Hours after suffering a bruising defeat over his subway plan, Rob Ford apparently couldn't get the transit off his mind.

A series of photos posted by a City Hall staffer show the Toronto mayor, still clad in a suit and tie, taking an overnight bus, waiting for the Scarborough rapid transit and engaging a fellow passenger in discussion.

The images prompted a mixture of bemusement and admiration online, with one pundit likening the behaviour to "legends ... about politicians of yore."

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Others reactions were less complimentary. Some critics suggested it was a publicity stunt, while others just cringed at the prospect of an encounter.

"Trying to imagine getting on a bus after a party, drunk, maybe high, and there's Rob Ford, wanting to talk about his subway plan," wrote Xtra reporter Andrea Houston. "So weird."

The photos appeared hours after the mayor lost a showdown at council. Councillors debating how best to use $8.4-billion in provincial funding backed a plan for light-rail lines on Eglinton Avenue and Finch Avenue West and an expert panel to study a subway extension on Sheppard Avenue. Mr. Ford, who campaigned to end the so-called "war on the car," has pushed for entirely buried transportation lines.

Mr. Ford dismissed the council vote as "irrelevant" but, according to Isaac Ransom, a communications staffer in the mayor's office, the mayor was still mulling the issues hours later.

"1:10 and Mayor Ford is still talking subways on the SRT!" Mr. Ransom wrote before posting the photos.

The news sparked a minor scramble among opponents and wags keen to intercept the rail-riding mayor. It appears that no one was successful.