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My Jane’s Walk experience: A Walking Tour of SE False Creek

Jane's Walk 2015It was a beautiful day on May 3rd when my boyfriend, our basset hounds and myself headed out to a Jane’s Walk in False Creek.

It WAS a beautiful day, until I ended up in a pond! Ok, that’s the end of the story, let me back up a little.

I hope some of you (or lots of you!) got a chance to participate in this year’s series of walks around Metro Vancouver.

Our leaders for the walk were Sabrina and Ian who work for TransLink and BCRTC, respectively. I have to admit, I didn’t know much about this area of False Creek and Olympic Village area other than, well, the Olympic athletes stayed there. I found out that it is a lovely community with various amenities, interesting public art and a rich history!

We started at Creekside Community Centre. I was tempted to just sit in the sun, enjoying a beverage at Tap & Barrel but we pressed on!

In 1978, False Creek was a mix of railway tracks, lumber mills and factories. That was until BC politicians decided to host a small transportation exhibition called “Transpo ’86″ to sync with the centennial of Vancouver and the 100th anniversary of the transcontinental railway reaching Vancouver.

This teeny little expo exploded into a a world’s fair and what we now look back fondly as just Expo ’86. Just to give you a little perspective, they were expecting a maximum of 14 million people. They got 22 million! SkyTrain is one of the lasting contributions from Expo ’86 along with BC Place stadium, Science World and Canada Place.

Our next stop was Main St-Science World SkyTrain station, currently under construction. This station was the first of many to begin a facelift. As our stations are around 30 years old, it’s about time! It includes the bike parkade, public art, prototype newspaper containment systems, retail and decorative lighting. The final changes will be made to this station in the next few months to be done by the end of this summer.

Just down the path you can see the Pacific Central train station. It houses… guess what? TRAINS! This was built in 1919 for the Canadian National Railway. CN passenger trains were transferred to VIA Rail in 1978. Today, one of the most popular train trips is from here to Seattle.

Just to the North of the station is the property which will become the new site for St. Paul’s Hospital.

The Trans Am Totem by Marcus Bowcott is quite striking to see up close. Until this walk, I had only seen it from the SkyTrain on my way to or from downtown.

It’s part of Vancouver’s “Open Air Museum” from the 3rd Vancouver Biennale exhibition allowing access to all and to hopefully create “unexpected and global inspired cultural experiences where people live, play, work and transit.” This piece, according to the artist, is a metaphor that uncovers an unpleasant darkness in our society while revealing the emotional bankruptcy that results from our dependence on cheap, consumer goods.

You can also see the viaducts from this vantage point and it turns out the Georgia viaduct is for more than just filming the Deadpool movie! Along with the Dunsmuir viaduct, it was opened in 1972 that replaced a structure built from 1913-15.

The update was supposed to create a series of expressways in the downtown core. An idea that didn’t quite come to fruition. However, 43,000 vehicles and 2,000 bicycles use the viaducts every single day.

Hogan’s Alley was the local and unofficial name for Park Lane, an alley that ran through the southwestern corner of Strathcona until the 1960s. Most of the area was destroyed by the 1970s for the construction of the viaducts. Only one landmark of that area still remains and the Jimi Hendrix shrine on the corner of Union and Main. His grandmother lived in Vancouver and Jimi spent many a summer in the area.

Next, we rounded back, passing our origin and continued to Olympic Village Square. Let me tell you, it’s for the birds! No, seriously, have you seen the giant sparrows? Apparently, they are European. C’est bon, es ist toll, es genial, è fantastico! The art is from Myfanwy MacLeod and inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds.”

Then came the wetlands. Here’s where it all started to go wrong…

So, the park area with yes, wetlands, open green space, children’s playground, dog runs and the continuation of bike and walking paths is unofficially known as Hinge Park. The area is a combination of historical references to the former City Worksyard site with the creation of a naturalized wetland environment.

As I was trying to take a picture of the group, oops! It just slipped and I wasn’t fast enough. Phone. Pond. Ker-plunk!

I didn’t hesitate! I let my country girl roots kick in. Shoes and jewelry off and in I went! Unfortunately, the area closest to the phone’s watery grave was covered in bramble so I had a ways to go actually IN the water. It was cold. It was gross. There were ducks. People stared. You can see the final picture below I got from Sabrina. I suffer for this blog!

BUT! I got my phone, it worked (a modern day miracle) and I saved all the pictures from the day! And thanks to the fruit inspired manufacturer, let’s call them… “Banana,” I got a replacement phone for my rapidly fritzing, waterlogged one.

Because I was rather soggy, I missed the final stop, the Brewery Creek region. Luckily, my colleagues provided me with their notes!

Way, way, back this area was covered in dense, dark rainforest with many indigenous flower and berries used for First Nations medicine and food.

Later on, it was still defined by its landscape, with slaughterhouses, the nearby Vancouver Tannery and breweries including San Francisco Brewery, Mainland Brewery, Landsdowne Brewery, Lion Brewery and the Thorpe & Co. Soda Water Works.

Inspired by hops and barley past, there is a movement for areas call Craft beer urbanism. Yep. It’s a thing! Craft breweries and smaller distilleries and wineries are a part of a still growing trend in urbanism that helps define place making opportunities and local identity.

Last, but certainly not least, was the Salt Building (now home to Craft Beer Market) built in 1930. The original 13,000 square-foot space worked with the Bay Area salt trade in San Francisco where unrefined salt was shipped to Vancouver for processing and extraction. It is one of the last buildings in the area that harkens back to the industrial heyday of Vancouver.

That’s all folks! It was an interesting and enlightening day. I’m very glad, despite what I’m dubbing the new Watergate, I was able to understand more about some of the communities and neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver. Although next time, I’ll have someone else take the photos, or have a wrist strap!

Construction is starting at Metrotown Station and Bus Exchange

Summary of station upgrades at Metrotown Station

Summary of station upgrades at Metrotown Station

Summary of bus exchange upgrades at Metrotown Station

Summary of bus exchange upgrades at Metrotown Station

Metrotown Station is one of the oldest and busiest stations on the Expo Line and has long been in need of upgrades to improve accessibility, capacity, safety, and security. Site preparation works have been underway since January 2015 and more construction activity is beginning this month. Below is some important information for you about the project and construction!

What’s happening?

The upgrades, which are expected to be complete by fall 2017, will  provide additional capacity that is required for our growing region. Improvements include:

  • New escalators, stairs and elevators to improve access for customers with disabilities.
  • More space on the platforms to enable the system to expand for future customers, particularly as the region grows.
  • Updated design features to improve safety and security for all our customers.
  • Better integration with the surrounding community and bus exchange to make it easier for people to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.
  • A 75-bike Secure Bike Parking facility similar to the one at Main Street – Science World

What can I expect?

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees and contractors. Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Below is a summary of the key project phases and expected impacts. Please note that timelines are subject to change based on construction activity.

Phase 1: Centre Stationhouse Construction – early 2015 – spring 2016

Construction crews will focus on building the new Centre Stationhouse, including new elevators and stairs.

Impacts:

  • As of February 26, 2015 and continuing until spring 2016, the elevator at Metrotown Station is out of service while we build three new elevators and the new Centre Stationhouse. See OnTrack for more details.
  • The emergency staircase will be removed and a temporary staircase will be provided as a replacement in a nearby location.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating, is expected to begin in several weeks. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.
  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.

Phase 2: West Stationhouse Construction – summer 2015 – summer 2016

Construction crews will focus on building the new West Stationhouse at ground level, extending the platform level at the west end to provide for the new escalators, and installing four new escalators.

Impacts:

  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.
  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.

Phase 3: East Stationhouse Construction – spring 2016 – fall 2017

The existing East Stationhouse will close spring 2016 to allow construction crews to rebuild the structure, extend the platform level at the east end to provide for the new escalators, and install the four new escalators and the new Bike Parkade.

  • Passengers will be re-directed to the new Centre Stationhouse or West Stationhouse once it is complete in summer 2016. There will also be minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • The passerelle to Metropolis at Metrotown will not be functional; passengers travelling to or from the mall and existing bus exchange will cross Central Boulevard at ground level.
  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.

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For more information, you’ll want to read the Metrotown Station & Exchange Upgrades FAQs and our latest information boards. Passengers can stay up-to-date throughout construction by visiting translink.ca/OnTrack.

Links and Tidbits – May 1, 2015

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.

 Kindness is everywhere!

»   Take a ride on the SkyTrain in 1988!

»   I want this to happen. Who else wants this to happen? Let’s do it!

»   Looking for a spot to sit in the morning? Here are the best subway lines in NYC to actually find a seat!

Nope nope nope nope NOPE!

»   Why take the bus when you can slap on some goggles and virtually take the bus! Wait, what?

»   Hipsters unite! This bus/mobile record store is cruising around Calgary.

»   I’m a sucker for animal stories. Hey, aren’t we all? See how Keiko, a wandering Husky finds her way home with some help from a bus driver in Halifax.

»   Talk about good karma. This bus driver will surely be up for some of that!

»   Not to mention this bus operator in our own backyard of Delta.

»   Russian commuters band together to save a trapped woman in Moscow Subway.

»   Up for learning some new dance moves? LyveTyme dancers in NYC perform on the subway system despite the threat of arrest!

»   Yikes! Talk about a near miss. This man must have some awesome upper body strength and quick reflexes!

»   Like some of Vancouver buses, Thunder Bay, Ontario is looking jazz up their buses with some local art.

Oh, I really feel fine driving route 99!!

»   Explore the deep with this video of a sunken bus. Does it creep anyone else out that you can’t see five feet in front of the camera?

»   For $68 you could own this fabulous old transfer shirt made by local Vancouver designer, Tayman!

»  Peace, love and electric VW vans, man.

» Heading to the Big Apple soon? Be sure to check out these adventures you can have at the end of subway lines.

Keanu Reeves: Canadian, The One, a totally triumphant and bodacious dude and subway gentleman supreme.

»   Japan’s maglev train breaks world speed record. AGAIN!

»   More metro dance parties? Oui, s’il vous plaît!

»  Ever wondered why so many public transit systems use a grid pattern? Wonder no more! Don’t say I never gave you anything. (See what I did there? I gave you knowledge!)

Skip to 2:25 for an awesome subway-inspired dance on Dancing with the Stars!

The Facts Matter: Transit, Roads and Cycling in your Community

TransLink invests in YOUR community

TransLink contributions across the region

$145 million dollars. That is a big number and can be a tad difficult to interpret. So, let’s break it down a bit further.

Last week we looked at contributions TransLink has made in Burnaby and New Westminster since 2012. This week, Surrey and Langley are up!

Here are just a few of the projects and investments in these areas:

Langley

  • Fraser Hwy. road widening (228 St. to 23500 block) – $ 2,716,000
  • New bike lanes on 48 Ave. (20400 block to 210 St.) – $209,000
  • Introduction of new 96 B-Line service linking Guildford and Newton via Surrey Central Station

Surrey

  • Widening 16th Ave. (crossing over Hwy 99) and building bike lanes in both directions – $ 4,655,895
  • First phase of the Surrey Lake Greenway (140th St. to Coopershawk Crt.) -$185,700
  • Introduced new express service (555 Port Mann Express) across the Port Mann Bridge linking Carvolth Exchange, Fraser Heights/Guildford and Braid SkyTrain Station.

Each municipality has their own fact sheet and you can see what’s been done in, and being planned for, your community’s future.

Head to The Facts Matter page to find out more ways TransLink has has contributed to transit, roads and cycling.

You can also read all about it here in the coming weeks as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the #TheFactsMatter hashtag.

Transit in the News – May 1

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share? Comment below or email us.newspaper-568058_1280

Winnipeg Transit bus service may be delayed by union work action.

Transport minister says no bus workers in Ireland will face forced transfer.

Calgary beings crackdown on costly bus shelter vandals.

MTA fares could increase by 15 per cent due to budget gap.

BC privacy watchdog alarmed by surveillance cameras in Victoria buses.

York Region bus riders welcome new transit funding in Provincial budget.

Baltimore subway stations close amid riots.

Man accused in sexual assaults on transit allowed back on buses in Vancouver.

Chicago subway crash prompts recommendations for braking and scheduling changes.

Gun arrests on NYC subway system up 42 per cent this past year.

Beijing follows lead in guide dogs on subway.

Driverless metro rail proposed for Bhopal.

Ottawa begins second phase of LRT in West end, bus detours to follow.

MTA to ban political ads on subways and buses.

  If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Getting to the 2015 BMO Marathon start line

Starting line

BMO Marathon starting line 2014

How are you getting to the starting line on Sunday?

Whether you are planning to run or cheer on the sidelines, make sure you TravelSmart to the race!

The race begins is in Queen Elizabeth Park and you can get there via the Canada Line Oakridge/41st Station.

Here are some helpful hints for race day:

Canada Line

The first train from Waterfront Station is at 4:48 a.m. and from Richmond Brighouse at 5:02 a.m., and extra trains will be in service until 8:00 a.m.

Portable fare boxes will be set up at Waterfront, Vancouver City-Centre and Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line stations.

Bus

CMBC will provide regular Sunday service and will modify several bus routes at certain times during the day to accommodate the marathon.

Shuttle Bus

Runners who pre-booked a seat on special shuttles to the start line can check departure details on the BMO Vancouver Marathon website.

The early-morning shuttle service leaves from Lougheed Town Centre, Scott Road Station, Lonsdale Quay, Brentwood Mall and Patterson Station.

Cyclists

TransLink’s TravelSmart is sponsoring BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer secure temporary bike storage for up to 120 bikes, free of charge.

The valet will be open from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Bute Street, between Hastings and Cordova so you can park your bike downtown and take the Canada Line to the race.

Good to Know

SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium Lines, West Vancouver Blue Bus and SeaBus will operate their regular Sunday service. There is no Sunday service on the West Coast Express.

 Know before you go! Check our Trip Planner to map out your route.
Sign up for Transit Alerts, follow us on Twitter (@TransLink) or call Customer Service at 604-953-3333.

Jane’s Walk 2015 – See what your community has to offer!

Jane's WalkI posted about Jane’s Walk a little while ago. Don’t remember? Here’s a refresher!

On May 1st to 3rd you can participate in a free Jane’s Walk in the area you live, work or play and discuss what matters to you!

Jane’s Walk helps knit people into strong and resourceful communities.

The festival is inspired by urbanist and author Jane Jacobs – who would be 99 years old this Monday.

She believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned by and for the people.

Although she was never formally trained as a planner, she wrote one of the most influential books on city planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

There are over 100 cities worldwide hosting their own walks!

So, here’s the NEW news, the following mayors have also agreed to step it up a notch by leading their own Jane’s Walks:

Some Metro Vancouver Councillors have stepped up to the challenge as well:

And more!

  • Former Vancouver City Councillor and SFU City Program Director Gordon Price
  • Former Co-Director of Planning for City of Vancouver Larry Beasley
  • Former Vancouver City Councillor and social activist Ellen Woodsworth

There are so many amazing stories to hear and places to see during this festival.

I encourage you to check out Jane’s Walk, choose your city and pick a walk that’s right for you!

Keep an eye out on social media for some of these hashtags: #janeswalk #janeswalkmetrovancouver #TravelSmart

Get more information at travelsmart.ca and janeswalk.org.

Songs on SkyTrain

A few weeks ago outfitted in bright yellow tees, toothy grins and great attitudes, Coquitlam’s Music for Young Children (MYC) troupe from Place des Arts took to the SkyTrain.

Why? To sing of course!

And not just to commemorate this program’s 35th anniversary, which is wonderful thing to celebrate!

The children along with their teacher Cindy Sletmoen and several parents, were out to raise money for sick kids at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Their original goal with their “Practice Makes Cents” campaign was $10, 000 by May.

Then they upped it to $20, 000 just to challenge themselves.

Did they meet that goal? I’d say so!

The final count won’t be done until May 1st but right now they’re sitting at $37,143$50,859.

They’re adorable, they’re children helping children and they sound great. Enough said.

Take a look at photos from their musical SkyTrain adventure!

Phase 2 upgrades construction is starting at Commercial-Broadway Station

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

TransLink is upgrading several existing stations and exchanges along the Expo Line in order to accommodate increasing passenger volumes, meet accessibility commitments and improve the customer experience.

Commercial-Broadway, Joyce-Collingwood, Main Street-Science World (over 80 per cent complete), Metrotown, New Westminster, Scott Road (completed) and Surrey Central have all been identified as priorities for upgrades.

Construction is beginning at Commercial-Broadway Station and we’d though we share some important details with you!

Phase 1 upgrades – completed in 2009

In 2009, TransLink completed Phase 1 upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station identified in the Commercial–Broadway Transit Village Plan. These upgrades were aimed at improving the station, its immediate environment, and surrounding public areas.

A new entrance with new stairs and escalator was added at 10th Avenue, the north end elevator was relocated to the south end of the station, new glass walls, paving/tiling at the ground level and new retail spaces for future use were added.

This project was part of the Urban Transportation Showcase Project, a series of pilot projects completed in partnership with Transport Canada, TransLink, and local governments.

Phase 2 upgrades – starting now

Commercial-Broadway Station is the busiest station on the SkyTrain system and is a major transit hub for the region – serving 90,000 station trips and 60,000 bus trips per day.

The station currently lacks the capacity to accommodate current ridership, resulting in severe congestion, with long queues at key station “choke points” such as Platform 3, the pedestrian bridge over the Grandview Cut and the bottom of the Commercial Concourse stairs and escalators.

Construction for Phase 2 upgrades begins in the coming weeks and is expected to continue until spring 2017. Phase 2 upgrades will allow for increased capacity, and provide additional opportunities to make improvements to customer safety inside the station.

Project benefits:

  • An additional platform for Expo Line trains, a widened crossing over the Grandview Cut and a new walkway over Broadway to enable the system to expand for future customers as our region grows.
  • New elevators, stairs and up and down escalators to improve access and passenger flow for customers.
  • Updated design features to improve safety and security for all our customers.
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.

What can I expect? 

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees and contractors. Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Below is a summary of the key project phases and expected impacts. Please note that timelines are subject to change based on construction activity.

Phase 2A: Grandview Cut Crossing – spring 2015-spring 2017

The first phase of construction will begin with two distinct project sites: the Broadway east stationhouse and within the Grandview Cut where construction crews will focus on building the new Grandview Cut crossing. Upgrades will also be underway to the west staircase, behind the elevator.

Impacts:

  • Existing pedestrian overpass over the Grandview cut will be narrowed.
  • The west staircase will be closed for a portion of the construction period.

Phase 2B: Broadway Platform – spring 2015-spring 2017

While Phase 1A works are underway, a new platform will be constructed to the east of the existing Broadway guideway. Construction work will focus on building the new platform, including hoop trusses and roof mesh. Access to all station entrances, stairs, escalators and elevators will remain open during construction.

Impacts:

  • Platform widths will be reduced in some areas to allow for construction hoarding.
  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain service adjustments.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating, is expected to begin in several weeks. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

Phase 2C: Broadway Passerelle – spring 2015-summer 2016

During the second phase of construction, crews will build and install the new Broadway passerelle. The passerelle will be constructed off-site then lifted onto newly constructed columns on Broadway.

Impacts:

  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • Bus stops for the 99 B-Line and #9 will be temporarily relocated.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.
  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

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For more information, you’ll want to read the Commercial-Broadway Station Upgrades FAQs and our latest information boards. Passengers can stay up-to-date throughout construction by visiting translink.ca/OnTrack.

The Facts Matter: Investments in your community

TransLink invests in YOUR community

TransLink invests in YOUR community

TransLink invests in your community. Just like the title says!

Since 2012, TransLink has invested $145 million in transit, road and cycling improvements in every community across the region.

TransLink commits funding to municipalities to operate, maintain and rehabilitate the 2,300 km of the Major Road Network (MRN).hpr_muni_investments

The funds go toward necessary work, including street cleaning and snow removal, maintaining streetlights, traffic signals and signs, patching potholes and pavement rehabilitation.

Each municipality receives an amount that corresponds to the amount of MRN roads in its area.

TransLink also has a cost sharing program to contribute up to 50% of eligible capital costs to upgrade roads on the MRN and bicycle infrastructure in the Metro Vancouver region.

Head to The Facts Matter page to find out more ways TransLink has has invested in your community.

You can also read all about it here in the coming weeks as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the #TheFactsMatter hashtag.

Transit in the News – April 24

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share? Comment below or email us.
newspaper-568058_1280

Federal budget 2015 targets gridlocked urban commuters with mass transit fund.

Bus drivers in Belfast to take strike action.

Briarwood subway station renamed.

Halifax Transit unveils plan for the future of the region.

TTC CEO says bus driver surplus will be needed by end of year.

MTA subway trains are overcrowded as ridership rises.

Istanbul expands mass transit network with new line.

Shuttle bus deal signed as Victoria cruise ship season starts.

Edmonton considers discounted bus passes for low-income residents.

Victoria transit buses get outfitted with new security cameras.

PEI doctor saves man who fell onto subway track in Washington, DC.

Controversial ads will soon appear on NYC subways and buses.

Apple moves closer to adding public transit to maps app.

 If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Earth Day – celebrating “green” across the system

Earth Day is April 22 Photo courtesy of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Earth Day is April 22
Photo courtesy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Earth Day has always been something near and dear to my heart.

Ever since I saw FernGully: The Last Rainforest when I was nine years old. Remember FernGully??

From that moment, I believed that even the smallest change in our individual lives can make a larger difference. So, I try to reduce, reuse, recycle, cut down on energy usage and choose “green” options in my life wherever I can.

At TransLink, we care about how our operations impact the environment!

The latest green initiative and commitment to environmental sustainability comes from BCRTC – the operating company in charge of SkyTrain.

In an effort to further reduce its energy consumption, BCRTC implemented a project to replace 10 manual heater controls at the Operations & Maintenance Centre (OMC) yard.

In the OMC Yard, 10 of the track switch heaters were manually controlled. Meaning, during the winter months (November 1 – February 28), these heaters were switched on regardless of the conditions, resulting in an inefficient energy use.

Enter Wayside Technical Analyst, Jan Kruger. Jan designed a new system for the Automated Track Switch Heater Controller (ATSHC).

They introduced a single controller that replaced the mechanical thermostats for 37 additional track switch heaters in the OMC yard.

Over the past three years, this project has produced an energy reduction of 2,176,806 kWh, saving $141,493 in energy related costs.

In total, the project allowed 47 yard switches to work more efficiently in terms of both cost and energy consumption, saving about $60,000 per year.

I think Batty, Crysta and everyone from FernGully would be very proud!

CMBC team impresses at the Vancouver Sun Run

Harminder Sun Run

Harminder Sidhu, Operations Supervisor

Ready to feel a bit lazy and completely inspired at the same time?

Over 40,800 runners participated in this year’s annual Vancouver Sun Run, including a team of dedicated Coast Mountain Bus Company employees and family members.

The STC Transit Troopers trained hard and it paid off! The team emerged with first place in the transportation category out of 23 teams!

Harminder Sidhu, Operations Supervisor at Surrey Transit Centre and co-organizer of the team, clocked in at an incredible time of 39:03.

This ranked him 257th overall out of 40,000 people. WOW!!

Harminder is a year-round runner, tracking about 60 to 70km a week.

This is the fourth year a team from our operating companies has participated.

This year, the team was made up of Operators, TComm employees, Transit Supervisors, Mechanics and Operation employees from all around Metro Vancouver.

You can take a look at the entire team’s results below.

Way to go!!
CMBC Sun Run team results

A slightly different look for the Next Bus SMS service

Next Bus mobile

Riders can use the Next Bus SMS service or Next Bus on our mobile site

If you’re a user of Next Bus SMS service, like I am, or if you are considering using the service, this post is for you!

For those of you who are new to this, I’ll break it down for you.

Basically you text the 5-digit bus stop number (the yellow number at the top of every bus stop sign) to 33333 and our Next Bus SMS service will tell you when the next six buses are expected to depart your stop.

Handy, isn’t it?

And, bonus, it’s free for riders to use!

That’s right, TransLink doesn’t charge you for Next Bus SMS — although, depending on your plan, standard carrier text messaging charges may apply.

Now, to keep operating costs associated with Next Bus from being passed on to you, we’ve introduced an advertising-based service.

When you use Next Bus SMS, an ad and/or link may appear, in addition to the upcoming bus times.

This won’t cost you anything, either.

If you don’t want to receive these ads, there’s an easy solution!

Hop on our mobile website for exactly the same Next Bus information.

Happy riding!

Fun poll: Where on transit do you like to sit?

Where do YOU sit?

Where do YOU sit?

I have a bit of a system for my daily commute and how I decide where to sit completely depends on the time of day and my mood.

But I always use what I developed living in Toronto and dubbed “subway science.”

Basically, I try and sit in the same relative area because it is the easiest to get off at whatever stop I’m going to. It’s not really scientific!

In the morning, I try to make things as easy as possible because I’m still half asleep.

I travel before the rush and head East instead of West so I usually get my pick of seats. Lucky, I know!

During these times, I try to snag a single seat near the back of the bus or car on the SkyTrain.

That way, I can zone out, doze in and out of sleep and get out of the vehicle without disturbing others.

However, I feel differently in the afternoons and evenings. I’m definitely more smiley and I feel chatty!

So, this is when I usually like to sit with a buddy. I’ll choose (if I have a choice) one of the double seats, sit on the inside, invite someone to sit beside me and see if they are feeling chatty too.

Sometimes they aren’t. And that’s ok!

On buses specifically, I often try to sit by the back doors so I can leave quickly and not get caught “swimming upstream” to the front door(s).

I know lots of people have similar habits or systems. So,where do you like to be on transit?

Let us know by voting for your choices below, leaving a comment, tweeting us @TheBuzzer, or emailing us at thebuzzer@translink.ca!
*You can choose two answers*

Where do you like to sit on transit?

  • Back of the car or bus for some uninterrupted solitude (38%, 140 Votes)
  • As close to the doors as possible to make a quick getaway (33%, 122 Votes)
  • Single seats only! (24%, 88 Votes)
  • As far away from people as possible (19%, 68 Votes)
  • Near the driver to ask questions and see the road (7%, 27 Votes)
  • Buddy seats - perhaps for an adorable meet cute moment (4%, 15 Votes)
  • Around others to make conversation (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 366