Buses are the unsung heroes of urban transit systems.
There is a fan following for trains, subways, even light rail. But if you’re in an urban area, and you’re a pedestrian (by choice or not), you likely take the bus. It’s affordable, it’s inclusive, it’s an environmentally conscious choice for local travel, and I think it’s a great setting for stories.
I grew up taking the bus from my suburban Toronto home into the heart of the city. As a kid, I had wonderful freedom and mobility. I could get to the local pool on my own, visit the library, go the the city square.
Buses serve the widest segment of the city, from young people who can’t drive, to newcomers, to tourists, to money-savvy professionals. They’re also a bit like tiny cities— on a bus there are people from all different stripes, going all different places, but sitting shoulder to shoulder.
I started this project in Calgary, a city I’ve never been to, in a province that has a reputation for its stronghold on the car. I wanted to meet people who love cities, who use transit — and buses in particular — and do a little spontaneous exploring with them.
This audio project is feeding a work of fiction I’m developing: a portrait of Canadian cities through the eyes of people who ride buses. The stories I'm collecting are honest, beautiful, heart-breaking, thoughtful. They reveal a Canada full of promise, full of struggle, and full of sweetness.