Doug Clarke and Andrew Gordon picked this up on CityLab:

There are efforts to make the city bus seem more appealing to people who don’t normally ride—maybe rebranding the system or, you know, actually improving service—and then there’s whatever Edmonton just did.

The Canadian metro’s new “COOL Bus” video has taken off like … the opposite of a bus staggering through city traffic.


It’s clearly modeled after that “Epic Bus Ad” from the Danes – and its sequel:


  1. Edmonton actually gets a fairly high transit commuter mode share (12%-13%, most of it bus), so I wonder if there’s actually as much anti-bus stigma as in other cities to warrant an expensive ad campaign designed specifically to counter it. Is ‘gross bus’ an actual finding from their market research or just an assumption from the city’s marketing executives, who themselves probably don’t take the bus?

  2. Yup, this is a cool ad.

    Arrival times at bus stops or online, or enhanced customer service would indeed be a novel idea for TransLink. Plus ( lower ) salaries in line with reality like WestJet so more drivers can be hired within the same budget. Plus a massive Uber fleet for off-hours on low demand routes. Or dedicated bus lane and priority signaling on Broadway or W Georgia or wider N Shore bridges. Many solutions to enhance the passenger experience exist but are blocked by powerful unions, environmental lobby groups or politicians beholden to them.

    Btw: Edmonton has Uber, Vanvouver does not.

    1. Thomas, what ‘solutions to enhance the passenger experience’ have been blocked by environmental lobby groups? I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I’m having trouble coming up with a concrete example.
      As cityflaneur says, arrival times at bus stops is available online or on your smartphone. I can track bus locations from my phone to tell when they will arrive at my stop.

      1. A 5 or 7 lane bridge to N & W Van as a replacement to Lionsgate, incl. dedicated bus or train lane, for example ?

        More land in the shallow muddy flats of ocean or ALR, for example ?

        A N Gateway pipeline, or twinning of Kinder Morgan pipeline, for more tax revenue to BC government so they can in turn fund newer buses or subways, for example.

        These are just three or 4 at the top of my hat. There are probably a few dozen more if I spend a few more hours thinking about it.

    2. Thomas, I’m curious what other of the world’s ills you so casually blame on “powerful unions” and “environmental lobby groups”. The killing of the Lindburgh baby? Original Sin? 9/11? Sure, why not? Yes, let’s cut every driver’s salary to pay for more buses because just like teachers, they’re all grossly overpaid. And let’s bulldoze the Sierra Club while we’re at it, because they’re obviously the ones pulling the strings at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure! Oy, gevalt.

      Praising Edmonton Transit over Translink b/c Uber is available in Edmonton is like saying that train service is better in the US than in Japan because Amtrak offers better scenery. It’s completely unrelated and immaterial the services you are comparing. Edmonton doesn’t have bus priority either. What they do have is about an eight of the people heading downtown as Vancouver and the political will to over-engineer every road they build to accommodate the traffic equivalent of a 1,000-year storm.

      The question of the article remains: is there a mismatch between what’s actually keeping more people from taking ETS and what the City’s marketing people think? The answer would be a good lesson here, too.

  3. For anyone who’s from a place that’s too small to even have a transit system, buses are very cool. For a small cost you can go anywhere in town.

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