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Translink Buzzer Blog

The April 2011 Buzzer is now out!

The April 2011 Buzzer is now on board all buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express!

The whole Buzzer is devoted to the bus service changes happening on April 18, 2011: there are in fact so many that I had to push out the community events and the history item :(

But it’s for a good cause: many bus services have been adjusted in order to increase efficiency, boosting service on high-demand routes and reducing service where demand is low. (You can see all the changes online here). It’s part of the service optimization project that we talked about last year, and I’ll have a blog interview with one of our planners up next week to talk more about it.

And for the eagle eyed transit fans, you might be pleased to note that the #14 trolley route will be returning on April 18! The 14 was an iconic trolley route that ran on Hastings from 1955 to 1997, and in its new form, it will be taking over parts of the 10 and 17 routes to run from Hastings to UBC. I will have more on the 14 in a blog interview next week with another of our planners.

Again, I am quite proud to have a cover from a local illustrator: this time it’s the lovely Andrea Wan. Thanks Andrea!

And I’m also proud to give QR codes a try on the Buzzer—get a QR code app for your smartphone, snap the codes in the Buzzer and you’ll reach various links on the TransLink website! Thanks to reader Sean Turvey for suggesting QR codes in the first place :)

If you can’t get the Buzzer on the system, you can always read it in PDF form on our website. Visit our Buzzer PDF archives, or grab this direct link to the PDF.

Remember to enter the FareCard contest too! You can win a free FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer: read the issue, then email in your info and the answer to the trivia question by Wednesday, April 20 at 9 a.m.. We’ll pick a winner from all the correct answers, and that person will be notified by phone shortly after the draw.

Enjoy the latest Buzzer as always! Comments are welcome below.


48 Comments

  • By Sean Turvey, April 1, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Happy to see the QR codes.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 1, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    Hey, it was a great idea! Well done you :)

  • By David M, April 1, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    HI Jhenifer

    Curious why the planners decided to have the 15 change to 50 at Olympic Village Station. Why not just have the route numbered 50 and run from Marine Dr to downtown?

    With the early morning reductions to the 123 and 169, both lines now fall off the Frequent Service Network (FSN). In my opinion, this is short-sighted and bad policy. I’d prefer to see the FSN promoted as stable reliable frequent service, not subject to surgical cutting (as is the case here).

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 1, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    @Translink

    David M brings up a good point. If the FSN is going to change with each new schedule, then riders might appreciate a page that specifically lists the changes in the FSN, and not just a list of all bus routes.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 1, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    I’ll forward your questions on to our planning team. Stay tuned!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 1, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    David M, Eugene: here’s the response about the 50/15. Still waiting on the FTN answer.

    We considered renaming the 15/50 to one route, but the decision was made to keep them as two separately identified routes for the initial change. With that being said, renaming the service to one route number in the futuree is certainly a possibility.

  • By Eric B, April 1, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    I LOVE the seasonal service-change announcements, and the fact you’ve devoted the whole issue to them is a throwback to similar Buzzers from the past.

    As for the thread above, it shouldn’t be much of a shift (in a verbal sense) to merge the 15 (fifTEEN) & 50 (fifTY) to a single route number in the future. But if it does, I’d make it a 15, because of the historical associations with the route number and Cambie Street.

  • By Eric B, April 1, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    (BTW, Jhen: the comment timestamp is still showing standard time.)

  • By Reva, April 1, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    Question: If 130 service from Phibbs to Cap U is being discontinued until the fall (“please use 239 instead”) and peak period 239 service from Phibbs to Cap U is also being discontinued until the fall, is there still a route that you can take directly from Phibbs to Cap U in peak periods during the summer?

  • By David M, April 1, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    After I wrote my comment on the 15 and 50, I could see the idea was to minise the impact by keeping the numbering for now, and changing later.

    However, I’m really glad to see that the electric powered 17 is returning to Cambie Bridge – the original, pre-Canada line opening, service plan had the 17 terminating at Broadway and Cambie and the now diesel powered 15 belching smog on the Cambie Bridge.

    Good to see the 14 back too.

  • By Reva, April 1, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Also, great to see the good old #14 is back. :)

    I agree with Eric B that if you merge the #15 and #50 into one route, that you should call it the #15.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 1, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    Forwarding on all your questions… let’s see how many answers I get back before I have to leave :)

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 1, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    After reading the responses, I decided to go and read the Buzzer. I didn’t expect the Buzzer to contain any new information that this blog doesn’t have. I was wrong, apparently.

    Here is my feedback.

    #15 & #50
    It’s great to know that we can get direct service from the Canada Line to Granville Island. I volunteered there, and I live in Surrey, so I appreciate it, a lot. I also did some work there as an extra [i.e. background performer], so having access to #50 or #84 from that station brings unspeakable joy. I wrote a request, a while ago, if I recall correctly, to extend the #50 to Main St. Station, but this will be okay, for now, especially considering improvements like the #301.

    #301
    Understandable reductions. I’m sad to see the service reduced, though.

    #319
    Probably 1 of my most used bus routes. Thank you for the day time improvements and the evening improvements. As a poor guy living in Surrey, travelling to Vancouver by transit feels so inaccessible, with 30 minute evening service. This changes a lot. Thank you so much! I must say, though. I’m a bit nervous, because I don’t know how much we can justify the service. That being said, from around 9:30p to 10:30p, we tend to get standing loads. We almost left some people behind once, I think.

    #335
    These frequency improvements don’t affect me, but I appreciate the access to other parts of my city.

    I’m happy for all other improvements. I’m sad for all reductions. I’m not affected by any of these, though.

    I appreciate this issue’s layout and the coloured text. It was easy to skim for the relevant information. Also, the way that it was presented allowed me to double check my understanding of the information.

    I feel that everything was very well done!

    I fully support Translink’s April service changes, and I am very grateful. These changes and the way that they were presented have restored a lot of my confidence in Translink. Just as I rant when things go bad, I want to be very thankful when they go right. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, so much.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 1, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Reva: here’s the answer to your question on the 239!

    The #239 will continue regular service Capilano University during the summer. This change reflects the few scheduled trips on the #239 that are only there when there is more demand to the University (to help with the higher loads). During the summer, these designated trips are seasonally discontinued.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 1, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Eugene: thanks as always for the thorough feedback! I have passed it on to my colleagues who helped put together the info for their edification :)

  • By Tim Choi, April 1, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    As a 335 user (since it’s the one bus that stops outside my house): “I, for one, welcome our new Schedule Changes!”

    Just one wording that might want to be changed (too late for the print Buzzer, but perhaps still in time for the web version and the webpage on the all the changes): the 335 Mon-Fri midday frequency increase from 60min to 30min is not exactly accurate – checking the updated schedule for April 18+, it comes every :22 and :42, which would make it a 40/20min split, rather than 30min/30min. Of course, I don’t know how you would phrase that in a succinct way, haha.

  • By Brooke L., April 1, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    Yay, the 14! Time for a celebratory production of the play named after it!

    I’m sad about the 101 service cut. It’s never a busy bus, but there are a lot of people without cars – exchange students, high school students, SFU students, assisted living residents, and seniors with mobility challenges – in the area it serves – and selfishly, I use it to commute! Especially for those seniors, it’s difficult or impossible to walk to other more frequent routes like the 154 in hilly New Westminster. I remember how exciting it was for the Crest neighbourhood when the route became wheelchair accessible and went from 60 minute to 30 minute service years ago. I wonder if it might be a good candidate to become a C route – it only needs a big diesel bus during peak times for high school students – a more frequent C route plus some school specials to handle that extra load might be more cost effective! Well, I’m sure everyone wants their particular bus route to have more service. But it makes me sad that a neighbourhood like the Crest/Cariboo Hill which is surrounded on all sides by SkyTrain can be so poorly connected by transit.

  • By Sewing, April 2, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Jhenifer:

    Great to see the 14 Hastings on the front page. Not only was it an iconic trolleybus route from 1955 to 1997 (as well as a diesel route from 1968 to 1988), but it was also a streetcar route since at least the mid 1930s. (Up until then, it may have been identified as the #13.)

    In fact, the #14 was also the very last streetcar route to run in Vancouver, with the last revenue cars in the early morning of Friday, April 22nd, 1955. (The last Marpole-Steveston interurban trams ran until 1958.) The end of Vancouver’s streetcars was “commemorated” in the April 20th, 1955 Buzzer.

    The 14 Hastings is one of the quintessential Vancouver transit routes of all time, serving Woodwards (our quintessential department store), the PNE (our quintessential summer fair), and everything in between. Not only that, but the Tenth and Hastings routes share a long history together, having been paired together on and off since the 1920s.

    Also, #14 is one of the very few route numbers to be used for the same streetcar and trolleybus route. Only the 3 Main, 4 Fourth, 5 Robson, 6 Fraser (until 1986), 7 Dunbar (since 1949), and 11 Stanley Park (sort of) are in that rarefied company.

    So all in all, kudos to whoever at TransLink had the sense to resurrect a historic route number for this very historic transit route!

  • By Amy, April 2, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Which bus will stop near Central Library after the service change take place?

  • By Sewing, April 2, 2011 @ 12:33 am

    D’oh! I forgot the lowly old 17 Oak, which has been humbly lumbering along Oak Street continuously since 1923!

  • By Meraki, April 2, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    Jhenifer: Is the N17 going to be renamed the N14 considering now the new 17 doesn’t go to UBC?

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 2, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    @Meraki:

    I think that that is a good idea.

  • By Sewing, April 2, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

    Meraki and Eugene:

    That is an excellent and perfectly logical suggestion.

    But for some very odd reason (hopefully just an oversight?), it’s remaining N17.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 3, 2011 @ 4:45 am

    I just thought of a fundraising idea. I think that it is probably crazy, but maybe.

    With this discussion about the proper numbering of bus routes, I wonder what would happen if Translink tried to create bus routes with special names.

    For example, a new route in Surrey might cater to Rich people who need very customized service. A big corporation might sponser all of the things related to that route: the planning, the scheduling, the cleaning, the driver and the vehicle wear and tear, etc. Customers would still be required to pay. So, this new route could be called, “#333 Rogers In Newton”, or some such thing. The idea is that the route name would reflect the corporate sponsorship, and they could get a tax credit/rebate/whatever on it. The corportate sponser would be able to decide where the bus went, and who the bus picked up. It would be quite exclusive.

    As long as Translink made a profit, and it didn’t hinder the other services, then this would allow Translink to search for new markets.

  • By Ric, April 3, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Why is the 480 bus no longer going to stop at Brighouse Station?

  • By Reva, April 4, 2011 @ 1:58 am

    @ Eugene T.S. Wong:

    Normally I agree with you on most things, and I think your corporate-sponsored experimental bus routes COULD work (as much as I abhor corporate advertising), but I have to disagree with you on one thing: The corporate sponsor CANNOT decide who the bus does and does not pick up.

    They can decide on a “target” group and adjust the routing/timing/pricing etc. to cater to that group, but public transit by definition is public. Any human being who behaves themselves and pays the fare gets to ride the bus. It doesn’t matter if they’re rich, poor, old, young, good-looking, ugly, smart, stupid, tall, short, or whatever. The public transit system is for us all. If a corporation wants a private bus service, they can start their own darn private bus service, independently of CMBC.

    Otherwise, I think your idea may have some potential. :)

  • By Reva, April 4, 2011 @ 2:01 am

    @ Jhenifer: Thanks for answering my question about the #239, I appreciate the clarification!

  • By Donald, April 4, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    The West Coast Express Trainbus reductions/weekend cancellations were missed. :( Hopefully because they’re not actually going through with it??

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 4, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    @ Reva

    Yes, that’s exactly what I meant, if I recall correctly. I wouldn’t want the bus to pick 1 rider at the stop, but leave the other person standing there.

    I’m willing to bet that the sponsor could easily bend the rules and exclude certain people, in a bad way, but I doubt that they would want to do that. Hopefully, they wouldn’t and hopefully, we’d catch them if they do.

  • By Reva, April 4, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    @ Eugene: Thanks for clarifying. Sorry for going all rant-y on you. :)

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 4, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    @ Reva

    :^D :^D No, no. It didn’t seem ranty at all. Maybe I’m not sensitive enough in a good way. I was focusing more on the facts that we do agree on. It’s so refreshing to have support. I hate disagreeing with people, and I feel that I am overdoing the dissenting voice at times.

  • By Jimmy, April 4, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    There is going to be a D40 Charter at Walnut Grove Park and Ride starts at 11am

  • By Ric, April 4, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

    Jimmy, when is the D40 charter?

  • By James, April 6, 2011 @ 6:08 am

    These are extremely disappointing changes for me. There is now no Kits – Oak St bus service at all Why is this important? There are two large hospitals on Oak and a lot of people working there who live in Kits. It was limited enough as it was but without a northbound bus turning left on Broadway and going down Granville there is no nothing at all. If there are not direct buses to these sorts of places, then people will never get out of their cars.

  • By Robert, April 6, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    Re no #14 service along Hastings east of downtown after 7 PM, it’s too bad there’s no mention that local service is provided by the #16 west of Renfrew, and the #135 east of Windermere.

  • By Jimmy, April 6, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    @Ric

    the charter is on Sunday, April 10, 2011
    cost is $30 and you will also need to sign a waiver there

  • By Dennis Grypuik ph#778 708 7868, April 8, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    The Buzzer April 1,2011 win a fare card answer is #14 hastings

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 11, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Amy: which Central Library? In Vancouver?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 11, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    And Dennis: email your answer to thebuzzer@translink.ca to enter officially!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 11, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

    Meraki: Here’s the answer from CMBC planning about the N17.

    The N17 will not be renamed for April changes. However, it is certainly something that will be considered in the future.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 11, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    James: I passed your comment about Kits-Oak service along to CMBC planning, and here’s their response.

    The #17 Oak/Downtown/UBC was temporarily detoured in 2006 via the Granville Street Bridge in response to the Canada Line construction on Cambie. Specifically, the trolley overhead on Cambie Street had to be removed, and therefore an alternate routing for the #17 trolley bus had to be found.

    With the completion of the Canada Line and the re-installation of the trolley overhead now complete, the #17 can return to its original routing via Cambie. We realize that some customers have become accustomed to this detour and will be impacted once it is restored to its original routing, and we apologize for any inconvenience. We will be monitoring this change closely and if we find that demand in that area is not being met by the existing service (9, 99), then we will pursue some potential enhancements.

  • By Amy, April 11, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

    The Central Library in Vancouver.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 12, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Amy: Our trip planner would have a better answer than I can give you: http://tripplanning.translink.ca, or you can call our customer service number @ 604-953-3333 to speak to a real person.

  • By Richard Toporoski, April 13, 2011 @ 2:15 am

    Perhaps I could offer a couple of observations supplementary to Sewing’s informative and entertaining postings. The #13 was used for Hastings East streetcars running only to Renfrew Street (and then along the west side of the Exhibition to the site of the present Pacific Coliseum) as well as, westbound, for Broadway West to Alma Road (#14 being used, before 1949, for the route continuing on to Dunbar). (Additionally, since this is not mentioned in the interview with Peter Klift on the return of #14 to Hastings Street, the #14 streetcar route was always known (as can be seen in the accompanying photographs) not as “Hastings”, but as “Hastings East”. ) The route to Stanley Park is no longer #11, but #19. Is there the possibility of a restoration of the original number there too, since the streetcar route along Kingsway was also once #11? And the #17 streetcar line along Oak Street was in place, not by 1923, but by 1913!

  • By Robert B., April 15, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    1. With regard to the #15 and #50 changes, there has been some public comment in other media regarding seniors and handicapped people having to change buses to get where they want to go; i.e., it makes their trip more difficult.
    2. Print Buzzer April 1, Vancouver, Burnaby & New Westminster: #480: includes the statement “Seasonal: Mon to Fri: morning rush period, service reduced from 8 min to 10 min; trip to UBC discontinued. Service will be back in Sept.” Exactly what does “trip to UBC discontinued” mean?

  • By Mahesh Goghari, April 17, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    There was an error found in the April 1, 2011 edition of the Buzzer, which described below:

    The opening sentence written as – “The following bus service changes take effect Friday, April 18.”

    The correct sentence should be – “The following bus service changes take effect Monday, April 18.”

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, April 18, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    Thanks Mahesh: I did catch that after it went to print, but unfortunately there’s no taking it back!

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » April 2011 bus changes and the service optimization project: an interview with TransLink planning director Brian Mills — April 5, 2011 @ 11:02 am

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