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Last chance to ride the Olympic Line this weekend

The Olympic Line Streetcar, photographed on opening day, January 21, 2010.

The Olympic Line Streetcar, photographed on opening day, January 21, 2010.

Just a heads up: the Olympic Line demonstration streetcar will wrap up its run on Sunday, March 21. This weekend is your last chance to try it out!

If you don’t know, the streetcar stops just outside Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station and runs to Granville Island. It’s actually a project from the City of Vancouver and Bombardier: we’re encouraging people to try it out so they can get a feel for this kind of rail car.

For more, John Calimente at Regarding Place Magazine has recently written all about driving the streetcar, plus a detailed story about the streetcar project.

Plus here’s my post from day 1 of the Line, some photos and video from others, and my interview with Matthew Laird, another of the streetcar’s drivers.

Feel free to visit the streetcar project pages at the City of Vancouver website, or at Bombardier’s site too!


21 Comments

  • By zack, March 19, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    Luckily, I tried out these streetcars before they’re gone, yet so sad to see them go away. :(

  • By ericmk, March 19, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

    How sad! :( I really enjoyed my ride on the Olympic Line! Will the stations remain or will they be taken down?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 19, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    ericmk: I believe the stations will remain.

  • By keith, March 19, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    i wonder if they will put back on the old street car from science world to ? since i like the olympic line and believe it be good addition in vancouver if it come back and go towards to stanley park and gastown

  • By Matt, March 19, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    The interurbans WILL be back this summer, exact start date to be determined, so come down and join us on weekends and holidays. They will not be running to Science World this year, only on the Cambie Street to Granville Island section, but emails to politicians at all levels encouraging to find funding never hurts. :)

    Come out for a final ride, I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fans onboard Sunday night for the final run (I’ll be driving the final shift 20:30-00:30).

  • By Ethan, March 19, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    Is it still a free event to ride the Olympic Line?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 19, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

    Ethan: Yes, it’s free!

  • By Scott, March 19, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    This is the exact type of transit that Vancouver needs in a greater capacity.

  • By ;-), March 19, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    Perhaps this leads to a future poll question. What is more important for future bus capacity designs?

    -seats (single vs double vs bench)?
    -standing room and wider aisles to carry more passengers (less seats)?
    -more of the bus dedicated to courtesy seats (strollers and wheelchairs)

  • By Cliff, March 20, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

    Singles! More single seats, my how I missed them from our old trolleys!

    More room for wheelchairs is always a good idea, but I’m opposed in general to accommodating strollers because they can generally be folded up and have a footprint that 3 or 4 people could stand in.

    For city routes that stop and go frequently, less seats aren’t a bad idea. I know that in some cities some subway cars don’t even have seats so they can pack more people in!

  • By -.-, March 21, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

    I just found this on Youtube. It has a person talking on the skytrain at 0:14-0:15.

  • By Cliff, March 22, 2010 @ 3:08 am

    Anyone know if the station platform heights are compatible with the vintage TRAMS streetcars? I hope the stations still get some use!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 22, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    ;-):

    That’s a good poll question. Saved for future use!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 22, 2010 @ 10:08 am

    Cliff: I would assume they would be compatible—a few comments above this one, Matt has said the TRAMS interurban service will be back this summer!

  • By Ric, March 22, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    Jhen, perhaps this can be a future poll question too.

    I remember that you asked about people’s favourite type of skytrain cars out of the four different types, perhaps a future poll question could be What is your favourite type of bus on the system since we have so many different models. (Ex: Trolleys, Novas, Orion highway coaches) Is this a good idea for a future poll?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 22, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    Ric: It’s a good idea, but a tough poll to run because there are SO many options and not everyone is familiar with the exact bus models out there! I generally like running polls that even the novice bus rider can answer.

  • By Ric, March 22, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    Will this be a future poll question then? Putting a picture of that model of bus beside each model’s choice will make it easier wouldn’t it? How were you able to run a poll about favourite type of skytrain car then? Some people might have never used the skytrain.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 22, 2010 @ 10:54 am

    There are only four types of SkyTrain car — chances are most people who have been on the SkyTrain have encountered them.

    There are about 14 or so types of buses out there, and not everyone has necessarily had the chance to ride all of them — plus lots of them look the same in photos! Have a look at the fleet listing at CPTDB to see what I mean.

  • By Ric, March 22, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    Jhen, hmm… even though there are only four types of skytrain cars, and I being a regular passenger on the expo line and canada line, I haven’t encountered a black mark 11 skytrain car until least wednesday, yet i was still able to vote on the poll. I took a look at the website you told me to look at and I understand what you mean. Perhaps for the poll question I suggested, I think that you could still run the poll question using the following options. Old new flyer D40LF, flyer trolleys, old new flyer D60LF, orion highway coaches, nova, D40 high floor, D60 high floor, new New Flyer D40LF, new New flyer D60LF and new flyer trolleys, along with a picture of the types beside the options. Is this possible to do?

  • By Matt, March 22, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    Cliff: The platforms are compatible, they were designed with the future in mind. The yellow piece along the edge is a wooden timber added to bridge the gap for the narrower Brussels cars.

    The concrete was poured to accommodate wider cars, both the interurbans and the planned width of future Vancouver streetcars.

    Last night the final run was fun and quite full. I was very honoured to drive the final run of the Olympic Line (and the first public run back in January after the VIP train departed Cambie). Thank you all for coming out and riding, and remember, write those politicians at ALL levels of government if you want more of this in Vancouver.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, March 22, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    Ric: Well, that is certainly possible, but I don’t think I will be running that poll any time soon, it still has far too many options. Typically I like to just run polls with about 4 options, or it becomes difficult to discuss. Hope you understand!

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