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Translink Buzzer Blog

In the news: Generation transit shifts away from driving

Passengers Boarding Bus

According to ICBC data, just over 55 per cent of 20- to 24-year-olds in Metro Vancouver have a driver’s licence.

It’s 2014 and the times have truly changed. Social media has become a factor of life, and driving at the age of 16 is no longer a rite of passage.

In response to the recent news headline in the media, we decided to investigate ourselves why Metro Vancouver’s younger generation is moving towards transit and shifting away from cars.

Allen Tung, our Communications co-op student, shared some insight during this candid interview.

Allen

Allen

How do you commute around town?

Transit is my primary and preferred mode transportation. I use transit every day to commute to and from Simon Fraser University—and now to and from  work (TransLink). The only time I drive is when I go to my hockey games since it would be rather cumbersome to haul a 3½ foot long hockey bag and five foot long hockey stick on transit!

Why do you choose transit over driving?

Transit is convenient and worry-free. I don’t have to pay for gas or worry about finding and paying for parking at my destination.

We also have one of the top transit networks in North America where I am able to easily connect between cities by using the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines. In particular, I live in a transit hub area where using transit is extremely easy with plenty of options. I feel lucky to live in a region where our transit system is efficient and reliable service.

Why do you think this trend is happening? 

Definitely, the U-Pass. I think it forces us to give transit a try and once we try it, we realize how fast, easy and convenient it is.

Unlike driving, I can focus on other things when taking transit, like finishing my homework on my way to class.

What implication(s) does this have on your generation? 

I think we are starting to break the dependency on cars. This new generation starting a new cycle where taking transit is not only practical, but it has also become socially acceptable. Taking transit is no longer a sign of status, rather it’s a sustainable movement – being green is “the thing” now.

Anything else you would like to add?

I encourage others, especially those older, to try and use transit – you might like it! I recommend starting small by making transit a part of your commute.

My parents are both ardent drivers, but they recently gave SkyTrain a try and they couldn’t believe how convenient and fast it was during rush hour. No more getting stuck in traffic!

We thank Allen for sharing his enthusiastic insight. We hope to see this trend continue and grow in the generations to come!

Author: Jiana Ling

Evergreen Tunnel Boring starts today

TransLink Board Chair Marcella Szel speaking at the press conference.

TransLink Board Chair Marcella Szel speaking at the packed press conference

It’s an exciting day for all you Buzzer readers following the progress of the Evergreen Line development. Today the TransLink board chair, Marcella Szel, joined Premier Christy Clark and Honourable Minister Todd Stone to announce the start of Evergreen Line tunnel construction and to officially name the tunnel boring machine.

The machine has been dubbed “Alice”, after Alice Wilson, Canada’s first female geologist. Very appropriate timing, considering tomorrow is International Women’s Day. Alice will bore the Evergreen Line tunnel which will run east of Barnet Highway in Port Moody to south of Kemsley Avenue in Coquitlam.

Once the Evergreen Line is complete, B.C. will have the longest rapid transit network in Canada at 79km in length.

Welcome to the TransLink family Alice!

 

(From left to right) Minister Todd Stone, TransLink board chair Marcella Szel, Premier Christy Clark and XXX in front of, "Alice", the tunnel bording machine.

(From left to right) Honourable Minister Todd Stone, TransLink board chair Marcella Szel, Premier Christy Clark and Honourable Minister James Moore in front of, “Alice”, the tunnel boring machine

Author: Jiana Ling

Roads & Bridges: Up Close and Personal with the Pattullo Bridge

 

roads and bridges bannerWe’re devoting a handful of posts over the next couple of weeks to the roads and bridges TransLink is responsible for in the region. For the basics on TransLink’s roads and bridges, check out the Managing major roads and bridges in Metro Vancouver post from our TransLink 101 series.

July 20th marked the first full day closure of the Pattullo Bridge summer weekend maintenance work. TransLink took this opportunity to invite local media to tour the 76-year-old bridge for a “behind the scenes” look at the work being completed. As the organizer of the event, I decided to take a few notes myself and share them with our Buzzer readers.

We began the tour by walking underneath the bridge, getting a close look at any fallen debris. I spotted a few chunks of fallen concrete on the ground, which seem to have originally been attached to the bridge. Our bridge operations manager (and our tour guide), Bob Moore assured me this is a sign of normal wear and tear of any bridge. “There is no structural risk or public safety concern (unless you’re standing underneath the bridge when the concrete falls!)” Bob says.  He also adds “TransLink has identified the defected areas and will be repairing these areas as part of the maintenance work.”

We then walked up the stairs onto the bridge deck to see construction workers at work. They were jack hammering the bridge, creating extremely loud drilling noises and causing lots of dust particles to fly all over our faces. I’m glad everyone was wearing their safety vests, hard hats and steel toed boots!

Along the bridge you could see red rectangles marked throughout. Bob said those were identified as “delaminated areas, where horizontal cracks are formed in the concrete, allowing water to flow through and causing the rebar to expand and corrode.” In layman’s terms, the concrete cracks create potholes, the water gets in and the rebar (made of iron) rusts. Again Bob adds, “this is normal wear and tear for any aging bridge. This is why it’s important for us to address these issues, complete this maintenance work and ensure Pattullo will maintain in a state of good repair”.

What’s interesting to note is how the delaminated areas are identified. As a standard test, a 10 feet long chain is dragged across the bridge. The sound created from the chain and concrete hitting determines the areas of delamination. High pitch tones means the area is delaminated and low pitch tones means the deck is still solid and intact. After identifying the delaminated areas, workers then mark the areas in red (explains the multiple red rectangles), break the concrete, clean the rebar and loose concrete, pour grout and repave the area.

With over 77, 000 daily commuters traveling across the Pattullo Bridge, I’m glad to see the maintenance effort put forward to ensure this aging bridge is always in a state of good repair. This tour was both interesting and educational for this transit junkie. I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed seeing it!

Author: Jiana Ling

Pattullo Bridge Summer Weekend Closures

The Pattullo Bridge

The Pattullo Bridge

Due to maintenance and repairs, the Pattullo Bridge will be closed to all traffic (including bicycles and pedestrians) for three weekends this summer. The planned weekend closures start on Fridays at 9 p.m. and end on Mondays at 3 a.m. during the following weekends: July 19-22, August 9-12, and August 23-26. The weekend closures will run from Friday at 9 p.m. until Monday at 3 a.m.

 
Motorists should plan alternate routes to cross the Fraser River and transit customers should plan for longer travel times on the N19 and #321 during those weekends.
 
For more information, click here to see the press release or visit http://www.translink.ca/pattullo.
Author: Jiana Ling