the train which runs until about 1:30 a.m. The bus however, particularly the bus I need to get home on, stops running at 12:30. Making it impossible for me to work late since the bus outside the hospital comes at 12:18, gets to one train station at 12:25 and then you have to deal with issue #1 thus making me miss the bus across the river and having to pay $30 for a cab ride home. Too, going back to #1 - buses too can have schedule issues. One bus that I take from the train station to work is chronically late (by about 20 minutes) if driven by this one driver. Conversely, it is a few minutes early if driven by another driver which again makes scheduling a huge issue. Miss one bus because it's early and guaranteed the next one will be late.
  10. Price - Finally, the bane of my existence. While my 2 zone pass is $95 a month, it only allows me to go from Surrey to New Westminster and Burnaby. To go into Vancouver is another zone and the odd occasion that I'd like to go to North Vancouver via Seabus is extra money even though North Vancouver is the same zone number as New Westminster and Burnaby. Also, if you don't want to buy a bus pass for a month (which I didn't for March since I'll be in Brazil for 2 weeks at the end of the month), it's more expensive to pay the cash on the bus. You can buy fare saver coupons, but they're only good until 6 p.m. after which you need to shell out another $2.25; times that by however long you need to go without the bus pass (and the fact that fare saver coupons cost $36 per 10 tickets) and you're looking at a lot of money!

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind actually taking transit but as a human it's almost impossible for me not to complain about some things. Transit has saved me a bunch of money when I most needed it (especially when I was paying that $1200/month rent when I moved down here) but the novelty of taking it has finally worn off and I am hoping to obtain a vehicle by the end of the summer (or sooner) .

Transit is great for students or low income families (which I suppose would include me in a way), but there's still many glitches in the system. Now take into account that there will no longer be any Translink company and instead, the whole system will be run by a councel of mayors from cities in the Lower Mainland, with those on direct SkyTrain routes having a more important say than those of us on the outskirts; this surely will make transit even more of a hassle to use.

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