Translink Buzzer Blog

SkyTrain question: why do some trains switch at Edmonds?

The SkyTrain, zooming through a station!

The SkyTrain, zooming through a station!

A while back, Dan B emailed this question about SkyTrain, and I thought I’d share the answer with everyone. (Dan B will surely notice this email was sent a LONG while back… so this is better late than never :)

I have a question about how SkyTrain works. I was riding the SkyTrain this morning from Broadway to Edmonds at about 8am . When we approached Edmonds, there was an announcement that the train was going to prematurely terminate there and that passengers continuing to King George would be accommodated by another train that wasn’t far behind. The train I was on stopped and had a longer dwell time than other trains normally have at Edmonds. Afterwards, it left and another train followed about 30 seconds later.

What was the purpose of doing that? Were they going to turn the train to provide additional capacity to the downtown core? Were they taking the train out of service and preparing to take it into the yard? Were they going to deadhead it to Broadway to provide additional capacity for that heavily-travelled segment?

Also, when I look out the window at work, I see other trains stopping at Edmonds for longer than usual times. Usually, another train has to stop behind them just outside the station. Is this because they are taking some of the trains out of service and returning them to the yard once rush hour is over? Do they break-apart the Mark II consists so that they only run with a single trainset?

Read more »

Cloverdale Bed Races reroute for Thu May 14

The annual Cloverdale Bed Races are on Thursday May 14, which means some bus reroutes in Cloverdale on 176A street between 57 & 58th. They are as follows:

C70 Cloverdale: Regular route to 60 and 177b, then via left on 177B, left on Highway 10, then regular route.
C70 Willowbrook: Regular route to Highway 10 & 177B, then via right on 177 B, right on 60, then regular route.

For more information, contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333. And for more alerts like this one, check out our Alerts page on the main TransLink site.

Pitt Meadows open house for C41 route extension, Thu May 14, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

There’s an open house in Pitt Meadows on Thursday May 14, discussing the extension of the C41 to Bonson Road South during the peak hours.

Come down to:
10958 Barnston View Road
Thursday, May 14, between 6 pm and 9 pm

(Parking available at rear of building)

And here’s the specifics on the event:

Coast Mountain Bus Company, working with the City of Pitt Meadows, will host a public Open House to discuss a possible extension of the C41 Meadowtown/Maple Meadows Station/Pitt Meadows Centre route to Bonson South (Bonson Road at Fraser Way). CMBC staff will be on-hand to answer questions and to provide information about this possible routing change.

The proposal is to extend the C41 to Bonson South during off peak hours only; that is during the mid-day on Monday through Friday and at all times on Saturdays. A minor re-routing near Pitt Meadows Centre would also be introduced. The resultant routing would become the regular routing, with the existing peak period routing to Maple Meadows and Pitt Meadows stations remaining as is.

This would address the community’s request for public transit service for this residential area. Customers living in the Bonson South neighbourhood, who are currently walking over one kilometre to access transit, would have mid day service on six days of the week. This re-routing would provide a base level of service, improve service coverage, enhance customer convenience, improve route productivity and encourage ridership.

If people are in favour, the route extension will take place in December 2009.

Wanted: summer getaways on transit and more, for the July Buzzer

The July 2008 Buzzer listed some summer getaways you could reach transit and bike -- I want to do a new list for the July 2009 Buzzer!

The July 2008 Buzzer listed some summer getaways you could reach transit and bike -- I want to do a new list for the July 2009 Buzzer!

Got any good summer getaways you can reach through transit, biking, or walking (or even a combination of all three)?

Let me know by June 5: I’d love to publish them in the July 2009 Buzzer!

Just be sure to include what’s great about the spot you’ve chosen, and how to access it by transit, biking, or walking. I’ll try to get as many items as I can in the July Buzzer, credited to you guys, of course!

Why am I asking so early? The July issue gets produced over June, and June is a busy busy month — meaning the July content needs to be ready super early. Also, I’m trying to make you guys get a good long time to contribute if you want to!

And if you’d like some inspiration, you can try the July 4, 2008 Buzzer, which also listed summer getaways by transit and bike. Destinations included Buntzen Lake, Steveston Village, Burnaby Village Museum, Lynn Canyon Park, and Bowen Island.

Tonight: #531, #595, community shuttle open house at Langley Public Library

You may have seen this in your local papers, but tonight, there will be a TransLink open house at Langley Public Library, 20399 Douglas Cres, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The open house will discuss the new routes #531 and #595, plus improvements proposed for Langley Community Shuttle routes. (We’re thinking of introducing a new Langley/White Rock Centre route and enhancing existing shuttle routings, frequencies, and hours of operation.)

Please come and review the proposed improvements and share your thoughts!

For further info, please contact Vincent Gonsalves, Community Relations Coordinator, at vincent_gonsalves@translink.bc.ca or 604-453-3043.

Transit on film: Seat Ibiza car commercial

Here’s a commercial for a Spanish compact car Seat Ibiza, shot partly on a Mark I SkyTrain at Waterfront Station in 2006.

First, I don’t speak Spanish so I’m wondering how the polar bear concept relates to the car in question. Could anyone enlighten us on what they’re saying in the ad?

Second: why yes, that is a polar bear in Waterfront Station! Bill Knight, whose many duties include managing film requests and supervising film shoots on our property, has a story to tell about that.

Read more »

Friday fun poll: which type of SkyTrain car do you like best?

If you like, you can skip to the end of this post to answer the Mark I vs. Mark II cars poll.

Results from last poll: eye contact on transit

Last week I asked about your approach to eye contact on transit.

There were 94 votes on this poll, and slightly more than half didn’t worry about eye contact on transit (52%), while the rest tried to avoid eye contact as much as possible (49%).

In the comments, daniel said that he definitely avoids eye contact on transit.

i chose answer number 1. when you make eye contact with someone you feel really awkward. i just try and stare out the window!

However Scott Clayton had a different view:

I usually make eye contact with the people just getting on the bus, and I usually smile at them (unless they look like they’re on drugs)—they often smile back and sit next to me, though we rarely talk.

I usually say “hey” to the person I sit next to when I get on the bus.

Also, I discovered that the Coen Brothers did a short film about eye contact on transit, but on the Paris Metro. Before I give you the link, be warned that the film contains swearing, insults, mild violence, and Steve Buscemi: okay, here it is.


This week’s poll: which type of SkyTrain car do you like best?

This poll was kindly suggested by David Lam. Credit for the Mark I photo goes to ms_cwang at Flickr.


Thought I’d do a SkyTrain question in honour of the interiors post this week. Let me know what you think!

The May Buzzer is out today!

The May 2009 Buzzer is now on all buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express!

In this issue we talk about Bike to Work Week, which encourages you to try commuting by bike from May 11-15.

We’ve also got details about the The Bicycle Valet, who provides convenient bike parking at events, plus info about Access Awareness Day, BePartofthePlan.ca (and the upcoming in-person consultation events), and our new multilingual timetables!

We also have notes on Victoria Day holiday service, an important notice about the temporary closure of the Broadway Station elevator, and an item about the Buzzer’s 93rd birthday (the Buzzer may be creaking in the joints, but it’s still going strong :)

And as usual, it is our pleasure to feature a cover from another fine Canadian illustrator, Andrea Armstrong. I’m really pleased with this illustration — I love the way the colours look like watercolour paints!

As always, if you can’t get the Buzzer on the system, you can always read it in PDF form on our website. Visit our Buzzer PDF archives, which stretch back to the heady days of June 2006. (Here’s the direct link to the May issue PDF.)

Please don’t forget to enter the FareCard contest too: you can win a free FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer. Read the issue, then answer the question right by Monday, June 1 at 9 a.m. to win!

Enjoy the latest Buzzer everyone: comments are welcome below!

TransLink’s Annual General Meeting, Tue May 12, 9am-11am

You’re invited to attend TransLink’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, May 12!

It will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Firefighters Hall, 6515 Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby. Our 2008 Annual Report will be available, as will reports from the Board Chair and CEO, and a question and answer period will follow. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more meetings of the TransLink Board of Directors, check out this link for a schedule.

Today: open house for #531 and #399 routes at Semiahmoo Mall

There’s an open house today at Semiahmoo Mall, asking for feedback on two new routes for Surrey, White Rock, and Langley!

The open house is being held until the mall closes at 9pm tonight, and will show service concepts for the proposed #531 White Rock/Langley and the #399 King George Highway/104th B-Line service. Everyone is invited to come down and offer input on the routes.

Also, if you’re interested, Surrey blogger Paul Hillsdon attended an earlier open house on the routes and wrote about many of the details on his blog.

(And so, so sorry for the lateness on this one—I just found out about it today!)

A few more photos of the new SkyTrain interiors

One of <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/chsscassidy/>Chris Cassidy's</a> photos from the new SkyTrain cars.

One of Chris Cassidy's photos from the new SkyTrain cars.

Here’s some more photos if you’d like to see more of the new SkyTrain car interiors.

Chris Cassidy has some photos up at his site, BusShots.com (these are really TrainShots, though :)

George Prior also has photos up at Trans-Vancouver Photos.

And 24 Hours newspaper also has a photo gallery up.

Edit: Richard Eriksson also has a set of photos up at Flickr.

Edit 2: Karen Fung now has a video up at YouTube.

Enjoy!

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 6 of 6: Electronics and high-floor wheelchair lift repair

This little office is where they fix the destination signs for the vehicles.

This little office is where they fix the destination signs for the vehicles.

This is the final article in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the earlier articles on the body shop; panel fabrication; the paint shop; high-mileage vehicle work; and the warehouse.)

A little room just to the side of the body shop floor is where the electronic signage is repaired.

The electric shop, where they fix vehicle elements with electronic components.

The electric shop, where they fix vehicle elements with electronic components.

Overhaul manager Jeff Dow explained that they not only fix the signs, but also program them to flash custom messages like “Go Lions Go” or “Countdown 2 Gold,” which the buses showed for the Olympics.

There’s also an electric shop nearby, where electronic components of vehicles are repaired. Defrosters, fareboxes, new electronic motors, circuit boards, and more are taken care of here. (It’s a clean room, so we didn’t get to take an actual peek inside.)

Read more »

Wanted: questions for the Friday fun polls

Does anyone have any questions for the Friday fun polls?

I’m running short on good ideas and I’m certain you all have questions you’d love to ask :)

I only have limited criteria — make it a fun transit culture topic, the questions & answers shouldn’t be too complex, and fewer answer options are better. (It’s a fun poll: we don’t want to make it too hard for people to answer! Or too hard to understand the results once the poll closes.)

Feel free to use the comments or email me if that’s preferable!

Improved interiors for the new SkyTrain cars!

The new SkyTrain car, sitting on the Stadium Station side track.

The new SkyTrain car, sitting on the Stadium Station side track.

Finally, I’m able to share info about the improved interiors for our new SkyTrain cars!

If you don’t know about it, the train pictured above is one of the 48 new Mark II 1300 and 1400 series SkyTrain cars. These 48 cars will be in service by the end of 2009, boosting capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines by 30%. (Most of these cars are still being built by Bombardier – we only have 6 cars (3 two-car trains) on hand right now.)

We debuted the interiors with a little media event at Stadium Station this morning (a few friends of the Buzzer blog were also able to attend :)

Just as a side note, this new SkyTrain car will be on Stadium Station’s side track for the next while, so attendants can be trained on its new features. So if you’re rolling through the station, you’ll definitely catch a glimpse of it!

But enough dillydallying – on to the interiors! Remember to click on all the photos for much larger versions!

Read more »

Port Coquitlam bus reroutes for the May Day Parade

The 86th annual Rotary May Day Parade is on Saturday in Port Coquitlam. (86 — that’s almost as old as the Buzzer!)

Anyway, this all means some reroutes for buses on Saturday — the C36, C37, C37, C38, 159, and 160. Have a look at the Alerts page on the TransLink main site for all the changes. And enjoy the parade, if you’re going!