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Translink Buzzer Blog

Introducing Angela!

Hello Buzzer Readers!

Buzzer, Translink, Introduction, Angela

Hello everyone! I’m very excited to be here :D

My name is Angela and I am very excited to be joining TransLink and the Buzzer Blog as TransLink’s new student communications assistant.

Over the next two months, I look forward to contributing to The Buzzer and hopefully getting to know the Buzzer readers.

Living in Metro Vancouver without a car has made me a frequent transit user — I depend on the transit system everyday to go to school, work… anywhere I need to go!

Studying at Simon Fraser University also pushed me to learn to travel from my city of Richmond, to Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey for my classes and activities. Pure curiosity pushed me to travel beyond, to all corners of Metro Vancouver. I’m definitely grateful that this system exists in our cities.

Between transfers and buses, I’ve discovered that commuting has its perks: one is that spending time on the transit system is a great way to learn to love and appreciate the magnificent beauty of Metro Vancouver.

As a fellow transit commuter, I hope to share my experiences and discoveries of the region’s vibrant culture with all of you over the next two months!

 


39 Comments

  • By Joel, July 3, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    FYI, the Google map on this page is badly out of date.

    Locations wrong, numbers wrong, outlets no longer in business http://www.translink.ca/en/Fares-and-Passes/Where-to-buy-FareDealer.aspx?sCity=Vancouver

  • By Raymond, July 3, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

    Angela, what do u like about riding transit, i’m a fellow transit rider myself, are there any things u dont like about transit?

  • By Raymond, July 3, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

    Hi Angela, Would u be my friend? I dont have many.

  • By Eugene Wong, July 4, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    What’s going on here? I thought that Translink doesn’t have any extra money. It all ready has several employees working on the blog. A while ago, you let go a whole whack employees; even a VP if I recall correctly.

    I hate to be a wet blanket. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy for Angela, but this is crazy.

    Th Buzzer doesn’t give us better frequency. Will we get more planners to take care of the little requests?

    You keep saying that you have to constantly maintain and upgrade the transit system. You say that you have to upgrade the roads. You say that you care?? You look like you are still communicating with us, but are you really?? You make no sense!

    Me: What about the #326?
    You: No. We’re creating the #388 next year. We’re too busy with this.
    .
    .
    .
    Me: Okay. It’s a year later.
    You: No. We’re creating the #388 next year. We’re too busy with this.
    Me: Still?
    .
    .
    .
    Me: Okay. It’s a year later.
    You: No. We just finished with the #388. We have to focus on all of Surrey now.
    Me: You’re kidding.
    .
    .
    .
    Me: Okay. What about the #326?
    You: No. We can’t afford to. We have to build highways, roads, and bridges!
    Me: You’re killing me Translink. You’re just killing me.
    You: Maybe when we focus on Surrey again.
    .
    .
    .
    Me: Hey, you’re doing Surrey now, so what about ‘you know what’?
    You: No. We have to think about everybody else.
    Me: Argh!
    .
    .
    .
    Me: What about the #326?
    You: We’d rather plan for the UBC extension and a gondola; all of which might never materialize! Ha! Ha!
    .
    .
    .
    Me: #326?
    You: No. We have to add fare gates, even though it’ll irritate way more people than realigning small section of the #326.
    .
    .
    .
    Me: Hey, uhm…never mind…no, wait. What about the #326?
    You: No, we just realigned the #316!!

  • By Sheba, July 5, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    It sounds like she’s a student with a summer job Eugene – which means the gov is probably paying for part of her wages so she can gain valuable work experience (can’t be bothered to look up the official name for it). Plus it’s not like any of them *only* deal with the blog and nothing else.

    Instead of just fixating on the 326 and 388 with TransLink, try what I’ve been doing. Look at the transit issues for all of Surrey and rant about it to your mayors’ office. The appropriate person for the city of Burnaby certainly knows what I have to say about the mess of routes here.

    Mayor Watts has been vocal about transit in Surrey. If you can make your case to the city then they’re going to follow up on it with TransLink, and the cities have far more pull than you or I do.

  • By David, July 5, 2013 @ 10:50 am

    Welcome Angela! Hope your Translink experience is enjoyable and rewarding.

  • By Angela Chang, July 5, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    Hello Joel – Thanks for pointing this out. I’ll forward this to the right department and let them know. For future suggestions, you can submit them to our online feedback form here: http://translink.ca/feedback.

  • By Angela Chang, July 5, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Hello Raymond – Thank you for your comment! As a transit rider, I sympathize with many others when waiting for late buses, and skytrain delays, but my favourite part is sitting at the very back of the bus next to the window, and watching the world go by. It’s always very interesting to see the culture and diversity of Metro Vancouver.

  • By Angela Chang, July 5, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    Hello Eugene – I’m quite new to the team and am not sure about the routes you mentioned, but thank you for your comment! It’s nice to have members of the community sharing what kind of changes they would like to see in our current transit system.

  • By Angela Chang, July 5, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    Hello Sheba – Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you’re proactively reaching out to the City of Burnaby to voice your concerns and suggestions!

  • By Angela Chang, July 5, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    Hello David – Thank you for your welcome comment! I appreciate your kind words.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, July 5, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Eugene: We always like to hear from you. However, let’s keep the conversation constructive.

    Buzzer blog staff – The authors of posts on the blog, including myself, do many other functions other than write for the blog. Where once Jhen was the sole person editing and writing for the blog, we now spread that task among many of us as just one aspect in our job descriptions. TransLink handles a lot of communications carried out through many channels and the Buzzer is just one of those channels.

    Oversight of how money is spent at TransLink is important. Since I’ve been at TransLink, we’ve gone through at least two rigorous audits intended on making the organization as efficient as possible. Changes have been made and efficiencies have been found. Can more be done? Always, but I can honestly say that TransLink has made some significant moves towards saving money so that existing service is not reduced.

    Your comments about the #326 etc. are something that we’ll have to look into.

  • By Raymond, July 5, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    Hi Angela

    I feel silly for asking u this, but would u be my friend?

  • By Eugene Wong, July 6, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    @ Raymond

    I think that this place is an inappropriate place to *invite* *friendships*.

    First of all, it’s off topic. This place should be focused entirely on transit, even if it means having fun on transit.

    Second of all, what are you offering? We can see what she offers. In my opinion the fact that she works for Translink makes her a potentially great catch. Also, let me add something for all you blind people out there: there is a photo on this page, and you don’t know what you’re missing! It is easy for us to see what is appealing about her, but it might be difficult for her to see what is appealing about you.

    Last of all, it is very awkward for her to respond in public to such an invitation. I doubt that she knows you, so she has no incentive to hurt your feelings, but how can she decline?

    I hope that all goes well for you.

  • By Eugene Wong, July 6, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    @ Robert

    Do you feel that my comments are not constructive? I assume not, so I now ask you, what do you suggest I do to get movement on these initiates, as opposed to “No, we can’t.”?Remember that I am practically quoting Translink verbatim. Obviously, all that I type is not verbatim, but it is accurate enough for our discussion. Seriously, what do you suggest?

    It’s probably not obvious, but I don’t want to be rude, or absurd. On the other hand, how am I supposed to raise an issue when Translink gives such responses to me? You guys give me nothing constructive to work with!

    I think that it all comes into perspective, when we think about all the extra time that Surrey people have to spend travelling. Recognizing the #326 as a crosstown route would help Translink to prioritize it.

    I recognize that you use transit, and that many people live car free lives. So, you all can feel some of the pain that I feel. However, I think that you don’t seem to recognize that people who live on the fringes are *very* uncomfortable. You believe it, but if you recognized it, then you would prioritize the #326 over the #316, and over the UBC extension, and over the gondola.

    Honestly, I’m beginning to take this personally. Every excuse that Translink has given has not been consistent with other projects.

    You insist on consulting with the community before rerouting the #326. Did you consult with me before rerouting the #316? I use the #316, and heard nothing of this until after it was decided. The rerouting affected the bus stop that I actually used. It’s not a reason for me to call down fire and brimstone, because I want to be flexible for the greater good, but you have acted inconsistently, and it affected me at a time of night, when it made difference.

    You say that you are too busy working on other projects, but no, when you get to research gondolas that you have no money for, then you obviously are not caring. I know what you and Jhenifer said about caring, but let’s look at this carefully.

    The company is willing to bend over backwards for future riders, by giving them free rides to sample the system, so that they might ride 20 years from now. These are people, who might die, move away, and/or buy a car. There was risk involved in the decision, and you guys felt that it was acceptable. Well, guess what? I am also a future customer, since I would like to use it twenty years into my future. The great news is that you don’t have to give me a free ride! I all ready paid. I all ready have FareSavers in my pocket. I am all ready waiting at the bus stop. All you have to do, is streamline the system, so that my connections are minimized. I’m not even asking for new service hours! Go ahead and reduce them, for all I care! Just minimize those connections!

    I will not be satisfied until these 3 things are done.
    1) Realign the #326.
    2) Increase SkyTrain frequencies to the highest possible amount at all hours and all days without putting new cars in service.
    3) For after 9pm until end of service, coordinate the scheduling of the #340, the #319, the #312 and the #316. We need to acknowledge that after 9pm, many people are coming home from work from Vancouver, and waiting 30 minutes for a bus is inexcusable, when 5 buses go to the same location. After 9pm, there is third rush hour. The challenge is to get them home as quickly as possible, without additional service hours.

    I want those 3 things to be done *without* increasing service hours. More hours are obviously welcome, but they will not cover up the needed corrections. Also, more hours can result in waste, and I will not tolerate that.

    I am confident that you still don’t get it. Translink is probably going to yawn and little and assume that I am just a disgruntled “constituent” that is selfishly looking out for his own self interests.

    These are the only factors that I will think about in evaluating any Translink project.

    1) It’s cold outside!
    2) It’s late!
    3) It’s raining!
    4) It’s windy!
    5) This connection is 30 minutes long!

    Let’s test out your priorities.

    Does researching the gondola and not acting on the #326 get me out of the cold, rain and wind? Does it get me home earlier at night? Does it shrink the connection time?

    Does consulting with Vancouverites about the UBC extension, instead of consulting with Surreyites about the #326, get me out of the cold, rain and wind? Does it get me home earlier at night? Does it shrink the connection times?

    Does *not* consulting me about the #316, and then making it more inconvenient for me, get me out of the cold, rain and wind? Does it get me home earlier at night? Does it shrink connection times?

    Does sending trains out in 4s instead of 2s increase frequency? Does it get me out of the cold, rain and wind? Does it get me home earlier at night? Does it shrink the connection time?

    You had a chance to do the right thing when you worked on the Surrey area. You had a chance to do the right thing for the optimization project. You had a chance to do the right thing for this summer’s changes.

    The time for excuses is past.

    I want to sit down and have a reasoned discussion that doesn’t involve “I can’t.”.

    The more I think about the #316, the more angry I get, and the more personal I take it. I consider your lack of action to be based on discrimination. That motivates me to research on how to file a serious complaint.

    I remember bringing up issues with my MLA, and we couldn’t figure out how to deal with the problems. Now that the #316 has been realigned, I think that we finally have something to work with.

  • By Eugene Wong, July 6, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    @ Sheba

    Thanks for your correction regarding Angela. I kind of figured also, but adding more staff to the blog or communications seems like a low priority compared to getting the routes realigned and rescheduled.

    Regarding Mayor Watts, while I appreciate her enthusiasm, I only view her as a politician. I can’t expect her, the council, and staff, to have any say in bus routing. If it were possible, I would have expected them to do something by now.

    That being said, I ought to at least give it a try.

  • By Raymond, July 6, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

    Angela, when u miss the bus, do u get mad? Do u ever take the bus to other places other just school.

  • By Raymond, July 6, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    Angela, what are some of your ideas to improve transit travel times? I find the bus is very slow to get to terminal ave.

  • By Raymond, July 6, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    How does the Upass work and how do i get one?

  • By ???, July 7, 2013 @ 1:15 am

    Upass are available to post secondary students. Are you a post secondary student?
    http://www.translink.ca/u-pass

  • By Ivy, July 7, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    Angela, looking forward to more posts from you! Excited to hear about the latest Translink updates! Hope you have a great experience!

  • By Sheba, July 7, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    I understand your frustration Eugene. I grew up in N Delta and have family living in Surrey. One of the reasons I moved to Burnaby was better transit. If the numbers I saw were accurate, then the B-Line on King George will be a massive improvement – but that’s only one corridor.

    Talking at TransLink hasn’t been very successful for you. So trying to get your message out to others is a good plan, even if is to politicians. I’ve found making (reasonable) requests to the city does work, although it always takes longer to see results than we think it should take.

  • By Raymond, July 7, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    Hi Angela,

    Keep up the good work.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, July 8, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    Hi Eugene: I understand that you’re concerned about the #326. Please be patient, our planning team is very busy and they will get back to you as soon as they can.

    Raymond: Thanks for your enthusiasm. Let’s keep comments to TransLink related matters so we all can benefit from the conversation.

  • By Angela Chang, July 8, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    Hi Ivy, thank you for your support! I’m definitely looking forward to contributing to the Buzzer community during my time here.

  • By Eugene Wong, July 8, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    Thanks, Robert. I hope that they don’t keep adding new projects that get in the way, though.

  • By Raymond, July 8, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    Hi Angela,

    Is translink ever going to do anything about buses arriving late? How it takes forever for the #3 to reach terminal ave?

    I take the #3 a lot to chinatown and would greatly appreciate it if translink took a hard look on how to make that bus go faster like maybe converting it to a express bus.

    Also, especially at the canada line stations, Translink needs to consider putting in portable toilets. Sometimes i really have to go and i cant.

  • By Raymond, July 8, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    Angela, do u ever take the bus at night or only during the daytime? What do u think of the people who bring drinks onto the bus with them?

  • By Raymond, July 9, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    For phase 2 of the main street skytrain station upgrade project, i want to go to stadium – chinatown station, how would i do that? and how would i get back to main street science world station?

  • By Sheba, July 10, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

    I might feel more sympathy for your experiences with the 3 downtown Raymond – except that it runs approx every 5-20 mins, 20 hours a day. Meanwhile the rest of the region is lucky if they get 15 min service – 30 and 60 minute service is common.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, July 11, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Hello again Eugene: I have some info for you about the #326

    1. As you may know, our planners are moving towards more of a grid based system when it comes to bus routes. This is touched on in our Managing the Transit Series – http://buzzer.translink.ca/category/planning-for-the-future/managing-the-transit-network/ as well as the Managing the Transit Series Primer – http://www.translink.ca/networkmanagement

    The #326 is not a straight line route. That means that this route could change in the future to reflect a straighter route. However, there are no plans at this time to do so. Please remember that plans can and often do change when it comes to routes because of a number of reasons including timing, ridership and cost – to name just a few.

    2. According to the last bus service performance review – http://buzzer.translink.ca/2013/06/how-did-translinks-buses-perform-in-2012-our-new-report-has-all-the-details/ the #326 is in the middle of the pack when it comes to performance. Due to resourcing, our planners focus most of their time on the lower performing routes when it comes to making changes in the near future.

    3. To date, apart from you raising the issue, we have had very little in the way of complaints when it comes to the #326. We do take your comments on this route seriously, but, we have to weigh your thoughts with the many other routes and thoughts of other riders as well.

    4. We will be looking at this route the next time we update the Area Transit Plan for the South of Fraser – http://www.translink.ca/en/Plans-and-Projects/Area-Transit-Plans/South-of-Fraser-Area-Transit-Plan.aspx

    5. When it comes to planning and new projects, please consider that fact that plans need to be made ahead of time for planning transit. When funding does because available for planning transit, we need to have the plan in place to move forward on it or we run the risk of loosing that funding. Most of our projects are funding from a number of sources, these can include federal etc., and they have sunset clauses which means if you don’t use it within a certain time period you loose it.

    I hope that answers some of your questions Eugene.

  • By Sheba, July 11, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

    Robert – can you dig out a list of the last time the 7 sub-area transit networks had their latest transit plan(s) done?

  • By Raymond, July 11, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

    Angela, what do u like most about the skytrain, have u being on the canada line?

  • By Ivan, July 12, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    Hello Angela,

    Can I offer to do a video about how to use the compass card?

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, July 15, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

    Hi Sheba:

    I did some digging. Of note: Area transit plans complement other transit/transportation planning processes, ranging from the update to the Regional Transportation Strategy to annual plans (including recent service optimization). Heres’ the list:

    Area Transit Plans – year complete.

    Burnaby/New Westminster – 2003

    Northeast Sector – update currently underway (expecting to complete in 2014)

    North Shore – 2012

    Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge – 2004

    Richmond – 2000 (looking to begin next plan in 2014)

    South of Fraser – 2007

    Vancouver/UBC – 2005

  • By Eugene Wong, July 30, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

    @ Robert and Translink.

    Thanks for the response. I must admit that it didn’t make me happy. It took me a while to figure out what you are really saying, if you are really saying something else, and more time to decide on what I want to say.

    It seems that you are saying that you will not do it, and that you are not interested in discussing it. I don’t mean to put words into your mouth. I just don’t know what to make of it.

    @ Sheba

    I have taken your advice, and contacted Surrey. So far, I have emailed the council member, who is in charge of transportation. I am in the process of emailing somebody in the transportation department. So far, everybody has been really helpful. We’ll see what happens.

    Thanks, Sheba!!!

  • By Eugene Wong, July 30, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    @ Everybody

    If you want better crosstown service in Surrey, then it is important to call in now, while they are thinking about it. Voice your support for the #326 realignment! Please!

  • By Eugene Wong, August 15, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    @ Sheba

    The city got back to me, and they agree with Translink. Since everybody except for me agrees on the issue, I’m going to drop it. I honestly still think that everybody is making a mistake, though.

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