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Category: SkyTrain

Added service for the Honda Celebration of Light!

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Canada’s fireworks show – August 1, 2015 (Courtesy of GoToVan)

Summer means festivals, getting outdoors more and fireworks!

We are so lucky to be treated to the Honda Celebration of Light again this year!composite_14690452769840

Here are the dates for these sparkling displays:

Saturday, July 23 – Netherlands

Wednesday, July 27 – Australia

Saturday July 30 – U.S. A. (DISNEY!!)

All shows begin at 10 p.m.

To make sure everyone can get to and from these spectacular events, TransLink has added more service for all three nights to accommodate the fireworks at English Bay.

Added service

West Vancouver Transit

West Vancouver Transit will operate additional service go to and from Downtown Vancouver before and after each event. There will be additional 255 Service to Lynn Valley from Dundarave.

SkyTrain Expo/Millennium/Canada Lines will run additional trains beginning mid-afternoon, at near-peak service levels lasting well past the end of the events.

Expo Line: Last train will leave Waterfront for King George at 1:16am, with connections to the Millennium Line at Commercial-Broadway.

Millennium Line: Last train to Lougheed will leave Waterfront Station at 1:11am

Canada Line: Last train will leave Waterfront for Richmond-Brighouse at 1:15am

West Coast Express: WCE will offer a special train on July 30 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m., arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15pm The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City approximately 1:15am.

SeaBus will provide extra and extended service for each of the Celebration of Light events.

  • July 23, 27 and 30: We’re extending our 15-minute service until 12 a.m., and then every 30 minutes until the last sailing at 1:22 a.m. from the South Terminal.

Some downtown and West End buses are also re-routing during these times. Full details can be found online here.

Station access

Before, during and after the events, transit stations will be open, but some will have modified access to ensure customer comfort and safety.

Waterfront Station: After 10:30 p.m., Expo and Millennium line customers who do not require an elevator may only access the station from the Howe Street entrance, north of Cordova. All Canada Line and SeaBus customers, and Expo and Millennium line customers who need an elevator, can access Waterfront Station through the Cordova Street entrance. The Canada Line Granville and Hastings entrance will remain fully accessible for Canada Line customers.

Granville Station: Customers can enter the station from Dunsmuir Street only after 10:30 p.m. until crowds have cleared. Also, there will be no access to Expo and Millennium trains heading towards Waterfront Station after this time.

Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance from 9 p.m. and should be removed by 10:30 p.m. onwards, until the expected crowds have cleared. Customers will not be able to access Expo and Millennium trains towards Waterfront Station after 10:30 p.m.

**Passengers will not be permitted to board SkyTrain
with bikes after the events until crowds are clear**

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Transit Tip!

Don’t wait in line at Compass vending machines after the fireworks!

You can buy your two Compass Tickets (save one for later that night) and top up your Compass Card beforehand to breeze through the crowds after the events!

For up-to-date transit service information including bus re-routes during special events, sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts,
follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Rogers and Fido customers you are now connected at downtown Expo Line stations

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From left to right: Derrick Cheung, Vice-President Strategic Sourcing and Real Estate, Translink; Gord Nelson, Vice-President, Sales, British Columbia, Rogers Communications; Leon Leroux, Director, Network Implementation, Western Region, Rogers Communications; and Guy Akester, Director, Real Estate Program and Partners, Translink.

Exciting news! Today, Rogers announced it has turned on LTE wireless service in the SkyTrain Dunsmuir Tunnel.

TransLink has partnered with Rogers to provide strong LTE connectivity while on the SkyTrain and – the best part is this service improvement is being made with no cost to taxpayers.

Now, Rogers and Fido customers can surf the web, make/receive calls or texts, stream video and music and catch Pokemon all while travelling through the Dunsmuir Tunnel; including Stadium–Chinatown, Granville, Burrard and Waterfront stations.

Here are all the details on the enhanced connectivity on the SkyTrain!

How do you get wireless service in a tunnel?

This type of install is referred to as a DAS or a Distributed Antenna System. Rogers worked tirelessly over many nights to install equipment in the stations and throughout the Dunsmuir Tunnel.

Non-revenue night work was necessary to ensure passenger service would not be disrupted in any way.  SkyTrain staff also provided great support during this installation.

What are the benefits?

Increased access to cellular data and connectivity is important to our customers!

TransLink has engaged industry experts to ensure that we have a reliable and sustainable network in place.

Rogers and Fido customers now have uninterrupted LTE connectivity while travelling along the Dunsmuir tunnel and can browse the web and make calls.  This improves the safety, security and convenience and is part of our continued effort to improve customer experience.

Are there any plans to expand LTE service to other areas or other carriers?

We are finding innovative ways to expand and diversify revenue sources while delivering a service that customers have requested.

Rogers will continue to expand LTE service along the SkyTrain, specifically, the Edmonds, Columbia, New Westminster and Evergreen tunnels. The DAS system has been configured to support additional carriers so we look forward to other carriers also taking advantage of this opportunity to improve LTE connectivity to the public.

Is LTE the same as Wi-Fi?

The two major categories of wireless internet access for mobile devices are cellular wide area networks and Wi-Fi local area networks.

The biggest difference and reason why we are pursuing cellular access is that Wi-Fi is tied to a router and has a limited range to a confined area, approximately 50 to 100 feet, whereas a cellular network provides access anywhere, through your data plan when you’re out of Wi-Fi range.

Thank you to Lea Dam, Real Estate Project Manager for the low down on the new connectivity!

For more information, check out this news release.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Station upgrade news from Joyce–Collingwood

Joyce

Rendering of what the station will look like when the upgrades project is complete

As you may well know, upgrades to Joyce–Collingwood Station are underway!

The upgrades will improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at the fourth busiest Expo Line Station outside of Downtown Vancouver.

Project benefits

  • New elevator and up and down escalators in the east stationhouse
  • Improved station design with better lighting and visibility
  • Better integration with the community for easier SkyTrain connections

Project update

  • The majority of ground-level demolition work is now complete.
  • Installation of concrete columns and footings to support the new east stationhouse is ongoing.
  • Painting work has begun.

Upcoming work

On July 24, 2016, construction crews are switching out the power source at the station. During this time, several bus stops will be relocated from 5:30 p.m. to end of service to in order to give crews the space they need to work. Signs will be installed at the bus loop to direct customers to their stop. Escalators and elevators will also be out of service during this time.

Below is a summary of what customers can expect at the station over the coming months:

  • The east entrance will remain closed until upgrades are complete in fall 2017, when the project is expected to be complete.
  • Steel and roofing work is expected to begin later this summer.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to the Joyce–Collingwood Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project.

Contact Us

Have questions? We’re here to listen!

Customer Information: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit:
translink.ca/joyce

Author: Jennifer Morland

Spot the Mark III – testing continues this weekend!

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So shiny and new!

Get ready transit fans because the Mark IIIs are almost here!!!

This weekend you may see them being tested in regular service on the Expo and Millennium Lines.

YES! It’s true!

You won’t be able to actually ride the one, four-car test train just yet and there will be STAs on the trains at the doors just to make sure no eager beavers jump on.

Why the testing?

Think of the trains as pilots. They have to complete a certain amount of hours in a variety of different service situations and testing scenarios before they are given the green light to be used in service.

We do this testing to ensure that the new trains are safe for all passengers and staff.

The third and final phase of testing allows actual SkyTrain passengers to ride the Mark IIIs when they are put into regular service.

Stay tuned for details on that exciting day!

What’s different about the Mark IIIs?

Let me tell you!

  • The cars are all connected – meaning you can walk from one end to the other and move about freely within the train.
  • These cars also have more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage.
  • Seats are an inch lower, which helps people like me whose feet dangle on the Mark IIs!
  • They’re as quiet as a soft, summer’s breeze. OK, I’m taking some poetic license here but they are much quieter due to improved door seals.
  • These trains are green. No, not the colour. They are more energy efficient! They have improved LED lighting and longer lasting battery system – lasting 25 years compared to the 10 year life span in our existing fleet.

Want to spot the Mark III this weekend? Keep your eyes peeled across the system during these times:

  • Friday, July 8
    Millennium Line
    7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 9
    Expo Line
    6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Snap a pic and share on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SpottheMarkIII.

Want a sneak peak inside the trains? Check out the gallery below.

Author: Adrienne Coling

The latest news from the New Westminster Station upgrades

New West east station entrance

Upgrade work continues to march forward

Construction is well underway at New Westminster Station while we upgrade the station to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security.

Project status:

After almost a year of station upgrades, New Westminster Station upgrades will soon be complete!

Here are some highlights of the work that has taken place over the past few months:

  • The east entrance fully re-opened with an upgraded staircase and a newly replaced escalator.
  • The staircase at the south entrance reopened as work continues to reopen the escalator.
  • Work progressed on the installation of the new south entrance elevator.
  • Installation of permanent lighting in the concourse area continued; most of the ceiling is now in place.
  • Benches have been installed at the platform level.
  • Construction fencing continues to be removed.
  • Painting throughout the station is complete.

What to expect:

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees, and contractors.

Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Below is a summary of the short-term work that passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • South entrance escalator to reopen.
  • Installation of the south elevator to be completed and in operation this summer.
  • Ceiling panels at the concourse and platform levels to be fully installed.
  • Permanent lighting throughout the station to be completed.
  • North entrance to fully re-open this summer with an upgraded staircase and a newly replaced escalator.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to New Westminster Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project.

Have questions about the upgrades to New Westminster Station? Contact us!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information you can visit translink.ca/newwestminster or translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jordan Keim

Transit funding announcement for B.C.

Today is big day for transit in Metro Vancouver and all across British Columbia!

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier Christy Clark have announced that they have signed an agreement resulting in more than $900 million being invested – by the Government of Canada, British Columbia and municipalities – in public transit projects across the province.

So, what does this mean for transit in your community?

Take a look at the plan for the first phase of investment in our region:

Metro Vancouver TransLink Phase 1 of Investing in Canada includes:

  • The purchase of additional SkyTrain vehicles for the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines
  • A new West Coast Express locomotive
  • A new SeaBus
  • Upgrades to SkyTrain stations
  • Design and planning for Rapid Transit South of Fraser and the Millennium Line Extension along Broadway

(From the office of the B.C. Premier)

You can read the press releases from the TransLink Mayors’ Council, the province and the Federal government.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Update: Commercial–Broadway station upgrades

Broadway Commercial track and train

Commercial–Broadway Station is the busiest station on the network

Upgrades to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at Commercial–Broadway Station, one of the busiest stations on the SkyTrain system, are well underway.

Project Status:

  • Two new columns were constructed on either side of Broadway to support the new pedestrian walkway.
  • A steel mesh wall along with the roof structure and its support columns were installed for the new Broadway platform.
  • Concrete columns were erected in the Grandview Cut to support a widened pedestrian overpass to Platforms 1 and 2.

Upcoming work means the Broadway entrance at the south stationhouse (beside CIBC) will be closed from start of service Saturday, June 18, while crews remove three fare gates to make space for construction of the expanded station entrance.

The entrance will reopen prior to start of service on Monday, June 20.

What passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • Customers can access the station from the entrance off 10th Avenue, or from the north stationhouse on the other side of Broadway.
  • SkyTrain attendants will be present on the platform, in the concourse and outside the station to help guide customers to the 10th Avenue entrance.
  • Signs will be installed to direct customers.
  • When the station entrance reopens, there will be six fare gates, two of which are accessible gates. We know that six fare gates will be more than enough for the number of passengers who use this entrance.

Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station.

Stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project!

Looking for more information?

Learn about all of the Expo Line Station upgrades here.

More details about the Commercial–Broadway Station upgrades and project benefits can be found at translink.ca/commercialbroadway.

Got questions? We’re here to listen!
Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.:30 a.m.
translink.ca/customerservice

Author: Jordan Keim

An update on Metrotown Station upgrade work

West Stationhouse loop truss

West station house loop truss

Have you noticed the huge steel structures being constructed outside Metrotown Station?

Over the past few weeks, crews have been constructing a massive loop truss which will be installed above the west station house – providing structural support for the station’s roof. MultivistaPhoto-2016-06-09 (1)

The loop truss is so massive, in fact, that it was shipped to the work site in four separate pieces, all of which arrived in May.

Crews have also been working on building eight columns which will support the final structure. 

Over the coming weeks, crews will continue fabricating the loop truss, and later this summer it will be hoisted into place with two separate tandem lifts.

More details to come on what this will mean for customers.

Once fully constructed, the loop truss will weigh approximately 70 tons (140,000lbs) and will be around 64.5 meters (212 feet) in length. 

A similar loop truss will be constructed and then installed in the east stationhouse.

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A rendering of the completed Metrotown Station upgrades project

Have questions about this work?
We’re here to listen!
Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Author: Jordan Keim 

Late night SkyTrain single tracking resumes June 12

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Single tracking will run from June 12 into fall 2016

Beginning June 12 and continuing into the fall, SkyTrain will single track at several stations, primarily during late night hours, due to maintenance work and system upgrades.

Riders should plan on up to 20 minutes of extra travel time during these single tracking events.

Need a refresher as to what single tracking is and why its needed?

I’ve got your back!

Single tracking is when we run trains in both directions over a single piece of track. It’s like taking a two-lane road down to one lane and having a signal or flag, person regulating traffic in the remaining lane so it only flows in one direction at a time. – Ian Fisher, BCRTC

In fact, many railways operate this way where they do not have two tracks to use.

We use single tracking to give crews time to perform necessary work on one track while we keep the other track open for service.

Single tracking – stations and dates:

  • Metrotown and Patterson stations (June 12-16, 24-25): Allow 10-20 minutes, Millennium Line operates VCC-Clark – Columbia only
  • Columbia and Scott Road stations (June 21-23, 26-28): Allow 5-10 minutes
  • Columbia and New Westminster stations (June 29-30, July 3-7): Allow 5-10 minutes

Work has been scheduled to avoid large events, such as concerts, sporting events and community celebrations.

You can learn lots more about single tracking from our interview with BCRTC last fall.

Thank you for your patience while we perform upgrades and important maintenance work to the system.

For information on the service impacts visit translink.ca,
check our Transit Alerts, follow TransLink on Twitter
or call Transit Information and Customer Feedback at 604-953-3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Get your GradPass today!

Grad Pass

Get your GradPass from your school today!

Another year has come and gone and so another group of high school students are about to get their diplomas, heading out into the real world!

Every graduating Grade 12 student attending school in the TransLink transportation service region can enjoy two free days of unlimited travel by bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express with a Compass GradPass. GradPass Compass ticket

In the past, the GradPass flash pass was valid for two days of unlimited travel. This year, each student will be issued two GradPass Compass Tickets — each the equivalent of a DayPass Compass Ticket.

The tickets will be valid on our system from Sunday, May 15 to Thursday, June 30, inclusive.

Your GradPass is available at schools around the region, either in homerooms or main offices.

Tips for using your 2016 GradPass:

  • Your Compass Ticket is activated at first tap and can be used throughout the day. The activated ticket will expire at the end of that particular service day.
  • Tickets are valid for unlimited travel on bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain (including Canada Line) and West Coast Express
  • Tickets are valid for unlimited travel across all zones
  • You are required to tap in and tap out at all fare gates and mobile validators

Remember! GradPass Compass Ticket must be used together with a valid GoCard.

For more information, visit our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Then and Now: 30 years of Expo

Expo 86

It was 30 years ago…

May 2nd marks the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek. North America’s largest World’s Fair was a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy, notably, Metro Vancouver’s first Rapid Transit SkyTrain – the Expo Line, built for and named in anticipation of the fair. SkyTrain debuted as the first and one of the longest, fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world

“Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch” coincided with Vancouver’s centennial celebration and was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

expo prince and princess

Prince Charles and Princess Diana riding the Expo Line in 1986

 

Charles and Di

The Royal Couple

A lot has changed in 30 years, and we’ve summarized some fun facts below about SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, and BC in general.

  1986 2016
Main line track (km) 21 58
Stations 15 33
Annual boardings (millions) 20 (1987) 80
Fleet (cars) 114 258 (+28 by mid-2016)
One-zone cash fare (at Jan 1) $1.15 $2.75
Metro Vancouver population 1.38 million (census) 2.54 million (BC Stats projection)
Detached home price $130,800 $1,816,487
Minimum Wage (per hour) $3.65 $10.45
Expo 1986

Can you spot the station?

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Do you remember these tickets?

expo 86

The very first Ticket Vending Machines

Do you have an Expo ’86 memory you’d like to share? Did you take SkyTrain when it first launched?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Update: Joyce–Collingwood station upgrades

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Joyce–Collingwood Station at Joyce St and Vanness Ave

If you use Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain station as much as the rest of the region (it’s the fourth busiest station outside of downtown, you know!) you may have noticed that upgrade construction has begun!

So, what does this improved design give you?

Upgrades include a new elevator, up and down escalators in the East stationhouse, better lighting and visibility and better integration of the transit system into the Joyce–Collingwood community.

Project status

Beginning May 7, the east station entrance will close and work will begin to construct a new elevator and up and down escalators.

The east entrance will remain closed until upgrades are complete in fall 2017, when the project is expected to be complete.

What to expect

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees and contractors.

Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Below is a summary of what customers can expect during this upgrade work:

  • During this time, customers can access the station through the west station entrance on the other side of Joyce Street.
  • Customers will be able to use the new temporary staircase to exit east stationhouse (exit only, no entry access permitted).
  • Signs will be in place to direct customers to appropriate entrances and exits.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to the Joyce–Collingwood Station.

Got questions? We’re here to listen!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit: www.translink.ca/joyce or www.translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jordan Keim

Be a SkyTrain VIP!

velvet rope

See what lies behind the velvet rope with SkyTrain VIP

We are so happy to introduce our brand new SkyTrain VIP service.

Up until now, SkyTrain seats have been first come, first serve.

But starting today, April 1st, you can reserve a spot in the first train car and experience the luxury of pre-warmed seats, personalized neck pillows and complimentary on-board spa treatments.

Be the first to enjoy the view while riding in style.

The cost? Only $18.99 a ride!

Proceeds will go to transforming the Vancouver Transit Centre into a crow sanctuary for Canuck.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Spring forward this weekend!

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Set your clocks forward one hour this Saturday night

It’s that time again for daffodils and early season flowers to pop up out of the ground and welcome spring.

Another spring behaviour that is slightly less appealing is springing forward to Pacific Daylight Time where we lose and hour in the day.

Ok, we don’t really lose it but it can feel like it in those first few days!

This year, the time change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

However, our transit services will finish their Saturday night service on standard time and the time change will take effect for the start of Sunday service.

So, remember to change those clocks before you head to bed on Saturday!

Author: Adrienne Coling

My smartphone-free week on transit

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The tally from my smile experiment

Last week, I was inspired by a link in our latest Links and Tidbits post.

It lead me to try my own smartphone-free commuting week!

Let me give you a little background of what my normal commute is like.

I hop on the bus for about half an hour, then I continue on SkyTrain for another 30 minutes. In the evening, I reverse it, obviously.

I will often just listen to music and check games or idly scroll through my Instagram feed.

For my “unplugged” week, I didn’t allow myself to touch it from the moment I left my house to the moment I stepped into work.

This required one behaviour change for me right off the bat… A CLOCK! I don’t usually wear a watch and use my phone to check the time so for the first day I had no reference of time on transit.

Other than that, I made some observations with my pen and notepad each day.

Here’s what I found out:

Monday:

  • OK, a LOT of people spend their entire trip on their phone. Is anyone concerned about becoming a society of strained-necked commuters?
  • I wish I could read my book. Motion sickness is the worst! Think of all the work I could do if I didn’t get sick reading on transit.
  • I have no idea what time it is. I really depend on my phone for telling the time. Not a lot of others are sporting watches either. Does everyone rely on their phones for the time?

Tuesday:

  • A woman is putting fake eyelashes on while on the bus. I can’t make my makeup look that good sitting still. She’s some sort of make-up wizard!
  • There are such distinct housing development and decor patterns as you cross the region. ie. Vancouver Specials, gated yards with lion statues, colourful stucco East of Main St., laneway house builds.
  • Riders say ‘thank you’ to operators much more often in the afternoon/evening rides than in the morning.

Wednesday:

  • There’s a man who I thought was talking to me but turns out wasn’t. He looked puzzled/annoyed when I said, “pardon?” Apparently it was a conversation for one.
  • It’s so foggy today I can’t even see the mountains. I should really look at the mountains more. Seriously, they’re gorgeous and you have a great view from the Expo Line trains in Burnaby.
  • I sat beside a woman with a purple bag. I didn’t notice the doggy with the matching purple bow until she licked me “hello!” Jazz was very friendly and quiet while we rode together.

Thursday:

  • How hard is it to put the free newspapers we all get handed in the recycling? There are bins at every station! Disclaimer: I sat on one that was stuffed in the side of my seat and wet so, in turn, I then got my whole side wet and I may be a little grumpy about it.
  • I just played with the air bubbles on a SkyTrain window for a good 10 minutes. I should probably wash my hands.
  • Sock fashion is in! Stripes, polka dots, bright colours – men and women; young and old seem to be rocking some funky socks. I’m liking the attention to the space in between shoes and pants.

Friday:

  • Everyone is in such a good mood today! I think TGIF culture is real because this is a total 180 from Monday
  • Someone is doing a crossword. I love crosswords. I feel like they have taken a backseat to Sudoku and I never understood why. I wonder what the ratio of Sudoku players versus crossword puzzlers on the train right now?
  • How many Starbucks drinks are sold in Metro Vancouver during the AM commuting hours? I’ve been on transit for 45 minutes and I have counted nearly 27.

I also conducted a little something I like to call the smile experiment.

Each day I tried to look someone in the eye and smile then I would record if they smiled back.

I think many people were a bit surprised, but the ones that returned the smile looked so happy!

Eye contact & smiles given = 37
Eye contact & smiles received = 11

Overall, though I did miss my commuting soundtrack, it was nice to actually LOOK UP and see the world around me and I’m going to try to leave my phone in my pocket more often!

Now, I put the challenge to you. One week’s commute with no smartphone. Can you do it??

Author: Adrienne Coling