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Links and tidbits, Thursday May 6

The B.C. Electric transit call centre in 1959, out at Oakridge Transit Centre.

The B.C. Electric transit call centre in 1959, out at Oakridge Transit Centre.

Tidbits and links! If you have any to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at


  • By Andrew S, May 6, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    Hey, I remember this picture that was in “Back Issues” from a little while ago =)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 6, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    Nice work :) It was also in a 1984 Buzzer too: that’s where I got the original photo!

  • By Reva, May 6, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    Regarding the burnt toast evacuations at Kings Cross station, if anyone remembers the Kings Cross station fire of 1987, you would realize why they don’t mess around when it comes to that kind of thing these days:

    The fire was started by a cigarette butt that fell into the workings of a wooden escalator in the station and got a good foothold without being too obvious for quite a while. The smell of wood smoke wasn’t too offensive so no one was worried at first, but when people finally began to get alarmed, officials figured the platform levels down below didn’t need evacuating because fire could only burn upwards, right? Unfortunately, very wrong. 31 people perished and 60 were injured. :(

    My husband, who lived in London at that time, was taking the Underground RIGHT THROUGH THERE during the incident — they announced to passengers on the train he was on that, sorry, they would not be stopping at Kings Cross station at this time, but they didn’t say why. So he just got off at the next one with everyone else. Only found out about it that evening on the news. :-/ Scary stuff.

    I guess the moral of the story is better safe than sorry.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 6, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Eek. Absolutely.

  • By Reva, May 6, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    Also, don’t build escalators out of wood. :)

  • By Andrew S, May 7, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    On the note of TVM’s, I’ve experienced machines where it would not accept the ticket when I’m upgrading my fare. It’s like something blocking it and won’t take anything into the slot. The one at Lonsdale Quay labelled “3” does that. Unfortunately, I haven’t reported it because I’m usually in a rush and the connections from bus to SeaBus are just so tight =P Anyone else experience this probelm with the TVM’s too?

  • By Ric, May 9, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    Andrew, I have also experienced a ticket problem with TVM’s once. I was traveling from Richmond to Surrey on the bus and purchased an add fare at the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station to upgrade my 1 zone faresaver. Upon boarding the 301 bus, the ticket from the TVM worked totally fine on that bus. Upon transferring to a bus at Newton Exchange, when I inserted the ticket into the fare box on the bus it was read as an “Invalid Card.”

  • By zack, May 11, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    I have had a different problem with the TVMs. Last weekend, I realized that I had forgotten my pass, so I decided to buy the day-pass from one of the TVMs at Gateway station. However, the machine refused to accept my 5-dollar bill, even though it wasn’t fake. So I tried using the coins instead, but it didn’t even accept my toonie! Then, I tried using the TVMs upstairs, but it had the same problem. After a frustrating day, I decided to walk to the nearest FareDealer store and buy the pass from there.

  • By Andrew S, May 11, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Zack, part of that happened to me too. I had times where my loonie would just keep going through the coin slot and back out at the change/receipt slot.

    But, Ric, I have not had the problem that you experienced happen… Maybe it was the bus’s machine too =P but I have seen someone else’s ticket go into the machine on the bus and it read “Invalid Card”. Doesn’t the display usually tell you that you need to upgrade the ticket IF you need to? It could have been a glitch with the bus’s machine. Usually reinserting the ticket will correct it (like saying “_ Zone OK”). :)

  • By Eric B, May 11, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

    I’ve had issues when I purchased an addfare at a SkyTrain TVM, but when I put that addfare transfer on a bus (while flashing my pass), it comes up as “invalid” or “error”. It’s been a while since that has happened, so not sure if this has been fixed.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 19, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    (Just wanted to say that I’ve passed on your TVM issues to our customer service folks.)

  • By Jacob Louy, May 23, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    Hi Jhenifer,

    I didn’t know the Buzzer Blog posts news on transportation elsewhere. Anyways, there exists a lot of anti-cycling sentiment in Toronto from politicians and media, despite that technical surveys and polls consistently showed that over 50% of Torontonians would cycle if a safe and convenient path were given.

    Bike lanes get the worst bashing of all infrastructure. Opponents to bike lanes claim that bike lanes would cause cars to pollute more. We’ve even got front-running Mayoral Candidates pledging to rip out existing bike lanes and banning future bike lanes from major streets.

    Most recently, the Toronto Sun and Global News reported that the bike racks on buses were not being used, and said $2 million was wasted. To be fair, $2 million is less than 1/1000th of the total city budget. I’ve noticed that wheelchair ramps for persons with disabilities were being used as infrequently; however, they are not being bashed as a waste of money.

    Does Vancouver have any of these attitudes? How prominent are they and where do they often show up?

  • By zack, May 25, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    The last time I was in Toronto, the bike racks were only used as pilot project by the TTC and were install only on the ex-CNG Orion Vs and the 2007 Orion VIIs before expanding the racks to the rest of it’s fleet.

    Besides, I find the Toronto Sun’s claim that “bike racks are wasteful” just pure BS. Bike racks are essential everywhere for cyclists commuting to their destination quicker, and at the same time limiting use of cars on the road. Not to mention, making cities greener.

    Here in Vancouver, saying that bike racks are being well spent is an understatement considering the huge popularity of cycling in Metro Vancouver.

    Metro Vancouver alone has several bike routes including those like the Central Valley Greenway which connects to stops along the SkyTrain and the North Arm Bridge which connects to the Canada Line.

    The City of Vancouver also built a new bike lanes along the Burrard Bridge, however reaction is mixed depending on who you talk to. While cyclist complement the move but motorists and businesses along Burrard st oppose it.

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