Famous Bus Rides #4
Has anyone spotted it yet? Huh? Well, how much gas does a electric trolley bus carry? Ah-ha. I knew at the time I drew this it wasn’t accurate but I went ahead and did it, mostly beause I really wanted to draw a Brill bus. The Brills had been soldiering on for decades on the streets of Vancouver but they were being retired, probably sold off to Cuba or somewhere, and I wanted to commemorate them. I was on my way to a comic con that day.
Pigement marker on Letraset paper.
Please note that this mini-comic and many others are available from Colin Upton Comics - firstname.lastname@example.org - both individually and in sets at reasonable prices.
Coast Mountain Bus Company employees bid farewell to Oakridge Transit Centre, August 2006, a specially commissioned card by illustrator Barb Wood, who has been frequently featured here, and who has frequently included public transit in her artwork.
Card courtesy of an insider at Translink. Thanks, eh!
Third and St. Davids, a comic cell by legendary underground cartoonist Rand Holmes, as seen in the 1980 BCIT Almanac, under the Public Transit section. Third and St. David’s is the alternate name of the destination sign which has been used on the Southbound 228 Lonsdale Quay bus in North Vancouver, as well as the N24. Here is a transcription of the section, a great snapshot of the transit zeitgeist of the early 1980s, written by Michael Kluckner:
Millions of dollars have been spent in Vancouver over the last decade, not on the creation of a rapid transit service, but on expensive consultants’ reports on whether and what to do about it. Meanwhile, the streets get more and more crowded, the quality of life diminishes and the ticky-tacky suburbs—all served exclusively be the automobile—continue their march through farmland out over the horizon. This is progress?
Anyway, what passes for public transit is the bus system, basically the same system which has existed since the street-car rails were ripped up and the old “Toonerville Trolley” commuter railroad was discontinued some 25 years ago. The system is run by the Metro Transit Operating Company, a child spawned of B.C. Hydro with a couple of layers of regional bureaucracy dumped in between the bus drivers and the passengers.
The former NDP Government (1972-75), being believers in all-things-public, injected some money into the system during their term of office, bought some shiny new buses, painted the word “Bus” on the sides of most of them, and extended the service out into the boondocks including a commuter “Fastbus” service from most of the municipalities ringing Vancouver. The current government, and the current B.C. Hydro chairman (former Socred attorney-general Robert Bonner, the arch-foe of most things profitless and sensible), have alternately cut the service, expressed faith in it, and promised prompt and speedy action on rapid transit by 1984 or so.
Which leaves passengers waiting at the bus stop in the rain, usually.
The bus system is good, if you work downtown and are commuting during the normal rush hour from not too far away. Downtown congestion and parking rates are outrageous, so the bus system wins by default. It is convenient and cheap.
BCIT, in case you haven’t already noticed, is not downtown. It is in the suburbs, and unless you live along Willingdon, Hastings or Kingsway, it will take you a long time to get to school in the morning.
The Student Association is acting as a dealer for Hydro’s $18.50 per month student bus passes, available through the This & That Emporium, again this year. The pass is really a bargain, when you consider paying a dollar for any round trip and the inconvenience of always having the correct change.
Bus schedules and route maps are available in the Housing Office in the Maquinna Residence. If they don’t have the one you want or you are trying to figure out how to get somewhere you’ve never been, call B.C. Hydro’s Transit Information number and ask for directions. They will give you a very detailed route to follow, including bus numbers, transfer points and the time to catch the first bus in order to make your destination on time. A very worthwhile service.
In all fairness, B.C. Hydro is responsible for one of the great scenic bargains in the city—the 50¢ Seabus from the foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver to downtown. It’s a great way to see the harbor and mountains on a clear winter day.
Michael added some interesting comments as an addendum:
About a year or so after I wrote that piece, I had obtained an ongoing gig at CKVU on the Vancouver Show with Bob Spence, doing a program called “Between the Streets,” which explored areas of the city and compared what was there with old photos — it was what really got me going as a ‘historian’ and led me into doing the big serious city history books.
Faregates by the numbers, a Translink infographic explaining where the region’s 1.2 million trips are occurring, via the Buzzer Blog.
Cindy Buckshon's Transit Roots Art Exhibition opens this Saturday, February 11, 2012 at the Deer Lake Gallery in Burnaby. I’m resisting the urge to show a link to her blog to help build suspense! I just know this show will be loaded with Vancouver transit love, and I implore you to go and check it out! Makes a great Valentine’s expedition!
Reception is from 2-4pm, and refreshments will be served, the general public is welcome; transit riders especially welcome! I believe the gallery is only open Tues - Sat Noon - 4pm, so be sure to get there before 4!
6584 Deer Lake Avenue
Map to Deer Lake Gallery
Tell us about yourself and your art.
I like the aesthetic of rough hand drawn lines. Often working in pen, I like to add in watercolour and india ink. The unexpected nature of the medium appeals to me. Makes it more of an adventure. For this illustration I scanned it in and worked with photoshop and illustrator.
How did you come up with the concept for your illustration?
Heritage hall is an architectural beauty in Vancouver. It was an easy choice to represent the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. On a good day – From this point on the hill you can often see the mountains and a good part of the city too…
On the bus with Llewellyn Petley-Jones, the late British-Canadian artist (1908-1986) whose name lives on in a Vancouver commercial art gallery. This sketch is believed to be from around 1952 when he lived in Vancouver. Transit aficionados, can you determine which bus #264 is from?
A Brill perhaps? And did Vancouver transit vehicles used to say “Cigarette Smoking only” (as opposed to pipes & cigars!?) From the collection of artist Tom Carter.
UPDATE! I asked the bus numbers man himself, and Michael Taylor-Noonan had this to say about bus #264:
It looks like a Fageol Twin Coach, with its tell-tale 4 piece windscreen.
VIN/SERIAL: 38S 1077C
OWNER/LESSEE: BC Hydro & Power Authority (BC)
MODEL: Twin Coach 38S
SECONDARY ENTRIES (VEHICLE HISTORY):
UNIT OWNER/LESSEE NOTES DATE
264 Pacific Stage Lines Ltd. (BC) Assigned to Pacific Stage Lines 1950
264 Pacific Stage Lines Ltd. (BC) To BCER, Oakridge, #M94 1958
M94 BCER (BC) Transferred to BC Hydro & Power Authority 1962-04
M94 BC Hydro (BC) Renumbered 3131 1964
3131 BC Hydro (BC) To New Westminster, 5942 1966
5942 BC Hydro (BC) RETIRED
The Twins were an American Design built in Kent Ohio, so called because they originally had two engines (for power). They were gasoline powered. The ‘C’ in the serial tells you that this Twin was built in Canada, (Windsor I think).
Super details! Thanks, Michael! I love the fact that we can track down the entire history of a bus some 50 years after it left service! And with a bit more searching, I’ve just learned about the Canadian Pacific Transport Company, a division of CP Railways. Seems they operated their own bus line which had a Fageol Twin Coach 38S in their fleet, the all-time favourite bus of this guy! Neat!