I doubt there’s a person living in Vancouver who hasn’t ridden the 99. It’s the busiest bus in Canada — suck it, Toronto — ripping down Broadway from UBC to Commercial Drive.
Because it’s so busy, all three doors open at every stop and you can get on any of them. What this means is that if you hop on the back door, you never have to pay — unless God help you the police stop the bus and give you a hefty fine. I was lucky though, and didn't pay for a bus all summer, when the U-Pass forsook me.
If you’re a frequent rider, like myself and millions of others you might notice a few familiar faces:
In my year of living on the 99 route, I have never seen one of these people pay for the bus, even with the extra passengers they’re bringing on: bags of cans.
They’ve got the hustle, picking up cans from their temporary resting places in ditches and garbage bins across the city. They’re an unfortunate consequence of any combination of personal or economic forces and not a people for a history major who has lived his entire life in the comfort of the middle class. But they do make the bus smell like old beer.
Please. We just want to go home. I have three midterms tomorrow, it's the middle of November and I haven't seen the sun in four days. You don't need to know where I’m from or what my major is, just let me listen to my dumb podcasts and find out how John B. McLemore died.
People who stand next to empty bus seats
Stop being a martyr, please just sit in the empty seat, don't make me push my way through a crowd of other people too polite to give their heels a rest.
If you’re as irate as I am about riding this bus all the time every day (I figure I’ve spent a week of my life riding to and fro), there are people for you.
At 8 a.m. on October 24, some one thousand people will be right there with you, ready to pack into the back of the bus, not even waiting to hear that immortal “please move to the rear of the bus” — head on over there if you’re a transit martyr.