The Sunday Magazine

In the 70s, daring young women created the North's first public transit system

A group of gutsy young feminists in Whitehorse, intent on helping women break free of isolation, set up the first public transit system in the North. They called themselves the Yukon Women's Mini-Bus Society.
Bus driver Wynne Krangle beside the lime green mini-bus, on a sunny Whitehorse morning. (Supplied by Jessica Linzey)

This segment originally aired on April 29, 2018. 

If you were brave enough to be out on the streets of Whitehorse in the middle of winter in 1976, you might have spotted a snub-nosed, lime green vehicle inching its way through the ice and fog, the words "Mini-Bus With Us" emblazoned along the side in groovy 1970s font.

Even more striking than the sight of the lime green bus was the fact that its driver was a woman, and that this bus was the first public transit vehicle the North had ever seen.

It was owned and operated by a group of young women, all in their mid- to late-20s, who called themselves the Yukon Women's Mini-Bus Society.

None of the women involved had any transit experience. But they knew they wanted to get around. 

And despite some stiff opposition and big obstacles they found a way to do it. The experience changed their lives.

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Documentary maker Jessica Linzey interviews her mother Joanne, one of the founders of the Yukon Women's Mini-Bus Society. (Supplied by Jessica Linzey)

CBC producer Jessica Linzey grew up listening to stories about the Yukon Women's Mini-Bus Society. Her mother Joanne was one of the founding members.

Click on the player at the top of this page to listen to Jessica's documentary Women at the Wheel and go back in time to take a look at the mini-bus in action in the photo gallery below.