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Links and tidbits for September 7, 2012

An interesting piece of subway art from New York based artist: Sophie Blackall. Thanks Translinked for the link!

Here’s another semi-regular roundup of interesting tidbits and links about transportation from the last week or so. If you have links to contribute, put them in the comments or email us!

  • A bit of Metro Vancouver rail history is on the move again. Gotta love those interurbans! Thanks again Translinked for the great post!
  • Some more love from Translinked. This post is about, Third and St. Davids – a comic cell by legendary underground cartoonist Rand Holmes that has a great image of one of our old buses. And here’s a cool cover of a transit planning pamphlet from 1946.
  • Here are some nice twists on the conventional bus stops. I bet Buzzer readers have some other great interesting bus stop links. Please share!
  • Wouldn’t if be very romantic/unique to propose to your partner who you met on transit on the very transit where you met? Too late, it’s already been done. Watch the video. Extreme cute alert!
  • Frances Bula takes on a transit question in her City Plumber column: Why does West Van operate its own bus system? And did the NDP ever force them to paint their buses orange?
  • OK, there’s no denying that this RER train car converted to look like the Palace of Versailles is truly amazing. When I look at it, I think about what Canadian site a SkyTrain car could be redesigned to look like. Any ideas?
  • Starting on September 15 and running until November 10, 2012, Centre A has an exhibit on 100 years of BC Electric. I can’t wait to see it!
  • Eugene Wong sent this revealing and funny look at how getting a seat on transit is like devising strategies in war. Jhen and I can’t stop thinking how this could be applied to the #99 on a very busy day.
  • Buzzer reader Eric Bucad let us know about this NYC bus driver who sings opera to his passengers.
  • LA is trying to build up their transit system and it’s going to take some time. In order to do this, voters are being asked to extend transit tax another 30 years into the future. Talk about stable funding!
  • Buzzer reader Monty Burt sent in a bunch of links including this article about two new light rail transit stations in Calgary. Here’s a link to the West LRT project.
  • Speaking of light rail, Sound Transit is planning more light rail for the Seattle area including an underground station at the University of Washington.
  • Monty also send us this link of some nice images from Salt Lake City’s light rail system. And this link about Ottawa’s light rail train to be shut down for four months for upgrades.
  • Some allegedly spontaneous Whitney Houston subway dancing.
  • Ireland’s Transportation Minister wants free Wi-Fi across public transit in that country.
  • After 40 years, Seattle puts an end to free downtown bus trips starting September 29, 2012. Money is said to be the reason for the change.
  • The Human Transit blog writes about free transit zones. Here’s an interesting quote:

    “You can do it in rural areas and small cities where demand is low. You can do it in university-dominated towns, where students are most of the market and are riding anyway. And you can do it in a downtown area, specifically to make short trips within downtown easy. In each of those cases, you’re giving away something for which you anticipate low demand, and for which you have adequate supply. But citywide free transit in a big city, especially during the peak commute, is the opposite. You’re giving away something that is in high demand, and for which you have a limited supply.”

  • While I’m referencing Human Transit, I’d like to mention that our Transit Network Primer was mention on that blog.
  • The new operating system for the next iPhone, iOS6, will not be using Google Maps. Instead, Apple will have its own map which doesn’t have transit info included :(. Now a start up app creating company is promising to fill that void. Although, I have a feeling that the service may be U.S. only – at least in the beginning.


  • By Tim Choi, September 7, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    “Money is said to be the reason for the change.”

    Pun fully intended? Haha.

  • By Sheba, September 7, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    It’d be fun to put the school bus stop shelter by schools – maybe other places could have a specific style of shelter as well.

    Calgary and Seattle are expanding their light rail lines, and Ottawa is upgrading theirs. Meanwhile it’s not good enough for us? Take a look at the Salt Lake City pictures (esp Daybreak Parkway) – now that’s how I see the King George line in Surrey (except with a lot more buildings).

  • By SS, September 8, 2012 @ 2:15 pm


    Building LRT does not automatically equals to more km using the same amount of money. The way Calgary, Seattle, and Ottawa built LRT does seems to make SkyTrain a much better deal. Looking into the LRT projects in those city gives:

    Calgary West LRT – 1.4 billions for 8.0 km
    Seattle Universty Link – 1.9 billions for 5.1 km
    Seattle North Link – 1.4 billions for 6.9 km
    Ottawa LRT – 2.1 billions for 12.5 km

    Now, our Evergreen line is 11.2 km and is expected to cost *only* 1.4 billions. If TransLink want to build a Surrey LRT like those, it would probably much better for them to just go for a SkyTrain extension…

  • By Eugene Wong, September 8, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    People should note that a significant cost to the Expo Line was a %13 interest loan. That was unreasonable, and the government should have searched for a better deal.

  • By Eugene Wong, September 8, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    @ Sheba

    I see that there is still an interest in the Evergreen alignment. I checked the Wikipedia page for the sourece of information. It pointed to this.

    If you searc in the document, then you should find the specific information. There is a clear map there also.

    It is on the printed page 8, and page 9 of the software. You will need to scroll down to see the map.

    * VCC to Coquitlam: any train, without any transferring
    * Vancouver to New Westminster to Lougheed: Millenium Line trains *only*
    * Vancouver to Surrey: Expo Line trains *only* as usual

  • By Donald, September 8, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    Eugene, note that back in the 80’s, high interest loans were VERY common. Mortgage rates on a five year term were as high as 21% in 1981 when construction of the Expo Line began was about 12% by the time the line opened in 1985.

    I will definitely be donating to the FVHRS!

  • By Sheba, September 8, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

    Thanks for that link Eugene. Now I really hope that they run the ‘new 101’ we talked about from Edmonds to Production Way instead of Lougheed Station.

  • By ;-), September 14, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    This was on CTV tonight….

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