Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Social Networking Comes to Your Favourite Bus Stop in Vancouver and Toronto: Social Networking for the Bus Ride Home

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Social Networking Comes to Your Favourite Bus Stop in Vancouver and Toronto: Social Networking for the Bus Ride Home

Article excerpt

VANCOUVER - Bus stop 50771 sits outside a coffee shop in Vancouver's trendy Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, where on a recent weekend, a transit rider with a smartphone witnessed a simple act of kindness.

"I was sitting in (the cafe) last weekend and a girl was at the stop," an anonymous poster writes on This Is Our Stop, a new social networking platform dedicated to bus stops.

"She didn't have any shoes or a jacket. One of (the) staff walked over, gave her a coffee and had a chat. It was a lovely gesture."

The four-sentence scene is one of hundreds of brief entries that have been posted in the past several weeks on This Is Our Stop, which invites users to post updates, leave reviews and list nearby points of interest for their regular stops.

The site, which has already spawned a clone in Toronto, is the work of Vancouver developers Tylor Sherman and Todd Sieling, who say they wanted to explore how communities and relationships -- even fleeting one-time encounters -- are built around public transit.

"Communities are often anchored to physical locations in the city -- they form around these pieces of physical infrastructure in ways we don't even realize," says Sieling.

"We pass these spots or use them every day but we don't really think much about them as places where we see some of the same people. It's part of the tissue of everyday life, especially in the city."

This Is Our Stop is a simple mobile-optimized site designed to be accessed primarily on smartphones while people are accessing the public transit system.

When users punch in the number listed on the sign next to their stop they can see a map of the area, a bus schedule and list of comments from other transit riders.

"I watched my neighbourhood grow up around this stop," writes one user at Surrey's bus stop 55926. "It used to be trees and a four-way stop, then a high school came, and then one summer, I watched the last of the trees turn into a Starbucks."

And a word to the wise at stop 51362 in Vancouver's Strathcona neighbourhood: "Watch out for curb puddle. You will get soaked by traffic hitting the puddle if you wait under the shelter in the rain."

The entries are all anonymous and users don't need to register before leaving a comment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.