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Translink Buzzer Blog

TransLink hosts Iceland, Shanghai and more delegations from around the world!

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TransLink’s Chris Chan speaking with delegates from the Shanghai Transportation Commission

Every year many delegations from around the globe visit TransLink because of our international reputation for delivering quality transit services and transit-oriented communities.

What’s a transit-oriented community? I’m so glad you asked!

Basically, the term refers to creating communities within a region that, because of their design, opens up opportunities for people to drive less and therefore bike, walk and take transit more.

These communities mean utilizing higher-density, mixed-use and pedestrian friendly development within walking distance of frequent transit stops and stations.

Just two weeks ago we had the Shanghai Transportation Commission Delegation visiting as they studied multi-modal integration and transit-oriented communities.

Last week mayors from around Reykjavik in Iceland were on a worldwide trip, with a stop here in Metro Vancouver, to visit transit agencies and see what they could take back home to their own cities – including rapid transit like our dear SkyTrain.

These visitors are nothing new for TransLink. In fact, we host many delegations from around the globe each year.

DID YOU KNOW?

In 2015 alone, we had 16 delegations from eight different countries!

  • Peoples Republic of China: China Southern Railway; Huangzhou Metro; Shenyang Metro and China Development Research Foundation
  • Canada: Senior Funding Partners; City of Calgary and Western Canada Engineering Competition
  • New Zealand: Council on Infrastructure Development; Auckland Transport
  • USA: UCLA Transportation Planning School, Stanford University
  • Netherlands: Academy for Urban Development, NHTV Breda – University of Applied Sciences
  • Australia; New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight
  • Finland; Tekes – the Finish Funding Agency for Innovation
  • Norway: Oslo Traffic Management Centre

TransLink continues to open its bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express doors to visitors who want to learn more about how we plan and run our system.

Plus, we get to meet some pretty amazing people from some pretty amazing places!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Get your shopping shoes on! Hop on the 609 to the new Tsawwassen Mills mall

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Want to check out the new outlet mall in Tsawwassen? We’ve made changes to the 609 to get you there!

Starting Monday, October 3, the 609 Tsawwassen First Nation/South Delta Exchange will now reroute via Canoe Pass Way, Salish Sea Drive, and continue on Highway 17 to Tsawwassen Drive to provide direct access to Tsawwassen Mills.

Be sure to visit translink.ca/tripplanner ahead of the mall opening to plan your trip. There are a number of stops to get you close to the mall, with a short walk to the mall entrance.

Map
Travel tip: Travelling to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal? Continue to take the 620 – an express route for ferry passengers.

Know before you go!
Find your next two buses by texting the bus stop number and bus route to 33333,
Tweet us or visit Trip Planner.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

New Pattullo Bridge consultations run October 3–31, 2016

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The Pattullo Bridge…she’s recently had a safety facelift, but this near 80-year-old bridge is in need of replacement.

In June 2016, we started the consultation process with the public and now we’re back for round two!

From October 3–31, 2016 we’re looking for your input again.

There are many ways for you to get involved in this process and make your voice heard including reading the discussion guide and providing feedback online or attending a public open house or small group meeting.

Public open houses

Attend one of our public open houses to learn more and provide feedback. These are drop-in sessions; no RSVP is required.

Community Date Time Location
New Westminster Wednesday, October 12 5 – 8 p.m. Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
Surrey Saturday, October 15 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Bridgeview Elementary School
12834 115A Avenue, Surrey
Delta Wednesday, October 19 5 – 8 p.m. North Delta Recreation Centre
11415 84 Ave., Delta
Surrey Thursday, October 20 5 – 8 p.m. Surrey City Hall
13450 104 Ave., Surrey
New Westminster Saturday, October 22 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sapperton Pensioners’ Hall
318 Keary Street, New Westminster

Small group meetings

If you’d like to attend one of our small group meetings, please register by emailing pattulloreplacement@translink.ca as space is limited.

Community Date Time Location
New Westminster Tuesday, October 18 6 – 8 p.m. Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
Surrey Wednesday, October 19 1 – 3 p.m. Surrey City Hall
13450 104 Avenue, Surrey
Surrey Tuesday, October 25 6 – 8 p.m. Surrey City Centre Library
10350 University Drive, Surrey
New Westminster Wednesday, October 26 1 – 3 p.m. TransLink Head Office
400-287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster

For more information, visit translink.ca/pattulloreplacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

My day with Mika: Understanding accessible transit

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Mika waiting for the bus on Main St.

This past spring I had the immense pleasure of tagging along on a filming request on our system and spent the afternoon with Kaz and Mika who wanted to showcase the accessibility of our system for a Japanese audience.

Kaz owns Motion Pla-net Productions that often produces work for NHK, Japan’s National public broadcasting organization.

Mika is a lovely woman who lives in downtown Vancouver and takes transit all the time in her fabulous pink wheelchair.

We spent the afternoon riding the bus and SkyTrain while Mika explained in Japanese to the camera all of the fittings and equipment TransLink offers on the system for those who need it.

Part of the filming also included speaking with TransLink’s Access Transit Coordinator, Sarah Chung about why TransLink has been so proactive in promoting the accessibility of transit services for people with disabilities.

“Public transit should be a safe and convenient way to travel, which means our infrastructure, policy and customer service are all impacted by accessibility. There are a number of different needs among our customers that we try to balance so we have to make sure the solutions we provide are sustainable and won’t hinder other people.

One of our key challenges is finding solutions that strike a balance between the diverse range of needs. We need to be financially responsible to the taxpayer as well, and have to prioritize our initiatives. Other challenges happen with the nature of the region, such as the geography making it difficult to make all bus stops wheelchair accessible.”

Mika says that the greatest strength of the system is that people with disabilities have choice.

“I know I can travel on bus, on SkyTrain, on the water on SeaBus and I will be able to get on there myself and be safe. Also being able to get to the airport without calling a taxi is great!”

I learned a lot travelling through the eyes of someone who faces accessibility challenges in her daily life.

On each part of our transit trip, I thought about space on buses, location of elevators, fare box heights, even something as simple as getting on and off a transit vehicle while others are trying to do the same.

These are things as an able-bodied person, I admit, I sometimes take for granted. Perhaps we all do. But it’s important to see through the eyes of others to really understand the world beyond ourselves.

As for the future, Sarah Chung says as an organization, TransLink is constantly growing and adapting our system to meet the needs of our customers.

“We are always looking at improvements to make the system as inclusive as possible. For example, we have a high percentage of wheelchair accessible bus stops, and have introduced a pilot project to make bus stops more accessible for people who are blind or partially sighted. The pilot includes tactile information panels and tactile walking surfaces to help people identify stop information and locations. As a region, we have recently transitioned to a contactless smart card payment system and are continue to work with partners to develop solutions for customers who have limited or no arm mobility.”

Have a look at some pictures from our day together.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Links and Tidbits – September 30, 2016

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.

»   A new video game mirrors real life in Russia where dogs take the subway.

»   Proposal by bus blind! No other explanation needed.

»   Something definitely stinks at this bus shelter in Montreal as the city ramps up an anti-trash campaign.

»   We’ve seen this artist before but his continuing commuting doodles are simply too good not to share!

»   And I thought swings on playgrounds were fun! I would swing life away on this subway!

»   Love this! MTA looks for 5 artists to design station murals.

»   The “perfect commuting game?” I intend to test this theory!

»   Shhhh. The new Volvo bus is so quiet it alerts pedestrians when they’re near!

»   ICYMI: A beautiful couple got married on OUR SKYTRAIN!!

»   I think pranks are better left to hand buzzers and squirting lapel flowers. No one wants bugs thrown on them during their commute! (or any other time…)

Uniqlo’s NYC subway-inspired t-shirt collection hits stores

»   ^^I’d wear that!

»   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Manspreading is nothing new.

»   Keifer Sutherland gets the Ontario summer heat transit blues on the TTC.

»   The books on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.

»   Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow. Meow.

»   ^^Lawyer, Guinness World Record Holder, KING OF THE NEW YORK SUBWAY SYSTEM!!

»   Yes, Olivia Wilde. All of the yes. See an obvious pregnant woman on transit? Give up your seat, people. She’s literally making a human.

»   Apple and Watermelon (a fun pun for those of you who know Japanese or can Google translate this) meet as the new iPhone 7 will have Apple Pay options for Japan travellers on the Suica card!

»   The MTA and Penguin Publishing join together to get the word out with Subway Reads.

»   This new electric bus from Proterra claims 350 miles (yes, miles!) to a single charge!

»   ^^Joseph Gordon Levitt is an actor, drummer and now, pretty sweet subway busker! Looks like he has some underground counterparts.

»   When advertising and real life meet. So meta!

»   He appreciates your offer but he doesn’t need a seat. He’ll just do THIS.

»   Perhaps ^^this guy has the right idea! A new study suggests standing during your commute is better for your health.

»   Much like the older TTC stations, each Berlin subway station is themed differently and has a distinct, artistic profile. FYI: THIS is my favourite TTC station.

»   Just when you thought the chance had passed, I went and saved the best for last!!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Kids ride free on buses for iWALK, October 3–7, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 10.05.17 AMFACT! The majority of school-aged children and youth in our country are not getting enough physical activity to meet the current Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

“Children and youth aged 5 to 17 spent an average of 8 hours and 27 minutes, or nearly two-thirds of their waking hours, being sedentary each day.”

Directly measured physical activity of children and youth (2012, 2013)
Statistics Canada

That is why it’s so important to encourage active transportation from a young age!logo

iWALK (International Walk to School Week) is one week out of a month-long, global event that celebrates active transportation, gets kids AND parents out of cars and introduces communities to safe routes for kids to take to school.

To support this fantastic initiative, TransLink is offering free bus travel for students in kindergarten through to grade 12 on any and all bus routes from October 3 to October 7.

Free travel will not include SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express this year.

Put your walking shoes on and get trip ready with our Trip Planner, use Next Bus or reach out to our Customer Information team on Twitter or by phone at 604-953-3333.

Please note: Regular fares apply to adults accompanying children and youth on buses.

Talk to your school or visit the iWALK website for more information.

Author: Adrienne Coling

BC Law Enforcement Memorial adds Special Constable to Honour Roll

Cst Walker at W 6th Ave & Moberly (2)

Constable Walker who, at 34 years of age, is the same age as Charles Painter at the time of his death, standing near the location of the shooting.

Transit Police as an organization is relatively new. Policing the transit network, however, dates back to the turn of the 20th century.

There have been thousands of men and women who have protected and supported the riders of transit and this is the story of one named Charles Painter. Special Constable Charles Painter, officer with the British Columbia Electric Railway Company, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1915.

One hundred and one years after this tragic event, Painter was recently added to the Honour Roll of the British Columbia Law Enforcement Memorial in Stanley Park.

Read on about this interesting piece of transit and transit police history!

In the early hours of Friday, March 19, 1915, while on duty in the area of the railway tracks at 6th Avenue and Willow Street, Vancouver, Special Constable Charles Painter spotted a man carrying a bundle of wire he believed to be stolen. While handcuffing the suspect following his arrest, a struggle took place during which the suspect grabbed Special Constable Painter’s revolver and shot him in the abdomen. The suspect ran from the area leaving the officer gravely wounded.

Special Constable Painter died several days later after providing a statement to police. Media reports at that time connected a man, later brought to trial in Seattle for a double murder, to the Vancouver shooting, but charges were never laid. Charles Painter was born in Ireland in 1881 and had served in the British Army before coming to Vancouver. He was single and had no known family at the time of his death so was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. memorial_ribbon_lg

Constable Graham Walker of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police was curious about the history of transit policing in British Columbia and while conducting research, uncovered the murder of Special Constable Painter. Further research showed that his death was not recorded on the BC Law Enforcement Memorial Honour Roll although he qualified for inclusion. Discussions are underway with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police union to fund the engraving of a suitable headstone for Special Constable Painter’s grave.

While Metro Vancouver Transit Police may be only just over a decade old, it can trace its roots back to the turn of the 20th century. Research has unearthed a great deal of information about how policing of the hydro lines and transit in those early days of the last century evolved into our modern day police service. Thanks to Constable Walker and his research, we are learning more about the evolution of the transit police organization.

The British Columbia Law Enforcement Memorial was held on September 25, 2016 at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

We honour Special Constable Painter and all of the law enforcement officers who keep us safe on and around transit and in our communities.

Improving washroom facilities for SeaBus riders

Burrard Otter - Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Burrard Otter – Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Attention SeaBus riders!

Beginning in October, washrooms at the north and south SeaBus terminals will temporarily close to undergo work, including accessibility improvements.

As part of the work, separate accessible washrooms will be built within the existing space and will include infant changing tables.SeaBus Advanced notice north side washroom closure-page-001

A temporary portable toilet will be available for customers at the south terminal by the exit, near the elevator.

SeaBus passengers are encouraged to use public facilities on the north side or travel to the south terminal.

In the coming days, you’ll see signage advising passengers of the temporary change, with construction work starting shortly after.

Improvements will be complete this winter.

Have questions?
Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

The 20th Anniversary Poetry in Transit issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Another special edition of the print Buzzer is out on the system.front page

Today, and this year, we are celebrating 20 years of the Poetry in Transit!

This program began in 1996 and it’s used to promote and celebrate BC poets published in Canada.

Along with these meters of iambic pentameter and free verse, we also have our Contest Corner where we ask you to choose your favourite poem for a chance to win a free Monthly Pass on your Compass Card.

Enjoy 20 (how fitting!) poems from some really wonderful authors for you to peruse on your travels.

Here’s a little sneak peek for you:

RAIN

Sometimes I thirst to be the rain I curse
and fall into my beloved’s cup
fill it up so he will be quenched

settle like mist or a kiss
on my daughter’s face
dampen my sons’ heads
like baptism wherever they travel

and seep down into the ground
to my parents’ graves
to touch them, once again, as rain.

– Susan Telfer
@susanktelfer
(from Ghost Town by Susan Telfer, 2016, Oolichan Books)

Tap into your inner Keats and pick up one today or download it here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Poetry In Transit: Interview with Jennifer Zilm

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Courtesy of jenniferzilm.com

Poetry in Transit has been sparking inspiration and meaningful thought on transit in BC since 1996.

For those of us who adore the written –and spoken – word, (*ahem* ME), this is such a great opportunity to share the work of BC authors across the province and promote and celebrate this wonderful art form.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Zilm, one of the featured poets for this 20-year anniversary about her poem and Poetry in Transit.

Tell me about your inspiration for this poem?

It’s part of a three part poem called Spiritual Media and I was trying to take on different forms of social media. So, the first part is about Twitter with really bad hashtags because it was before I understood what hashtags were! But I love them. It’s interesting how the hashtag modifies the content of your message. The second part was about book history… but it was about Facebook and what happens when you’re talking to somebody and you don’t really know who they are or what they’re doing. The third part, the part on the bus, is only loosely connected to social media because I was interested in this therapy procedure called EMDR where you focus on light or sound while focusing on a traumatic memory with headphones in. So, it’s sort a being linked in and how what you’re linked into affects you.

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Published by BookThug – April, 2016

This poem can be found in your collection, Waiting Room. This piece is very observational, how does it compare on that level to other pieces in your book?

I would say I like to observe and write things down but I also like to work from a certain conceit. There’s a section in the book where I was working at a housing project in the downtown East side at the front desk and I know that those experiences absolutely inspired the way I wrote. I compared it to Dante’s purgatory… which is the good one, I think. Or at least, that’s my theory! But where you are and what you see of course affects how and what you write.

What makes transit a good place to gather inspiration?

I think it’s the last, great public space. I also find, personally, that it’s really hard not to do things when you’re on transit. There’s something about the bus that you get on and you just need to trust where it’s going and it forces you to be contained where you are and read or write or do whatever you need because your brain is not occupied with driving or biking. It helps me focus. It gets me down to business!

Poetry in Transit has been around for 20 years now. How do you feel being a part of this anniversary special?

If you’re from the Vancouver area, and I am, I grew up in Surrey, you remember Poetry in Transit! I remember reading Jamie Reid’s poem Prez or Stephanie Bolster’s Many Have Written Poems About Blackberries. I have memories from the beginning of this program. When you’re a person who writes poetry, it’s not always obvious to you what your career “landmarks” will be. I remember people saying, “well, maybe one day you’ll get a poem on the bus!” People don’t read poetry that much anymore and having it in a public space like transit, where you can just look up and read a piece on your bus, it connects people. It’s like a great, classic disruption. It’s not an ad for the dentist or a job college, it’s a poem!

What do you hope people take away from reading your poem on transit and the others included in this project?

You can be really idealistic and why not?! Maybe it will be inspirational? Maybe it will disturb them, but in a good way! Any time we get a chance to see something in these public spaces that aren’t market-based is really amazing. So, something like Poetry in Transit, if you’re someone who doesn’t have books in your house or visits the public library, it can be a hidden suggestion that there are other things in the world, besides what is immediately around you.

How long have you used transit? What’s your favourite mode?

My entire life! Growing up in Surrey, the Expo Line was my life blood. I rode it all the time. Now, in Vancouver, the #7 bus is my temple. It’s my thought bubble, it’s my inspiration at times. Plus, 7 is really lucky in Judaism so I feel like all around it’s my little bus home!

You can see Jennifer’s work along with the other amazing poets in this month’s special Poetry in Transit edition of the print Buzzer as well as on buses, bus shelters and SkyTrains across the system!

If you really can’t wait to see each poem on the system, you can head to the 2016 Word Vancouver Festival this weekend and hear live readings from some of the featured Poetry in Transit authors.

If you have a favourite you see on transit, snap a pic and let us know how it made you feel!
Twitter: @TransLink
Instagram: TransLinkBC

Author: Adrienne Coling

#SkyTrainChanges Q&A with Ian Fisher

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In case you missed our announcement earlier this week — big changes are coming to the way you ride SkyTrain! On October 22nd, 2016 the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will change. We took some time today with Ian Fisher, Manager, Operations Planning to get an indepth look at what the new SkyTrain changes mean and how they will change the way we ride.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

The key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Everything Evergreen: New SkyTrain operating pattern for Expo and Millennium Lines


Evergreen is coming!!

To prepare for the Millennium Line’s extension opening by Christmas, we need to get all of our riders ready for a seamless transition.

With that in mind, we are changing the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network on October 22, 2016.

For many of you, these changes won’t affect your daily commute, but this is still a big change for the transit network.

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Come out to TransLink’s Open Board Meeting on September 23, 2016

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You are invited to TransLink’s next Open Board Meeting!

Attending this meeting gives the general public a chance to see behind-the-scenes on matters relating to TransLink’s mandate and responsibilities

The meeting takes place on Friday, September 23 at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at TransLink Head Office in New Westminster.

Click here for more information. You can apply to speak at the meeting and find the agenda on our website.

UPDATE: Here’s a recording of the board meeting!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Investing in Metro Vancouver’s transit future: The 10-Year Vision

10 Year Vision

In Metro Vancouver today there is overcrowding on the transit network, increased traffic congestion and another one million people moving here over the next 25 years.

It’s pretty clear that our transportation network needs new investment and we need it now.

That is why our local mayors created a 10-year Vision and today, the Mayor’s Council released some more information about Phase One of this vision.

This plan sets out the new services and infrastructure needs of our region now and down the road.

Phase One of the 10-Year Vision is funded through regional funding sources to match investments by the provincial and federal governments.

Phase One details:

  • Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
  • Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
  • Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
  • Improve the region’s major road network
  • Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
  • Improve access to transit stations and stops
  • Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
  • Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.

The Phase One plan includes regional funding sources so that, if approved, we can begin rolling out new services and projects in the Vision starting in January 2017.

The goal is to reduce traffic and make transit commutes faster and more comfortable for all riders in communities across the region.

The public will get a chance to weigh in on the plan during public consultation that will take place in October.

Next Steps:

September 2016: 10-Year Vision: Phase One plan introduced

October 11–31, 2016: Public consultation on the Phase One plan

November 2016: Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board approve final plan

January 2017: Transit system improvements begin

Watch our FB LIVE stream of the press conference with Vancouver Mayor Robertson, Surrey Mayor Hepner and TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond.

Want more information?
More details can be found in the 10-Year Vision and the press release.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fun Poll: How do you spend your transit time?

Many riders turn to their phones on transit!

Many riders turn to their phones on transit!

Now that everyone is slowly returning to regular scheduled programming with school back in full swing and the summer months inch further away, the transit network enters its busiest time of the year.

But how do we spend our time on transit? How do YOU spend your time?

Are you a reader? A window gazer? A meet and greet commuter? A candy crusher?

Weigh in with our new poll!

Vote below to let us know how you spend the majority of your transit ride. Don’t see your choice? Select “Other” and comment with your answer below!

How do you spend your transit time?

  • Listening to music (26%, 65 Votes)
  • Reading (19%, 46 Votes)
  • Zoning out (18%, 45 Votes)
  • Playing games or browse the Internet on your phone (18%, 44 Votes)
  • Other (11%, 27 Votes)
  • Sleeping (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Meeting/chatting with other riders (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Doing crosswords/Sudoku puzzles from the free dailies (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 246

Author: Adrienne Coling