At Blaise, we just really love public transit. Our team is collaged together from cities across Canada and across the world. We’ve all regularly taken transit and know what works and what doesn’t. And we’re building solutions to help revolutionize the way you take the bus. Our team wants to cut your commute down, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and give you more time to do what you enjoy.
You may not be devoutly following the release of new bus designs or innovations like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). That’s okay, because you don’t work for Blaise Transit or the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Your life doesn’t depend on increased ridership numbers on the 16 bus.
But ours does.
We're being dramatic. At Blaise, we just really love public transit. Our team is collaged together from cities across Canada and across the world. We’ve all regularly taken transit and know what works and what doesn’t. And we’re building solutions to help revolutionize the way you take the bus. Our team wants to cut your commute down, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and give you more time to do what you enjoy. (Plus, we’ve got some nifty COVID-19 features to make you feel extra safe.)
(To the 3 people reading this who enjoy riding the bus for the sake of riding the bus: We’re with you and we are sorry, but you’re not our only target user.)
Now, what kind of team would we be if we didn’t run you through our favourite buses? Feel free to classify this under our more frivolous blog posts. We’re not talking about transit investment trends or how urbanization is impacting small towns. We just want to showcase some great public transit.
Without further ado:
Our CEO Justin Hunt’s favourite bus is an ode to growing up on the South Shore of Montréal:
Says Justin: “I spent a good portion of my life on the Réseau de transport de Longueuil 5 bus line. While it's not the fastest, it’s the most comfortable because it doesn't require a single transfer point to get downtown during rush hour from St-Hubert on the South Shore of Montreal. I was always the first one on and last one off, so I got to see the entire flow of passengers throughout the line each day. It's this bus line that originally piqued my interested in on-demand transit.
Our CTO Ben Hudson’s pick highlights a bus that knits together the City of Waterloo, ON:
“The Grand River Transit 7 bus line is the backbone of the community. Beloved by all age groups, it will take you anywhere you would want to go in Waterloo.”
Dr. Samuel Pelletier, our Chief Scientific Officer, loves this bus for the access it gives him to Mount-Royal [EN & FR]:
“The 11 from the Société de transport de Montréal is one of the nicest bus rides in Montreal. Picks me up right in front of my place and takes me directly to Mount Royal Park and its amazing lookouts and trails.”
“Le 11 est l'un des plus beaux trajets d'autobus à Montréal. La ligne passe juste en face de chez moi et m'emmène directement aux belvédères et sentiers incroyables du parc du Mont-Royal.”
Studying Geography and Political Science in Vancouver, Josh Medicoff, our Communications Manager, found an appreciation for BRT:
“The 99 B-Line is 14km of pure bliss, even when it's full. Speedy, reliable, and a cultural touchstone for Vancouverites. Sit back, relax, and enjoy 50 minutes of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) bliss. And kudos to TransLink for increasing BRT capacity!”
Our Software Developper Wendy Vasquez chose a bus from her hometown of Sherbrooke, QC [EN & FR]:
“From the university district, the 14 line from the Société de transport de Sherbrooke (STS) will take you to downtown Sherbrooke, where you can find restaurants, microbreweries, and excellent shows!"
“Du quartier universitaire, la ligne 14 du Société de transport de Sherbrooke (STS) se rend jusqu'au centre-ville de Sherbrooke où on peut retrouver des restos pour tous les goûts, des bières de microbrasserie et d'excellents shows de musique!”
We all know a bus that takes us from suburb to city. Software Lead Thomas Gauvin shined a light on his favourite [EN & FR]:
“My go-to to get downtown. Reliable and accessible, you can count on the STM 211 to get to the city when the others have stopped coming, even in the late hours.”
“Mon moyen de transport principal pour me rendre au centre-ville. Fiable et accessible, vous pouvez compter sur le 211 pour vous rendre en ville lorsque les autres lignes ne passent plus, même aux petites heures de la nuit.”
Software Developer Simon Huang loves the connectivity provided by the 45 bus, which will soon be replaced by the REM [EN & FR]:
The RTL 45 is the South Shore's economic gateway to Montréal. And it's a lovely bus ride as well. (We will miss it.)
Le 45 est la porte d'entrée économique de la Rive-Sud de Montréal. Et c'est aussi un beau trajet en autobus. (Il va nous manquer.)
We bet you know a bus that’ll rush you somewhere if you're running late. Software Engineer Charmaine Yung sure does:
The 905 bus from the Toronto Transit Commission goes from the University of Toronto Scarborough campus to Kennedy Station in a swift 30 minutes, coming at a calming frequency (especially when I’m running late). It’s my go to bus for getting from school to downtown.
Finally, our Transport Solutions Specialist Conrad Richardson, who worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted some of the marvellous aspects of the DART BRT system in Dar Es Saalam, Tanzania:
“The iconic Dar Es Salaam Bus Rapid Transit (DART BRT), is a great example of how BRT works in Sub-Saharan Africa. This BRT system with its iconic blue buses incorporates the following features: (i) it is carefully integrated with informal transit (mini buses) at its termini station, (ii) the corridors use concrete surfacing on the approach to the stations ensuring a smooth over a long period of time (tarmac ripples overtime under the weight of the buses), (iii) a number of stations incorporate overtaking lanes (to avoid 'bus bunching'), (iv) the buses are tracked using GPS which makes it possible to provide passengers with Real-Time-Passenger-Information (RTPI).”