There are two types of people in the world: people who have cried on public transit and liars. We all do it. You put on a song by the Fray or The Script, and you stare out the window like you are in a mid-2000s music video. You just failed a midterm or got dumped or did the dumping or had a big argument or maybe the wind changed direction and you’re feeling fragile. Some planet has gone into retrograde and you’re full of bad energy. Whatever the cause, here you are, in need of a way to get to where you need to go and also cry this out of your system.
Some transit provides a deep, cathartic crying experience, as if you were being swaddled by someone dear to you. Others make you feel like a saturated sponge being slung around a mosh pit when the house lights are still on. Whatever the destination, I have carefully curated criteria for what makes a good transit cry. There are four key points: anonymity, seat availability (because who cries standing up?), smoothness of journey and overall atmosphere. Bonus points can be awarded for qualities like arrival frequency or other x-factors. Without further ado, let’s get this sob-story on the road.
7: Absolute gamble. If and only if it arrives, then you have anonymity, a seat and a tired, commuter atmosphere. 3/4, solid crying route. Unfortunately, catching a 7 in the wild is a bit like seeing a rare Pokemon. More than likely, you will end up crying at a bus stop, which is stationary and undignified. 0/4, no bus found.
25: Likely to see someone you know, seats availability depends on time of day, stops fairly often but has a good vibe. Has gotten me through some dark days. Distinctively unreliable, though. Sorry, old friend. 0.5/4, let the past die.
16: Not a UBC bus, I know, but I HAVE shed an inebriated, late night tear or two on it and I felt that earned a spot. Full of the diaspora of clubbers, the seats are often taken and the lights stay on while you jolt stop to stop. -1/4, I had to cry on another bus line to get over this one.
68: Perhaps the worst cry. Small, crowded, full of classmates, keeps you on campus and the poor, unfortunate driver can definitely hear you. The whole thing is, like, 12 ft long. -1.5/4, I’d rather cry on the 16.
4: Full of people I know, *might* get a seat and jolts every 2.5 seconds because it’s an electric bus. Reasonable chill vibes until it snaps off the cables and had to be pulled over. 0.75/4, do not cry me a river here.
14: This ranks exactly the same as the 4, for exactly the same reasons. However, it does go past my favourite cheap sushi place (shout out Sun Sushi) so that has to count for something. 1/4, mediocre.
84: The chicken strips of transit meltdown options. Not the best, never the worst and exactly what you expect. Entirely average crowds, anonymity, vibe, etc. Semi-spaced stops, but not quite that 44-level cruise. 2.5/4, not bad at all.
33: A hidden gem for commute crying. Much less busy than the average bus (leaving UBC that is), arrives when it says it will (admittedly infrequently), has a very chill vibe and is the route of choice of exactly three people I know (i.e, nearly perfect anonymity). Bonus: It often leapfrogs the 25 so you stop less. Unfortunately, I’ve had to start my cry at the bus stop because I can’t wait for the necessary 15 minutes at least once, so that loses some points. 3.5/4.
41: I’ve ridden this bus all of three times, but it was empty, guaranteeing a seat and no awkward conversations with acquaintances. It goes along my favourite running route and running brings me joy. That’s not congruent with having a big bus cry. 3/4, didn’t pass the vibe check.
44: My cry-line of choice for all of my second year. Express buses always win out points for the smooth ride and I pretty much always had a seat. Bonus: West 4th gives you a view of beautiful high rises you can never possibly afford to put the “Rent will suck my bank account dry forever” icing on top of the “just kill me” cake. 3.5/4.
99: Much like my first kiss, crying on this bus was not as embarrassing as I expected. Much unlike my first kiss, it did not make me realize I like girls. It did, however, provide a perfect white-noise background to a seated, isolated, cathartic cry-and-commute. I spent 12 glorious minutes having a sob and didn’t make eye contact with a single person I knew. During that period, the bus stopped all of four times. Surprisingly blissful. 4/4.
N17: Unlikely to see anyone (sober) you know, always available seats, infrequent stopping for a nice smooth ride and a dark, moody atmosphere. When it’s raining just a little, you’ve got your head against a window and they shut the lights off while their driving? *Chef’s kiss.* Magnificent, therapeutic crying territory. 4/4 would cry again.
The N17. It just has the late-night je ne sais quoi that gives the ultimate sobbing experience. I think because I’m a melodramatic cry baby, if that already wasn’t self evident.