Anatomy of a bus ride:
8:40 a.m.: Arrive at Clark and Broadway bus stop headed west.
8:51 a.m.: Note that two B-Lines and two 9 Almas have stopped but are too crowded to board. Stay back from the hordes of shoving people to avoid early morning fistfight.
8:53 a.m.: Another B-Line stops; I can't board due to shoving.
8:56 a.m.: B-Line doesn't even bother to stop.
And ANOTHER B line pass up! What EXCELLENT transit service in Vancouver!— Miranda Nelson (@charenton_) September 13, 2012
9:02 a.m.: Despite standing exactly where the back door to the B-Line opens, I get flanked by two people who shove their way onto the bus ahead of me. Finally lose my patience and yell at the entitled jerks who pushed their way on ahead of me. "I've been waiting here for SIX buses! What is your problem?!" Continue yelling until bus doors close.
9:04 a.m.: Begin rage crying at the bus stop.
9:07 a.m.: Finally board an overcrowded B-Line to take me to work.
It is this painful to board a bus at Clark just about every single day. (And don't even get me started on boarding at Commercial-Broadway.)
We don't need more enforcement, and we don't need a $171 million fare gate-smartcard system if we can't even get enough buses on the road to service the current ridership.
Fun fact: yesterday morning, something magical happened. While enduring the regular stream of pass-ups and shovers, a completely empty B-Line arrived at my stop. EMPTY. I got to sit in a seat. It didn't make my blood pressure go through the roof. I wasn't almost trampled to death by a steady stream of college students, iPod zombies, and tiny old ladies. By the time we got to the Cambie stop, the bus was full, but not so much so that I could smell the coffee on the breath of my fellow riders. I managed to get to work without screaming at a single person or crying once.
It was, quite frankly, a miracle.
When your morning communte reduces you to screaming and tears, there is something fundamentally wrong with the transit system.
For more bus-riding tales of woe, follow Miranda Nelson on Twitter at @charenton_.