A Canada Line train approaches YVR Station, carrying its first passengers from Bridgeport Station on a Nov. 12 trial run.
Here’s a follow-up to an earlier post, about the Canada Line’s trial run with its first passengers.
As promised, Alan Dever from Canada Line passed along some more photos of the trial run. He was right about everyone’s fascination with the front window—you can see everybody on the train crowded up in front!
Thanks very much to Alan and the staff from the federal Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities for these photos. Click all the pictures for larger versions: there’s just two more photos below!
The students were studying the city of Vancouver and its TransLink-managed transportation strategy. As part of their program, the students are creating design scenarios for southern California, and their Vancouver research helps inform that project. (Toyota is providing the transportation expertise, and the firm EDAW is guiding the urban planning element.)
Why Vancouver? I asked Aaron Cohen, a Toyota strategic planning administrator on the visit, and he said that, “Vancouver is one of the key input points where we can observe best practices in architecture and transportation.”
The university collaboration, explained Aaron, is a way for Toyota and UCLA to envision future cities from both an architectural and transportation perspective. Aaron said that Toyota believes the kind of transportation people will need will be largely dictated by the surrounding area, the architecture. So, Vancouver serves as an idea for how future cities might function.
The Bike to Work Week banner at the Gilmore commuter station.
As posted last Friday, the first ever winter edition of Bike to Work Week is rolling this week. Polly Ng from TransLink’s Cycling department wanted to share a few photos from the event so far—she helped staff a commuter station near Gilmore Station from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. this morning.
Commuter stations are tents set up along bike routes in the region during Bike to Work Week. (Here’s the locations and times of the stations.) You can take a short break from your ride, have a snack, meet other cyclists, get a TransLink bike map, and join the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition.
Mechanics are also available for tune-ups and small repairs, and Polly says you can also win prizes in a draw at every commuter station, which include bike baskets and bike racks (the kind that go on the back of your bicycle, not bike racks for your car or the street). About 40 to 50 people dropped by the Gilmore commuter station this morning, so those are pretty good odds!
A cartoon Bob Banks drew for the March 2, 1962 Buzzer.
Just in case you’re interested, Bob Banks, who drew cartoons for the Buzzer from 1954-1976, is currently part of an art show at Heaventree Gallery. The show is called “Art that Barks” and includes art from 15 local artists about the care and welfare of animals. I’m told that Bob has two prints in the show, and they are of his animal paintings. (He does lots of art besides cartooning!) And the name you should look for at the gallery is Robert Banks, not Bob Banks as we all know him.
If you’re curious for a bit more on Bob, I interviewed him in the Buzzer’s 92nd anniversary issue. He’s now 85 years old and still drawing professionally, and simply a wonderful guy with a great sense of humour.
The details on the art show:
“Art that Barks” – open until November 29
661 E 15th Ave (here’s a Google map)
Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 12-6pm
Thank you to the customer who emailed this in via Customer Relations!
Late-night Wednesday Surrey SkyTrain travellers, look out again! We’re doing some ongoing track maintenance in the Surrey area, which affects service after 9:30pm on Wednesday, Nov. 19. (This maintenance will also happen on Nov. 26, and Dec. 3.)
The following service will be in effect for Nov. 19 after 9:30pm:
Normal evening service on Expo Line from Waterfront to Scott Road (every 8 min), and Millennium Line from Waterfront to VCC-Clark (every 8 min); combined service every 4 min between Waterfront and Columbia.
Reduced frequency between Scott Road and King George (every 16 min). All passengers must change trains at Scott Road.
Passengers going to or from Gateway, Surrey Central, or King George, please allow an extra 10 minutes for your journey!
Bike to Work Week is gearing up again next week! (Sorry for the short notice!)
Get on your bike and join other cyclists on Metro Vancouver streets from Nov. 17 to 23. It’s a great chance to try cycling to work if you’ve never done it before, and to celebrate cycling to work if you already do.
The event, which is run by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC), is the third Bike to Work Week since May 2006 and the first winter Bike to Work Week in the Vancouver area. So this time around, you can learn how to cycle to work in the rainier months!
Workplaces can win prizes based on participation and distance travelled — register your office at the official website, so your team can log their commutes. About 1500 people have already signed up!
And keep an eye out for commuter stations set up around the Lower Mainland—they’re tents set up along bike routes where you can take a short break from your ride, have a snack, meet other cyclists, get a cycling map and even join the VACC. Here’s a link to the locations and times of the stations. As well, check out stories from participants in previous Bike to Work Weeks.
And to help get you ready for the road ahead, here are some handy tips for biking to work in the winter.
This morning, the top story in the Province newspaper was all about the salaries of TransLink executives and the increases they’ve seen in recent years. So Ken Hardie from our media relations team put together the following response, which we wanted to share with all of you.
The blazing headlines in this morning’s Province newspaper on salary increases for some of TransLink’s executives gives us an opportunity to do a useful reality check on a number of fronts.
First, the information in the article came from TransLink’s annual “Statement of Financial Information,” which, as a public body, we are required by law to publish and make available to the public each year. This statement must list gross earnings (salaries and benefits) plus expenses for any TransLink staff member earning more than $75,000 per year, as well as a list of companies and amounts paid to them totalling $25,000 or more.
This is a level of transparency that is unique to us and to other public agencies, and over time, each public agency is subject to the nature and tone of the coverage we saw in this morning’s Province. Clearly, the fact that our salaries are public information is just one of the aspects of public service that we ‘sign up for’ when we work at an agency like TransLink. But there are others that the paper chose not to examine.
When the Golden Ears Bridge opens in 2009, we’re going to use the new connection to offer a brand new bus route between Langley Centre and Haney Place. That bus is the #595 Langley Centre (not the #555 as listed in the Buzzer) and we want customer input on it!
So, we’re inviting the residents of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, North Surrey and Langley to attend our two #595 open houses next week. The listings are the same as in the November Buzzer:
Tuesday Nov. 18, 3-8pm: Langley Public Library, 20399 Douglas Crescent, Langley
Thursday Nov. 20, 3-8pm: Haney Place Mall, 11900 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
It’s currently anticipated that the route will operate every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., between Langley Centre, Walnut Grove, Maple Meadows Station (West Coast Express) and Haney Place, using conventional 40-foot buses. It will be a limited stop service, providing a fast connection to significantly shorten existing trips. We’re looking to start service in September 2009!
For more information on the open houses or the new bus route, contact John Timms at the Coast Mountain Bus Company, email@example.com or (604) 953-3251.
My colleague Drew Snider from TransLink media relations just posted the saga of a complaint TransLink filed with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council over at his blog, Vancouver on the Lines. The long and short of it: we filed a complaint about CKWX (News 1130) misrepresenting and sensationalizing an interview from Doug Kelsey, CEO of SkyTrain—and the Council ruled that News 1130 had indeed violated multiple articles of two broadcast journalism ethics codes in their reporting. Read Drew’s blog for more.
Yikes, try saying that headline three times fast. But it’s all true: TransLink’s iPhone app is now available in the Apple App Store!
So if you have an iPhone, this means you can download the TransLink app directly through Apple’s built-in application store. Just search for “TransLink” in the App Store and you’ll find it.
As well, the TransLink app, which is developed by Handi Mobility, now includes location-awareness to find nearby bus stops. Tap on the Bus icon and you’ll see!
What’s TransLink’s iPhone app? Here’s the description from the app store:
Ever wondered when the next bus in Vancouver, Canada is coming? Guess no more! Check out the TransLink application to access complete schedules for buses, SkyTrain, West Coast Express, and SeaBus. You’ll also see service alerts, star your favourite stops and access the GVRD transit maps.
Version 1.1 of the app will be out in late November—I’ll have all the details here when it drops. And if you’d like some further reading on the app so far, here’s the interview I did with Igor Faletski from Handi Mobility about the app, way back in October. Enjoy!
Again: we’re thinking about using Twitter to send out emergency notices for service disruptions. You know: bus cancellations owing to heavy snowfall, or SkyTrain’s at a halt because there’s a fire on the tracks, that kind of thing.
The poll closes next Thursday at 4pm, so get your vote in now! And to clarify any confusion from the last post, this poll is solely about Twitter – voting no in this poll doesn’t mean you’re against mobile alerts in general.
As well, here’s a recap of the comments in the last Twitter poll post, with a little more about the meaning of this poll and the customer alert systems we’re working on for the future.
The Canada Line train approaches Vancouver International Airport Station.
The Canada Line took its first passengers on a trial run from Bridgeport Station to YVR this morning!
I wasn’t there, but those on board included Premier Gordon Campbell, the Honourable James Moore (federal Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, there on behalf of John Baird, Canada’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister), as well as Kevin Falcon, provincial Transportation and Infrastructure Minister, TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast, many more MPs and MLAs from the Vancouver region, and a number of members of the media.
The trial run marked a milestone for the Canada Line: testing and commissioning of the trains on the Bridgeport Station to YVR-Airport Station section of the Canada Line is almost complete. Testing is also currently underway on the Richmond and south Vancouver sections of the line, and construction continues on schedule for the line’s 16 stations. (Here’s the full press release for the event.)
As promised in the November Buzzer, here are all the details for the Name the New SeaBus contest!
If you hadn’t heard, our third SeaBus will arrive in 2009, and we want you to name it. If your suggestion is picked, you’ll win three 3-zone Transit Passes, and a ride on the inaugural sailing! (The three passes will be for any three consecutive months you choose.)
Send us your name, phone number, and SeaBus name suggestion by midnight on November 21, using one of the following three methods:
Or send real paper mail to “Name The New SeaBus”, TransLink, 1600 – 4720 Kingsway, Burnaby BC V5H 4N2 (either write us a letter or use this entry form, which can also be found in your local weekly newspaper)
A panel of judges will choose the best five names, and then the 5,000+ members of the TransLink Listens Online Advisory Panel will vote for the final choice. (Anyone can join TransLink Listens, so sign up at the website if you’re interested.)
Edit: Sadly enough, employees of TransLink, its subsidiaries, related companies, transit service contractors and the household members of any of the above are not eligible to participate in the Contest. You can see the official rules for more information.
As well, veterans ride free on all TransLink services on Nov. 11, in recognition of Remembrance Day.
The concession applies to Ordinary and Life Members of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans and the Korean Veterans Association. Veterans just have to show their membership card to receive free transportation (and sorry, associate members aren’t eligible).
All TransLink services—meaning Coast Mountain buses, West Vancouver Blue Bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, Albion Ferry and Community Shuttles—will also observe a period of silence at the stop they reach closest to 11 a.m. on Remembrance Day.
Plus, remember! On a holiday, you only need a single-zone fare to travel in all zones all day. As well, on a Sunday or holiday, those with an adult FareCard, West Coast Express 28-Day Pass, or Annual Employer Transit Pass can take either five children or one adult and four children on transit with them for free.
Grab the latest Buzzer on all our buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express today!
This issue has tips for winter transit travel, an overview of the Broadway SkyTrain changes, GoCard mobile photo locations, and the dates of the Golden Ears Bus open houses. You also might enjoy the Back Issues history item, about cellular payphones that were once installed on the SeaBus!
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. (And here’s the direct link to the November issue, as requested by sungsu in the comments :)
Don’t forget to enter the FareCard contest too: you can win a FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer. As well, in this issue I mistakenly put the contest’s end date as December 8, so you’ll get an extra week to enter this time around. (The November winner will be announced in the January edition, since our next Buzzer issue is actually December 5.)
So, enjoy the latest Buzzer! And feel free to let me know in the comments: what stories would you like to see featured in upcoming Buzzers?