ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

A visit to the Richmond stations and King Edward, Saturday February 27

Crowds using the ticket machines at Bridgeport Station.

Crowds using the ticket machines at Bridgeport Station.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the downtown Vancouver stations lately, so I thought I’d take a visit to King Edward and the Richmond Stations in the afternoon today.

I tried to head out at a time where there would be crowds or lineups to photograph, but oddly enough, I didn’t really have any luck. Rainier weather this week has helped calm the crowd numbers down, and everything seemed to be flowing smoothly on transit. (And it’s not that I or TransLink wants a lineup or crowd, mind you — it’s just that they can make for more exciting photos! Oh well.)

Anyway, as you can see in the photo of Bridgeport Station above, the only lineups I could find at Bridgeport Station were at the ticket machines. There weren’t any lineups for the train and the bus loop at the bottom wasn’t crazy busy.

Hosts Shinder and Ron, plus transit supervisor Saeed at Bridgeport Station.

Hosts Shinder and Ron, plus transit supervisor Saeed at Bridgeport Station.

And when I spoke to Shinder and Ron, two of the transit hosts at Bridgeport Station, Ron said, “Oh, you should have been here in the morning. 1100 people came out of the 620 from the ferry! I’ve never seen so many people here.” So I guess my timing was just off.

Also, in case you’re wondering, Ron and Shinder seemed to be doing quite fine. Popular questions they were asked by people getting off at Bridgeport Station in the morning were “Where do you get the bus to the ferry?” (it’s the 620, right nearby) and “Where do you catch the 351?” All easily solved.

King Edward Station

King Edward Station on Saturday, February 27.

King Edward Station on Saturday, February 27.

I hopped back up to visit King Edward Station, and it was steadily busy but not crowded as well. The final curling matches of the Olympics were starting soon, and people were heading through the station to get to the very last curling event.

Brian, Gwun, and Ana, transit hosts at King Edward Station.

Brian, Gwun, and Ana, transit hosts at King Edward Station.

Customers had lots of the regular questions about how to get to the event and where to grab a bite to eat nearby, but truth be told, the crowds needed a lot less help than last week. The hosts surmised that people all knew where the curling centre was and how to catch the shuttle to reach there. I suppose during two weeks of curling, everyone has been learning!

An Expo 86 rain poncho!

An Expo 86 rain poncho!

And at King Edward there were still some interesting things to see. We ran into Arthur, a retired CMBC employee, who was wearing an Expo 86 rain poncho!

Aberdeen Station

Dale, Bob, and Mike, our transit hosts at Aberdeen!

Dale, Bob, and Mike, our transit hosts at Aberdeen!

I also went by Aberdeen Station to see the very last transit host shift of the Games — the last speedskating event of the Olympics finished that afternoon (with a gold medal!).

The crowd flows out from the Oval in manageable bursts!

The crowd flows out from the Oval in manageable bursts!

Given that the event had just finished up, we were all expecting crowds at the station and a big lineup for the train. But again, it didn’t happen! Everyone seemed to exit the venue in small, manageable groups, emerging at steady intervals rather than in one enormous burst. So while the photo above looks busy, they really just got right on the trains and didn’t have to line up.

The longest lineup we saw at Aberdeen Station. It was gone in five minutes!

The longest lineup we saw at Aberdeen Station. It was gone in five minutes!

Everyone was surprised. Apparently for every single day before this, the speedskating crowds have always emerged in one huge horde, needing to be shepherded into lineups before getting on trains. We all suspected that people might be taking their time watching the medal ceremonies and enjoying the very last speedskating event. And again, perhaps the crowd was more educated about transit, and were waiting instead of rushing right out to catch the train with everyone else.

Another crowd shot at Aberdeen!

Another crowd shot at Aberdeen!

Lloyd, the transit host coordinator on hand, said I should try photographing the crowds from a low angle to make it look like it was very busy. So there you go :)

Mike!

Mike!

Also, we had to take part of the security tape down, because it didn’t make sense to usher people through an elaborate queue management maze when there weren’t very many people crowding on all at once. As you can see, Mike Shiffer, transit host and VP of planning, got caught up in the tape a bit.

However, at this point, one of our Transit Police told me there were crowds at Richmond-Brighouse! So I hotfooted it over there to see what was going on.

Richmond-Brighouse Station

Bustling Richmond-Brighouse Station.

Bustling Richmond-Brighouse Station.

And indeed, there were crowds at Richmond-Brighouse!

As far as we could tell, there wasn’t a hard reason for the crowds though. It seemed people were just leaving the O-Zone all at once, plus speedskating had let out, and others just wanted to start heading downtown. (Curling was just beginning around this time.)

The lineup stretched around the side of the building.

The lineup stretched around the side of the building.

The lineup went around the side of the station and down the sidewalk, running alongside the station wall.

The lineup around the side of Richmond-Brighouse Station.

The lineup around the side of Richmond-Brighouse Station.

The lineup seemed to be moving relatively quickly though, with a train arriving to load up passengers every seven minutes.

The transit hosts at Richmond-Brighouse Station!

The transit hosts at Richmond-Brighouse Station!

And the transit hosts at Richmond-Brighouse were doing well. Popular questions here were “Where’s the O-Zone” and “How do I get to downtown Vancouver?” You also had to make sure that people wanted the O-Zone rather than the Oval, and knew they were at Brighouse instead of Bridgeport Station, as well. (Also, it’s so funny how the customer questions change as you move around the system. The main questions at Waterfront are “Where’s the Olympic flame?” and “Where’s the bathroom?”)

Rochelle, one of the hosts, said that she had really learned a lot from the whole transit host experience as well. She’s got a newfound respect for those who work on the front lines, and she’s learned a whole lot about the Richmond transit system!

OK, that’s it for this visit — and we’ve just got one more day to go! As you may have guessed, I’ll be taking a look at downtown Vancouver during the afternoon and evening tomorrow: I expect it will be busy :)


2 Comments

  • By Daniel, February 28, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    I have noticed a lot if crowds at metrotown with people trying to purchase Olympic merchandize! O and Jen did you get my email?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 28, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    I did — but haven’t looked at all the pics in great detail yet! This week soon.

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Please read our Participation Guidelines before you comment.