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Links and Tidbits – April 25, 2014

Links and tidbits is our semi-regular roundup of interesting fodder about transportation from the last few weeks or so. If you have links to contribute, put them in the comments, or email us.

To prepare for his Grammys preformance, Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis treated some New York City commuters to a rendition of “Can’t Hold Us”.  What a great way to start your morning!


  • As reported in 24 Hours, one bus driver witnessed a touching act of generosity this holiday weekend. Upon noticing a fellow transit rider wearing plastic bags on his feet, a man offered him his own shoes and socks. The act of kidness “made my heart melt”, said the bus driver. We also blogged about it yesterday!


  • Talk about a bad day! A couple of months ago, rush hour commuters in London were met with extreme delays after a major London Underground control room was flooded with cement. Service was eventually restored to normal but not before images leaked online of signalling equipment submerged in concrete. Oops!


  • Here’s some pretty hair raising advertising at work for Swedish pharmacy chain Apotek.


  • Local Vancouver blogger, Nathaniel Christopher, shares photos of fresh new seats on his route 135 bus. Mmm… you’ve gotta love that new bus seat smell.


  • You never know who you’ll run into on public transit. Here’s a great story from 1981 about a London Underground encounter.


  • Here is a great photo of one of our old trolley buses from 1954. (Photo credit: OAChris Flickr). Thanks to our friends at TransLinked for sharing this!

Vancouver Trolley Bus 1954


  • Nathan W. Pyle provides us with a few useful etiquette tips we should all keep in mind when riding public transit. He focuses specifically on New York City but I think transit riders everywhere can relate! Thanks again TransLinked!


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  • Glow in the dark roads are coming to the Netherlands. Streetlights on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands are replaced by glow in the dark road markings in a pilot project.


  • From September 30 – October 4, Transport for London asked local poets to help them encourage commuters to be aware and considerate of each other while riding transit. Some great posters were created as well as this “When travelling in London Town” cartoon.



  • By Sheba, April 25, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    I was reading about the glow in the dark roads in the Netherlands recently too. The idea isn’t so much about replacing streetlights – it’s more for rural roads that don’t have any streetlights and aren’t likely to get any anytime soon. At least this way drivers will be able to see where the road is.

    I don’t know if anyone saw this: Los Angeles subway dig finds prehistoric objects

    Or this: TransLink spends $1.14 million renting Burnaby facility

  • By Eugene Wong, May 12, 2014 @ 9:13 am

    These people essentially turned the transit system into a theatre, by having various performances at various stops on the trolley line.

    We don’t need to use trolleys. We can use regular buses, too. In fact, why not use buses that are not as full, so that people have an incentive to use those buses?

  • By Eugene Wong, May 14, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    @ All

    I have just discovered a couple of bad things about Translink’s customer service.

    It seems that we can no longer have direct access to the people in charge of making the decisions. We have to be filtered out through the “gate keepers”, who are known as “customer relations”. These people aren’t the same ones that we phone for help with getting around on the transit system.

    In general, the CR people are supposed to put things together to get things going, but because they might not be transit users, and because they might not even see value in transit [i.e.: not in the same way that Jarrett Walker does], then you can assume that their short sightedness might actually hinder the complaint process. That is a harsh accusation, but no matter what, if they don’t see value in your suggestion, then they obviously wouldn’t try as hard to make it happen. Would you try really hard to ensure that a stupid idea is brought to fruition? I wouldn’t. A stupid idea could ruin the transit system.

    Translink seems to have a new policy, where the people at CR, and the people who answer the phone at the HQ, are forbidden from putting you through to the people in charge of anything; if I understand correctly.

    I’m really disappointed.

    I also found out that Translink is supposed to keep track of all complaints. Meanwhile, I vaguely recall Robert and Jhenifer saying that they had no complaints about how their Twitter account was being used. There are quite a few complaints by people other than me. This implies to me that they are making decisions based on incomplete information [e.g.: “We haven’t recalled hearing of any complaints, and we won’t bother looking them up, and/or we won’t record them. Therefore, what we are doing is just fine, and therefore, we won’t change our ways.”].

    This is truly disturbing. It’s *almost* like we have been lied to.

    It’s not to say that there have been no positives. It’s just that not all suggestions have been treated equally.

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