ALERT! More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Photo and video of Canada Line opening day

A Canada Line train at Lansdowne Station on opening day. Photo by <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/dennistt/>Dennis Tsang</a>.

A Canada Line train at Lansdowne Station on opening day. Photo by Dennis Tsang.

Whoosh — Canada Line’s opening day is over! And several readers have emailed in some terrific photos and video of the huge event for everyone to look at. Here’s a roundup:

Stories!

Check out the official opening day story post here. It’s picking up! Sungsu tells all about how he waited for 0 minutes during opening day :) And feel free to share your first ride experiences in that thread too, even if you didn’t ride on opening day.

Here’s some more blog posts from others about riding the Line: Regarding Place, the Vancouver LiveJournal community, Kim Werker, Stephen Rees, the Transport Politic, and John Chow’s blog, where he interviews people in the long Waterfront lineup in HD!

I’ll add these links to the main photo and video post and the first ride/opening day stories post.

Photos!

Video!

Ok, here’s my YouTube playlist featuring all the videos sent in so far!

However I thought I’d also include a list of the videos, since some are not on YouTube and others might not like playlists.

Send me more stuff

As always feel free to e-mail me with any other photo, video etc!

Canada Line opening: Yaletown, Vancouver City Centre, Broadway-City Hall

So as the subject line indicates, the tail end of my evening was spent at 3 stations.

I rode another busy train to Yaletown-Roundhouse, where I was promptly greeted by Matthew Laird and Karen Fung. (Short aside: I put a Buzzer into the as-yet empty Buzzer box on the train, and then someone took it!)

Anyway, Matthew had been lying in wait to get some Buzzer buttons, with which he was richly rewarded. We had a good chat about the day and how the Line will make for great easy access to the airport. I also took a photo of a lady dressed as a Waves coffee cup: a promotion timed to match the opening of the Line. Also, it’s someone dressed as a coffee cup, which is inherently awesome.

Then: to Vancouver City Centre at about 8 pm. I wanted to see how one of the busiest stations was faring, and it seemed to be that the lines were dissipating, probably owing to the line cutoff at 7. The staff there were incredibly upbeat and having a good time. Big crowds lead to great teamwork, I guess!

While I was there the trains heading northbound were ending: trains were only heading south. You could go to Richmond but you can’t come back! People were still giddily hopping on however, and I think they had some of the best ride experiences of the day. The trains were quite empty and there was a good feeling of serendipity to it—oh, I’ve just happened upon a station and now I get to scoot on and ride it. Lucky :)

Broadway-City Hall was my last stop, and boy, did that station have stampmania. In the last minutes of the station tent, an enormous number of people were still coming by and asking for stamps. Not that we weren’t willing to oblige, of course! But the TransLink station host sure did get an arm workout.

So the station closed and the celebration balloons were given away. A colleague said, “This was a surprisingly fun day!” A couple of people said they were definitely going to ride the Line tomorrow.

And I must say, all day the feeling on the line was euphoric. There were crowds, but people were patient and understanding, and just genuinely thrilled that this line was carrying them.

So thanks to everyone who came out: it was wonderful to have you meet your new rapid transit system. And starting tomorrow, it starts regular service! Enjoy!

PS: the preliminary trip count from our automatic passenger counters is 85,000. Not necessarily 85,000 people though: that is just how many entrances there were on the trains.

TRAIN TO YALETOWN


YALETOWN-ROUNDHOUSE



VANCOUVER CITY CENTRE


TRAIN TO BROADWAY

BROADWAY-CITY HALL



Canada Line opening: 7pm cutoff at selected stations

Our media team has just sent out the following announcement:

As of 7pm, we will cap the lines at certain stations: anyone not in line at those stations at that time will not be able to get on.‬‪ ‬‪The exceptions will be for those making a return journey — no one will be left stranded.‬‪ ‬‪

Here are the waiting times at the stations‬‪ ‬‪

WATERFRONT   1 hr‬‪
VAN CENTRE     1 hr‬‪
YALETOWN       minimal‬‪
OLYMPIC VILLAGE   minimal‬‪
BROADWAY-CITY HALL    minimal‬‪
KING EDWARD   15 mins‬‪
OAKRIDGE     minimal‬‪
LANGARA          “‬‪
MARINE DRIVE   ‘‬‪
BRIDGEPORT     “‬‪
ABERDEEN    1 hr‬‪
LANSDOWNE   1.5hr‬‪
BRIGHOUSE    1.5 hr‬‪
YVR    45 mins‬‪ ‬‪

The 7:00 cutoff will apply at Waterfront, Vancouver Centre, Bridgeport, Lansdowne, Aberdeen & Brighouse Stations.‬‪ ‬‪‪

We’ve had 54,000 customers through the first 5 hours.‬‪ ‬‪

By comparison, Seattle’s Sound Transit had 45,000 for the first fare-free inaugural day of its Sea-Tac Airport extension a month ago.‬

Canada Line opening: King Edward and Lansdowne

First: the bonus stamp for passports can be found at Lansdowne!!! There are two stamps at the station. People have been asking!

All right, back to the post: I dropped by King Edward at 5pm to see the paralympic curling demo, but I sure did miss it.

I did snap a pic of the lineup there though. Sparse! As mentioned in the earlier post, the central Vancouver stations are not very busyan so you can get on the line there quite easily. Just be aware that the trains are crowded.

So next I headed to Lansdowne to see if I could catch the paralympic basketball demo. Success!

I also chatted with four girls in line about why they came out today. “For fun!” was the answer. Although a bit more fun for two of them: the other two stood in line for an hour and then the remaining two joined them later :) One girl mentioned that she had only been on the SkyTrain once before too. So of course they had to come out!

Ok: now about riding the trains. As you may suspect, it is BUSY: crowded and tight, because so many people are excited to get on. I took a snap as we boarded at king edward, and a couple pics on the train too. You’ll see what I mean.

KING EDWARD

ON TRAIN



LANSDOWNE



Canada Line opening: lineups and wait times

Today’s opening event has proved very popular (43,000 people so far!), and the crowds outside stations in downtown Vancouver, Richmond and YVR are currently producing 1-2h waits.

Because of the lengthy waits, you should be in line by 6:30, or you may not get aboard, as the stations will close at 9 with the last trains completing their trips.  No one will be left behind on their return journey, but anyone intending to start a trip after 6:30 would not be able to do so from those stations.

There are currently no waits at Langara, Olympic Village, Broadway-City Hall and Marine Drive right now, however. You can board therN but just be aware that trains are quite full!

Canada Line opening: Langara and Oakridge

I went down to visit Langara and Oakridge stations from about 3 to 4pm.

Lineups are relatively short here: everyone seems to be getting on the Canada Line with only a 30 min wait (or even less!)

Oakridge has coupons and a chance to win a shopping spree, as well as all of its regular attractions (White spot! Movies!)

And at Langara they are also giving away free hot dogs at Langara College campus, just a short walk from the station. Its a big hit—they’re expecting to give away 1000 hot dogs! Plus you can get a free Vitamin Water if you talk to their social media crew.

At Langara I spoke to two guys enjoying some hot dogs who said they had an easy time getting on the Canada Line—they boarded at Marine Drive and haven’t gone to the terminus stations.

And at Oakridge I stood around and handed out special Buzzer treats: Buzzer buttons!

Ok: now for an update on the traffic levels.

30,000 have rode the Line so far today!

Waterfront, Vancouver City Centre and YVR now have 2.5 hour waits, and you’re encouraged to get off at the end stations to alleviate crowding. (YVR has great bathrooms and free ice cream!)

The 98 B-Line is also reporting numerous passups coming out of Waterfront, and additional buses have been called in to help with the load.‬

OK, now for some pics of Langara and Oakridge. Someone also sent me a photo of the Vancouver downtown lineup—it will be last in this set.

LANGARA




OAKRIDGE


DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER LINEUP

Canada Line opening: 1pm, all systems go

I was at Waterfront for the 1pm opening of the Canada Line!

About 30 really excited people hopped on the line there, and as we went to the other stations, it filled up very quickly indeed.

A couple of guys who hopped on the train said they were heading to YVR to go to the bar :) There was a gentleman on a scooter who had been on the Expo Line’s first run too. Another guy had just managed to get the train on his break from work. And three girls who popped on at Bridgeport were actually looking to go to Aberdeen, not YVR—whoops!

It was basically packed as we got to YVR, and the YVR lineup was starting to get long. (If you’re looking to hop off at the airport, there are free popsicles being handed out in the food court!)

A few words of advice as this public opening goes on today.

Large crowds are forming at Waterfront and Broadway-City Hall, so try other stations if you can. Be prepared for waits and drink plenty of water in the hot weather!

We are asking people to get off at Vancouver City Centre instead of Waterfront to alleviate crowding too.

Ok, now some pics from the opening!








Canada Line opening: first train!

The Buzzer is blogging (and Tweeting) via BlackBerry from the Canada Line opening all day today! See the full opening event schedule here, and share your own Canada Line opening stories in this post. Note: responses to comments and email will be limited today as I am out and about.

Whoa! We just finished the first end-to-end Canada Line run!

Premier Campbell and Minister Day gave speeches on the YVR platform, cut the ribbon to open the station with a host of other dignitaries, and we were off in two trains from YVR.

We stopped at Bridgeport and Broadway-City Hall to pick up the councils from Vancouver and Richmond. And we stopped at Olympic Village to pick up Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

It was so crowded with the media and dignitaries onboard, so I stayed in the back and kept out of the way. The horn on the train was honked several times though, by Minister Day and more!

At Waterfront, we were met by a welcome from the Vancouver Board of Trade. More speeches were given. And more media!

Since we had two trains too, they entered Waterfront and took up both tracks. This’ll make more sense when you see the station, but just trust me, it’s cool.







Canada Line opening: YVR breakfast

The Buzzer is blogging (and Tweeting) via BlackBerry from the Canada Line opening all day today! See the full opening event schedule here, and share your own Canada Line opening stories in this post. Note: responses to comments and email will be limited today as I am out and about.

Morning everyone!

Canada Line opening day has kicked off with a breakfast at YVR for a few hundred dignitaries involved with the Canada Line project—Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister Stockwell Day and more are here.

Here’s a few snaps from the event so far. There were some lovely remarks from our CEO Tom Prendergast, CEO Jane Bird from CLCO, the presidents of InTransitBC, and more. (Also, a pic of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was standing right in front of me!)

Next up: riding the first train!

By the way, the Environment Canada weather said it would be 26 degrees today — nice and hot.

PS. I’ve also learned that this wordpress app posts all my photos after the text, so be prepared for that in this and subsequent posts.

Share your Canada Line opening day or first-ride stories here!

A Canada Line train on the North Arm Bridge!

A Canada Line train on the North Arm Bridge!

The Canada Line opens today with free rides from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., and this post is for you to share your opening day stories!

Feel free to put your writeups in the comments below. To share a link to a blog post elsewhere, put your link in the URL field of the comment box — comments with URLs in the message body get tagged as spam and won’t show up until I release them.

If you have photos or video to share, see this post for where to put them. Tweet with the #canadaline hashtag today, btw!

And again, see this post for the full entertainment schedule for today.

Feel free to share your first Canada Line ride experiences in this thread too, even if you didn’t ride on opening day!

Plus here is a roundup of stories I’ve found at other blogs – Regarding Place, the Vancouver LiveJournal community, Kim Werker, Stephen Rees, the Transport Politic, John Chow, YVRConnections, Writergal.

Discussions about the Line are happening over at the Urban Toronto discussion boards: here’s one about art and architecture in stations, one announcing our Line’s opening, and the tail end of another discussion with references to the Canada Line.

And don’t forget the longstanding Canada Line discussion at Skyscraper Page, from our local planning and transportation enthusiasts.

Edit: Here’s the Buzzer’s posts from the Canada Line opening:

Friday fun post on hold until next week

Just a quick note to say I’m postponing the Friday fun post until next week. I’d like to keep the Canada Line stuff on the top of the blog for easy access during the opening! Next week it’ll be back though :)

Scenes from the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge opening!

Led by the Transit Police, cyclists and pedestrians take a ceremonial first walk across the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge on its opening day.

Led by the Transit Police, cyclists and pedestrians take a ceremonial first walk across the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge on its opening day.

We had a short but sweet opening ceremony over at the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge this afternoon.

The ribbon cutting ceremony, with TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast, Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs, and Richmond’s Acting Mayor Ken Johnston.

The ribbon cutting ceremony, with TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast, Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs, and Richmond’s Acting Mayor Ken Johnston.

Cyclists and pedestrians joined in a ceremonial first walk across the bridge. They were led by TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast and Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs from the north side, accompanied by police bike patrols, and meeting with Acting Mayor Ken Johnston of Richmond in the centre.

The walk continued to the south side, with speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony on the Richmond side. Then the bridge was opened up to bike and pedestrian traffic! Go ahead and ride it – it’s now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Turnout was nice: I’d say there were about 100 people there, including members of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC), Better Environmentally Sustainable Transportation (BEST), and Richmond’s Spirit Runners!

Cake! Thanks BEST and VACC!

Cake! Thanks BEST and VACC!

We also had a host of other dignitaries on hand too – Vancouver South MP Ujjal Dosanjh, Richmond MP Alice Wong, Richmond Centre MLA Rob Howard, Richmond city councillor Bill McNulty, and Vancouver city councillor Raymond Louie. (Hope I didn’t miss anyone there!)

Plus BEST and the VACC brought a lovely carrot cake for everyone to share, at a table they set up with info about cycling and more.

Check the Buzzer’s Flickr account for more photos of the opening ceremony.

And for more info about the bridge, check out this earlier post, which includes a map of the bridge location (and more details on how to get there in the comments).

OK, here’s one more photo of the opening day, with the Canada Line train in the background!

Whoosh! You can see pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge here too.

Whoosh! You can see pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge here too.

Capturing the Canada Line opening: on Twitter hashtags, photos and more

Zoom!

Zoom!

Let’s talk about covering the Canada Line on opening day!

I know everyone will be taking photos, video, and Twittering like mad, so I’m hoping to collect all our work through the following suggestions, so everyone can find and enjoy the footage/stories.

Twitter

Please add a #canadaline hashtag to your opening day tweets!

Everyone can follow tweets with the #canadaline hashtag at this link.

I’ll tweet at @thebuzzer, and TransLink communications director Ken Hardie is at @kenhardie.

There’s also even a central page to collect our TransLink tweets too.

Photos

Please add your photos to the following two Flickr groups:

That way we have everyone’s photos in a couple of big pools — and I can highlight really great photos on the blog over the coming weeks!

If you don’t use Flickr, feel free to e-mail me with links to albums, or even send me your photos.

On Tuesday I’ll make a central post with everybody’s links, and I can add loose photos to the Buzzer’s Flickr stream.

Video

E-mail me your video links and I’ll put a playlist together at the Buzzer’s YouTube account next week.

(By the way, I am pretty sure just about everyone will do a video of the train route from the front window, so if you can do a variation on that, we’ll all be very impressed :)

Written stuff

On Monday, I’ll put up a main post where everyone can share opening day stories in the comments, or links to where their opening day reviews & thoughts can be found.

Please put your offsite links in the URL line of your comment, otherwise they might be caught in the spam filter!

You can also e-mail me your written stuff and I’ll put it on the site.

As for the Buzzer blog…

Basically, I will be out all day Monday on the line, and I’m going to blog periodically with stories from the opening. (I’ll be using WordPress for Blackberry’s mobile app — apologies in advance for low-res pictures and weird formatting!)

Please say hi if you run into me — I’ll be wearing a green Canada Line shirt and talking to people all over the line. Plus I’ve got special Buzzer treats for everyone who says hello!

And if anyone has more suggestions on how we should share stuff, by all means, let me know!

Details of the Canada Line opening day festivities!

The Canada Line at YVR!

The Canada Line at YVR!

Finally: here’s the skinny on Canada Line’s opening day and the many celebrations surrounding it!

Fare-free day: what to expect on Canada Line’s opening day

  • Ride the Canada Line for free from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, August 17! Remember that fare-free day applies to Canada Line only: fares are required on the rest of the TransLink network, including SkyTrain.
  • Get on at any station! Entertainment, giveaways, and more are planned for almost all stations (see the list below), and “welcome portals” with lots of info are at four stations (Vancouver City Centre, Broadway-City Hall, Oakridge, Bridgeport, Lansdowne).
  • Bikes won’t be allowed on Canada Line owing to crowds. But you can leave your ride with the Bike Valet at three stations: Broadway-City Hall, Oakridge, and Marine Drive Stations. Strollers can be left with Bike Valet too.
  • Big crowds are expected, so be prepared for long waits. Depending on the station, crowds, and time of day, the wait could range from a few minutes to an hour or more.
  • If you get off at a station, you have to line up again to get back on the train. But trains run about four minutes apart, and at selected stations, you can get your special Canada Line passport stamped—collect all the stamps and you could win a grand prize worth thousands of dollars (more on that over here.)
  • Dress for the weather and the waits! Wear shoes you don’t mind standing in, check the forecast, and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Canadian Springs will be offering free water along the line too.
  • To reduce crowding at Waterfront Station on opening day, people coming into downtown Vancouver are encouraged to get off at Vancouver City Centre. You can walk up Granville Street to get to Waterfront Station or reach the Expo and Millennium Lines through Vancouver Centre Mall and The Bay.
  • Bathrooms, information and first aid help can be found all along the line — check our opening day map for locations and a brief description of the entertainment at the stations. (Add .pdf to the end of the map filename if you’re using Firefox on a Mac.)


Entertainment and prizes along the line

The Canada Line opening day map, showing stamp locations, bathrooms, and more. Click for a larger version. It's also available in <a href=http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/Rider%20Info/Canada%20Line/Canada%20Line%20Opening%20Day%20Activity%20Map.ashx>PDF format</a>!

The Canada Line opening day map, showing stamp locations, bathrooms, and more. Click for a larger version. It's also available in PDF format!

  • Musicians, magicians, giveaways and more are planned for almost every station along the line! I’ll point out highlights here, but here’s the full list of planned entertainment (subject to change), and a PDF version of the same list.
  • Again, check this handy opening day map from our Canada Line section for a brief description of the entertainment at each stations (plus bathroom locations and more).
  • Get a souvenir Canada Line passport while quantities last, have it stamped at 11 stations along the line, and you could win thousands of dollars in gift cards from Lansdowne Centre, Pacific Centre, Oakridge Centre and Richmond Centre. (Stamping locations are on the opening day map!)
  • Three stations will have opening ceremonies starting around 12-1pm
    • Broadway-City Hall (around noon with Vancouver city council)
    • Bridgeport (around 12:45 p.m. organized by River Rock Casino—first person to enter the station wins a River Rock package!)
    • Richmond-Brighouse (around 12:45 p.m. with Richmond city council)
  • Waterfront Station will have musicians on hand, plus take a short walk to the new Canada Place Welcome Centre — play Canadian trivia and win prizes, collect pins, and get temporary tattoos!
  • At Vancouver City Centre, Pacific Centre will be giving away goodie bags and chances to win shopping sprees! The Bay will also be on hand promoting Olympic merchandise and more.
  • At Yaletown-Roundhouse, the Roundhouse Community Centre will pull out their steam train, Old 374, for a public viewing.
  • At Broadway-City Hall, the Cambie Village Welcome booth will give away goodie bags with special offers from Cambie merchants along the Cambie corridor.
  • King Edward Station will have Paralympic curling demonstrations (it’s closest station to the curling venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games).
  • At Oakridge-41st Ave, two Jewish community groups will unveil mosaics to be installed in the sidewalks near the station, and Oakridge Centre will give away chances to win a shopping spree.
  • At Langara-49th Ave, Langara College invites you to enjoy hot dogs and coffee at their new sustainable library building, just steps from the station!
  • At Bridgeport, the River Rock Casino is bringing their Elvis out to sing, plus giving away Mardi Gras beads, buffet coupons, and more.
  • Lansdowne Station will have Paralympic basketball demonstrations, plus Lansdowne Centre is offering horse and carriage rides to the mall, and chances to win a trip to Whistler!
  • Richmond-Brighouse will have a Chinese lion dance performance, and folks from Richmond Centre will have chances to win a $2,500 shopping spree.
  • And at YVR-Airport, check out the new observation deck, see a working Lego model of the Canada Line, get a free frozen treat and more!
  • Once more, the super useful opening day map from our Canada Line section is a quick guide to all this entertainment, bathroom locations, bike valet spots, and more!

Canada Line pedestrian-bicycle bridge opens Friday, Aug. 14

The Canada Line pedestrian-bicycle bridge, approaching from the Vancouver side.

The Canada Line pedestrian-bicycle bridge, approaching from the Vancouver side.

A map of the bridge location – click for a larger version.

A map of the bridge location – click for a larger version.

We’re opening the Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge on Friday Aug. 14!

It’s a new walking/cycling bridge attached to the side of the North Arm Bridge—that’s the bridge carrying the Canada Line over the Fraser River, connecting Vancouver and Richmond.

The $10 million bridge was built and financed by TransLink, in conjunction with Canada Line. As cycling networks are developed in Richmond and Vancouver, this bridge provides a vital link between the cities!

Plus if you’re interested, there’s a small opening ceremony taking place tomorrow morning, with things kicking off at 12:30 p.m. (It’s just a ceremony: no cake or entertainment or anything!)

Parking is very limited, so please bike, walk, or take transit to the Vancouver side, and you can join us for a ceremonial first walk across the bridge.

The walk will be led by TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast and Vancouver Deputy Mayor Geoff Meggs from the north side, accompanied by police bike patrols, and meeting with Acting Mayor Ken Johnston of Richmond in the centre.

They will then carry on to the south side of the span, where a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on the Richmond side. Once the ceremony is complete, the bridge will be opened for bicycle and pedestrian traffic! (It will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by the way.)