What grinds our gears: Bus bunching

Photo by Stephen Rees / Flickr

Written by: Michelle Gomez, Staff Writer

As university students, most of us spend a lot of time taking buses, and a lot of time waiting for them to arrive. Much  of the wait time can be attributed to bus bunching, which is when buses on the same route clump together in traffic. Many people may not have heard the term before, but most of us have experienced it through infrequent buses that are either early or late (I’m looking at you, 95 B-line).

Mathematically, some degree of bus bunching is unavoidable, especially during high traffic times. However, the level it has gotten to in Vancouver is ridiculous. After I have waited for 45 minutes for a bus, I’m already pretty pissed. Then all of a sudden, three show up at the same time. Between these three, the one that pulls up to the stop is packed full, forcing me to physically fight my way on just to make it home.

Meanwhile, the bus with a haven of leg room passes right by, trying to jump ahead towards what’s probably a less populated stop. I could always gamble on whether the vacuous bus is kind enough to let me in for once, but if a bus sees a crowd, the driver sometimes just thinks “eh, they’re probably fine” and it’s too often a losing bet.

All I want is a little more predictability in my trip home. Is that too much to ask?