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Links and Tidbits for May 13, 2011

Thanks to Timothy Choi and Scout Magazine for pointing me to the above video of a six-course meal on the NYC subway!

  • Two Canadian companies are planning on working together to make buses with Wi-Fi. They met at the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) meeting in Vancouver!
  • Chromaroma is an automated Foursquare-like game out of using London’s Public Transportation Smart Card, the Oyster Card – Crazy!
  • One person’s opinion on the virtues of biking in New York.
  • It looks like we’re getting a little closer to a public bike system in Vancouver becoming a reality.
  • A really good read about a female CMBC mechanic!
  • The Main Street SkyTrain Station was captured in a new photo book called This Is East Van.
  • Would you like to to move closer to work but aren’t sure if you can afford it? Maybe $12 000 dollars would make things easy for you! Check out this interesting program the Washington D.C. Office of Planning is heading.
  • Have you ever wondered how to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles using only public transit?
  • Hey look, Calgary is getting on the fare card band wagon! Oh, and they’re also looking into building a gondola. There aren’t many hills in Cowtown, and the ski hill already has one, so it’s anyone’s bet where this would go.
  • There are planes, trains, and now, a plane-train! Japanese researchers are working on a plane that fits into and levitates on a track that could carry passengers at high speeds!
  • Lahore, Pakistan could soon have a monorail.
  • Angus McIntyre sent this YouTube link of a video of the last days of the reroute of the 17 Oak bus. That bus route has returned to traveling over the Cambie street bridge after it was rerouted over the Granville Street Bridge due to Canada Line construction.
  • A classic anti-graffiti video from the NYC Transit Authority cleverly titled (insert sarcasm), Don’t Do It.
  • A photo of what not to do on the bus. Thanks again Buzzer reader Tim Choi!
  • Are these subway ads too good for subways? I think not.
  • A rare and fascinating glimpse of London’s Royal Mail underground mail rail system.
  • Montreal’s ridership is way up and so many more buses on the way to meet the need.
  • A Japanese bullet train promo for the new Kyushu Shinkansen. Man those Japanese love their trains! Thanks for this one Matt!
  • Swift sent us this Popular Science article on this SkyTrain precursor, the ICTS prototype train. He’s working on models of early ICTS trains like this one and this one. We love those trains Swift!
  • If you have any items to suggest, or a photo or video to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at!


    • By Tim Choi, May 13, 2011 @ 10:00 am

      The “ground effect principle” mentioned in the plane-train article was also tested and experimented with by the Soviets during the Cold War in the form of “Ekranoplan” crafts – giant flying boats with short stubby wings that flew a few feet off the surface of the water. Designed for carrying large amounts of troops quickly over water, some were also equipped cruise missiles on the top of the fuselage.

      The Lahore monorail, I fear, would be a boon for the Pakistani Taliban and other terrorist groups. Developers may be wanting to wait until the threat has died down somewhat before commencing with the project.

    • By voony, May 13, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

      plane-train = aerotrain in french , as mentioned above very old concept…
      If you want carry passengers at high speeds, an even older concept is still more efficient, it is simply called train.
      be it an ICE or TGV, it is still a train able to use existing infrastructure

    • By Cliff, May 16, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

      Heh, last winter, a friend and I followed a Texas Greyhound bus from Portland to Seattle because it had free unprotected wi-fi. The poor bus driver had no idea why were were following him!

      It would be great to see wi-fi on transit. It would give people another reason to take transit. Why drive when you can sit back and relax with a Youtube video?

    • By ???, May 16, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

      I have to say wifi on buses is a waste of money. You don’t get wifi while waiting at stop. It’s hard to use when you are standing. You are on the bus for 10 to 15 minutes for the average ride, when you need to look for another signal.

      If it gets too popular, the bandwidth is pathetic. I’ve had limited success watching videos on hotel wifi as everyone appears to be maxing out the pipe. If you want mobile internet, sign up for a data package with your phone or get a usb data key. It’s less than a cup of coffee a day!

      I refuse to watch transit fares go up for a small group of users wanting wifi.

    • By Cliff, May 16, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

      The West Coast Express? The 160, 190, 351, 601…

      All are good candidates for Wifi service. With cost being an issue, it only needs to be introduced on a handful of routes.

      It would absolutely bomb on a route like the 9 or 10, but on a inter-suburban route? Usage would be through the roof!

    • By Miguel, May 17, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

      \There are plains, trains, and now, a plain-train! Japanese researchers are working on a plain that fits into and levitates on a track that could carry passengers at high speeds!\

      Is PLANE is the word you’re looking for?

      Someone writes for a transit blog and can’t spell plane?

    • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 17, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

      LOL. That’s what I get for writing this thing after no sleep. Darn homonyms! Thanks for catching that!

    • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 17, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

      ;^P Is HOMOPHONE is the word you’re looking for?
      Someone writes for a transit blog and doesn’t use “homophone”? ;^D

    • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Blog Editor, May 17, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

      Eugene: You’re absolutely right! Man, I’m two for two on this one. Thanks!

    • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 18, 2011 @ 2:32 am

      Is YOUR the word…no, just kidding. ;^D

      :^) Hey, no worries. When somebody pointed out the difference to me, I thought that he was just being an ivory tower elite snob, until he spelled out the differences.

      For aspiring grammar Nazis, “homonyms” are for when words are spelled the same but have different meanings, or something like that, and “homophones”, are for when words sound the same. It’s easier to remember the meaning of the words, when you remember the meaning of the suffixes. Synonyms, homonyms, and antonyms are related to meaning. Homophones, telephones, and phonetics are related to sounds.

      ;^b I hope that clarifies things for people, so that more of us can enjoy humiliating those who struggle with obscure meanings. ;^D

      …whoops. I just checked my definitions with a Google search. It seems that you, Robert, were correct after all.

      ;^( I hate English! :^D

    • By ;-), June 1, 2011 @ 8:35 am

      Click on

      Watch past the first commercial. Advance to 33:10 to watch a proud Vancouverite get refused transit service. I think Translink should return the favour. Where’s the transit police to issue some tickets.

    • By ???, March 20, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

      Just stumbled across this idea for wifi service. Do you think it would work in Vancouver?

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