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Links and tidbits for Thu Sept 23

A new round of tidbits and links about transportation! If you have any items to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at! I really need good photos. I’m not going to lie.

Again, thanks so much for your patience with my blog pace these days, as there are still those long-term, non-blog projects I’m working on. Le sigh…


  • By Sheba, September 23, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    *sigh* The only way to keep cars out of bike lanes is for there to be a physical barrier.

    I like the SFU gondola idea, but where’s the money going to come from…

    Is there any chance for upgrading any of the Skytrain stations to look something like this? Standing on most of the Expo/Millennium platforms during the cold/dark half of the year can be miserable.

  • By ???, September 23, 2010 @ 10:57 pm

    Not quite…. check out this video…. can you identify where the car on the right is travelling in?

  • By scottclayton, September 23, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

    Bummer about the NIS messages: I was really holding out for !!! to make a super nerdy album cover.

  • By zack, September 24, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    OH MY GOD!! That car was travelling on the Burrard bike lane. I hope nobody was hurt!

  • By Jean, September 24, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    The LA article: Obviously no need for Vancouverites to feel awkward about not knowing how to use a bus bike rack.

  • By ???, September 24, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    Exactly…. physical barriers are ugly, restrict vision and trap vehicles as well. Emergency services don’t like them as well.

  • By Anonymous, September 24, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    They just did an article at news 1130 in which the drivers union claims the new drunk driving laws could make transit unsafe because of drunks, etc… I know that, at least for night buses, that transit officers are around. Discuss.–new-drunk-driving-laws-raise-concerns-about-transit-safety

  • By Brandon, September 24, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    Thanks for the link!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, September 24, 2010 @ 10:19 am

    Sheba: Hmm… I don’t know of any plans to specifically cover the SkyTrain stations as you’ve suggested, but I do know that upgrades to the Expo Line stations will be undertaken as part of the implementation of smartcards and faregates. There’s long been a need to expand some Expo Line stations and provide better amenities, like the recent upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station. Lots of this does come down to a matter of cost though, as you’ve pointed out in your note about the gondola.

  • By Les, September 24, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    Interesting article. If they have appropriate resources at night the drivers have nothing to worry about.

  • By Andrewj, September 24, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    Anyone who is intrigued by the SFU Gondola proposal should look into a similar system in Portland. A gondola service to the OHSU campus on top of Marquam Hill is operated as part of the public transportation network!

  • By Andrew Joyce, September 24, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    I noticed today that the newer gray New Flyer buses say “Not in Service” on the back now too.

  • By Langdon, September 24, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

    I am looking forward to the SFU gondola, too, but probably I won’t have a chance to use it before graduation… Also I hope eventually there will be 3 gondola lines to SFU: from Production, from Burquitlam and from Duthie. They will eventually replace all bus service to and from SFU, so people won’t stuck in the mountain.

    That would be just a dream for now, because TransLink doesn’t even have money for Evergreen Line!!

    I wonder if the distance based fares in 2013 will improve the revenue. Can you do distance base fares on buses too? The price should be like the price on cabs: base fare + $/km.

  • By Marvin B, September 25, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    Some of those bike lane pics are just scary! Some not so much. Most of them show pretty bad offenses.

    We should be a little forgiving on some delivery drivers though. They are just doing a job which has tight time restraints and some alley ways in Vancouver are just not suitable for driving larger trucks. Yes, there’s a bike lane and technically it’s for bikes only, but there are times when common sense needs to take over. I wouldn’t want to drive a truck in some of these alley ways. Imagine walking out of your truck and being pricked by a needle, or having to back up and a homeless person walks behind you, or being trapped by senseless car drivers who insist on driving toward you and lay on the horn? The bike lane system (is there even a system?) is poorly designed. Not the fault of delivery drivers or cyclists. A little give and take will be nice :)

  • By Sheba, September 25, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

    Jhenifer: I wasn’t thinking all the Skytrain stations would look that way – most of them I’d be happy if they had glass walls and a roof covering the entire platform, both of which are pretty rare on Expo line. Maybe a design like that could happen for when Main and/or Metrotown stations are upgraded.

    I followed your link to Commercial/Broadway upgrades. The site now only shows that station and Surrey Central in the Transit Villages section. What happened to Metrotown and Edmonds? I saw some of the initial planning for Metrotown when it was posted online.

  • By Paul C, September 25, 2010 @ 9:20 pm


    Pretty much the upgrades to Metrotown have been put on hold due to the current financial situation.

    But the long term plan is to upgrade Metrotown to the plans you saw online with the 3 over passes and the bus depot being put on the station side. There is also a long term plan to upgrade all the Expo Line stations to 100M from the current 80M so that either 8 Car MKI or a 6 car MKII can run on it.

    Of course this is after the Evergreen line and Broadway Line extensions. It might happen with the Surrey extension but we will know more in the future when we get closer to it happening.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, September 27, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Sheba: I’ve passed your note along to see if the Metrotown/Edmonds stuff is online somewhere still. Answers soon!

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, September 27, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

    Thanks for the links and info, Jhenifer.

    I especially wanted to know, for quite some time, what “MW CHK” meant, but never felt the need to ask.

    I’m glad to read that you’re moving to New Westminster. Regional offices should be geographically central to the region, as long as the costs are equal.

    I’m a bit disappointed that certain projects don’t seem to get much attention, while others seem to get all the celebration. Maybe you’re too busy.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, September 28, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    Eugene: which projects are you looking for attention on? I can see what info I can dig up for you.

  • By Andrew S, September 28, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Hey! I noticed the newer buses kind of scroll the “Sorry” and “Not in Service” on the front display instead of the regular flashing back and forth

  • By ;-), September 28, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    I hate scrolling. It takes forever waiting for text to come across.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, September 29, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    I was thinking about the connecting route between our system, and the Abbotsford system.

    Also, just some bus routes that don’t get a lot of ridership [e.g. #364, #388, etc.]. I’m hoping that more attention would fill those buses.

    Those are the only things that I can think of, off the top of my head.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, September 30, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    Sheba: sorry for the delay! Here’s the response from our planning dept.

    A number of station upgrades were put on hold in 2009 with the passage of our 2010 Base Plan – the so, called “Funding Stabilization Plan,” that allowed us to continue to operate current service levels, but did not have sufficient resources for upgrades or expansion. Specifically, funding was not available for planned improvements at Main Street, Metrotown, Phase II of the upgrades at Commercial/Broadway and a number of other smaller projects. Some planning activities are underway at Metrotown, Commercial/Broadway and Surrey Central (Main Street design is complete and ready to go) in the event that a supplement is approved with additional resources are made available for station upgrades. These are our most urgent projects from a capacity perspective. Over the longer term, if/when our financial position impovves, we would like to develop a station area planning program that would partner with municipalities and local communities to identify station improvements and investments in the surrounding neighborhoods to better integrate our transit stations.

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