Homeless in Vancouver: TransLink Christmas bus sees the light of day

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      Just after noon today (December 4) a TransLink bus flashed through the intersection of West Broadway and Granville Street—literally.

      The bus was decked out in what could only be Christmas lights but in the daylight, with all the electrical wiring visible, the strongest impression was of windows covered with a mesh, dotted with white lights.

      From the side at least, it looked—declared a friend—like a prison bus.

      Ho-ho-hope you have the exact fare

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Whatever the bus looked like from the side however, goodness nose that from the front—with its giant Rudolph-red bulb, eyes and reindeer antlers—there could not even be a ghost of a doubt that this bus represented some kind of apparition of Christmas yet to come!

      Personally, I have never seen TransLink buses decorated with Christmas lights plying regular transit routes and this bus was not running with either a “9 ALMA” or a “99 B-LINE” designation but rather as a “SPECIAL”.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      I doubt it’s a coincidence that I saw this bus the day after the annual Santa Claus parade was held in downtown Vancouver. I know the parade featured a Vancouver Fire and Rescue truck—why not a transit bus?

      Several cities run transit buses in their annual Christmas parades.

      The Minneapolis’Metro Transit authority has, for many years, run a very elaborately decorated “Twinkle Bus” in the annual Holidazzle parade through downtown Minneapolis—which, this year, began on November 24 and continues daily until December 23.

      Christmas decoration-wise, TransLink could learn from the Minneapolis Twinkle Buses, which do not miss a trick.
      Minneapolis Metro Transit

      It will be mildly unfortunate, I think, if the bus, dressed as I saw it today on West Broadway, actually is going into regular service over the Christmas holidays.

      Unfortunate for who, you ask?

      Unfortunate for cyclists, that’s who. The Grinch of Christmas clearly stole the bus’s bike rack to make room for the decorations!

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      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.

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