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Translink Buzzer Blog

Friday fun poll: Have you ever biked to work or school?

Photo Courtesy of Paul Krueger

Photo Courtesy of Paul Krueger

Cycling can be one of the fastest ways to get around in the city, especially in more urban areas of Metro Vancouver. It’s also one of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways to travel.

In the past, we asked the Buzzer readers if you’ve put a bike on the bus bike rack. With Bike to Work Week starting on Monday, May 26, we want to know if you have ever biked to work or school?

Are you a fair-weather cyclist or do you bike everyday? Do you bike the entire way or is transit part of your cycling commute? Cast your vote and let us know in the comments section!

Have you ever biked to work or school?

  • Yes (65%, 33 Votes)
  • No (35%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 51

Planning to hit the road with your two-wheeler to ride your bike to work for the first time? Check out the May 2014 Buzzer for a few things you need to know before you go!

Our fleet is fully equip to handle bikes — you can take your bike onto the busSkyTrainSeaBus and West Coast Express. For more details about bikes on transit, click here.

TransLink is a partner in the Central Valley Greenway and BC Parkway, and is responsible for the Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge and developing the Regional Cycling Strategy.

Author: Allen Tung

Friday fun poll results: There’s no clear-cut favourite bus!

Friday fun poll results: Do you have a favourite TransLink bus to ride?

We asked the Buzzer blog readers two weeks ago if you had a favourite TransLink bus to ride.

It was a tight race between New Flyer Industries bus models XD40/XDE60D40LF/C40LF/D60LF, and E40LFR/E60LFR.

Each commanded 27 per cent, 25 per cent, and 20 per cent of the votes respectively.

Gennifer said her favourite buses were the Orion Vs and New Flyer XD40s/XDE60s because they are the only buses on the fleet with air conditioning.

I voted for the Orion V in the poll, because I really like the comfortable seats and A/C, but I also really like the Xcelsiors, mostly also because they’re air conditioned.

Reva agreed, adding the wide aisles and seating arrangement are a nice touch.

The Xcelsiors are great… quiet, solid, ride as smooth as silk. Nice bonus features include wide aisles, sensible seating arrangement with lots of seats to choose from, and A/C. Also the chrome wheels are a nice touch. If the entire fleet were replaced with Xcelsiors I would not be disappointed. :)

Juan and ‘o‘ voted for their favourite bus today, but also chimed in with their all-time favourite buses.

My all time favourite would be the High-Floor D40′s. I remember riding them on route 340 as a kid ot my dentist appointments.

D40 LF- Detroit S50 all the way! (grew up with these in richmond.) otherwise, the (now scrapped) NFI D40 were pretty sweet with their detroit 2 stroke 6v92TA’s Also the E901A/E902s, as well as the modern trolleys

Didn’t get a chance to vote in the poll? It’s not too late! Let us know in the comments section.

Author: Allen Tung

Main Street-Science World’s new east stationhouse opens today

A rendering if the upgraded Main Street-Science World Station

A rendering of the upgraded Main Street-Science World Station

The new east stationhouse at Main Street-Science World opens today and the west stationhouse will close for construction.

This means customers that plan to take the Train2Main from Main Street-Science World Station will now have to access the station from the east stationhouse. The west stationhouse will remain closed until construction at the station is complete in early 2015.

The new east stationhouse will include new stairs, an up-escalator and a new elevator.

This is an exciting time as we make much-needed improvements at one of the busiest stations to improve your experience onboard the SkyTrain system. To learn more, visit www.translink.ca/ontrack.

Author: Allen Tung

The May 2014 Buzzer is now on the system

May 2014 Buzzer

Extra! Extra! #WhatsTheLink? Read all about it!

The May 2014 Buzzer is now on the system and we have some exciting content in this issue.

#WhatsTheLink — did you know TransLink is responsible for more than transit? We’re also responsible for roads, bridges, cycling and walking paths. TransLink manages 2,300 lane kilometres of major roads!

The 2013 Annual General Meeting is taking place on Wednesday, May 28. It’s your chance you hear more about our accomplishments and financial highlights of the past year.

HUB is organizing Bike to Work Week from May 26 to June 1, and we are here to share with you a few things you need to know before you hit the road with your two-wheeler.

Later this month, we’ll be introducing the very first Secure Bike Parking area at Main Street-Science World.

Transit Police offers five tips to ensure your journey on public transport is a success. Remember to take the Train2Main if you are travelling to Main Street-Science World. Monday, May 19 is Victoria Day — that means all transit will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule.

And as always, we have the usual favourites, including the Contest Corner, Back Issues and Coming Events.

Remember to pick it up on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express, or download it here!

Author: Allen Tung

Victoria Day 2014 holiday service

SkyTrain arrives, 1” by colink. is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Long weekend, here we come!

Monday, May 19, 2014 is Victoria Day. This means bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus will all be running on a Sunday/holiday schedule.

West Coast Express trains and TrainBus service will not operate. AirCare Inspection Centres will also be closed.

Don’t forget you only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!

For transit service info, feel free to reach out to our call centre on Twitter (@TransLink) or at 604-953-3333 (6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.)!

Author: Allen Tung

Links and Tidbits – May 16, 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.

  • If you took a SkyTrain ride on April 12, you might have caught these brave souls singing Bohemian Rhapsody onboard:

 

  • Transit rider Norma Ibarra uploaded this video of a community shuttle operator encouraging people to feel better about themselves!

 

 

 

  • Also from r/transit, the New York Times reports Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is looking to build a rail connecting to the county’s Metro Rail system.

 

 

  • A transit booze map? Yes! Thrillist has created this map that will take you to drinks along MARTA Rapid Rail.

 

  • Brent Toderian writes this opinion piece on Planetizen and he argues the biggest challenge cities are facing is not “what comes out of the tailpipe of your car,” but rather the amount of space a car takes up.

 

 

 

 

  • Do you use the Transit App? They just released an update for Android phones.

 

 

  • PRT?!? In the 1970s, it was envisioned that personal rapid transit (PRT) would be the next big thing in transportation — combining the independence of the car with the ideals of mass transportation.

 

  • Check this out! This transit enthusiast created a moving Lego model of the Canada Line. (Thanks Eric!)

Author: Allen Tung

#WhatsTheLink: There are 200,000 crossings each day on TransLink bridges

The Canada Line bike bridge is one as well!

Riders using the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge

What is TransLink? Not only are we responsible for transit, but we are also responsible for roads, bridges, cycling and walking paths.

We told you last week that TransLink manages the Major Road Network (MRN) and 2,300 lane kilometres of roads.

This week, we’re here to share another fact with you!

TransLink owns and maintains five bridges: Knight StreetPattulloGolden Ears, and Westham Island bridges as well as the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge.

Did you know that there are 200,000 crossings by trucks, cars, and buses over these bridges each day? In addition to these motor vehicles over the Fraser River, roughly 100,000 crossings a year happen by bike on the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge.

Miss 604: The Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge

Heiror

Heiror

Karen

Karen

Josef

Josef

Robert Willis, editor of the Buzzer, had used all but the Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge before, so he decided pay it a visit to learn more about it.

There he met three cycling commuters. 

Josef has been riding across the bridge nearly every day since it opened to get to work.

Karen just started taking the bridge more frequently after starting a new job in Richmond. A fair-weather cyclist, she drives over the Oak Street Bridge when the rain pours but prefers cycling to driving,

Heiror was leisurely riding and taking photos along the bridge while he was making his way to his first day interning at a Vancouver studio.

Vancouver Observer: Westham Island Bridge, star of the big and small screen

Westham Island Bridge

Westham Island Bridge

One of TransLink’s bridges is pretty famous — Hollywood famous.

Westham Island Bridge has been featured on a number of television shows and movies.

One episode of the A&E series Bates Motel involved an actress standing on the edge of the bridge (wearing a safety harness of course) and jumping from the bridge into the water. The short-lived TV series John Doe, a Jello ad and a collection of car commercials also feature the rustic bridge in recent years.

The film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief used the bridge as well. The cult TV series X-Files used the bridge in a least two episodes. We’ve been told the bridge offers a pleasant, old and simple look that’s sought after.

When it’s not starring on the big screen, it’s a vital link connecting Westham Island with Ladner and the Municipality of Delta. It is one of the few remaining bridges containing wood components in Metro Vancouver—the bridge is comprised of thirty timber spans.

Vancity Buzz: The Knight Street Bridge, 40 Years of Transportation and Community

Marjorie

Marjorie

Katie

Katie

David

David

The Knight Street Bridge opened in 1974 to replace the Fraser Street Bridge, which had become obsolete.

In forty years, the bridge has become a heavily used route for both commuters and businesses. It provides a vital link between Richmond and Vancouver.

David is the President of Harbour Link Container Services INC. He says Knight Street, including the Knight Street Bridge, is an important part of his business. He says, “It’s the main artery from the Downtown Vancouver terminals to industry in Richmond North and South as well as the Tilbury Industrial area out to Delta Port.”

Katie works at Our Town Café says the Knight Street Bridge connects them to Richmond and Vancouver International Airport.

Marjorie says the Knight Street Bridge is a regular fixture in her life. She says she uses the Knight Street Bridge to and from Richmond to buy vegetables like onions, green chilies and tomatoes for the restaurant.

Storify: #WhatsTheLink: Bridges

Check out our Storify summary!

Check out our Storify summary!

In addition to the stories, we ran a matching game on our Instagram page asking if you knew “what the link” was between two different sights.

Pictures we uploaded include the River Rock Casino in Richmond, the Langara Golf Course in Vancouver, and the International Summer Night Market in Richmond.

Check out our Storify to see all the images and answers from the game!

Author: Allen Tung

Come to the TransLink 2013 Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 28!

Come join us at the new Surrey City Hall – just one block from Surrey Central Station!

It’s that time of the year again!

The 2013 annual general meeting will be taking place at the new Surrey City Hall at 13450 104 Avenue and is located one block from Surrey Central Station. The meeting will start at 10 a.m.

After the main presentation on our accomplishments and financial highlights of the past year, a panel discussion and question period will follow.

Commuters can take the Expo Line from Columbia Station and the 96 B-Line from Newton and Guildford Exchange to reach city hall. Use our Trip Planner or call 604-953-3333 to plan your trip. Paid parking is also available beneath the city hall plaza for $1.50 per hour.

If you’re unable to attend in person, check the blog in the coming weeks for information on how you can watch the live webinar. We look forward to seeing you in person or online on the 28th!

Author: Allen Tung

Google Maps now has live departure times

Google Maps has live departure times now!

Live departure times at the WB w Broadway NS Ash St stop

We have some great news transit riders: Google Maps has live departure times now!

Through the new GTFS real-time API, Google Maps is now able to provide real-time transit information like our Next Bus feature. It is able to display predicted departure times (based on GPS data) instead of scheduled departure times.

This means riders using Google Maps to plan their trip will be able to know more accurately when they will arrive at their destination. As an added bonus, Google Maps also provides an estimated walking time when you’re off transit.

Google Maps 2-Minute Delay

Two-minute delay on this trip to the University of British Columbia

GTFS real-time is a different way of processing the real-time transit data already available through Real Time Transit Information (RTTI). It will offer developers greater flexibility to create even more amazing apps built with our shared and free transit data.

Developers can visit developer.translink.ca to register for an API key to access our GTFS real-time, RTTI, and Regional Traffic Data System (RTDS) open APIs.

Let us know how you’ll be using this new data and Google Maps feature!

Author: Allen Tung

Friday fun poll: Do you have a favourite TransLink bus to ride?

New Flyer bus

TransLink’s New Flyer DE60LFR bus!

TransLink, through its subsidiary Coast Mountain Bus Company operates a fleet of 1,451 conventional, trolley, and community shuttle buses.

As part of our Ask TransLink series last April, Buzzer reader Nick asked Brian Revel, a bus operator, if he had a favourite one to drive.

Here’s Brian’s response:

Brian Revel, bus operator!

Brian Revel, bus operator!

Which make and model of bus is my favourite? I like different buses for different reasons. I really like the articulated trolley buses. They are heavy so they’re really smooth on the road. I really love the fact that I’m driving a very rare vehicle in North America too. There are trolley systems only in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Dayton, Philadelphia and Boston. I also love the fact that trolley buses are completely zero-emission vehicles, powered by hydro-electricity.I also really like the Nova hybrid buses. They too are smooth and quiet.

For most of us, a bus is a bus is a bus. They start slowly. Turn slowly. Stop slowly. And they all carry a lot of people. But there are small differences between them. Some are more powerful, on some the doors open more quickly, and others are more quiet. Seating position and ergonomics differ greatly and some prefer the Novas to the New Flyers to the Orions just because of that.

Now over to you Buzzer readers! Do you have a favourite TransLink bus to ride? If so, which one is it?

Which one is your favourite TransLink bus to ride?

  • New Flyer XD40/XDE60 (27%, 29 Votes)
  • New Flyer D40LF/C40LF/D60LF (25%, 27 Votes)
  • New Flyer E40LFR/E60LFR (20%, 21 Votes)
  • Nova Bus LFS/LFS HEV (13%, 14 Votes)
  • New Flyer D40LFR/C40LFR/D60LFR/DE60LFR (8%, 9 Votes)
  • Orion V (7%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 107

Fleet Pictorial

Author: Allen Tung

#WhatsTheLink: What is TransLink?

We have a new video for #WhatsTheLink!

“Probably SkyTrain.”

“Bus.”

“SkyTrain.”

“Oh, SkyTrain.”

Those are all correct, but TransLink’s mandate as Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority covers much more. In addition to public transit, we are also responsible for maintaining the Major Road Network including five bridges, developing the Regional Cycling Strategy and more!

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be rolling out one fact a week and sharing it with all of you here as part of #WhatsTheLink. We will also share this weekly fact on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook channels as well as other blogs.

In our first week, we shared the fact TransLink manages 2,300 lane kilometres of road and profiled the Kingsway corridor on Miss 604, Vancity Buzz, and the Vancouver Observer.

Check back soon as we reveal more facts about #WhatsTheLink!

Author: Allen Tung

Introducing Allen!

Allen

Happy to join the TransLink team!

Hello Buzzer readers! My name is Allen and will be a member of the TransLink communications team over the summer as its Student Communications Assistant.

Receiving that first pack of Concession FareSaver Tickets is a significant milestone for any teenager in Metro Vancouver. It represents an increase in mobility and a new-found ability to travel anywhere by themselves — a taste of adulthood. Since I received my first pack of FareSavers, I’ve become hooked on transit and it is has become my primary means to get around.

Being both a Geography and Communications student at Simon Fraser University has made me appreciative of the important role TransLink plays in the overall livability of our region by reducing our carbon footprint.

Three things about me:

I’m proud to call myself a transit geek and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for transit with you all over the next few months!

Author: Allen Tung