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Translink Buzzer Blog

April showers bring… spring service changes!

april_svc_change_fbWarming up to weekend getaways and fun around town? TransLink’s transit services are changing to get more people to more places!

Beginning April 13, you can expect increased trips heading out to White Pine Beach, SeaBus and Tsawwassen Ferry, and fewer trips to post-secondary schools. There are also NEW trips during peak hours on some popular routes!

Services changes can be found on our website. Even if you don’t see your route listed, service changes can affect many routes, so use TransLink’s trip planner to double check if your route has changed.

Highlights

  • Increased midday service to UBC on the 49. All trips will now travel all the way to and from UBC.
  • NEW trips on the 640 during PM peak period service to better serve Delta’s Tilbury Business Park community.
  • Marine Drive Station bus loop is back in service, returning the 3, 10 and 17 to their regular routes and providing direct connection to the Canada Line.
  • Seasonal service on the 150 to White Pine Beach from May 2 to Labour Day.
  • Increased service on SeaBus, with trips every 15 minutes on Sundays and holidays, and increased trips to two each hour, on the 620 to Tsawwassen Ferry.
  • NEW trips on the 351, 402 and 410 to reduce overcrowding during peak periods. These are made possible by shifting resources from routes that currently have low customer demand.

Learn about all the travel choices in your community by visiting TransLink’s TravelSmart program for information, resources and tips.

How else can you stay in touch? Sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

TransLink turns Sweet 16!

Celebrating 16 years of TransLink!

Celebrating 16 years of TransLink!

Oh my, how we’ve grown in 16 years!

TransLink and its operating companies are very proud of where we’ve been, where we are and where we’ll be able to go in the future.

TransLink is unique among North American transportation agencies by being responsible for a fully integrated transportation system across land, rail and sea.

Here are 16 things we’re very proud of:

1. Providing transit to hundreds of thousands of riders across the region every single day! Ridership is up 80 per cent since 2000 and passenger trips have grown by 127 million.

2. Opening the Golden Ears bridge. A one kilometre, six-lane bridge that crosses the Fraser River connecting Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Langley and Surrey.

3. Celebrating 35 years of SeaBus in 2012 and our brand new Burrard Otter II introduced December 2014.

4. Creating the Central Valley Greenway together with the municipalities that it runs through. That’s 24 kilometres for cycling, jogging, walking, wheelchairs, skateboarding and rollerblading!

5. Coast Mountain Bus Company’s continued work towards becoming more environmentally efficient. They have received a 2014 Corporate Leadership Award from the Canadian Urban Transit Association for facility upgrades that significantly reduced the consumption of electricity and natural gas and the associated emissions of greenhouse gases. They also were honoured with a 2014 TechGREEN Award from Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC for reduced electricity and natural gas consumption. Annual greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 531 tonnes or 7 per cent of its facility emissions.

6. Our fantastic customer service! From SkyTrain attendants and transit operators out on the system to Customer Relations and our number one Customer Information Twitter team!

7. Keeping our riders safe with Transit Police’s exceptional accessibility with their On Duty app, See something, say something!

8. Being one of BC’s Top Employers for 2015!

9. Finding $240 million in efficiencies between 2012 and 2014.

10. Integrating the Canada Line to serve more than 122,000 riders on weekdays. More than 200 million passengers have used the Canada Line since it opened five years ago!

11. Celebrating 25 years of SkyTrain! Our system is one of the most cost-effective light rail systems in North America, beating out Portland, San Diego, Los Angeles and New Jersey.

12. Spending over $145 million from 2012 and 2015 on Major Road Networks and cycling projects across the region.

13. Serving 1.6 million people a day on bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics!

14. The opening of the Millennium Line from 2002 to 2006 to serve 250,000 riders each weekday (along with the Expo Line) with an on-time service delivery performance rating of 95.46%.

15. To make it easier for cyclists to use and connect to the transit system, the entire bus fleet is equipped with bike racks.

16. Being a part of the new Evergreen SkyTrain extension constructed by the province that will connect Coquitlam to Vancouver via Port Moody and Burnaby.

Want to know more about how TransLink came to be?
Read our story: The Road Less Travelled.

The Facts Matter: A new series about TransLink and its operating companies

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TransLink's main areas of responsibility

TransLink’s main areas of responsibility

We have a new section on our website we’re excited to share: The Facts Matter.

Unlike most transit authorities in North America, TransLink’s mandate is more than just public transit. Besides the conventional buses, HandyDART, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express fleets, we’re also responsible for the Major Roads Network, five bridges, cycling infrastructure and transit police.

Of course, readers of this blog know all this. But not everyone is as informed as Buzzer readers ;) .

What many aren’t familiar with are the details about how our public funds are spent in order to fulfill our mandate. That’s why we’ve added these facts to our website and are sharing them on social media and the transit system.

 The Facts Matter page on the TransLink website is a great resource for many of the questions our riders ask us on a regular bases. The facts on this page include:

  • How TransLink spends taxpayers’ money
  • How TransLink compares to other transit authorities
  • How others, including our customers, describe TransLink’s performance
  • How TransLink keeps costs down
  • CEO compensation
  • A breakdown of TransLink road and cycling investments by each geographical region in Metro Vancouver

As a public institution, it’s important to us that the public is informed about what TransLink does with public funds. Below is a breakdown of the how we spent your money in 2014.

TransLink's investments in transportation in 2014

TransLink’s investments in transportation in 2014

Our 2014 total fleet number
So how do our 2014 investment numbers translate into the our vehicle fleet numbers?

Currently we have more than 2,100 vehicles in our different fleets. Follow this link to find the specific numbers of each vehicle fleet as of 2013. Our fleets fluctuate in size throughout the year and we audit the fleet numbers every two years. So we won’t have 2014 numbers until 2016.

Over the next few months, we’ll be posting and delving into the different facts in this series.

As always, we encourage your questions and will try our best to find answers for you.

Do you know someone who has questions about TransLink and how we invest in the transportation needs of Metro Vancouver? Please share these facts with them and encourage them to post a comment!

 

 

Transit in the News – March 27

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

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Maritime Bus says this winter season has been extremely challenging.

The weather wreaks havoc on the ferries in Cape Breton.

University of Winnipeg students rally for better bus service.

A long-awaited bus stand serving many in Uppinangady, India is being built.

Rapid bus system construction is underway in Cambridge, Ontario.

NYC MTA raises fares.

TTC wants to hire outside contractor to finish Spadina subway extension.

Who takes transit to work in Metro Vancouver?

Public transit boosting research on air quality and climate change.

Amsterdam is offering free transit for failed asylum seekers.

Minnesota’s BRT is held off until 2017 due to funding.

TTC commute comes to a halt due to environmental spill.

Fluid leak on Vancouver bus, no delays or passengers involved.

Passengers escaped a bus swallowed by a sinkhole in Brazil.

GO joins Milton Transit to test door-to-door bus service.

Edmonton hoping their Metro LRT will still open as planned this spring.

Subway surfers caught on camera in NYC.

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

Metro Vancouver: Hollywood North

Film crew on Hastings Photo courtesy of  John Biehler

Film crew near Hastings St. during a night shoot
Photo courtesy of John Biehler

When I saw the news that Ryan Reynolds was heading home to film the Deadpool movie AND the amazing reboot of The X-Files (hopefully to be filmed here again as well) was going forward I got super excited!

I love that I have lived in two major Canadian cities that have become the backdrop for so many TV shows and movies.

Personally, whenever I see a street filled with trailers and film equipment, my interest is instantly piqued!

I usually wonder 3 things:

1) What is being filmed?
2) Have I seen it?
3) Is Charlie Hunnam hanging around and does he want me to be his new bestie/girlfriend?? (Hey, a girl can dream).

With a mix of throwback and current favourites, here are 10 shows that were filmed right here in Metro Vancouver!

Have you seen any of these familiar faces or others around town? Any celebrity encounters on transit?

Once I sat across from Ben from Felicity (Scott Speedman) on the TTC.

But my claim to fame by association was really the impromptu chat I had with Malcom McDowell downtown Toronto. He said I was lovely and gave me free signed merch for my dad and I! THAT. WAS. COOL.

Don’t forget transit! Check out buses, SkyTrains and even stations stealing scenes in these past Buzzer blog posts.

You can always see who is filming where, around the region at  YVRShoots and take a peek at what’s filming this spring and summer, while you’re at it!

**Great news for all Roald Dahl fans, Steven Spielberg is directing a new movie version of The B.F.G. being filmed right now!!!**

Transit in the News – March 20

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

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Here in Metro Vancouver, voting has begun in the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite.

NDP leader Thomas Muclair says in Toronto speech that transit is a top priority in the GTA.

GO Transit is expanding the rapid line to Barrie, Ontario.

Donations of transit passes in Edmonton help give homeless youth a leg up.

Britain’s first bus run entirely on biomethane gas enters service this month.

NYC’s Port Authority bus terminal’s future is up for debate.

Officials reject plan to revamp Port Authority bus terminal.

Taipei City Government announced that the Taipei West Bus Station will be demolished.

Outlying UK counties are suffering as a result of bus cuts.

The Otago region in New Zealand will see new “super stop” bus hubs.

Students living in Villarasampatti, part of the Erode district, petition for better bus service.

Chicago starts construction on the bus rapid transit lanes in The Loop.

Study shows Scarborough LRT would attract more development than subway extension.

A $26 million dollar Federal grant allows Jacksonville, Florida’s rapid transit project to continue.

City Leaders in LA say public transportation is the key to a livable city.

Michigan mass transit funding is centre stage before the vote of Michigan Proposal 1.

Government launches bus pilot program in metro Manila.

TTC fires managers over Spadina subway extension budget overages.

Tokyo remembers. 20th Anniversary of deadly Sarin gas attack on Tokyo subway system.

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

Jane’s Walk: Connecting Communities

Get to your neighbourhood and strengthen your community May 1-3

Get to know your neighbourhood and strengthen your community May 1-3

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”- Jane Jacobs

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 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.

Metro Vancouver cities aren’t the only ones participating. There are over 100 cities worldwide hosting their own walks!

Check out a Burnaby Jane’s Walk from last year!

Guess what? YOU can lead a tour, too! Don’t be nervous, you don’t have to be an expert.

Use these simple steps to lead a Jane’s Walk:

      1. Decide what you want to talk about

2. Plan out a route by going for a walk

3. Enter your walk on janeswalk.org

4. Get the word out to friends, neighbours and anyone you might want to attend your walk!

Orientation Sessions

Thursday March 19th
5:30-6:30
Translink - 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster

Monday March 23
5:30-6:30
Mt Pleasant Library   - #1 Kingsway

Thursday April 16th
5:30-6:30
Mt Pleasant Library - #1 Kingsway

Take a look at some ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • History – Past & Present
  • Health and Happiness
  • Architecture
  • Stroller Walks for Parents and Tots
  • Public Space
  • Family Walks
  • First Nations Heritage
  • Accessibility and Walkability
  • Redevelopment & Urbanization
  • LGBTQ community
  • Live Music Venues
  • Nature in the City
  • Public Art and Theatre
  • Urban Gardens
  • Sports, Recreation & Health
  • Community Development
  • Being a Newcomer in a Community
  • Transportation
  • A Local Literary Tour

So source your stories and talk to your neighbours and local residents. You can even ask them to be a stop on your walk!

You can also head to your trusty local library to absorb a wealth of knowledge about the area and theme you’re interested in.

Walks should be about 1.5 hours with anywhere from 6 to 10 stops along the way.  When planning your walk route, keep accessibility in mind. Such as transit, public washrooms and parking.

Don’t forget to promote your walks on social media using some of these hashtags: #janeswalk #janeswalkmetrovancouver #TravelSmart

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

Transportation and Transit plebiscite: Voting begins

plebiscite vector

Voting takes place from March 16 to May 29

Today marks the beginning of the Transportation and Transit plebiscite. Voting packages will be mailed out to all registered voters. You have until May 29th to cast your vote.

Here’s the gist: One million new residents are arriving in Metro Vancouver over the next 30 years. We need to get our transportation system ready for growth — and lots of it!

So Metro Vancouver registered voters are being asked  to decide if they support the 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax.

The tax would be collected with the provincial sales tax.

The Mayors’ Council released this message to residents today.

You can see the plan and more information on the Mayors’ Council website.

Whatever you decide, make your voice heard and vote! To register or update your information, contact Elections BC at  or call 1-800-661-8683.

Important Dates

March 16 – 27

Voting packages mailed to registered voters.

March 16 – May 15

Voters may ask for voting package.

April 13

Plebiscite Service Offices open for local ballot drops and general plebiscite information. Be sure to check here for locations.

Midnight, Friday, May 15

The time to ask for a voting package ends.

8 p.m., Friday, May 29

Close of voting. All voting packages must be received by Elections BC by this date and time in order to have your vote count.

The Golden Ears half marathon and 10K run is happening again this weekend

Hey buzzer readers!

The Golden Ears Half and 10K is happening again!

The Golden Ears Half and 10K is happening again!

The fifth Golden Ears Bridge Half Marathon and 10K race is happening on Sunday March 15, 2015, and TransLink is very excited to be supporting it again!

Both races will go over the Golden Ears Bridge, crossing on the east side and then coming back on the west side. Traffic control measures will be in place on either end of the bridge while race is taking place, so keep that in mind if you’re driving in the area.

Proceeds from the race will go to the School Meal Program in the Langley School District and Friends in Need Food Bank in Pitt Meadows. If you want to cheer the runners on, the Half Marathon begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 10K starts at 9:15 a.m.! Visit the Peninsula Runners site for more info.

Trolley buses: a historical transit lesson

The 14 Hastings streetcar: looking north on Granville from Robson, 1950. Photo by Vic Sharman.

The 14 Hastings streetcar: looking north on Granville from Robson, 1950.
Photo by Vic Sharman.

When I moved out here from Toronto nearly two years ago now, one of the first things I did was explore the city. How, you ask? On the bus! So I hopped on a bus to adventure around my new city.

At least, I thought it was a bus. It had large, yellow tubes attached to wires overhead. It reminded me of my streetcars on the TTC… but no tracks. What a strange beast this was. I was informed by a fellow rider that the beast was, indeed, a trolley bus! Huh. Who knew?

But how long has it been around and why do we use it? Being a former journalist and the daughter of a history teacher, I needed to know the answers.

Trolley buses have been in operation in Metro Vancouver since 1948 and the first routes were replacements for the old streetcar routes in the region.

We actually have 188 40-foot conventional and 74 60-foot articulated New Flyer E40LFR low-floor trolleys operated by the Coast Mountain Bus Company. That means we have the second largest and most modern electric trolley fleet in all of North America!

Trolley buses in downtown Vancouver.

Trolley buses in downtown Vancouver.

Each trolley utilizes a network of overhead wires that span 315 kms through Vancouver and Burnaby. Because we’re using electricity, it’s a very environmentally friendly transit option. Yay for greener transportation!

You can still see a few of Vancouver’s first trolley buses manufactured by the Canadian Car and Foundry-J.G. Brill Company. They have been preserved by the Transit Museum Society out of CMBC’s Surrey transit centre. Namely, a 1947 T44 No. 2040 and a 1954 T48A Nos. 2414 and 2416.

If you’re as interested as I am in this cool vehicle hybrid, check out the Edmonton Trolley Coalition for pictures and information on trolley buses from around the world.

Feel free to impart this historical transit trivia to fellow riders the next time you take a trolleybus!

SkyTrain Explorer: Waterfront Station

SkyTrain Explorer: Heritage Walks From Every Station

SkyTrain Explorer: Heritage Walks From Every Station

I’ve found a book. It’s called SkyTrain Explorer and it’s written by John Atkin, the co-author of Vancouver Walks.

It’s a very special book because it highlights (with clear directions) heritage walks you can take from every SkyTrain station along the Millennium and Expo Lines from Waterfront to New Westminster.

Atkin quotes comedian Steven Wright, “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” So, guess what? I’m going to take the time and walk the walks!

Too often we are oblivious to what’s all around us. Parks, buildings, history and culture. I know I’m guilty of this on my morning commute on transit.

But I want to know more about what makes this region so interesting and get off that train to go exploring.

This is the first in my series and over the next year I will make sure I do them all (hold me to it, please!) including pictures, any interesting videos and commentary of my experiences.

Enjoy!

It’s Sunday. It’s sunny. I’ve got my Chucks on and I’m ready to go! I mosey on over to the bus that takes me to the nearest Canada Line SkyTrain station and I hop on, heading to Waterfront.

I’ve been in Waterfront station countless times. Have I ever, even once, looked up at the architecture in the concourse? Nope. Not once.

I remedy this oversight immediately and spend a good 10 minutes walking around and taking pictures like a complete tourist!

According to the instructions, I head out past the A&W, ignore the calling of a delicious Teen burger and leave the station.

To my right, there’s a great view of the port, West Vancouver and the edge of the cruise ship terminal. To my left is a pedestrian walkway across Cordova St. Wait, was this always here? This is great!

As I cross the bridge, I turn back and grab a shot of the entirety of Waterfront station, built in 1914 for CPR. It really does have a presence with a beautiful backdrop.

The Sinclair Centre is next. It is made up of four buildings, the youngest of which was built in 1935. They were carefully restored in the 1980s and joined in the middle with a covered courtyard.

This block includes the Post Office from 1905, my personal favourite building on this particular walk.

Next time you’re near this area, check out the fish on the Granville St side of the buildings. Sometimes thought of as dolphins, they are actually sturgeon. Apparently, sturgeon are considered royal fish. You learn something new every day!

I see the impressive BIRKS flagship store to my Southeast. An impressive building that was originally the Canadian Bank of Commerce built in 1908.

Walking ever onward, Southwest now, I pass by the original Vancouver Stock Exchange under construction. Office building perhaps or condo? At least they’re keeping the outside.

I turn East and at Pender and Granville. The Rogers building. Built in 1912 and very well kept up since then! Peer up and see some lions keeping watch over the neighbourhood.

North to Hastings on Seymour. What I always thought was just a giant hotel is, in fact, the Conference Plaza (halls, retail, hotel and offices) with buildings dating back to the 1920s.

This includes the former Union Bank Building, now part of Simon Fraser University. Actually, a fair amount of older buildings in this section of town belong to SFU.

I look up and see the Vancouver lookout tower and the Harbour Centre. Any word on how the food is at the revolving restaurant?

I turn East on Hastings. Spencer’s Department Store circa 1928, later Eaton’s and finally Sears is now part of SFU’s downtown campus and on the left. Great library! I may have stopped and explored. I do love me some books!

Now, instead of heading down to Cordova and ending my walk, I continued East to Cambie.

The Dominion building on the Northwest corner cannot be missed. Shades of terracotta, yellows and oranges seem to capture a sunset in architecture that makes you stop and take notice!

I stroll down to Water St. to admire the much adored steam clock. Sorry to dash any heritage hopes for this popular attraction, but it was only built in 1977.

I love Gastown and I loved walking around it and the old financial district. You don’t have to walk far to see a lot in this neighbourhood!

My first heritage walk is done so I grab a drink, sit on a patio and enjoy the sunset.

Things I learned:

* Downtown Vancouver has some amazingly well-preserved heritage buildings
* Remember to look UP or you miss half of everything!
* Being a tourist in your own city is OK. Actually, it’s pretty fun!
* Even if you have directions, sometimes figuring out which building is which can take a few minutes – try to find the date on the building to help guide you.
* Never. Eat. Shredded. Wheat.

See my gallery below with all my pictures of the day. Which buildings are your favourites?

Stay tuned for the next installment in April, SkyTrain Explorer: Burrard Station!

 

 

Friday fun guest post: Crushed Cheerios finds adventure on the Millennium Line

SkyTrain at VCC-Clark Station

Families have endless options for fun on the Millennium Line!

Crushed Cheerios is back for part two of the adventures on the SkyTrain! Last time she took us for a ride on the Expo Line. This time, we travel with Tasha and her boys along the Millennium Line. Stay tuned for the final post in this series about the Canada Line coming soon!


A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of Expo Line adventures. Here is a list of some of my favourites along the Millennium Line!

VCC-Clark

  • China Creek – A great little  area for spending a day at the park. You can play soccer, draw with chalk, have a picnic and play at the playground. It’s a short walk from the SkyTrain.

Commercial-Broadway

  • Trout Lake Community Centre – Like many of the recreation centres in Metro Vancouver, there’s a drop in most days of the week (generally they are Mon-Sat, but vary from location to location) It’s a great place to run off some steam and enjoy some socialization for both kids and adults.
  • Trout Lake – There’s a great playground located next to the community centre. There’s a sandy beach area along the mini-lake that you can splash in during the summer or build sandcastles year round. It has lots of green space to play sports, have a picnic or play fetch with your dog.

CheeriosMill1Brentwood

  • Brentwood Mall – There’s an indoor play area that is fun for little ones at the mall. It can sometimes get really busy, though – and parents will sometimes allow their older, rambunctious children to terrorize through there. Avoiding peak times is ideal! If you go first thing in the morning or during the typical nap time, it can be pretty peaceful.
  • Confederation Park – this is a bit of a walk from the SkyTrain station but so definitely worth it!! I used to live about a 40 minute walk from here and would go often with my first, when he was only ten months old. It’s got a library, swimming pool/recreation centre, running track, trails, water park, playground and big open fields to play on. There’s also a model steam train close by (seasonal, I believe – check before going!) It’s a great park to spend an hour – or the entire day.

Sperling-Burnaby Lake

  • Burnaby Lake – This was a favourite walking place pre-baby and pre-mobile baby. We lived close by and would venture there once a week to walk about 10km. There are duck ponds and plenty of paths to choose from (you can walk anywhere from 2km to 15km following the different paths) There’s also a handful of bathrooms along the route.

 

CheeriosMill2Lougheed

  • Lougheed Mall – Coming in March 2015, is an indoor playground inside the mall. I am not talking the little tiny play areas meant for young children. I would say this is aimed for 5-8 year olds. Great for rainy days (though I would much prefer to get my child outside to play, I like the idea of a park in the mall for rainy days/running errands) This mall also has an indoor play area for younger kids.
  • Blue Mountain Park – Again, not quite immediate SkyTrain area, but worth the 30 minute walk! It’s a fun little playground and spray park. I’ve gone a few times with my oldest, the most recent time at almost two years old, and he’s loved it every time. He enjoyed the “bumpy slide” and sitting atop of the horse statues.

 

CheeriosMill3Braid

  • Hume Park – Another day-trip park. There’s a spray park, a couple of playgrounds, a dog-park, fields and an outdoor playground. There are some paths for exploring and a creek you can splash in.
  • IKEA – Not to be totally nerdy, but this is MY favourite place. And D actually asks to go here at least once a month. It may not sound exciting, but it’s the perfect place to explore on a rainy weekday. Cheap breakfast, fun little areas to explore and if your kids are tall enough, you could drop them off at the play area while you do a bit of shopping. Don’t forget the frozen yogurt on the way out (which I swear is the only reason D requests to go! HA!)

Sapperton

  • Sapperton Landing Park – Enjoy a scenic walk along the water, just steps from the SkyTrain station. There are viewpoints as you walk the stretch to sit and look out at the Fraser River – two out of the three times we’ve gone, we got to see seals (or maybe they were sea lions?) swimming past us! My oldest loves watching the train cross the bridge from this walking trail. There are bridges to cross, which is also another huge hit for my two year old!

There’s many other things to do at the SkyTrain stops along the Millennium Line. Do you have any other favourites?

Fun poll results: 30 per cent of you chose the London Underground as your favourite transit system around the world

 

The Tube earns the top spot Photo courtesy of Doug88888

The Tube earns the top spot!
Photo courtesy of Doug88888

A few weeks ago, we asked the question, what is your favourite public transit system around the world? And we have the results!!

189 of you voted in this poll and the winner, as the title of this post suggests, is The Tube! It doesn’t just have to do with Paddington station, does it? I love that bear.

transitpollchartWe loved getting so many responses! Besides the options in the poll, there were tons of comments on the blog and Facebook about other favourites. Including Portland’s Metro Area transit, The Bus transit system in Honolulu, the Amtrak Cascades that spans across the Pacific Northwest, the Singapore SMRT, Los Angeles’ Metro and the Adelaide Metro.

So with this feedback, I’m curious. What do you value most in a transit system to make your favourites, your favourites?

Let us know by voting for your favourites below, leaving a comment, tweeting us @TheBuzzer, or emailing us at thebuzzer@translink.ca!

What do you value most in a transit system?

  • Frequency of vehicles on routes (53%, 42 Votes)
  • Varied routes across a region (23%, 18 Votes)
  • Always on time (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Safety (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Cleanliness of vehicles and stations (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Friendliness of operators (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Accessibility (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Cost (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

Buzzer illustrator interview: Christel Chan

 

FebChris

Christel with her illustration for the February Buzzer

Another Buzzer issue means another ridiculously talented artist illustrated the front page! Christel Chan captured our theme for the February issue perfectly, showing the modes of transit we use across the region in a really bright and fun way! (Jealous. I can barely draw plausible stick figure!)

We got a chance to ask Christel a few questions about herself and her work:

Who is Christel?
I am a fourth year Illustration student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. My website is christelchan.weebly.com.

How did you get into drawing and illustrating?
I’ve been drawing all my life so I cannot really pinpoint a time when I “got into it”. However, I wasn’t aware of Illustration as a field until I started at Emily Carr University.

What’s your favourite thing to draw?
Portraiture. I love studying faces and capturing them in 2D…it is very satisfying.

What tools do you like to use?
Recently I have been very interested in oil painting, but for a more graphic approach, I like using my tablet on Adobe Illustrator. Both media are very flexible which I enjoy.

What’s your favourite route or mode of transit?
I take transit everyday to and from school. Since efficiency is important to me (I am from Hong Kong, after all), the 99 B-line is my favourite bus line because it’s frequent and fast.

What’s next for you in the land of art?
I am graduating this May and I aspire to be a freelance Illustrator for publications and children’s books. I would also like to cultivate a gallery practice.

Thanks Christel! Pick up your copy of the February 2015 issue today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or download it here. The next issue of the Buzzer will be out April 2015 – that means the next illustrator interview will be then too!

Poetry in Transit interview with Catherine Greenwood

Catherine Greenwood

Catherine Greenwood

Poetry in Transit, now in its 18th year, aims to profile talented British Columbian and Canadian poets and provide our customers with poetry to read on their commutes.

An excerpt from Catherine Greenwood’s “Charity” from her book, The Lost Letters, is one of 20 poems on the system this year – 10 poetry car cards on buses and 10 transit shelter ads. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions from me about her poem and herself!

Who is Catherine Greenwood? 
Wife, cat-wrangler, paper-pusher, collector of hotel soaps, reader of gothic novels, belated-birthday card sender. I live in Esquimalt and work for the Ministry of Justice.

Would you be able to tell us a bit more about “Charity?” What were the inspirations behind it?
I was working in a community services thrift store when someone I’d known in elementary school walked in, needing a coat The bus card titled “Charity” is an excerpt from a longer poem about this encounter on the theme of the return, with its attendant questions of recognition, as in the biblical story of the prodigal son or the return of Odysseus from his long journey. There’s a loose pattern of end rhyme — returns in a technical sense — and alliterative meter throughout. It seemed fitting to use archaic style in piece that felt like a fairytale.

How would you classify your style of poetry and writing? What inspires you?
I write narrative poems in varying styles. I don’t usually set out to achieve a particular form but my poems often end up in a shape fitted to each particular piece, eleven-line stanzas for example, sometimes with end rhyme, almost always with metaphors and internal sound effects.

What’s a ‘great’ poem for you?
I’m going to quote my answer to this question from another interview, because it still holds for me: “A great poem is affecting, stirs something up in the reader, yields new dimensions and revelations on successive readings, yet retains its essential mystery.”

Who’s your favourite poet and/or somebody that has heavily influenced your work?
I absorb many influences. In my most recent book, The Lost Letters, there is an animal section that may echo British nature poet Jeremy Reid; a section about Heloise and Aberlard that intentionally adopts a particular metaphor-saturated voice inspired by American poet Amy Gerstler’s work; I also had Stephen Mitchell’s translations of Rilke in mind while writing some of the other poems. I can’t choose a favourite poet.

What does Poetry in Transit mean for you?
A poem from my first book The Pearl King and Other Poems was on Poetry in Transit, and there’s a lovely story about that – apparently the poem, “Exile”, a very short love poem about the pain of being separated, sparked a conversation between a couple of strangers who ended up getting married and having the poem read at their wedding. Perhaps someone reading “Charity” might be spurred to consider what lies beneath a person’s appearance – if it generates a moment of contemplation or empathy in a commuter or two, that would be an unintended but nice consequence of having the poem shared so widely.

Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite mode?
I take the bus to work every day, and I have done so for over thirty years, from different residences to different jobs. I’ve come to know some of my fellow commuters as well as I know my co-workers. When I’ve had to drive, I’ve found parking expensive and a nuisance, and then in winter there’s warming up the car in the morning and scraping off frost –who has time for that? My husband and I went a couple of years without a car in our current location, and I realize that I prefer to live in an area with public transit. It’s liberating.

Peer into your crystal ball, and tell us what you see for yourself in the future.
Fiction is in my future. I have a big, back-burnered project I’m psyching myself up to return to working on. Hopefully some travel around BC related to that project, and very likely a trip to England and France in springtime with my husband. It’s a time of transition and change, which is challenging but exciting.

Thanks for your time Catherine and we look forward to reading more of your work! Join the Poetry in Transit conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #PoetryInTransit.