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Links and tidbits for Thursday, April 29

Two TransLink staff were out on the morning of Thursday, April 22, letting people know about the UBC Line consultation.

Two TransLink staff were out on the morning of Thursday, April 22, letting people know about the UBC Line consultation!

Another week, another tidbits and links list! If you have links & tidbits to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

Service for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, Sunday May 2

Look out, people! Runners will soon be booking it down the streets of Vancouver, as part of the BMO Vancouver Marathon on Sunday, May 2.

If you’re going down to the event, the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines will start 90 minutes early, leaving King George at 6:38 a.m. 5:38 a.m. and Waterfront at 6:20 a.m.

If you’re travelling by bus in downtown Vancouver, please know that a number of reroutes will be in place to accommodate the marathon.

Routes affected include the 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 19, 22, 50, 84, 210, 211, C21, and C23. Check the Alerts page for the most updated information; I’ve also pasted them below.

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Friday fun post: what’s your favourite SkyTrain line?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to take the poll on your favourite SkyTrain line

From last week: do you have a favourite bus route?

Last week, I asked this question:do you have a favourite bus route?

With 143 votes in, 80% said yes, 20% said no, and 1 Pac-Man was clearly visible in the pie chart.

And I didn’t realize you would have so much to say on the matter! So many comments named favourites—and here’s Sean from CMBC, with a view as a passenger, and from behind the wheel:

Always liked riding the #250 out to Horseshoe Bay… Used to also enjoy the old #100 when it ran all the way out to PoCo city hall… It was called the Midway Connector way back then…
Of course, always liked my local #601. The A/C equipped buses are really nice on a hot summers day…

Haven’t tried it yet myself, but it’s never been easier to get from south Delta to Haney Place! The C76 takes you to 64th & Scott, then the newer #364 takes you out along 64th to Langley Ctr, and then (most trips) continue as the newer #595 out to Haney Place via the new Golden Ears bridge! Will have to try that one day soon! Oh, and the #160 is always an interesting ride from Coquitlam into Vancouver…

My favorite route to DRIVE doesn’t exist anymore, not in it’s original form anyways. That was the old #42 Chancellor/Spanish Banks route… A community shuttle does parts of it now…
I’d say I enjoy driving the #430 alot, and the #620 too… Something about limited stops appeals to me…

Here’s emily:

for scenery:
22 — love going through chinatown, never to seem to end up walking the neighbourhood, so might as well enjoy the view from the bus!
7 — love going by the old sugar refinery building, and the docks & vancouver port…also powell has some interesting older Vancouver buildings…
160 — so much contrast in all of Lower Mainlands different neighbourhoods: downtown Port Moody; beautiful stretch of Barnet Highway (view of the Inlet, even Indian Arm); bustling Italian North Burnaby; DTES (interesting in its own way); and then downtown!

And surprisingly (or not?) lots of people talked about routes in other places. Here’s Dave 2:

The #15… in London England ;)

And here’s David Arthur:

The sights along no. 24 in London are rather nice, and it’s run with double-deckers that aren’t usually very crowded. And if you prefer the countryside, the 554/555/556 between Windermere and Keswick has some fairly spectacular bits.

As always, check out the rest of the comments for more favourite bus routes.

This week: do you have a favourite SkyTrain line?

Time for another simple poll, this one suggested by Ric.


Feel free to champion your favourite line in the comments :)

A roundup of UBC Line blog posts and articles

The Express display on a 99 B-Line. Go go B-Line go!

The Express display on a 99 B-Line. Go go B-Line go!

Quite a number of blogs, forums and articles are talking about the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study now, so I thought I’d collect them all here in one handy post.

I’ll keep this updated as new links come along. Feel free to e-mail me if you find new links to share!

(Remember, visit bepartoftheplan.ca to learn more and take part in the consultation!)

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Happy Earth Day 2010!

These riders are on a zero-emission trolley!

These riders are on a zero-emission trolley!

Just a quick shoutout to our favourite planet today!

As you all know, travelling on transit, cycling, ride-sharing, and walking are several ways you can cut greenhouse gas emissions and be earth-friendly, and we have lots of online resources to help you out with these options.

Check out:

More Earth Day community events and tips can be found at the Earth Day Canada website.

Also, in case you’re interested, here’s a list of ways that TransLink and its subsidiaries help the environment, compiled for last year’s Earth Day :)

Transportation links and tidbits for Wednesday, April 21

A photo from last week's trip out to Granville Street. Here is the trolley wire from Davie at Granville, terminating at one pole on the right, since there's no wire running up the street yet.

A photo from last week's trip out to Granville Street. Here is the trolley wire from Davie at Granville, terminating at one pole on the right, since there's no wire running up the street yet.

Tidbits and links time! Btw, if you have links & tidbits to sugest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

We want your thoughts on rapid transit to UBC!

As you may know, our staff has been hard at work over the last year in partnership with the Province of B.C., studying rapid transit options for UBC and in Surrey!

Stakeholders in both communities have helped us get to know the key issues and concerns. And with their feedback in mind, we’ve now identified six preliminary concepts for the Broadway corridor to UBC—and we want to know what you think. (The Surrey consultation is coming soon!)

Check out the video above to learn more about the corridor and the study (um, yes, that is me in the video, in case you’re wondering.)

Then visit our UBC Be Part of the Plan page to learn more about the alternatives, and share your thoughts in our questionnaire, on our online discussion boards, or at one of our five in-person workshops held throughout April and May.

Just like last time, I’ll be helping moderate the discussion boards—hope to see you there!

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A visit with Paralympic transit hosts at UBC and Broadway-City Hall

Hosts Terry and Lise, out at UBC Loop during the Paralympic period!

Hosts Terry and Lise, out at UBC Loop during the Paralympic period!

I went out this morning to see a few of our Paralympic transit hosts in action!

As there are just two Paralympic sports being held in the Vancouver area, our transit hosts are being deployed at just a few key locations in the region, working in shifts timed to match the events. All the hosts are staff from TransLink and its family of companies, and about 40-50 in total are working as hosts for the Paralympics.

Ice sledge hockey is held at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena, and there are 12 extra buses working on the 99 B-Line route to help ferry people to UBC Loop. Transit supervisors are out there managing the traffic, and transit hosts are helping people find their way to Thunderbird Arena.

Terry and Lise above are from CMBC, and were happy to get out and host for the Paralympics—they weren’t able to host during the Olympics since they work in key positions at Vancouver’s main bus depot. Lise was having a great time talking to operators and helping visitors out. She even ran into someone she used to work with, and hadn’t seen in 13 years!

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Reminder: Paralympic Games opening ceremonies, Friday March 12

Just a reminder that the Paralympic Games opening ceremonies are at B.C. Place today, Friday March 12!

That means some road closures downtown, transit reroutes, and crowds heading to the event at B.C. Place. Full details are below.

Please do remember: as with the Olympic Games, tickets to Paralympic events (including the opening ceremonies) are also good for unlimited travel on the TransLink system on the date of the event!

Opening Ceremony at B.C. Place on Friday March 12

During the Opening Ceremony on March 12:

  • SkyTrain will operate “event level” service, with 55 trains running on the Expo/Millennium Lines before and after the ceremony and additional trains available for the Canada Line if needed.
  • SeaBus will run two vessels following the ceremonies to help deal with crowds, and Coast Mountain Bus Company will have additional buses available if needed.
  • Cambie Street Bridge and the Georgia Viaduct will be closed, 10am-Midnight on March 12. The #15 will only serve the south-of-False Creek portion of its route during that time; customers coming into downtown Vancouver will need to use Canada Line.
  • Buses to and from North Vancouver will travel via Georgia/Pender to Richards, then to Georgia for the return trip
  • Due to the closure of Cambie and Quebec Streets, the C21 and C23 Community Shuttles will be re-routed via Seymour, Pender and Main, returning via Main, Pender and Richards.
  • An accessible shuttle bus will provide service for those with mobility issues between Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and BC Place Stadium from 3-10pm.

For more information….

If you have any questions on these services or need help with tripplanning, feel free to contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

If you’d like more information about the Vancouver road closures, please see the City of Vancouver’s Paralympic Transportation Plan page.

Remember, you can follow the TransLink Twitter account for real-time service updates during the Paralympics! You can also sign up for alerts to be delivered to you via e-mail or text message. See this post for even more ways to get transit info during the Paralympic period.

Transit service for the Paralympic Games, Fri Mar 12 to Sat Mar 21

With the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games underway Friday March 12 to Saturday March 21, that means some changes to transit service in the city of Vancouver.

Remember: as with the Olympic Games, tickets to Paralympic events are also good for unlimited travel on the TransLink system on the date of the event! (Your transit travel has already been included in the ticket price!)

Paralympic Torch Relay, Thursday March 11 and Friday March 12

For the Paralympic Torch Relay on Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12, there will be no bus service on Robson Street: the #5 and N6 NightBus will travel via Georgia/Pender and Denman in both directions, all day.

The #17 Oak returned to its regular routing along Robson following the Olympics, but on March 11 and 12, it will turn on Davie to avoid anticipated crowds downtown.

Opening Ceremony at B.C. Place on Friday March 12

During the Opening Ceremony on March 12:

  • SkyTrain will operate “event level” service, with 55 trains running on the Expo/Millennium Lines before and after the ceremony and additional trains available for the Canada Line if needed.
  • SeaBus will run two vessels following the ceremonies to help deal with crowds, and Coast Mountain Bus Company will have additional buses available if needed.
  • Cambie Street Bridge and the Georgia Viaduct will be closed, 10am-Midnight on March 12. So, starting at 7 a.m., the #15 will only serve the south-of-False Creek portion of its route during that time; customers coming into downtown Vancouver will need to use Canada Line.
  • Buses to and from North Vancouver will travel via Georgia/Pender to Richards, then to Georgia for the return trip
  • Due to the closure of Cambie and Quebec Streets, the C21 and C23 Community Shuttles will be re-routed via Seymour, Pender and Main, returning via Main, Pender and Richards.
  • An accessible shuttle bus will provide service for those with mobility issues between Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and BC Place Stadium from 3-10pm.

Reroutes and service for the general Games period, Fri March 12 to Sat March 21

During the Games themselves, CMBC will provide additional service to and from the Games venues:

  • 12 additional buses available on the 99 B-Line to and from UBC, where the ice sledge hockey events will be held.
  • Accessible shuttles between UBC Loops and Thunderbird Arena, and between King Edward Station and Vancouver Paralympic Centre (for wheelchair curling)

Re-routes in effect during the Games:

  • With the Robson Square Celebration Site still in operation, the #5 Downtown and N6 NightBus will travel via Thurlow, Smithe, Burrard and Pender Streets,. The #5 Robson will route via Pender and Burrard Streets.
  • NB: The #5 and N6 will continue on re-route via Burrard, Pender, Richards, Robson, Seymour and Pender to Burrard and Robson after the Paralympics and at least through the summer, due to the eventual reconstruction of the “Robson Street Bridge” between Howe and Hornby (Robson Square).
  • #50 False Creek South will continue to run along Seymour and Howe until March 21.
  • At UBC, buses are still detoured away from Wesbrook Mall. Buses will be approaching the UBC loops via 16th Avenue, Blanca and University Boulevard; and via Southwest/Northwest Marine Drive and Wesbrook Mall, approaching the UBC loop from the north. Community Shuttles will detour via University Boulevard and East Mall. Accessible shuttles will be available between the bus loops and Thunderbird Arena at event times.
  • The C21 and C23 Community Shuttles will be routed away from Expo/Pacific Boulevard for the first two days of the Games. They will return to their regular routes when Expo/Pacific Boulevard reopens on Tuesday, March 16.

For more information….

If you have any questions on these services or need help with tripplanning, feel free to contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

If you’d like more information about the Vancouver road closures, please see the City of Vancouver’s Paralympic Transportation Plan page.

Remember, you can follow the TransLink Twitter account for real-time service updates during the Paralympics! You can also sign up for alerts to be delivered to you via e-mail or text message. See this post for even more ways to get transit info during the Paralympic period.

Heads up: closing ceremonies and end of Games celebrations, Sunday February 28

It’s going to be busy around town today, but here’s another reminder that Sunday February 28 will be especially busy in downtown Vancouver, due to the closing ceremonies at B.C. Place that evening and related end-of-Games celebrations.

Just like the opening ceremonies, there will be downtown Vancouver traffic restrictions in effect. Look out for some road closures, crowds of spectators heading to B.C. Place, and lots of loading in and out on a few streets. It is not recommended that you drive downtown!

Make sure to read this post for details on Sunday’s road closures, transit reroutes, and travelsmart tips!

Heads up: travel tips for the tail end of the Games this weekend (especially Sun Feb 28)

This weekend marks the end of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, and there’s a couple of things you might want to know to make sure your travels are smooth.

Saturday, February 27 will be a busy day in downtown Vancouver, but Sunday February 28 will be especially busy, owing to the closing ceremonies at B.C. Place that evening and the end of Games celebrations.

Just like the opening ceremonies two weeks ago, there will be downtown Vancouver traffic restrictions in effect. Look out for some road closures, crowds of spectators heading to B.C. Place, and lots of loading in and out on a few streets. It is not recommended that you drive downtown!

There are whole pages of tips about travelling on Feb 28 at travelsmart2010.ca and vancouver2010.com, but here are some key items:

Similar to the Opening Ceremonies, the Olympic Closing Ceremonies in downtown Vancouver on February 28, 2010 will be an extremely busy day with large crowds expected to join in Olympic-related festivities throughout the day in the downtown core.

The following streets will be closed from 8am to midnight on February 28:

  • Cambie Street bridge (all lanes closed to vehicle traffic, however pedestrian and bike access will be maintained)
  • Beatty Street (between Smithe and Dunsmuir) and Robson Street (between Cambie and Beatty) will temporarily close to vehicles and have limited access for pedestrians

End of Games `Know Before You Go’ Tips

  • Leave the car behind Feb 27 and 28: Parking and stopping restrictions will still be in effect on many streets downtown, and more people will be moving around the downtown core.
  • Allow for more travel time: Wait times on public transit out of the downtown in the afternoon peak of 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm will be longer than usual.
  • Be in your seat: Spectators with ceremony tickets should be in their seats no later than 3:30 pm on February 28. The final hockey game will be broadcast inside BC Place beginning at 1:30 pm.
  • Visit the Official Spectator Guide for more details and information on accessible drop-off locations and routes from transit for people with mobility challenges.
  • Use dedicated pedestrian routes: Pedestrian corridors on streets such as Granville and Robson will continue to operate on February 28. At noon, some or all of the road space will become pedestrian only areas until midnight.
  • Watch out for bus traffic: Approximately 600 to 700 motor coaches and hundreds of transit buses will travel and/or park on many downtown streets between 8:00 am and midnight on February 28.

Anyway, make sure to visit travelsmart2010.ca and vancouver2010.com for all the details!

Transit reroutes for Sunday February 28

Also, owing to the road closures and such, here are the related transit reroutes you can expect on Sunday.

  • Cambie Bridge will be closed from 08:00 to 24:00 – transit reroutes begin 07:00
    • #15 Downtown: Regular route to Cambie and Broadway, then re-route westbound on Broadway, right on Willow, right on 6th, then right on Cambie to a temporary terminus at Cambie and 7th. Passengers heading downtown should transfer to the Canada Line at the Broadway/City Hall station
  • Pacific Blvd will be closed from 08:00 to 24:00 – transit reroutes begin 07:00
    • C21 Yaletown reroute begins 07:00: Regular route to Pacific Blvd and Seymour, rerouting left on Seymour, then left on Davie and back on its regular route.
    • C23 Yaletown: Regular route to Davie and Richards, rerouting right on Richards then right on Pacific and back on its regular route
    • All West End Specials: Regular route to Davie and Richards, rerouting right on Richards then right on Pacific and back on their regular routes.
  • Howe Street will be closed from about 10:00 to 24:00 depending on the crowds.
    • The #4, #7, #10, #16 and the #50 will all run on Richards Street instead of Howe, from first bus to 0100 (1AM Monday)
    • Georgia Street will be closed Eastbound – Richards to Cambie 08:00 to 24:00 – transit reroutes begin 07:00
      • #240 Eastbound: Regular route to Georgia and Pender, rerouting right on Pender, right on Richards then right on Georgia to its temporary terminus.
    • Canada Line:
      • A reminder that Canada Line will continue running overnight on Monday morning between downtown Vancouver and YVR with service every six minutes. This overnight service will not run to Aberdeen, Lansdowne and Brighouse stations in Richmond, however Richmond bound passengers will be able to transfer to the N10 bus at Bridgeport YVR Station. The N10 NightBus service will run overnight as scheduled between downtown Vancouver, YVR and Richmond.

    Keep an eye out for travelling on Monday March 1 too: the airport is preparing for record crowds as over 35,000 Olympians, officials, media, visitors and other passengers catch flights home. You’re advised to arrive at the airport up to four hours in advance of your flight. Most Games-time road closures will remain in place so you should continue to travel smart!

Moving the world with Road Services

Road Services: Kevin, Gord and Shawn

Road Services: Kevin, Gord and Shawn

This article was written by Charlotte Boychuk for Coast Mountain Bus Company employee communications. It’s a look at how our Road Services team is helping out for the Games period!

To ensure athletes get to their venues on time, the City of Vancouver created a network of Olympic lanes throughout the city where athletes in specially-marked vehicles can zip through the streets to any of the nine Olympic competition zones. These lanes are shared with our bus fleet and other emergency vehicles.

Teams of highly-trained CMBC Mechanic Road Services crews stand ready in strategic locations to provide quick fixes to problems that may stop our buses from moving and potentially blocking traffic.

For the duration of the Olympics, if a repair can’t be done quickly, the Road Services teams have three pusher trucks ready to move the buses to an area where longer repairs can be performed.

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Transit averages over 1.6 million riders daily during week one of the Games

West Coast Express unloaded about 2,000 people into Waterfront Station from its 12:30 p.m. train on Friday, February 19.

West Coast Express unloaded about 2,000 people into Waterfront Station from its 12:30 p.m. train on Friday, February 19.

Well: our media team has sent out the transit ridership numbers for week one of the Games, and it turns out that an average of more than 1.6 million people a day have used bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express!

(I should add here that we usually transport about 700,000+ riders a day: so this is more than double that!)

We don’t have the exact figures at the moment, but the preliminary daily averages are super impressive:

  • Bus – up 34% to 975,000
  • SeaBus – up 200% to 48,000
  • West Coast Express 19,538 – up 78% from February 2009
  • SkyTrain
    • Expo/Millennium is up 54% to 369,700, including a single-day record of 488,000 on Sunday Feb. 14, when the normal Sunday average is around 150,000
    • Canada Line averaged over 207,000 per day (in the 28-day period ending Jan. 28, Canada Line ridership averaged just under 94,000)

The TransLink Trip Planner also handled 51,000 online requests on Friday, Feb. 19. And our Customer Information call centre has also received a record number of inquiries: over 7400 calls on Friday, answering more than 88 per cent within a minute. (You can call Customer Information at 604-953-3333, and they’re open from 5:30am until 1:30 the next morning, with additional phone lines and staff brought in for the Olympics period.)

As you may know, extended February services have been helping us serve you during the Olympic period—that includes longer trains and rush hour service levels for longer periods on all SkyTrain lines, 10-minute service on SeaBus using three vessels, and the equivalent of 180 extra buses on hand to help out busy bus routes, at the direction of our transit supervisors on the ground. And let’s not forget the 200 cheery transit hosts who are helping people all over the system!

And our CEO points out that you folks out in Metro Vancouver are really making this happen.

“Much of the credit for making this work has to go to the people of Metro Vancouver,” continues Mr Jarvis. “They’re the ones who’ve answered the bell to reduce motor vehicle traffic in the downtown core by 30 per cent during Games Time and have sought out public transportation options. What’s more, reports from our field staff show that the public have shown legendary Canadian politeness and hospitality to our visitors from around the world, to do our region proud!”

Check out the full press release for more.

A bird’s-eye view of the crowds from the Vancouver Lookout

The Waterfront lineup for the Canada Line at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

The Waterfront lineup for the Canada Line at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

When the lineups started during the 3 p.m. rush hour at Waterfront on Wednesday, February 17, I got very curious to see how long they actually were — so I rode up to the observation deck at the Vancouver Lookout to get the long view!

And don’t worry: the crowd shot might be a bit intimidating, but the lineup was really moving quite briskly. Click the photo to see the larger version — you can spot tiny blue people directing everyone!

Here’s a few more shots of the city’s Olympic crowds that I got from on high. Click all the photos for much larger versions!

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