Saturday, 21 April 2012

The terminus is the end of the line.

The terminus is the end of the line. You have to get off the train. And where do you get off? At the station, of course. Where else?

Why then does the Vancouver sky train keep saying, verbally and visually, "Terminus station, Waterfront"? Why not simply, "Terminus, Waterfront." It gets especially annoying when Waterfront is the next station. Then it says, "The next station is Waterfront, terminus station."

Perhaps they think that we need to be reminded that there is a station at the terminus. So that we know we can get off and don't have to stay on the train and go back to where we got on.

(I won’t even rant about why they have to say YVR airport instead of Vancouver Airport.)

Either the people who run these new public transport systems take us for fools, or they themselves belong to a new breed who don't have trams and trains in their blood as I do. I suspect it it's a bit of both.

I remember that when a new electric train service began in Perth, Western Australia, the announcement would say, "The next station stop is Karrakatta." But a station is a stop, I wanted to shout. That's what the word means!

At the time, I tried to think like public transport officialdom. Perhaps the next stop might be at an unexpected halt along the line and they were worried that we might try to get off in mid track. Or that the train might not be stopping at the next station and that we might try to alight as it rushed through at 45 mph.

Eventually common sense prevailed. On my last visit to Perth, I heard to my great satisfaction that the next station was Karrakatta. So I'm hoping that on my next trip into Vancouver on the sky train, Waterfront will be the terminus, not the terminus station.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't a terminus also be at a point that wasn't a station? Particularly a name such as "Waterfront" which could conceivably mean that the train was about to stop, stationless, on the waterfront. No egress here, folks, just the terminus on the waterfront.

    "Terminus: Waterfront Station" might be the best way of putting this to avoid ambiguity, but then people might not know what "Terminus" means by itself.

    I'm sure lawyers have chosen the version least likely to lose litigation.