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Translink Buzzer Blog

Reminder: take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

What it may look like as a Buzzer reader diligently fills in our survey.

Just a reminder to take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

Again, for the first time ever, I’ve put a reader survey together. We here at the Buzzer (all two of us) are dying to know more about you, and what you guys think of the blog so far—plus where you think we could improve for the future.

It’s only 12 questions long and we’d like as many of you to fill it out as possible, so we really get a sense of who our readership is and what you’re thinking!

Even if you’re just a casual reader, please do take a few minutes and fill out the survey, and tell all your friends to as well :) The survey will close on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at noon.

Important note: I’m running this survey using SurveyMonkey, which is a US-based survey tool. So please take note that by clicking on the following survey link, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada. (PS: none of the questions ask for emails or personally identifying info, just general age/gender stuff and readership notes.)

Take me to the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

2011 Easter weekend holiday service

Heads up: here’s our holiday transit service for the upcoming 2011 Easter weekend!

On Good Friday, April 22, 2011, transit runs on Sunday/Holiday service, and you only need a single-zone fare to travel in all zones all day.

But on Easter Monday, April 25, 2011, we’re back to regular service and fares. Tell your friends!

Edit: Donald also shared a note in the comments pointing out that West Coast Express service will run on a reduced schedule this Monday. Trains #2 and #4 on the West Coast Express is cancelled both ways, and the 9:27am westbound and 12:55pm, 7:30pm, and 8:00pm eastbound TrainBuses are cancelled.

Reminder: April 2011 changes to service

It’s that time of the season for bus schedule changes. Have you noticed on this Monday, April 18th that your bus route changed? Every year we adjust bus service in April, June, September, and December. For specifics on the changes can be found in this previous blog post and the Translink service changes page. All the best with your commute!

Friday fun & serious poll: take the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

What a Buzzer blog reader might look like while diligently filling in our reader survey.

Okay, this is both a fun AND serious poll for this Friday! For the first time ever, I’ve put a reader survey together. We here at the Buzzer (all two of us) are dying to know more about our readers, and what you guys think of the blog so far—plus where you think we could improve for the future.

It’s only 12 questions long and we’d like as many of you to fill it out as possible, so we really get a sense of who our readership is and what you’re thinking! Even if you’re just a casual reader, please do take a few minutes and fill out the survey, and tell all your friends to as well :) Also, the survey will close on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at noon.

Important note: I’m running this survey using SurveyMonkey, which is a US-based survey tool. So please take note that by clicking on the following survey link, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada. (PS: none of the questions ask for emails or personally identifying info, just general age/gender stuff and readership notes.)

Take me to the 2011 Buzzer blog reader survey!

Wrapup note from TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis’s ride on the system, Apr 4, 2011

As mentioned, last week TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis spent a morning on the system talking to customers and staff, just like our our COO, Doug Kelsey, did in March.

The idea behind the project is to bring our senior leaders and our customers together on the system, so that they can have face-to-face discussions about TransLink and the service we provide across the enterprise to our customers.

And as promised, here’s a wrapup note from his visit, drawn from the notes my colleagues provided about the trip!

Ian Jarvis, TransLink CEO, with two of our SkyTrain attendants!

Ian’s trip began with chatting with transit riders at Metrotown Station at 9:30 a.m. before heading out to Surrey Central Station where he transferred to a 321 to Newton Exchange. From Newton he travelled on the C75 to Scottsdale and then back to Scott Road on the 312, where he boarded the train and was back in the office for 11:30.

He was joined by Erin McConnell, manager of corporate communications, who tweeted about his progress, and Drew Snider, Public Information Officer, who passed out TravelSmart maps and Compass card goodies.

While on transit, Ian spoke to both passengers and operators – it was an opportunity to connect with and thank the frontline staff that help our customers every day. It was also a chance to surprise and delight customers, who aren’t expecting to chat with the CEO on their way to work or school.

Feedback from customers ranged from light rail rapid transit (both south of the Fraser and the UBC Line) to stroller challenges (like competing for the space with wheelchair and scooter users) and elevators. Questions were asked about the location of the Lost & Found office, frequency of service on various routes and fare evasion. Our customers sounded very happy with our transit service, and very appreciative of the handouts.

As well, about 47 tweets were received about Ian’s ridealong: many were retweets or comments about the ridealong, and there were also questions about the 502, the Compass card, and the next phase of the Surrey Rapid Transit consultation.

The next ridealong is planned for May with another of our executives — stay tuned!

UBC Line phase 2 workshops and webinar – a recap

Now that the workshops and webinar portions of UBC Line Phase 2 have wrapped up, here’s some highlights: For those of you who are new to what’s going on with transit at UBC, our planning and infrastructure department have been working on designs for a future UBC Line and are asking for your feedback.

Webinar


About 40 people tuned in to our webinar. If you missed it, I’ve attached it here for you to watch. Please note that this video only captures the hosts leading the discussion — the slide deck Jeff is showing to the audience at home, unfortunately, does not show up here. You can, however, download a PDF of the slide deck and try following along at home.

You can also check out the submitted questions that did not get answered during the webinar and the answers we put together for them later.

Alternatively, you could watch the webinar here at our provider’s website where the video and the slides are matched, but you will have to register .

Phase 2 workshops

Two workshops took place last week. Here’s what our consultation team said about them:

Workshop at Tenth Avenue Alliance Church

The last two workshops and webinar took place in the UBC Line study Phase 2 consultation last week. About 90 people attended each of these workshops with another 40 joining us online for the webinar.

We continued to receive feedback on the designs including how to reduce costs of the RRT alternative, reduce parking impacts of the street-level alternatives, and suggestions for station locations.
Participants also provided input to the evaluation, including considering the impact of all alternatives on urban development and neigbhourhood character, and ensuring the alternatives contribute to livability.

Still want to participate? You can!

Our questionnaire will be available online until April 22, 2011. Thanks for participating!

Getting to and from the Sun Run, April 17, 2011

Sun Run 2010! Photo by Derek K. Miller

What’s 55 000 people strong, sweaty, and all for a good cause? The Sun Run, that’s what! Yes, it’s that time of year again, and yours truly will be participating for the first time. I’m really looking forward to the adrenaline rush and excitement of running with thousands of people for the same goal.

To get you to the run as hassle free as possible (there are numerous road closures to accommodate the runners), you’ll want to take note of all the transit options that can get you there in good time and ready to hit the pavement.

Remember, the run is this Sunday (April 17, 2011), so transit customers need only pay a single-zone fare of $2.50 for adults and $1.75 for children, high school students with a valid GoCard, seniors aged 65 or older and HandyCard holders.

The following are the buses that will be rerouted for the run: 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 50, 84, 135, 240, C21, C23, SeaBus. Reroutes will be in effect from the start of service until approximately 2:00 PM.

For the full details, please check the Translink alerts page or call our customer information line at 604-953-3333!

Introducing the new editor of the Buzzer: Robert Willis!

robert willis

Introducing the new editor of the Buzzer newsletter and blog, Robert Willis!

I’m pleased to introduce Robert Willis, who will be taking over the Buzzer while I’m on maternity leave! Please give him a warm welcome: we’ll both be posting on the blog for the next three weeks until my last day on April 29, 2011.

Hello everyone! I’m greatly humbled to be filling Jhenifer’s massive shoes (figuratively of course: Jhen has regular-sized feet) as editor of the Buzzer while she’s on maternity leave.

I have a background as a journalist, so you very well might bump into me on a bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, or West Coast Express talking to commuters and taking pictures. I also love robots and Japanese food… but I’m getting off topic.

There are so many stories to be told about transportation in Metro Vancouver. The challenge is to narrow in on what is most applicable and engaging for you the reader. I’ll be poring over your comments and emails for your thoughts on transit and the Buzzer and will use them as a compass (intended reference to our newly-named fare card) to help guide what I write. Of course, I’ll be continuing the many themes that Jhenifer has brought to the Buzzer like transit history and tidbits and links. Over the next few months, I also intend to introduce some new ideas and themes.

As a regular transit user, I rely a lot on TransLink like, I’m sure, most of you do as well. I’m excited to play a bigger part of our collective transit experience as the new editor. I hope you’ll help me continue the great stories and conversations Jhenifer has started!

Reminder: Sapperton/United Boulevard Phase 2 workshops start Wed Apr 13, 2011, plus phase 1 wrapup notes

Note: This is a scheduled post as I’m away this week, returning Monday April 11, 2011. If you need to reach TransLink info or staff, see this post!

Two notes for the Sapperton/United Boulevard workshops!

Phase 2 starts on April 13, 2011

A reminder that the phase two workshops for the Sapperton/United Boulevard Extension process begin on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

These workshops will focus on reviewing and refining possible transportation concepts for the area, based on the work done in the phase one workshops.

Discuss initial concepts based on Phase 1
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sapperton Pensioners Hall
318 Keary Street, New Westminster
Google map

Discuss the refined concepts
Saturday, April 30, 2011
9:30 a.m. to noon
Sapperton Pensioners Hall
318 Keary Street, New Westminster
Google map

As always, you can find more info on the TransLink Sapperton/United Boulevard consultation page, or the past Buzzer blog posts on Sapperton.

Notes from the Sapperton/United Boulevard second workshop

And yes, the Sapperton/United Boulevard second workshop on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 wrapped up phase 1 meetings. Here’s the update from our public consultation team, discussing what we heard and what’s next.

Read more »

The 14 Hastings returns to Vancouver: an interview with planner Peter Klitz about the iconic bus route

A Brill trolley with the BC Hydro colours, operating as the 14 Hastings in 1967.

Note: This is a scheduled post as I’m away this week, returning Monday April 11, 2011. If you need to reach TransLink info or staff, see this post!

As part of our April 2011 service changes, we are bringing back the 14 Hastings trolley route—an iconic former bus route that ran through Vancouver’s downtown for many years!

The 14—which even had a famous play named after it—makes its triumphant return to the streets due to optimization changes for the 10 and 17 trolley routes.

Here to tell us more about the 14’s history and its current incarnation is Peter Klitz, one of TransLink’s planners involved in the project. Read on for more insights and some classic photos of the 14 through time!

Read more »

SeaBus gets a new awning at Lonsdale Quay!

The new SeaBus awning!

Note: This is a scheduled post as I’m away this week, returning Monday April 11, 2011. If you need to reach TransLink info or staff, see this post!

SeaBus riders may have noticed that we installed a new awning at Lonsdale Quay last week!

The old awning was due for a refresh, as it was over 15 years old and still in the B.C. Transit colours. The new one has the modern SeaBus branding, plus a colourful new look. Hope you’re enjoying it!

The old SeaBus awning, now retired!

Andrea Wan: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Andrea Wan's illustration for the April Buzzer, and her self portrait entitled The Wait.

Note: This is a scheduled post as I’m away this week, returning Monday April 11, 2011. If you need to reach TransLink info or staff, see this post!

This April, we are happy to have the work of local illustrator Andrea Wan on the Buzzer’s cover. Find out more about her in this interview!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your art!

I’m an artist and illustrator, born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver. I graduated from the Film program at Emily Carr and studied illustration and design in Denmark. My art explores subjects such as landscapes, memories and the subconscious.

How did you come up with the Buzzer cover? Can you talk a bit about the other concepts?

Since the #14 Hastings trolley route is back, I wanted to create a cover illustration showing that the neighborhood is welcoming back the old bus. I did a few other variations on this concept, but with people in it. I finally decided to choose a design showing an important landmark on Hastings—Woodward’s. [Editor’s note: here’s the other concepts on Andrea’s blog!]

What kind of work are you doing lately, and where can we see it?

I’ve been working on personal drawings and a couple of commissions. My work can be seen on my website and blog.

Do you have a regular transit route that you take? And do you have a favourite seat on the bus or SkyTrain?

I live in East Vancouver and I often take the B-Line or the SkyTrain to my studio. When I take the SkyTrain I often like to stand by the door so I can look out the window.

Thanks so much Andrea!

Check out more interviews with our past illustrators here:

April 2011 bus changes and the service optimization project: an interview with TransLink planning director Brian Mills

Changes for many riders' bus routes are coming on April 18, 2011!

Note: This is a scheduled post as I’m away this week, returning Monday April 11, 2011 to answer your questions. If you need to reach TransLink info or staff, see this post!

As you may know from the April Buzzer, the April 2011 bus service changes are taking place on Monday, April 18, and they’re part of a year-long TransLink service optimization project, aimed at making sure we’re using our transit resources efficiently and effectively.

There’s a lot of small adjustments to a large number of routes—but the overall amount of service hours won’t change, and many more customers will see service increases than service reductions. Some notable changes include:

  • The 14 trolley route is returning, picking up parts of the 10 and 17 routes! See a map of the new 10, 14, and 17 routes.
  • The 50 and 15 routes are now interlined, or linked together. The 50 will change to the 15 Cambie at Olympic Village Stn and head southbound to destinations including Cambie Village, Queen Elizabeth Park and Oakridge; northbound 15 buses will change to the 50 at Olympic Village Stn. See the new route map.
  • The 112 now terminates at New Westminster Station, and the C9, a new Community Shuttle route, will be added to pick up the New West–Lougheed portion of the 112 route.
  • The 351 improves its frequency from 60 to 30 minute service between 10-11 p.m.
  • The C19 will have 30 minute service between 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sat/Sun/Holidays
  • The 480 will be truncating its service at Bridgeport Station instead of No. 3 Rd.

Read the full list of service changes here, and see this post for the Buzzer blog conversation on the service changes so far. But to give us all more background on April’s changes and the whole optimization project, I did an interview with Brian Mills, TransLink’s director of service and infrastructure planning.

Read on to find out why the project exists, its guiding principles, how we figure out what routes to focus on, and more!

Read more »

Reminder: UBC Line workshops, April 5-6, 2011

Note: This is a scheduled post as I’m away this week, returning Monday April 11, 2011. If you need to reach TransLink info or staff, see this post!

Reminder: there’s two more UBC Line workshops this week!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Kits Secondary School Gym
2550 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver
(Google map)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tenth Avenue Alliance Church
11 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver
(Google map)

If you can’t make these, you can also go to the main UBC phase 2 consultation site to examine our work and offer your feedback online until Friday, April 22, 2011.

And you can watch a recording of the UBC Line webinar from yesterday on our provider’s server—just note that you still have to register to access it at this time. Click here to see the recording.

Thanks to all who attended the UBC Line phase two webinar!

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who attended the UBC Line Rapid Transit phase 2 consultation webinar on April 4, 2011!

This is our second time doing a webinar, so if you attended, remember to fill in our questionnaire, and feel free to share any discussion on the webinar itself or the UBC Line project in the comments here.

If you didn’t join us, you can watch a recording of the webinar on our provider’s server—just note that you still have to register to access it at this time. Click here to see the recording.

I’ll also have the webinar up at YouTube shortly, once the recording is passed on to me as a file. The video will be posted on our main site and the blog for further discussion.

The team is also working on answering the questions that weren’t covered during the webinar: those will be on the main site and the blog when they’re ready!

And don’t forget: there are still two in-person workshops on April 5 and 6, 2011, in case you want to talk to someone in person or you know others who want to go. Full details here!

Thanks again to all who joined us online!