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Translink Buzzer Blog

Cambie Street reroutes this weekend

A heads-up for people travelling on the #15 Cambie this weekend: the #15 is going to be rerouted on both Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26, due to ongoing work on the Broadway–City Hall Canada Line station.

Between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm (or at the direction of the Transit Supervisor), Sat. Oct 25 and Sun. Oct 26, the #15 will not operate on Cambie between the north (downtown) end of Cambie Bridge and 16th Ave.

The #15 Cambie (southbound) will follow its regular route downtown to Cambie and Nelson, then stay on Cambie to Pacific, Granville Bridge, Fir, Broadway, Oak and 16th, then left on 16th to Cambie and resume its regular route. 

The #15 Downtown (northbound) will turn off Cambie onto 16th, then right on Oak, left on Broadway to Granville, over the Granville Bridge to Seymour and the regular route.

The buses will stop at all bus zones along the re-route, and customers are reminded that they may not get on or off a bus anywhere but at bus zones.

See the official customer alert, or visit our main customer alert page, where you can get information on all of the customer service updates happening in the near future.

TransLink’s iPhone app: an interview with the folks behind it

A screenshot of TransLink's iPhone application - a mobile site optimized for the iPhone.

TransLink's iPhone app - a mobile site optimized for the iPhone

TransLink’s iPhone web application has been out for a while, but since it launched before the blog, I never really got a chance to spotlight it here – until now!

In case you haven’t seen it, just point your iPhone to m.translink.ca. You’ll reach a lovely mobile site where you can access transit info on the go. There’s schedules and maps for all TransLink services, a yellow bar at the top with details on any major service disruptions, and full Metro Vancouver transit maps (just tilt your iPhone sideways).

And you can also access this site from other mobile devices—it’s just optimized for iPhone customers.

I talked to Igor Faletski from Handi Mobility about the development behind the iPhone app and what’s next for it, as well as a bit about his company. Handi Mobility is the company who developed the iPhone application for us, as well as the Next Bus SMS tool and our Facebook application.

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Buzzer Podcast: Voice of the SkyTrain

Hear the voice of the SkyTrain in our second Buzzer blog podcast!

So if you didn’t know, the voice announcing the stations on our SkyTrain comes from an actual person. That person is Laureen Regan, president of Regan Productions in Calgary, who recorded the announcements for the launch of the Millennium Line. In this interview, I ask Laureen to do a few of the station announcements, how she got into the job, and whether she’s the voice of any other train systems. (You can also check out the article on Laureen in the Oct. 10 Buzzer for more!)

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Lady on the poster

A Weekly Pass Saves Gas

Click the image for a larger version!

For some Friday fun, here’s bit of transit history hanging around the office that I thought we should share.

This B.C. Electric transit poster from 1941 hangs on a cubicle wall in our offices. It was obviously to urge gas conservation during wartime, but the message could be just as applicable today!

We also actually know the identity of the model in the poster – but not much else.

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Transit police shave heads for charity

Transit police officers Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Transit police officers Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Our colleagues over at the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service sent along a note about two of their officers, who had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido went down to an event called the Baldy Bash in Las Vegas, participating to raise money for PEP, an organization of professionals helping parents and families of very sick children.

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Bike lockers still available at Metrotown

Bike lockers at Rupert station

An example of bike lockers in use at Rupert station

We’ve still got bike lockers available for rent at Metrotown!

If you didn’t read about it in this month’s Buzzer, bike lockers are for people who want to ride their bike to connect with rapid transit. Each locker has space for one bicycle and related equipment (sorry, you can’t put anything else in there), and costs just $10 a month, with a minimum three month rental period.

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About the SkyTrain disruption this morning

There was a rather unusual SkyTrain disruption this morning, and I thought you might be curious about just what happened.

Essentially, 17 trains just stopped on the SkyTrain tracks at around 9 a.m., disrupting service for two hours.

Why? Because a problem with the electric motor on one train caused it to “time out,” or lose contact with the central computer.

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Get ready for electronic tolling on the Golden Ears Bridge

We’re currently building the Golden Ears Bridge over the Fraser River, connecting Surrey and Langley to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows—hurrah!

Golden Ears also features the first electronic tolls in Western Canada, and we’re trying to get the word out about how the system works. I sat down with Mahrokh Arefi, tolling manager for the Golden Ears Bridge project, to talk about the subject. Feel free to add your own questions in the comments below – I’ll get Mahrokh to answer them at a later date.

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Quality over quantity

It turns out that putting together good blog posts takes a lot longer than you think–especially when you’re writing the print Buzzer at the same time.

As such, I’m going to have to withdraw my earlier promise of putting out one piece of new content every weekday, and pledge instead to update the blog as often as I can.

Never fear though: I am fiercely devoted to keeping this arm of the Buzzer media empire going, so keep on checking back for more! There just might be a space of a day or so between posts, as I gather the research and write up the posts for you.

Quality over quantity, right?

Buzzer Podcast: Voice of the SeaBus

Listen to the voice of the SeaBus in our very first podcast!

(Some of you might be asking “What’s a podcast?” Well, a podcast is a lot like radio-on-demand. Podcasting Alley has a good definition of podcasting, and Wikipedia has info too. But for our purposes, it means the Buzzer can bring you radio-quality sound stories in files you can download — and this, believe it or not, is a really exciting thing.)

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The October Buzzer is out today!

Look out for the new Buzzer on buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express today! (And click the read more thing below – there is more to this entry!)

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All about the TransLink deficit and our second quarterly report

You may have already heard it in news reports this morning, but yes: TransLink is currently running a deficit. This made the news because yesterday, TransLink released its second quarter report on financials and performance for 2008, which outlines the situation in great detail and which you can download here.

So, since we have this fancy blog up and running now, I thought I’d take a look at the report and talk about some of the issues which you no doubt have questions about. Have a read through and feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments below.

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Registration issue fixed!

Great news, Buzzer fans: we’ve fixed the e-mail issue! Commenting can begin!

New registrants will now be e-mailed a password when they sign up. But if you’ve already registered on the site and haven’t received a password, please visit this page and fill in the e-mail address you signed up with. A password will be sent to you. And everyone, please be aware of the Buzzer’s participation guidelines before you start commenting! Thanks for all your patience!

Edit: We’ve adjusted the registration page! Instead of a password being mailed to you, now you can create your own password, and then you’ll get an e-mail confirming that your e-mail address is valid. Plus you can read and agree to the participation guidelines!

Technical difficulties with user registration – plus, the Buzzer on CTV

I’ve received some emails, and we are now aware that nobody is being emailed a password after they register. Hence, no comments, which I must really apologize for: we really do want to hear from you. The Buzzer’s hardworking web staff is now trying to sort the issue out!

So far, I’ve been told that it is a technical issue with how the email is set up on the server. Once it’s fixed, everybody should get their passwords mailed to them. Send me a note if your password arrives – then we’ll know from all sides that the problem is resolved.

And now, if you caught it last night, CTV News did a segment on the Buzzer blog! If you’re interested, you can see the clip online here.

Massey Tunnel bike shuttle service operates this winter

The Massey Tunnel - bikes can shuttle through it all winter!

The Massey Tunnel - bikes can shuttle through it all winter!

Big news in the world of regional cycling! The Massey Tunnel bike shuttle service will be extending its weekday operation through the wintertime, as a service trial project by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.

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