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Translink Buzzer Blog

B.C. Day holiday service, Mon Aug 2

A new Mark II SkyTrain! Whee!

B.C. Day is Monday August 2, and as you probably suspected, buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus will be running on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. West Coast Express operates no trains or TrainBus on Monday.

Remember that the whole transit system is a single zone on B.C. Day, so zone fares are not in effect! So you can buy a one zone ticket and ride all over.

Also, don’t forget our group ride offer: on Sundays and statutory holidays, you can use your FareCard to take five other riders with you for free. That means you can take either one more adult and up to four children with you, or up to five children. The offer applies to the Adult FareCard, West Coast Express 28-day Pass, or Annual Employer Transit Pass. (It doesn’t apply to Concession Passes, sadly.)

I Love Transit Week 2010: more photos from our meetup

Everyone gathers round for the I Love Transit bus boarding game!

Aha—as promised, I’ve posted the last batch of the I Love Transit Night photos!

Linda Mackie took some photographs for us and sent along her snaps this week.

So have a look at the Flickr set of I Love Transit Night photos to see about 200 new pictures from the event. If you’d like to jump right to the new pictures, click here!

Bus reroutes for Pride Week, the fireworks, the Powell Street festival, and more! Sat July 31 – Mon Aug 2

Wow — this long weekend is going to be the busiest one so far! Pride Week is on in and around the West End, coinciding with the final night of the Celebration of Lights fireworks competition at English Bay. Plus there’s many other festivals this weekend: the Powell Street festival, the 12th Street festival and more. See below for full details!

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Tidbits and links for Thursday, July 29

My sister sent me this photo she took of some rather positive bus graffiti she spotted in London, England.

Tidbits and links! If you have any to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at! I’m especially in need of good photos to showcase.

Bring a food bank donation for Christmas in July at Burrard Station, Thu July 29

Ah — I’ve just been told Santa’s visiting in July to help the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society!

Thanks to the Rogers Santa Claus Parade, Santa will be at Burrard Station in downtown Vancouver on Thursday July 29 (tomorrow!), collecting donations for the Food Bank.

Donations are critically low during summer months, although 25,000 still access the food bank each week.

So bring your non-perishable food items or cash donations down to Burrard Station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursday!

Reminder: Celebration of Light transit service, Wed July 28 and Sat July 31

Fireworks from the Celebration of Light

Just a reminder that the Celebration of Light fireworks festival is on tonight, Wednesday July 28, and the finale is on Saturday, July 31! Do make sure you know about our transit service for those evenings.

As a side note, here’s a press release about how last Wednesday’s fireworks service went well. Did you know we’re using the longer articulated buses on the NightBus routes? We are!

Jarrett Walker presents A Field Guide to Transit Debates, Wed Aug 4

Jarrett Walker, the public transit planning consultant behind the excellent blog Human Transit, will be in town giving a talk at SFU on Wednesday, August 4!

Here are the details and the description from the SFU website:

Jarrett Walker

A Field Guide to Transit Debates
As transit becomes more popular, many cities are having intense and often bitter quarrels about what kind of transit to build or operate. Jarrett Walker examines some of the most common confusions that affect debates about transit, and that often lead to disappointing outcomes. He then suggests strategies for clarifying transit debates, by recognizing the unavoidable “hard choices” that arise from transit’s intrinsic geometry and costs.

August 4, 2010
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 pm
1400 Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings V6B 5K3

Make sure you register for a seat at the talk! As of right now (~3pm) the website says 281 of 310 seats have been claimed, so it’s probably wise to sign up soon if you want to attend.

Anyway, if you can’t make it, I’ll have some notes up on the blog from the talk the next day. Jarrett will also be giving a lunch and learn for TransLink staff on Tuesday August 3, and I’ll make sure to put up a summary from that too!

I Love Transit Week 2010: interviews from last week’s meetup (and a few links!)

Michelle Babiuk, intrepid interviewer, speaking to an attendee at I Love Transit Night.


OK — one more thing from I Love Transit Week!

During I Love Transit Night, I asked my colleague Michelle to roam around with a voice recorder and chat with people about transit for the blog. I narrowed the audio down to about 15 minutes of stories and perspectives, so press play on the player above and have a listen to some of the fine folks we met last Thursday! Thanks Michelle for doing an excellent job, and thanks to everyone interviewed for sharing your stories!

I’d also like to point out a couple of links to wrap up the I Love Transit Week coverage:

  • Eric made a wrapup post for I Love Transit Week. Let’s take I Love Transit international!
  • Did you know St. Albert, AB did I Love Transit Week in May 2010? It’s true!

If I haven’t said it already, I really want to send a sincere, heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in I Love Transit Week — whether you submitted essays, came to the meetup, or simply read along and enjoyed the ride. This whole week was phenomenal thanks to you. Next year, we’ll make I Love Transit even better!

(By the way: there’ll be just one more post next week about I Love Transit, and then I’ll hold my peace until next year. More photos are arriving from our photographer next week!)

I Love Transit Week 2010: two belated transit treats

The cover of the 1958 B.C. Electric Railway map! Thanks to Owen for this.

During I Love Transit Week last week, two readers posted some super fun links that I neglected to put up on the blog!

So to make amends, here they are now. The first is from Owen, who posted a Vancouver transit map from 1958! Check out his post for more pictures and hi-res map downloads.

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Links and tidbits for Thursday, July 22

Jason Vanderhill's Super Express train set at I Love Transit Night last week, dressed up to look like the Canada Line!

Tidbits and links! If you have any to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at! I’m especially in need of good photos to showcase. gets a new and improved site search

The new, prettier search results page!

If you’re searching the TransLink website, you may have notice some improvements to the site search!

As of Monday, your search results are now displayed in a nicer-looking format, with new features that hopefully enhance your search experience. One big change is that you can narrow your search down to just web pages, or documents, or social discussions (the blog, Twitter, or the forums)!

Try the site search out for yourself: enter some terms in the Search box at the top right of any TransLink page. And find out more details on the new search features below!

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Take transit to the Vancouver Aquarium and save $2 on admission

A beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium. Photo by Leto A.

If you hadn’t heard yet, the Vancouver Aquarium is teaming up with us to encourage visitors to travel smart!

You’ll get a $2 discount on admission to the Aquarium if you show:

  • a valid transit pass, such as a FareCard, U-Pass, or Employer Pass,
  • or a DayPass (adult or concession),
  • or a FareSaver ticket or farebox ticket valid for that day.

Plus you can visit all year for the discount — this special offer is a permanent new policy!

As the Aquarium says on their special offers page, the discount “helps the Aquarium reinforce its commitment to conservation. By leaving your vehicle at home and taking public transit, your visit to the Aquarium becomes even easier, more economical and lighter on the environment.”

To get to the Vancouver Aquarium by transit, just take the #19 Stanley Park/Metrotown, which ends just a brief walk from the Aquarium. During the summer months, the regular bus service is supplemented by “short-turn” shuttle buses running between Pender and Cambie and the Stanley Park Loop. Visit our Trip Planner to plan your trip.

Find out more at the Vancouver Aquarium’s special offers page, and the TransLink press release about the new offer.

You can also find more tips for travelling smart on our TravelSmart page, and find local attractions reachable by transit at Destinations to Discover.

Transit service to the Celebration of Light: July 21, 24, 28 and 31

The annual Celebration of Light fireworks display will be held in downtown Vancouver on July 21, 24, 28, and 31!

As usual, we’ll be boosting service to carry thousands of people to the event, and there will be some bus reroutes to accommodate the related West End road closures.

Have a look below for the full transit service details, including some special service notes and cycling info!

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I Love Transit Week 2010: meetup wrapup

Everyone playing transit bingo! In this game, you had to find others who fit the transit-related descriptions on your bingo sheet (ie: who had never been on the SeaBus? Who's been on transit in Paris?)

Wow—we had an incredible time at I Love Transit Night yesterday! Thank you to every one of the 65 people who came out to the Heritage Grill!

We played a round of transit bingo, a game where teams competed to board the bus the fastest, and a rousing round of transit trivia. And everyone enjoyed buttons, stickers, colouring books, cutouts, old books of Buzzers, and even a working Super Express train set, thanks to Jason Vanderhill!

I’ve posted some photos above and below, but do check out all my photos of the evening over at the Buzzer’s Flickr account. Also, feel free to e-mail me your pictures and I will add the links to this post. Tim Choi has already sent in a few images!

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I Love Transit Week 2010: two short notes from Gautam Modkar and Charles Pan

It’s I Love Transit Week from July 12-16 — because even though there’s things we don’t like about transit, there’s much we do like! All week I’ll be sharing essays, stories, and more to celebrate transit. Come to I Love Transit Night on Thursday July 15 too – full details here!

I have two short notes to cap off I Love Transit Week from Gautam Modkar and Charles Pan!

Gautam Modkar on riding the SkyTrain

Gautam on the SkyTrain!

Here’s a note about the SkyTrain sent in by Gautam Modkar!

Let me take this opportunity to say thank you in I Love Transit Week!
I take SkyTrain from King George station to Waterfront station and back every day. Since the SkyTrain starts and ends at both these stations, I am lucky enough to get a seat every day. Every single day!
Never has been a day when I had to stand on the entire 3 way zone.
I am happy and at the same time proud to say “I love transit”!

Charles Pan on riding the bus

And here’s a rumination on the bus sent in by Charles Pan.

Trolleys on Broadway.

I love the bus. Clean, modern, and considerate, the bus welcomes me. On a Sunday morning, I board the bus, heading toward a church meeting. The bus driver gives a cheerful “Hello!” as I validate my concession one-zone FareSaver ticket. I sit on a vinyl-covered blue bus seat while leaning on the side of the bus. The heater lining the walls complements my warm and cozy gray cotton sweater. I’d like to think that the heater environmentally uses excess heat from the engine. Inside the bus, everything is well-designed. Everywhere I look, I am met with smooth curves, harmonious colours, and useful contraptions in a picture-perfect view. The super-wide and extra-high windows take me through a real-life textbook. As the bus heads down Burrard Bridge, I can see the epitome of Western architecture and urbanization. The Shangri-La Hotel. Waterfront residential skyscrapers. The Science World sphere. The bus leads me through the chapter on urban planning. Parks cover the city. Trees line streets. Bike lanes accompany car lanes. The bus reveals Vancouver’s history, multiculturalism, progress, and hope but also its problems. In Chinatown, people of all backgrounds come in: Chinese, Indian, African, and Latino, speaking in their own tongues. From fragile babes to experienced elders, from local business owners to Olympic volunteers, from millionaires to the homeless: everyone takes the transit, bringing with them their slice of life. As I step off at my stop, I never forget to say “Thank you!” It may be the driver’s real reward. True to its word in a transit advertisement, the bus is unquestionably “bringing you the world.”

Thanks Gautam and Charles!