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Translink Buzzer Blog

New SeaBus sailing into town tomorrow

The new SeaBus, the Burrard Pacific Breeze, at its christening ceremony in July.

The new SeaBus, the Burrard Pacific Breeze, at its christening ceremony in July.

Keep an eye out for the new SeaBus—the Burrard Pacific Breeze—sailing in from Victoria on Friday, October 9.

The SeaBus is scheduled to leave Victoria at about 9 a.m., with a tentative arrival time of 2:30 p.m. in Burrard Inlet. (Send me your photos if you snap any, and I’ll post them up here!)

The Burrard Pacific Breeze will be heading for the North SeaBus terminal, where it will then undergo sea trials, staff training, and certification by Transport Canada. Once that’s through, the SeaBus will enter revenue service, which we estimate to be in December or so.

And to tide you over in the meantime, here’s some photos from the christening of the Burrard Pacific Breeze, if you haven’t seen them before.

Downtown Vancouver SkyTrain riders: night work in the Dunsmuir Tunnel runs Oct 14 to Dec 11

From October to December, SkyTrain will work five nights a week on the Dunsmuir Tunnel under downtown Vancouver, fixing water seepage and drainage issues in the 77-year old structure. (As we said before, it’s a continuation of work started in July.)

What does this mean for you?

Well, the lower level of the tunnel will close early to allow work crews in at 10 p.m. So the following service changes are in effect Monday to Friday, starting Tuesday, October 13 Wednesday October 14 through Friday, December 11, from about 9:45 p.m. to the end of the service day.

All trains from the east will terminate at Stadium. A single train shuttle will run every 12 minutes between Stadium and Waterfront, stopping at Granville and Burrard in both directions.

Everyone must change trains at Stadium. Expect a two to 10 minute wait at Stadium, depending on your arrival time and travel direction.

(Edit: Please note that the start date has changed from Tuesday October 13 to Wednesday October 14!)

Exceptions!

There’s no work planned for Wednesday October 28, owing to the U2 concert at B.C. Place.

As well, no work will be done on Wednesday November 11, Remembrance Day.

On Friday November 6, maintenance will start 90 minutes later due to the B.C. Lions game. Lions fans will have extra SkyTrains service, as usual; shuttle operation will start at 11:15 p.m.

Work will coincide with a number of Canucks hockey games, concerts, and other events. SkyTrain will continue to provide additional service before and after these events, but there may be minor delays as trains from the east are “turning back” at Stadium.

Also, dates could be subject to change – so please watch for updates!

SkyTrain staff will be on hand at affected stations for assistance. And we all thank you for your patience as we keep our system in good repair for your service!

Reminder: Buzzer blog birthday meetup, tonight from 6pm to 9pm!

Happy birthday to the Buzzer!

Happy birthday to the Buzzer!

Just a reminder that the Buzzer blog birthday meetup is tonight, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.!

There will be cake, buttons, cutouts, transit games, and more. Again, you guys are a huge, amazing part of this blog, and I’d love to say thanks in person!

The details:

St. Augustine’s, 2360 Commercial Drive
(Just steps from Commercial-Broadway Station!)
Thursday, October 8, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

(St. Augustine’s is the new name of the End Cafe, where we held our first meetup in February).

Three transit games will be played at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. Feel free to pop in and out and join a team as you please: it’s casual! (The games usually take about half an hour, so there’s time to chat in between.)

Once again, I’ll bring the cake and supply the munchies — you guys can grab your own drinks.

Again, the event should be a lot like the I Love Transit night held in February: see this post and this post for more on that event.

Ride-Share Week: Enter the photo contest!

The Ride-Share bear with a ridesharing buddy in one of the Jack Bell Ride-Share cars! (They provide cars for your carpool, free!)

The Ride-Share bear with a ridesharing buddy in one of the Jack Bell Ride-Share cars! (They provide cars for your carpool, free!)

Remember to enter the Ride-Share Week photo contest!

The prize is a $100 gas card from Chevron. Click here for how to enter, and click here for more info on Ride-Share Week.

The contest ends tomorrow, and blog readers will vote on the winner!

So far, we only have one entry, so your odds of winning are very good :)

The Ride-Share bear with Mayor Gregor Robertson, and out at Broadway and Granville

The Ride-Share bear with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson!

The Ride-Share bear with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson!

Our Ride-Share bear ran into Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson this afternoon!

The bear was also out at Broadway and Granville this morning, raising awareness for Ride-Share Week. Many high fives were handed out, as well as ridesharing info and granola bars!

Check out all the Ride-Share bear photos from today in this Flickr set.

Plus, here’s more on Ride-Share Week and how you can rideshare, and Jen’s real-life ridesharing story.

One more bear photo from the morning!

The Ride-Share bear, out at Broadway and Granville this morning!

The Ride-Share bear, out at Broadway and Granville this morning!

Ride-Share Week: Jen’s real-life ridesharing story

Jen and Susan ridesharing!

Jen and Susan ridesharing!

So what’s it like to really be in a rideshare?

We asked Jen, who kindly agreed to share her ridesharing experience with everyone.

Jen rideshares with Susan from Ladner to downtown Vancouver—and actually really enjoys it!

What’s your current rideshare arrangement? How did you come to get together with Susan?

Susan picks me up at a designated spot every morning. We live and work within a few blocks of each other, so it’s convenient for us both. Because we leave work at different times in the evening, we do not rideshare home. I take the Canada Line and connecting bus home in the evening. Anyone looking to rideshare from downtown to Ladner in the evenings?? :-)

How did you get involved in ridesharing in the first place? Have you been ridesharing for a long time, or is it new?

About three years ago I was having trouble getting on the South Delta buses heading into Vancouver. They were overly crowded, and I was finding that I had to wait almost half an hour in the cold just to get on.

I was prepared to start driving in to avoid this, then my husband suggested that I try the Jack Bell Ride-Share program. I went to the online Ride-Share site, created a profile, and within a few days I had two matches. Both people lived and worked within a few blocks from me.

Read more »

Ride-Share Week: info booths and bear sightings this week!

Learn more about ridesharing at our info booths this week.

Learn more about ridesharing at our info booths this week.

If you’re in downtown Vancouver and looking for more info on ridesharing, check out the TransLink Ride-Share Week info booths this week.

Volunteers will be out talking about ridesharing and helping people sign up at ride-share.com. They also have free Nature’s Path granola bars!

Here are the dates and locations:

Wednesday October 7
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
HSBC Building Upper Lobby, 885 W. Georgia St.

Thursday October 8
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Granville Square Lobby, 200 Granville St.

Friday October 9
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bentall II Food Court, across from Flight Centre
(here’s a map — the black X marks the spot!)

The Ride-Share bear!

The Ride-Share bear!

Sadly, the Ride-Share bear won’t be at the info booths, but he will be out for the Wednesday morning commute in Vancouver.

Watch for the bear waving at commuters at the following location:

Wednesday October 7
Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m
The corner of Broadway and Granville Streets

Thanks, Ride-Share bear!

Happy birthday: the Buzzer blog turns one

The Buzzer blog turns one year old today – can you believe it?

After just one year, this blog has over 400 posts, over 3,500 comments, and a community of sharp readers who are a genuine pleasure to connect with.

So on this occasion, an enormous thanks to all of you for reading, commenting and otherwise coming here to share. (Remember, there’s a birthday meetup on Thursday, so we can celebrate together!)

For my part, I really must say I’m proud of the blog we’ve built together. Every day, I’m glad to help you find out what’s new and where you can learn more about us and our region’s transportation issues.

Plus it’s always great to listen to what you guys have to say about everything, and it’s super nice when the blog gets a compliment or two :)

OK now, cue up a nostalgic song, and let’s take a tearful look back at some notable posts from this past year.

Read more »

The Ride-Share bear at Scott Road Park-and-Ride

The Ride-Share bear wants you to register at <a href=http://www.ride-share.com>ride-share.com</a>!

The Ride-Share bear wants you to register at ride-share.com!

I can’t help but share these pictures of the Ride-Share bear at Scott Road Park-and-Ride this morning. What a ham!

As I’m sure you know by now, the Ride-Share bear was out encouraging people to register at ride-share.com, as part of TransLink Ride-Share Week this week. Here’s the post with more info on Ride-Share Week.

And here’s one more photo of the bear!

Ride-Share bear!

Ride-Share bear!

Win gas cards and ferry passes with TransLink Ride-Share Week, October 5-9!

Win Chevron gas cards and B.C. Ferries ferry passes during TransLink Ride-Share Week, October 5-9!

To win, just sign up at ride-share.com, a free ride-matching database from Jack Bell Ride-Share. Check out the video above to see how to register and learn more about the service.

Ridesharing can cut emissions and save you time and money. (Owning a car isn’t cheap: the CAA says an average car can cost $6,516 a year — $17.85 a day!)

With ride-share.com, you can organize a regular carpool or a casual rideshare a few times a week. You can also do one-time rideshares to specific events like concerts. The site also provides company portals, so if you’re an employee of, say, eBay, you can just look for ridematches within your own company.

Sign up to rideshare, or just sign up your existing rideshare arrangement so other people can join your group. All of you plus the current ridesharers will be entered to win the gas cards and ferry passes!

And don’t forget to enter the TransLink Ride-Share Week Photo Contest, where you could win a $100 Chevron gas coupon. (There are currently no entries, so your odds are good :)

By the way, this whole week is part of a national ridesharing awareness campaign, encouraging everyone to share car trips whenever possible. Try ridesharing now: it’ll help reduce traffic and is a great option for travel during the Winter Olympic Games!

Friday fun poll: do you strategize to get a seat on transit?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to answer the seat poll.

Last week’s post: Buzzer trivia from 1962

Last week’s fun post had a trivia question from the Buzzer archives, shown above!

And 21 minutes after posting this, the correct answer came in from Sungsu: Turkey, Venezuela, and Sri Lanka.

Eric was just a minute behind Sungsu with the correct answer too, which I just have to quote here:

Top to bottom: Turkey, Venezuela, and Sri Lanka. I’ll take the dishwasher/disposal unit, please :)

Mrs. Lorraine Anderson, winning her prize in 1962.

Mrs. Lorraine Anderson, winning her prize in 1962.

Sorry Eric: no appliances from 1962 will be given out, though you certainly deserve one!

But here’s a big round of applause for Eric, Sungsu, and everyone else who weighed in with their correct guesses in the post: Henry A., Patrick Meehan, Jim, Zack, Tessa, and Stefan.

And I am happy to report that back in 1962, Mrs. Lorraine Anderson did indeed win one of the Name the Country contests. She chose an electric automatic washer and dryer from the T.V. Centre in Port Coquitlam! Here’s the Buzzer issue announcing her prize.


This week: do you strategize to get a seat on transit?

Recently someone told me that they try to get to their bus stop early in the morning just to get a seat on transit. Which begs the following question…


Does a seat matter so much that you actively scheme for it? And if you do strategize, are there any good methods of seat-getting that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

See the Ride-Share bear at two park and rides next Monday

An artist's rendition of the Ride-Share bear wearing his Ride-Share t-shirt. Silly bear!

An artist's rendition of the Ride-Share bear wearing his Ride-Share t-shirt. Silly bear!

To kick off Ride-Share Week next week, the Ride-Share bear will be visiting two one park and ride on Monday, October 5!

Watch for the bear at the following locations:

(Sorry, the bear sent me a revised schedule in the afternoon — he will only be at Scott Road!)

Scott Road Park and Ride
6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Richmond-Brighouse Park and Ride
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The bear and his friends can help you register at ride-share.com, which signs you up for ridematching services, plus enters you to win gas cards and ferry passes! They will also be providing handbills plus granola bars for a morning snack.

Buzzer blog overnight outage, Fri Oct 2 to Sat Oct 3

Owing to a server move, the blog will be down from midnight on Friday October 2 to about 8 a.m. on Saturday October 3. So in case you’re looking for it during that time: don’t worry, it’ll be back!

MEC Great Rides: ride the Bikennale on Sun Oct 4!

<i>Walking Figures</i> by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one of the Vancouver Biennale sculptures to see on the Bikennale tour. (Photo from the <a href=http://www.vancouverbiennale.com/>Vancouver Biennale</a>.)

Walking Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one of the Vancouver Biennale sculptures to see on the Bikennale tour. (Photo from the Vancouver Biennale.)

MEC, TransLink and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition have teamed up to offer some Great Rides this summer—four fun bike tours that let you explore the festivals, city centres, and lovely country lanes of Metro Vancouver.

The last ride is this Sunday, and takes you on a tour of the sculptures installed for the Vancouver Biennale, a 21-month-long celebration and exhibition featuring some of the world’s most prominent sculptors.

You’ll get to see the sculptures in many Vancouver neighbourhoods: the full route runs through Vanier Park, Gastown, the West End, along the Seawall, and to Van Dusen Gardens.

Register online for the Bikennale now: it’s $15 to sign up online and $20 to sign up on the event day (but free for those 16 and under!) Online registrations are also entered to win a set of Axiom panniers with a rack.

Your fee gets you a vegetarian BBQ at the end of the ride, free refreshments at many stops along the route, and help from bike mechanics to keep your bike in top shape! You also get free admission to the Van Dusen Gardens.

Check in for the ride at Vanier Park (1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver) between 10am and 12:30pm. The short version of the route is 13 km, and the full route is 36 km, and it concludes at Vanier Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Check out the Bikennale event page for all the details!

The October Buzzer is now out!

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

In this issue, we’re talking all about TransLink Ride-Share Week, which is offering prizes if you sign up at www.ride-share.com, the free ride-matching service from nonprofit Jack Bell Ride-Share.

We also have the details of the October maintenance work in the Dunsmuir Tunnel — it’s a continuation of earlier work started in July.

There’s also info and a diagram of the Richmond-Brighouse bus loop, which will have some bus bays moved and buses reassigned on Oct. 12.

Plus there’s the schedule of Go Card mobile photo sessions, a history item about Nancy Greene, and articles on Walk To School Week and the Bus Stop Hop!

We are also again proud to have a cover from another Canadian illustrator, Michael Gilbert. Nice work, Mike! I’ll have an interview up with him soon, since the one with Jane Koo turned out so nicely!

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 September issue PDF.)

Remember to enter the FareCard contest too! You can win a free FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer: read the issue, then email in your info and the answer to the trivia question by Wednesday, November 4 at 9 a.m. — we’ll pick a winner from all the correct answers.

Enjoy the latest Buzzer as always! Comments are welcome below.