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Watch for TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis on the system next Mon Apr 4, 2011

Ian Jarvis, TransLink CEO

On Monday, April 4, 2011, look out for Ian Jarvis, TransLink’s chief executive officer, out riding the system!

Again, this is a little project we’re trying out this year: sending our executives out to talk to customers, ask for feedback, and answer questions. (In March, our COO Doug Kelsey went out: here’s what he heard.)

(Edit: To clarify, Ian usually rides the system fairly regularly, but this specific outing is about proactively talking to customers, rather than just being a fellow rider.)

Ian will be out at about 9:30 a.m., focusing on the Surrey region: he’s planning for stops at Surrey Central, Newton Exchange, Scottsdale Exchange, and Scott Road. You’re invited to submit your questions in advance via the blog here.

And on the day of Ian’s trip, you can follow his progress via our Twitter feed: Erin McConnell, our manager of corporate communications, will be tweeting about Ian’s ride periodically. At that time, you can also send in questions to our TransLink Twitter feed.

We’ll have a wrap-up note here on the blog: ETA still to be determined as I’m away next week.

And as always, feel free to offer your feedback on this initiative as it unfolds. We want to hear your thoughts on this project and how we can make it better!


  • By M McBride, April 3, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    The sky train cars (not Canada Line) are unsafe in an emergency situation. I have actually seen this when there was an emergency on the train and no one knew how to open the doors, I did but decided not to get involoved, wanted to see how the emergency played out. The information regarding how to open the door is located in the upper part of the door frame. This is unacceptable. If the train were in the tunnel and lights were out no one would be able to know how to manually open the doors, even in the daylight, I doubt most passengers would know how to open the doors. Also the skytrain cars were never absolutley designed to carry bicycles, (not Canada Line) they block the doors and in an emergency could in fact create a problem in getting out of the cars, blocking the aisles or doors etc. Safety should be the number one priority and this certainly shows that safety at Translink is not. My thought is a law suit against Translink would be a way to stop the bikes on trains.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 3, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    @ M McBride

    There was an emergency? Did everybody need to get out? Where was the train? Was it in the station? What was wrong at the time?

    I’m sceptical about your claim, but I’d appreciate seeing Translink run some drills on uninitiated volunteers, to see how they react.

  • By Gary, April 4, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    So much focus on the South of Fraser area. Why does TransLink continue to ignore their core customers who are suffering from overloaded buses? My guess is that routes like the 99 and 20 more than cover their operating costs. A normal business would focus on their real customers, not the invisible ones who ride on near empty buses like on routes 329 and 340. Surely Mr. Jarvis knows that. If other municipalities want to leave TransLink, so be it. Unit operating costs would drop and overall financial performance would rise. You can sign me as “A 99 rider who’s standing out in the freezing rain as another full artic passes on by.”

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 4, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    I really wanted to meet up with him just to see what everybody else wanted to discuss. It’s really unfortunate that I missed out.

    @ Gary

    You make it sound like #329 goes by every 10 minutes, with 0 customers. It only goes by each hour, and it only goes by about 8 times per day [too lazy to check for specifics]. That being said, I would support Translink, if it wanted to devote the resources to somewhere else, even though I really appreciate that route going near my home.

    If I support channelling all resources to Vancouver, then would you support me, a Surrey citizen, being on 1 of those buses that passes you by? You could have been on the bus, if it weren’t for those out of town people. Would you support me, driving in front of your bus? What about the other Surrey people who jam pack the streets because they have things to attend to in Vancouver, but don’t have good transit service? I assume that we won’t use up all the space, so maybe the Coquitlam people could help us out. Maybe the Richmond and Delta people could too.

    You really make it sound as if all of the money should be devoted to you, and as if the Surrey people don’t have needs either.

    My question to you: why should Translink continue to ignore their core customers in Surrey, Coquitlam and other contributing cities, who are suffering from overloaded buses, just to give you more service?

    Channel your anger towards the highways and roads. Those things take up more funding than anything. Those projects could have given us probably 10 bus routes of equivalent length. With all the money that we would have saved, we probably would have been able to afford rapid transit to Tsawassen.

    Yes, I know. I know. There is nothing that you can do. It’s not your fault. Oh, wait. Maybe you Vancouver people could start arranging jobs and activities in other parts of the Metro Vancouver Regional District. Bring the St Patrick’s Day parade out to Surrey. Bring the Fringe Festival out to Richmond. Bring the environmental protests to _____. Bring the Santa Claus parade to Burnaby. Bring the Canada parade to Langley. Bring the environmental SFU workshops out to SFU, in Surrey. I find it appalling that those environmental groups always insist on meeting in Vancouver.

    Honestly, how do you expect us to cooperate with you? By carpooling to Scott Rd and 22nd Ave Station, and then taking SkyTrain?

  • By Fritz, April 5, 2011 @ 1:00 am

    Wow, So much anger in outer suburbia. Thank God I don’t live out there. About 60,000 of us ride over crowded buses every day on Broadway. 41st Avenue buses are equally crowded, with about 1/2 as many riders. FYI…Many riders are from the suburbs. City routes cover their costs and probably more. So yes, I agree with Gary. If the people out in Surrey aren’t happy, they are free to go their own way. Vancouver transit will just do fine without them. When they realize how much it costs to run their own system, they’ll be begging to come back into Vancouver TransLink.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 5, 2011 @ 2:28 am

    @ Gary

    What you said is spoken like a person who receives funding from the province and the country. You have 4 rail lines going through you city, which were heavily funded by the province, other municipalities, and federal government. You dare to speak that way to us? I suppose you do.

    To put it into perspective, please explain why Vancouver can barely even support the Downtown Historic Railway on its own? Even after the Olympics, the city is struggling to keep it all in service. The city wants to build its own street car line throughout the downtown area, and the surrounding neighbourhoods. That’s pretty ambitious, when they can’t even keep the Downtown Historic Railway running.

    You’re right it would be difficult for the municipalities to do it on their own. That’s why they join a regional district. Don’t you dare speak down on us, when you have used so much funding from the non-Vancouver governments.

  • By Sheba, April 6, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    I have to second what Eugene is saying. I grew up in N Delta, my parents now live in Surrey and I live in Burnaby. The South of Fraser service was pathetic when I was growing up and even now it isn’t that great. Everywhere in the lower mainland would pay into transit and the vast majority of service would be for Vancouver. Finally other areas are getting some attention.

  • By Sewing, April 6, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    I have to third Eugene’s comments.

    I spent the first 25 years of my life living in the City of Vancouver, and have lived in the ‘burbs ever since—and have been a lifelong transit user.

    There’s no doubt that transit use is a lot more intensive within the City limits, and especially on routes to UBC. At the same time, however, the suburbs are chronically underserviced.

    Certainly, supply needs to match demand, and if transit demand west of Boundary is so much higher than elsewhere, then it’s in TransLink’s interest to keep its revenue up by satisfying that demand.

    At the same time, there are a lot of transit riders in the suburbs—and there’d be a lot more, if service on even a few key routes was attractive enough to draw them. At least in Richmond and the North Shore, you have some decent service…but by the time you get even to the Tri Cities—let alone South of Fraser—service gets worse and worse. Even leaving aside low-ridership routes, even the biggest routes in Surrey (319, 320, 321, 502) are heavily underservded, from everything I hear.

    Sustainability seems to be the watchword of the day. If we want a “livable region,” then we need the transit service to facilitate that. And if Vancouverites don’t want more cars clogging their streets (as we are always told), then they need to support attractive alternatives for their suburban neighbours.

  • By Jacob, April 11, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    I’ll fourth everything eugene said. Though I live in vancouver, I know the pain people feel in the burbs. If I miss 4 consecutive 20s or 99s, so what? I’m still only waiting 20 minutes. But if i miss one surrey bus, then its another 30 minutes.

    Gary, How would you feel if you just missed a 341? we would not be able to fund our North of fraser if the south leaves. The skytrain simply cost’s too much to operate. And consider this: the surrey FTN only consists of 5 buses, the vancouver FTN is almost all the buses.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, April 11, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    Thank you Sheba, Sewing, and Jacob. Thank you, so much.

    For people who aren’t sold on the idea of forcing Surrey to stay: think about how annoying it would be for riders to have to ride around Surrey, to get from Delta to Langley, instead of through Surrey. Surrey would probably let Translink buses through, but that situation is much worst and much costlier than what we have now.

  • By Maciek Kon, July 14, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    Mr. Jarvis shows himself an incapable manager placing his signature under such piece of junk as TransLink “Cycling for Everyone” plan claiming that a travel lane can accommodate 14,000 bicycles per hour.
    That would mean a bike every half a second. Compare than with a minimum of 2 seconds required for safe distance between vehicles.
    A CEO that is so out-of-touch with a company that he manages deserves to be kicked out on a street for negligence.
    Wake up Ian, you are behind the wheel.

  • By don charters, December 24, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    Dear Mr. Jarvis – the design of the current seats on the entire fleet of Translink buses is faulty and causes injury to people – beyond the hardness of the seat this poor design has pipes projecting out as if to achieve some design effect – but the real effect is that of hurting the legs of passengers when they accidentally connect with them – it has happened to me many times and I am sure has happened thousands of times to your riders – I am considering a class action law suit in which I will look for riders who have been hurt like me.

  • By Stefanie Lee - Buzzer Contributor, December 27, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    Hi don – It’s unfortunate to hear about your experience with the bus seat design. If you have a few minutes it would be helpful for us to have your comments and design suggestions documented in our Customer Feedback form. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the feed back form and this way we can also keep track of the comments. I hope your next experience transit is better! Happy holidays.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Wrapup note from TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis’s ride on the system, Apr 4, 2011 — April 15, 2011 @ 10:02 am

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