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Translink Buzzer Blog

Poetry in Transit returns for its 18th year!

One of the 20 poems that will be featured around the system on buses and transit shelters! (Photo: Gerilee McBride)

One of the 20 poems that will be featured around the system on buses and transit shelters! (Photo: Gerilee McBride)

TransLink will once again be partnering with the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC) to bring you the eighteenth year of Poetry in Transit!

Running since 1996, this program is a great way to profile talented British Columbian and Canadian poets and provide our customers with poetry to read on their commutes.

There will be a total of 20 poems on the system – 10 poetry car cards on buses and 10 transit shelter ads – over the next year. We’ll be profiling one poet and their poem each month on the Buzzer blog for the next ten months, so be on the look out for those!

To mark the launch of this year’s Poetry in Transit, ABPBC will be presenting an event on Sunday, September 28 at 4 p.m. as part of Word Vancouver. A bus with all car cards will be on display on Homer Street by the Vancouver Public Library on Georgia Street.

The event will be hosted by Vancouver’s outgoing Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau. She tells us Poetry in Transit is an important initiative that allows poets to reach more people – bringing poetry into everyday life.

Evelyn Lau (Photo by Pearl Pirie / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Evelyn Lau (Photo by Pearl Pirie / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“Every year, poets who are selected for the program tell me how they appreciate having their work reach audiences that wouldn’t normally pick up a book of poetry or attend a poetry reading,” she says. “I think we all as poets feel our audience tends to be narrow and tends to be fellow poets. Something such as Poetry in Transit reaches far beyond that community.”

Evelyn credits the program for bringing poetry into public spaces so people who wouldn’t consider themselves poetry fans can run into one while waiting for a bus.

“It’s such an amazing way for them to engage with literature and in a way that is just part of everyday life. Here you are going home from work and you’re having an intimate experience with a poem. You can react to it in a really emotional way or just find it amusing,” she says.

“I’ve heard from a number of writers who have had emails from complete strangers who have read their poem on the bus and had some kind of response to it. It is extremely gratifying.”

TransLink is proud to be supporting this program by donating ad space from the company’s reserve. It is also supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (ABPBC), Creative BC, BC Transit, and the Vancouver Writers Fest.

You can join the conversation about Poetry on Transit by leaving a comment or on Twitter by searching and using the hashtag #PoetryInTransit!

TransLink is proud to support Raise-a-Reader Vancouver 2014

TL employee Cheryl reads to her son

TransLink Media’s Cheryl Ziola reads to her son

TransLink is proud to be supporting this year’s Raise-a-Reader program on Wednesday, September 24!

Ian Jarvis (TransLink CEO), Fred Cummings ( TransLink VP, Engineering and Infrastructure Management), Colleen Brennan (TransLink VP, Communications and Customer Engagement), and Neil Dubord (Transit Police Chief) will all be volunteering their time to hand out special editions of the Vancouver Sun in exchange for donations.

They will be out and about at Waterfront Station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. – rain or shine!

Wednesday, September 24
7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Waterfront Station
Corner of Seymour and Cordova Street

All proceeds raised will go to children and family literacy programs, such as the Canucks Family Education Centre, Vancouver Public Library Foundation and Decoda Literacy Solutions.

TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company office employees are also voluntarily supporting this annual literacy event. They’re doing this by donating their favourite books to help promote this important event. TransLink is part of a month-long youth book donation drive in support of literacy programs and non-profit organizations throughout the region. Books will be donated when the drive ends in mid-October.

Stop by Waterfront Station tomorrow, say ‘hello’, grab a free paper, and help support literacy among young people and their families!

Buzzer illustrator interview: Dino Pai

Here's Dino's illustration on the left and Dino on the right!

Here’s Dino’s illustration on the left and Dino on the right!

Yer! Yer! Time for another Buzzer illustrator interview!

The September issue of the Buzzer is now on the system and we had the pleasure of working with Dino to illustrate our cover this month. If you didn’t know, we feature a different illustration and artist on each issue of the print Buzzer and on the blog!

He was kind enough to take some time out to answer a few questions about the illustration and himself:

How did you come up with your illustration for the Buzzer?
The idea was fairly simple: I went on the bus and SkyTrain with a drawing pad and tried to capture the blissful, tranquil moments on transit with pen and paper.

Your illustration has a tiny bit of retro feel. Are you a fan or are you inspired by illustrators/artist of yesteryear?
Thanks, I take that as a compliment. I definitely look at a lot of illustrators and artists from the past. I suppose my preference for traditional mediums contributes to the retro feel too.

Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite mode?
I take the SkyTrain quite often. I really enjoy observing the people and trying to make up stories of where they’re going to and coming from, what the couples are whispering to each other, or sometimes I make goofy faces at the children when their parents don’t notice.

Your illustration is in blue. Any chance that blue is your favourite colour? Why?
My favourite colour is blue indeed. I’m a boyish boy, what can I say?

What’s next for you?
Aside from freelance illustration gigs I am also working on my second graphic novel right now. That, and taking over the world!

Thanks Dino! If you want to check out more of his work, be sure to check out his website and follow him on Twitter at @diinnnoooo.

TransLink 101′s back: We’re going to explore some more basic questions about our services

 

TransLink 101 blog feature series banner

We're back with another iteration of TransLink 101!

TransLink 101 is back!

We’re dusting off an old special series and bringing you another iteration of the TransLink 101 posts where we explore some basic questions about TransLink and the work that we do!

What’s TransLink 101 all about?

Last time, we covered off what TransLink does, TransLink’s responsibilities for roads and bridges, fare zones, how TransLink gets its funding, where buses and trains sleep at night, why can’t SkyTrain run 24 hours, and how do we keep the system in a stage of good repair!

We’re going back to basics again, but this time we’re going to focus more on the operations side of things! Our planned topics include:

  • What is interlining?
  • What does it mean when a bus is an express?
  • What is short turning?
  • What does far-side and near-side bus stop mean?
  • What are detours and why do they happen?

As well, we’d like to answer a burning TransLink question you’ve always wanted the answer to! Suggest your topic in the comments!

Richmond invites your feedback on the city’s Canada Line art plinth

The Art Plinth at Brighouse Station

The Art Plinth at Brighouse Station

Richmond is inviting the public to provide feedback on the city’s Art Plinth at Brighouse Station!

The Art Plinth, fully funded by the City of Richmond, is located at the end of the Canada Line guideway at Richmond-Brighouse. It will be the site of two temporary public artworks over the next two years.

The first piece of artwork, titled Cluster by artist Carlyn Yandle, was installed by the city on Friday! It will be in place for approximately one year before being replaced by another piece designed by artist Nathan Lee.

Feedback can be emailed to publicart@richmond.ca or tweeted to @Richmond_BC using one or more of the hashtags #artplinth #cluster or #richmondpublicart.

You can also comment online at LetsTalkRichmond.ca.

All respondents will be eligible to win monthly transit passes or iTunes gift cards!

TransLink and InTransitBC are supporting this city-initiative by providing access to the Canada Line guideway to install the Art Plinth projects.

 

The September 2014 issue of the Buzzer is on the system

September 2014 BuzzerI Love Transit Week was from August 25 to 29 this year and we have lots of highlights from our I Love Transit Camp and vintage bus event as well as your submissions and tweets to share with you!

We also hit 50,000 followers on Twitter! 50,000 high fives to our 50,000 followers. We love ya!

Transit Police has some advice for you when travelling with children on transit and we have information on Thanksgiving Day service. Transit will run on a Sunday/holiday schedule on October 13 and it will be a one-zone fare across all zones!

A reminder to students: GoCards from last school year are valid until October 31 and new ones will be issued to students once school is back in session. The card gets you concession fares on all TransLink services in Metro Vancouver. Just make sure you have it with you when travelling on the system.

And no Buzzer is complete without our usual favourites – Contest Corner, Back Issues, and Coming Events!

Pick up your copy today on your favourite bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express route or by downloading it here.

Links and Tidbits – September 12, 2014

Links and tidbits is our semi-regular roundup of interesting fodder about transportation from the last few weeks or so. If you have links to contribute, put them in the comments, or email us.

Vintage buses, trucks and more this Sunday!

Vintage buses, trucks and more this Sunday!

» Check out the Main Street Heritage Transportation Jamboree and Livable Laneways at the Autumn Shift Festival happening on Sunday, September 14 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the northwest corner of East 7th Avenue at Main Street!

» In the last iteration of Links & Tidbits, we shared with you Transitmix – an online map that lets you design your own bus network. Here’s one transit enthusiast’s redesigned network for Vancouver!

» A blast from the past indeed! “breeone” shared this photo on Instagram of an old bus transfer before the switch was made to current transfers.

» Human is an app that tracks walking, running, and biking for people for the app. The activity data for Metro Vancouver was compiled in this map.

» Brill trolleys roamed the streets of Vancouver for over 40 years, but why are there eight of them parked in Sandon, B.C.? Global News investigates! We have pictures of these buses on the Buzzer blog too!

» Aw, no more singing on Winnipeg buses or riding a unicycle on transit property. The city’s bylaw calls for a $100 fine if you sing. =(

» Helsinki wants to make the private car “pointless” in the city. The Mayors’ Council Vision for Regional Transportation wants to do the same here. Read their vision to find out more!

» This must be catching on! In January, we shared a link to a story about Beijing installing machines that accepts recyclable bottles for transit fares. Now Sydney has done the same!  (Hat-tip to @Gitsegukladud)

» Pretty cool German street art – they’ve turned an articulated bus’s gangway into an accordion!

» Here’s an interesting historical picture from Heritage Vancouver! The B.C. Electric Railway Company (responsible for operating the streetcar in the Lower Mainland) proposed to create an elevated streetcar system in the early 20th century.

» Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Papa’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. This little fox was found sleeping onboard an OC Transpo bus in Ottawa. Should we tell him he just missed his stop?

» This I didn’t know! A hidden gem on TransLink’s website – there’s a map showing where you can find carshare vehicles within one kilometre of SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals. 

» Darryl Pogue tweeted us this picture of FareSavers, circa BC Transit days. Are they still valid? Unfortunately, no, since they are without the magnetic strip and were meant to be deposited in the old fareboxes =(

What about my FareSavers when Compass Card launches, will they become obsolete like the old B.C. Transit FareSavers? Not to worry. FareSavers will still be valid as we transition to the Compass Card and you’ll be able to exchange your FareSavers for Stored Value on the Compass Card!

» Stockholm has three lines in its Tunnelbanan system (Green, Red, and Blue) and they are turning to the public to crowdsource the colour for the fourth line.

Reminder for students with GoCards

Students out and about

Students out and about

Are you a returning secondary student in Grade 9 to 12 aged 14 to 19? Then your GoCard from the 2013/14 school year is still valid until October 31, despite any labour disputes.

Your GoCard gets you concession fares on all TransLink services in Metro Vancouver, so you can travel for a reduced price.  Just make sure you have your GoCard with you when travelling on the system.

New GoCards will be issued to public school students once school is back in session.

For updates on GoCards for the 2014/15 school year, visit www.translink.ca/gocard.

#TLHIGHFIVE0: ^at talks to @TransLink’s ^DA about 50,000 followers

Customer Information Workleader Desirée, better known as ^DA!

Customer Information Workleader Desirée, who you know as ^DA on Twitter!

Have you ever called 604.953.3333 for transit information, checked our Transit Alerts, or tweeted @TransLink?

Our fabulous Customer Information team are the folks at the other end of the line when you call and the Customer Information Work Leaders are the ones behind the Transit Alerts and Twitter account!

At the rate TransLink’s Twitter account responds to tweets and pushes out information to our customers, you would imagine a throng of staff all behind rows and rows of computers. But nope, it’s usually just one person – the Customer Information Work Leader!

Desirée, better known as ^DA on Twitter, has been a Work Leader for the past few years. I had the opportunity to ask her a couple of questions about what it’s been like helping to look after the Twitter account!

What does 50,000 followers mean to you and the TL Twitter Team?

It feels like a reward to see this many people follow us! It means over 50,000 of you are looking to us and trust us for accurate and timely information. We always keep that at the front of our minds – just how much impact the information we share can have on our customer’s day.

What do you want to say to the 50,000 followers?

Thanks for the taking the time to contact us, whether it is for good or bad feedback! Thanks for taking the time to notify us when you see something – like an accident on the road or a knocked over bus pole – out on your route that that we should know about. And thanks for sending us positive and kind tweets when you think we might need it. Some of those get passed along so that everyone in our group can see it because we are a team.  We really do feel that we have some of the best followers around the Twitterverse!

One of Desirée's colleagues at the Customer Information Work Leader desk!

One of Desirée’s colleagues at the Customer Information Work Leader desk!

What’s the favourite part of your job?

There are a couple of things. One, I really love the team that I work with. Seriously, they are such a great group of people and they’re so knowledgeable. I learn something new all the time from them. Another favourite part is figuring out some of the mysteries of transit. Being part of the Twitter team involves so much more behind the scenes than just what gets tweeted out. I love figuring out why something is the way it is or why something happened.

What’s the most memorable question you’ve received from a tweeter?

We’ve received so many and it always amazing to see how creative people are. Also, I think it is so great to hear how passionate our riders are about transit. Some pretty fantastic and constructive conversations have been had via Twitter about transit so it’s tough to narrow it down to just one. Although, I personally love it when our followers send us funny or interesting pictures – like the one of Darth Vader riding the Canada Line that said he was “Forced” to take transit due to rising gas prices.

What’s it like having to convey information in less than 140 characters on Twitter?

It’s a challenge to be reduced to such a small number of characters, that’s for sure. I’m usually a pretty descriptive person, so I cringe and joke about having to commit “a grammar crime” in order to squeeze it all in one tweet.  I think I’m probably the biggest offender for sending multiple tweets to get an answer out! Sometimes you need to get creative.

How does one become a tweeter for @TransLink?

Apply to work at Coast Mountain Bus Company and TransLink! Most of the people who tweet and respond using @TransLink are Work Leaders in the Customer Information department. The majority of the Work Leaders have been with Customer Information for some time and most of us have worked in other Coast Mountain departments and depots during our tenure with the company. Being a Work Leader requires a higher level of knowledge about the transit system and also we have access to additional tools and contacts within the company.

How has @TransLink changed 50,000 followers later? 

It has evolved. There is a lot more discussion happening and we’re not just using Twitter to push out information. Information is now being exchanged in both directions, between our followers and us. We learn a lot from our riders and often, if there is an issue going on, they have been the first to alert us (accidents, delays, clean ups required, etc.). Also, in addition to our 50,000 followers, when there is any sort of disruption people who don’t follow @TransLink on Twitter are turning to us first for information and updates.

To cellebrate 50,000 followers on Twitter and to show appreciation, we are giving away three FareCards! To enter, simply follow @TransLink and retweet one of the tweets on this page. It’s that simple. =)

Fall service changes: Increased service to SFU gets the thumbs up from Amanda

Amanda is thankful for the increased SFU service!

Amanda likes the increased SFU service!

 

Amanda doesn’t own a car, so she relies on public transit and walking to get her where she needs to go everyday. In her words, she takes transit “pretty much every day, several times a day.”

On a regular weekday morning, she takes the 22 Knight from her home in Kitsilano to Burrard Station to catch the 135 to Simon Fraser University, where she works.

To get home in the evening, she takes either the 144 to Sperling-Burnaby Lake Station or the 145 to Production Way-University Station before hopping on the Millennium Line to VCC-Clark Station and then the 84 to get home — taking her on a relaxing loop of Vancouver and Burnaby.

“I really appreciate being able to commute to work by bus and read or listen to music while watching the scenery go by,” she says.”It’s really fun to people watch. There’s always such interesting and diverse cross-sections of Vancouver life on the bus or SkyTrain, and I love seeing who gets on next.”

As part of the fall service changes that began on September 1, new trips were added to the 135 and 143 to reduce overcrowding, and regular service on the 145 returns. This means that weekday frequency on the 135 has increased, operating every 12 minutes between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The 143 now operates every ten minutes during the AM/PM peak periods, every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and evening service has been extended to 9:52 p.m. On the 145 all weekday trips in the midday and AM/PM peak periods return to regular service from 7:50 to 11:30 a.m. and 3:40 to 7 p.m.

Amanda says the increased service to SFU will mean a lot for her and other commuters, especially on the 135.

“I use the 135 to commute to work, so increasing service is a very good thing,” she says. “Especially during the fall semester at SFU, that’s when the 135 is really crowded. The more buses that can run, the less time people are left at bus stops because the buses are too packed.”

TransLink undertakes a round of service changes four times a year in April, June, September, and December. These changes improve schedules and routes, ensuring a reliable, efficient and safe transit service to help get you where you need to go.

To learn more about the fall service changes and to find the schedules for the 135, 143, and 145, click here.

Buzzer illustrator interview: Danielle Jette

Danielle with her future corgi on the right and her illustration on the left!

Danielle with her future corgi on the right and her illustration on the left!

Another issue of the Buzzer and another illustrator interview! Yay!

We were lucky enough to have Danielle Jette illustrate the cover for the August Buzzer, which was dedicated to the fall service changes. She was kind enough to take some time out to do a quick interview with us:

Who is Danielle Jette?
Hi, I am a Vancouver based illustrator and designer!

How did you come up with your illustration for the Buzzer?
I was inspired by Vancouver’s big busy skyline.

Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite mode?
I take transit everyday! I like taking the Canada Line SkyTrain because it is fast, clean and close to home.

What’s your favourite colour and why?
My favourite colour is turquoise because it is bright.

Peer into your crystal ball, and tell us what you see for yourself in the future.
In the future I hope to work in publishing, live by the beach, and adopt a Pembroke Welsh corgi.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of the Buzzer yet, be sure to do so or download it here to you check out Danielle’s illustration!

Fall service changes: Rebecca rides the 555 Port Mann Express to 156th Street

Rebecca is riding the 555 Port Mann Express to 156th Street in Surrey for the first time!

Rebecca is riding the 555 Port Mann Express to 156th Street in Surrey for the first time!

The fall service changes began on September 1 and a new stop at 156th Street and Highway 1 in Surrey has been added to the 555 Braid Station/Carvolth Exchange route. Customers travelling to Braid Station now have an EXPRESS service to the SkyTrain.

Rebecca L., a BCIT student, was waiting for the 555 at Braid Station when I caught up with her. She tells me it was her first time riding the route.

On a typical day, she would take the 337 to Surrey Central Station from her home in Fraser Heights, transfer to the Expo Line to Metrotown Station, then hop on the 130 to BCIT. Rebecca estimates this takes her about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.

With the help of our Trip Planner and Google Maps, she decided to try the improved 555 service since the new 156th Street stop is close to her home. She took the 25 bus to Brentwood Station from BCIT and rode the Millennium Line to Braid Station to connect with the 555.

“I just want to try it out to see what it’s like,” she says. “I think it will be faster since this bus only takes nine minutes to get to 156th Street.”

If her tweet is any indication, she enjoyed her fast ride on board our super comfy highway coach!

The 555 service operates seven days a week, with trips every 10 minutes during the AM & PM peak periods. For more details, here’s the route map and schedule.

TransLink undertakes a round of service changes four times a year in April, June, September, and December. These changes improve schedules and routes, ensuring a reliable, efficient and safe transit service to help get you where you need to go.

How do I access the stop?

  • Walking along 156th Street
  • Connecting to/from routes 337 Fraser heights/Surrey Central Station or 509 Surrey Central Station/Walnut Grove, which stop at the same intersection as the new 555 bus stop.
  • Connecting to/from routes 326 Surrey Central Station/Guildford, 335 Newton Exchange, 501 Surrey Central Station, or 590 Surrey Central Station/ Langley South, located five minutes away on 104th Avenue.

 

Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas – talks from Markus Moos and Gil Peñalosa

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Exciting news – Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas, brought to you by TransLink in collaboration with the SFU City Program, is back at Simon Fraser University!

Event Details on both talks:

Markus Moos

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 7 p.m.

Location: Room 1400, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver

Admission: Free, but reservations are required. Reserve

Live Webcast: http://creative-services.sfu.ca/broadcast/

 

Gil Peñalosa

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 7 p.m.

Location: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU, Woodwards Building, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Admission: Free, but reservations are required. Reserve

Live Webcast: http://creative-services.sfu.ca/broadcast/

Markus Moos, Assistant Professor, School of Planning at the University of Waterloo will be speaking on Tuesday, September 16, 7 p.m., at SFU Harbour Centre. The talk, The New Generation: Are Millennials Changing the Game?, will take a look at how Millennials’ values, preferences and priorities could affect your work, commute, home and community — now and in the future.

Internationally acclaimed “healthy cities” expert Gil Peñalosa will be speaking the following day – Wednesday, September 17, at SFU Woodward’s at 7 p.m. His talk is titled, Future Livability: Boast or Bust?, will explore whether Metro Vancouver can maintain its “Livability Credibility” for the next 30 years.

Admission is free for both talks, but reservations are required. Visit www.sfu.ca/rethinking-transportation to register. Unable to attend? Both talks will be available as a free webcast online at creative-services.sfu.ca/broadcast/.

You can tweet your questions and comments using the hashtag #movingthefuture.

Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas is a speakers’ series focused on key transportation issues and opportunities facing the Metro Vancouver region. The series will explore new perspectives on the movement of people and goods in cities with thought leaders, decision makers, and experts from across North America who have tackled some of the most pressing transportation challenges.

The New Generation: Are Millennials Changing the Game?

Dr. Markus Moos

Dr. Markus Moos

Millennials’ values, preferences and priorities could affect your work, commute, home and community – now and in the future.

The New York Times has mentioned “Millennials” 122 times between January and August 2014 on topics ranging from TV and pop music to travel and literature.  Why the interest?

Millennials, born between the early 80s and the new millennium, are a significant and influential demographic—outnumbering even the baby boomers. The roughly 9 million Millennials across Canada and over 500,000 here in Metro Vancouver think, communicate, travel and work differently. Understanding how they impact housing, transportation, jobs and communities is critical for planners, employers, real estate and technology developers, and anyone who interacts with this new wave of change-makers.

Far fewer Millennials have driver’s licences than previous generations, which is particularly relevant as we reach a critical juncture in transportation planning in our region with 1 million more people expected to join us by 2040.

Join Dr. Markus Moos, Assistant Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo to learn more about how Millennials are different from young adults in Metro Vancouver 20 to 30 years ago; how their housing and commuting decisions are different from their previous cohorts; and —perhaps most importantly—what this means for transportation and housing in Metro Vancouver and beyond.

About the Speaker

Dr. Markus Moos is a Registered Professional Planner and Assistant Professor in the School of Planning, Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Moos’ research is on the changing economy and social structure of cities. His most recent work has examined the factors shaping Canada’s housing markets, the changing characteristics of our suburbs, and the affordability, sustainability and equity implications of present-day urban change. Dr. Moos has published widely in book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in top-ranked international journals. He is currently co-editing the most recent edition of Canadian Cities in Transition—a compilation of chapters written by some of Canada’s top urban researchers. Dr. Moos holds an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario for his research on young adults’ changing housing needs.

Future Livability: Boast or Bust?

Gil Peñalosa

Gil Peñalosa

Can Metro Vancouver maintain its “Livability Credibility” for the next 30 years?

The Metro Vancouver region is frequently cited among the world’s most livable.  Just this summer, Vancouver – and by extension much of our region – was cited by The Economist as the third most livable city in the world, with particular kudos for our current and near-term rapid transit connections through Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Moody.

Can we maintain our frequently and broadly cited international livability credibility? With a million new residents, 600,000 new jobs and potentially 3 million more car trips per day in our region by 2040, how will we maintain the unique and treasured qualities we enjoy throughout Metro Vancouver?

Internationally acclaimed “healthy cities” expert Gil Peñalosa believes in the importance of mobility in planning healthy, sustainable cities – cities where people can walk, bike, and access transit to carry out their daily activities, no matter their age, ability, or social status.

As part of SFU’s Rethinking Transportation Speaker Series, Gil will share examples from around the world that show that transportation systems that put people first from the point of view of public health, environment, recreation, mobility, and economic development lead to sustainable, healthier, more vibrant and livable cities.

Join Gil Peñalosa of 8-80 Cities to learn more about what we can all do to protect the future livability of our local communities and the importance of investing in our transportation system so we can preserve our quality of life now and for generations to come.

About the Speaker:

Gil Peñalosa is passionate about cities for ALL people. Gil advises decision makers and community leaders on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility. Because of his unique blend of pragmatism and passion, Gil’s leadership and advice is sought out by many cities and organizations. As Executive Director of the Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities for the past eight years, Gil has worked in over 150 different cities in all continents.

#TLHIGHFIVE0: 50,000 high fives for our 50,000 followers (Win a FareCard Contest)

Thanks for 50,000 follows!

High five! Thanks for 50,000 follows!

It feels like it was just yesterday when we were celebrating 40,000 followers on Twitter, but now we have 50,000 of you following us and counting!

The @TransLink Twitter account got its start in February 2010 during the Winter Olympics, providing riders with breaking news and key service updates.

But it didn’t start answering questions from tweeps until November 2010 when a one-month pilot project was launched. It was extended multiple times before becoming a permanent service in February 2011!

Today, Customer Information staff are on Twitter from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days a week, to answer all your service-related questions and provide service updates, tips, and information to 50,000+ of you!

Contest time!

To celly, we’re going to give away three FareCards! To enter, simply follow @TransLink and retweet one of the following tweets from our Twitter team:

RT @TransLink: High Five x 50k!!! Ohhh our hands hurt, BUT every one of you is worth it! You’re AWESOME! #TLHIGHFIVE0 http://ow.ly/B3AzP

RT @TransLink: Nearly 4 years ago, we became a permanent service as a result of YOUR support. THANK YOU! #TLHIGHFIVE0 http://ow.ly/B3AzP

RT @TransLink: 2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? YOU – ALL OF YOU! Thank you for your ongoing support. #TLHIGHFIVE0 http://ow.ly/B3AzP

RT @TransLink: From us to all 50, 000+ of you – THANK YOU! Your tweets and kind words really mean a lot! #TLHIGHFIVE0 http://ow.ly/B3AzP

RT @TransLink: Many ways of spelling our ^ initials, but only one way to show appreciation. T-H-A-N-K-S #TLHIGHFIVE0 http://ow.ly/B3AzP

Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 11 and we’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, September 12. The FareCard will be for one, two, or three zones, depending on where the winner travels. You’ll want to read the terms and conditions for all the details on the contest.

One person cannot win more than once, so if we draw your name, you will be excluded from the other FareCard draws.

 

 

Travel tips for the post Labour Day crunch

Time to get into the September swing of things

Time to get into the September swing of things

Are you ready for Tuesday and the first week of school? If you’re like many, you’ll be enjoying your last few days of holidays this long weekend and worrying about next week…next week. Well, the buzzer is here to give you a little help with some light reading on how you can make next week a little less stressful when it comes to commuting.

You can bet your bottom dollar that major bus routes and SkyTrains will have more people on them during the morning and afternoon rush hour next week. This phenomenon, known as the Post-Labour Day Crunch (PLDC), can be challenging for both our returning and regular riders. To ease the transition to PLDC, we’ve created some helpful tips to improve your transit experience.

Advice for transit riders

1. Keep your fare handy
Plan your trip in advance using our Trip Planner and familiarize yourself with the route. When boarding (especially a bus), have your valid fare or cash ready or in hand so you are not holding back the line.

2. Patience young grasshopper
We’ve had a long summer. Not everyone will remember the best way to travel back to school or work. The first few weeks of September will likely be the busiest as our 1.2 million riders per day plan their best route options. Count on your trips taking a bit longer – if they don’t, bonus!

3. Try time shifting
This sounds more fancy than it is, but it’s useful! SkyTrain’s busiest spots, especially at the ‘peak of the peak’ times are at the Commercial/Broadway, Production Way/University and Brighouse stations. So, try traveling during off-peak hours.

For example, at the Commercial/Broadway station, there’s usually a long line-up for the #99 B-Line bus from about 8:15 to 8:45 am, but only a short wait immediately before or after. To alleviate long lineups and queuing challenges, we now have painted lines on sidewalks to help direct passengers and free sidewalk space for walkers. Upstairs at Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station platforms 3 and 4, there is a steady build-up of passengers between 7-8 a.m. and then the heaviest loads between 8-8:45 a.m. before the rush begins tapering off to normal daytime volumes by about 9:30 a.m.

Canada Line sees its heaviest crowds at the Brighouse Station between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.

4. About that backpack…
For those using backpacks, please be kind to your fellow passengers by carrying or putting your backpack down by your feet. Remember, don’t be a birdie big bags and put them on the seat beside you.

5. There is no “I” in Team
Cooperation makes getting through PLDC easier for everyone. Remember to move away from the doors to allow more room for others to get on. On SkyTrain station platforms, please stand back so passengers can leave the train more easily. The sooner they’re off, the easier you can get on.

6. Alternatives are a good thing
As everyone tries to get on major bus routes and SkyTrains, it’s always a good idea to see if there are any alternative ways to get to your destination faster. Check out our TravelSmart program to learn about other travel options such as walking, cycling, or carpooling. Mixing modes of travel may also speed up your journey and avoid the crowds.

If you are heading from Yaletown to Metrotown Station, instead of transferring from Yaletown to Waterfront Station on the Canada Line and then hopping on the Expo line to get off at Metrotown Station, why not walk from Yaletown Station to Granville Station – a direct connection to the Expo line. A 15-minute walk can save you time and benefit your health.

Choosing smarter, sustainable modes of travel benefits our health, our communities and the environment.

 

Advice for motorists

1. Sharing is more fun

Consider ride-sharing, shifting your travel times or even arranging to work from home if possible to reduce the number of vehicles trying to move in the peak traffic periods.

2. Slow your roll

Remember that school zone speed limits will be in effect again. Watch out for kids going to kindergarten and elementary classes!

3. Bikes are vehicles too

More people will be cycling to work and school, so drivers also need to take care near cycling lanes and to watch for cyclists when changing lanes or making turns.

4. Do the time shift

See #3 in Advice for transit riders above.

Advice for pedestrians

1. There’s a time to walk and not walk

Even pedestrians can make a difference by obeying the “DON’T WALK” signs, particularly when crossing intersections along major bus routes. That allows vehicles to complete turns and all of the traffic waiting behind them, including buses, to move more efficiently.

 

We’ve shared our tips gearing up for PLDC. Do you have any other suggestions to add? We’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below!