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How did you become obsessed with transit?

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My obsession for transit started when I was about 6 years.

I was always fascinated that some of our buses at OC Transpo were the same models but with different style exit doors (e.g. GM Fishbowls, GM/MCI/Nova Classics, Orion-Ikarus)

I also loved the sounds they made. I would always try to recreate them with some items and lay them on the floor and try to imitate the sounds they made.

and now that I'm older transit obsession as been with me ever since.

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The bus running through the neighborhood provided a lovely diversion from playing with toys or playing with other kids in the neighborhood. So I started to ride the bus steadily increasing the number of round trips and getting to know various drivers. Drivers enjoyed having someone to talk to, and I learned how to read running boards (paddles) and how to change the signs. Routes and schedules fascinated me, and I loved how routes connected at various timing points etc. I was about 8 y/o then. I began to discern between the different types of buses and realized I had a real affinity for trolleys, so I set out to ride them more and learn more about them, to the point where diesel buses held little interest for me. My keen interest in routes, schedules, and shift design followed me into adulthood, where after my son started school full time I reentered the workforce and landed a job with Edmonton Transit.

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Obsessed is probably too strong a word.  Definitely interested though.

Back when I was young, back in the old "Toronto - The City That Works" days, the TTC was going through a major transition between the old and the new.  There were a ton of different kinds of PCCs but CLRVs too.  They still had couplers.  How many people out there today even know they're multiple unit cars?  There were tons of Gloucesters mixed in with M and H cars.  All the trolleybus lines were still going.  There was a mix of various buses painted in red and cream and a mix of various buses painted in the CLRV colours.  The Scarborough RT was opening up and it was supposed to be fantastic space age progress.  Nobody, at least not publicly, knew about the shortcomings with ICTS yet or what a basketcase white elephant of an orphan line it was going to become.  There were still three Peter Witt cars grinding around downtown on the tour tram.  It was a fantastic eclectic mix of old and new and I couldn't help but be interested in how and why the vehicles were so wildly different from each other.

I've been watching "Black" on Netflix and honestly, if I suddenly got bounced back to 1986 for a couple of days, I'd have a blast enjoying it all over again!

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21 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

Same here^. 1989 was the best year for transit fanning on the TTC IMO. The most variety. Every type of subway car except T1s.

I think 1989 was the last good year but things were starting to get a bit thin so maybe we should think about nudging it back a couple of years for best though.  Here’s the reasoning:  If we back it up a little bit to 88 or 87, we still have the first few H6 and ALRV cars but before enough of them arrived to start seriously decimating the G and PCC fleets.  If we bump it back to 86, those fleets were barely touched and Carlton was all PCC all the time!

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46 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

I think 1989 was the last good year but things were starting to get a bit thin so maybe we should think about nudging it back a couple of years for best though.  Here’s the reasoning:  If we back it up a little bit to 88 or 87, we still have the first few H6 and ALRV cars but before enough of them arrived to start seriously decimating the G and PCC fleets.  If we bump it back to 86, those fleets were barely touched and Carlton was all PCC all the time!

Right. Plus there were more 3xxx series GMs back then. I started getting interested in transit in 87 but was obviously too young to experience all of it. So I only remember being into the trolley buses, the GMs in the old colours, the D700s and the Gloucesters. I was also very much into the d40s for some reason. 😂 I remember the GM slinkies too.

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CMBC's route 413 (then C93) was the first bus I've ever taken and only one for quite a while. I started taking it when it was still being run with diesel GMCs instead of gas Chevys, and there wasn't a single low-floor unit (except for the occasional conventional school special) to be seen on the route.

I didn't care much about transit for the longest time. Sure, I knew different bus makes like Prevost, Novabus, New Flyer and Orion, but that's because I was (and still am) an automotive enthusiast, and it was just natural for me to figure out who made what and which model a certain vehicle was, if that was indicated anywhere on the vehicle itself (so I didn't know bus models other than ones like MCI J4500 or Prevost H3-45).

Everything changed when I moved during high school and started taking the 407 to and from school. After about half a year of taking that route, I noticed that the after-school Gilbert run was always driven by the same operator. It got to the point where he could actually recognize me, so I decided to have a conversation with him during his layover in Steveston, where I was living at the time.

We had many more conversations after that and let's just say that through our conversations, he sent me down the transit rabbit hole and now, here I am.

I learned a lot about buses and CMBC from him, so as a transit enthusiast, I'm only really interested in buses, anything from a shuttle to an articulated double decker. Being my local system, CMBC/TransLink is definitely the system I'm most familiar with, although I enjoy exploring other systems and their buses too. Got myself into TRAMS last year and even though I don't plan on working in transit, I'm working on getting my class 2 so I can drive buses for any reason. Most recently, I've gotten into the motorcoach enthusiast game after discovering the world of Prevost LeMirage and Astral series coaches.

I don't actively go out and photograph/film buses or do anything like that; I like going online to discuss transit, riding buses to experience them myself (not to record them for others), and representing TRAMS at community events as a volunteer to talk transit with all kinds of people.

Sadly, the drivers of that particular run changed during my senior year in high school and it's honestly been impossible for me to find the operator who got me into transit again, as much as I'd like to see him and converse with him.

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I first got obsessed with transit when I first started walking, I would sit at the window of the MR-73 and watch the train move in the tunnel, and I would sit at the front of the buses and watch the bus driver drive (I still do that on STM/RTL LFS 2nd gens), and when I lived in Ottawa I was obsessed with the classics and would go out of my way to take it because I loved the whine of the engine.. I got obsessed with filming my rides by watching retroolschool on YouTube 

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I first became a transit fan when I was 4 years old. Throughout my childhood, I researched all the ETS vehicles on many photo websites. When I was a teenager, already having acquired all the general information of the fleet many years beforehand,  I researched other North American agencies to collect more info. Eventually, I became a transit photographer, collector of transit merchandise and parts and a builder of detailed, scratch built models made from paper.

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On 12/17/2019 at 10:06 PM, Nico Sander said:

 ...snip... a builder of detailed, scratch built models made from paper.

Some photos, please. Models always interest me, especially 1/48 scale.

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1 hour ago, J. S. Bach said:

Some photos, please. Models always interest me, especially 1/48 scale.

I built this ETS Glaval Easy On last year. It’s made entirely from paper and tape.

E50AE2CD-5AF6-4805-AF69-0C44CEDA19E7.jpeg

7FBFCB4D-D12D-4360-85C3-EFE7CDE28700.jpeg

47D0BCE5-A823-4CFF-A28F-888D9888AF4C.jpeg

BCF6EAA4-D0A7-4FC6-ADB8-AA8E3D875BED.jpeg

D9115DE3-6965-4256-AAFD-B3E9F214AE6C.jpeg

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For me, I've been a transit fan as far back as I can remember, which would be around 1980.  Back then, transit fleets were almost entirely GM Fishbowls, and I would constantly compare the oldest TDH-5301 buses along with the newest T6H-5307N buses.  Living in Ottawa, I would also compare the red-and-white OC Transpo buses, with their pinkish/orange seats and push-type or step-activated exit doors, with the blue-and-white Outaouais buses, which had blue and orange seats and MacKay gates.  Then, in 1981, my family took me on a vacation to Toronto, with maroon-and-cream buses and nearly-new CLRV streetcars.  In 1982, OC Transpo acquired 21 GM articulated buses, or caterpillar buses, as my grandfather called them.  After that, I was hooked! ^_^

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My obsession with transit started when I was five years old in 2007-2008. I recall this was a time where almost all of our 1989 and up OC Transpo high floor buses were still in service, as well as quite a few 1987 Classics but OC also had all their Inveros, D60LFs, and Orion VIs in service as well.

 I used to look up OC Transpo buses on my computer. I've also watched lots of videos of OC buses at Transitway stations and ride videos. Ever since then, I've found that I was hooked. However, my transit obsession was basically dormant from 2011-2015 save for a few times where I would catch up on OC Transpo's newest purchases, decisions, etc. I found that from 2016 on, my transit obsession started to slowly evolve in that I was actively doing research on the different types of buses we had. 

I found this board in 2016 although I did not join until mid 2017. Ever since I joined this board, I've found that my knowledge kept evolving, especially of older OC buses. 

2008 me is so different (and much more idiotic) from 2020 me. For example, I thought that our Classics in the red stripe/white body livery were different buses from the ones in the maple leaf livery. I also thought that OC Transpo somehow specified the maple leaf livery on all D40s and 1991-1992 Orion Vs when delivered but inconsistently delivered our Classics in a bunch of schemes. On my eighth birthday in 2010, I tried looking for fishbowls (my dad took me on six bus rides that day) but did not find any and eventually gave up. Little did I know, they were retired since 2007. However, there were still a handful of Classics in service and I should have been looking for those instead. I actually didn't know they were being retired at the time. I don't know what I was smoking back then.

Edit: Actually, I remember consciously looking for buses as far back as when I was only three. I even recall which ads were on some of the buses (I have a long term memory that is very good) that I saw back in 2005 and 2006. Don't know why I'm like that. I also vaguely recall my first rides being two D60LFs, one Invero, and one MCI Classic (possibly a 1989 in the stripe livery). I think I also rode what I thought was a D40 or 1992 Orion V back in 2006. I recall the bus having pink/orange seats inside it.

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