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Translink Buzzer Blog

I Love Transit 2013: oh what a night!

I Love Transit 2013

Even Mr. Buzzer showed up to have some fun!

Even Mr. Buzzer showed up to have some fun!

We had a fantastic time at I Love Transit Night last night!

Here’s a taste of what went down:

  • Busker Eric D’Onofrio entertained the crowds with his amazing accordion playing!
  • We played a bus boarding game and some great trivia, and awarded some great prizes!
  • We handed out buttons, cutouts, and more!
  • We had a hilarious photobooth at the event, with transit related cutouts :)
  • The Compass team demonstrated the card on the new Richmond hybrid bus parked outside the venue!

Our official photographer will send us more photos soon, but here’s a few phone photos to tide you over!

The bus boarding game had everybody excited!

The bus boarding game had everybody excited!

Transit treats for people to grab!

Transit treats for people to grab!

Post-its from our enormous wall poster, asking attendees to let us know what they loved about transit!

Post-its from our enormous wall poster, asking attendees to let us know what they loved about transit!

Mr. Buzzer and the the TransLink event staff!

Mr. Buzzer and the the TransLink event staff!

 

UPDATE:

Here’s a collection of great photos from our amazing photographer, Julian Fok! You can visit his website to see his portfolio and the word he’s done. Thanks Julian!

Read more »

I Love Transit 2013: Nina and Jarred got married on a TransLink bus!

I Love Transit 2013

TransLink bus wedding

Nina Schmidt and Jarred Greff got married on a TransLink bus on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 6, 2013!

Well, we’ve got the best story ever for I Love Transit Week. The lovely Nina Schmidt and Jarred Greff were happily married on a TransLink bus today!

It was a huge surprise for their friends and family. Jarred and the 30+ wedding guests were picked up by the bus at a different location, and the bus drove everyone to Canadian Memorial Church to ostensibly pick up Nina. But Nina walked right onto the bus and they got married on board instead.

So why the bus? Nina and Jarred first met on board the #3 Main, making transit a hugely special place for them. You may have read their story in the August 2 Buzzer, but here it is again:

Finding love on the #3 bus

by Nina Schmidt

On Wednesday, April 18, 2012 around 11:40 a.m., Jarred and I met for the first time on the number 3 bus going up Main Street. I was sitting in the folding accordion-like section when Jarred walked by and sat down a couple metres away from me. We couldn’t stop making eye contact. Then he stood up and sat down to the closest available seat to me. We had about three stops to talk before I had to get off the bus. We didn’t exchange numbers, but he told me he worked at Main and 23rd. With the encouragement of good friends, I chased him down at work later that day. A couple days later, we went on a 22-hour date and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

It sounds cheesy, but I would call it love at first sight, something I definitely didn’t believe in at that point of my life. But Jarred and I are perfect for each other, and we are so blessed and thankful.

There is never a week we don’t talk about our first meeting on the bus. It’s just so random. I had to run after that bus that day, and Jarred didn’t plan on taking it, but he was running late to work. What are the chances that a girl from Germany and a guy from the prairies would meet on a bus and fall deeply in love?

The media came out to help capture their special day too: here’s articles from the Vancouver Sun, CBC, Huffington Post BC, 24 Hours, The Province, Metro News, Chilliwack Times, and the Ottawa Citizen.

Here’s a few snaps from the wedding! And a huge congratulations to Nina and Jarred!

TransLink bus wedding

Nina Schmidt and Jarred Greff step off the TransLink bus after their ceremony, August 6, 2013.

TransLink bus wedding

Nina Schmidt and Jarred Greff interviewed by the media on board the TransLink bus after their ceremony, August 6, 2013.

I Love Transit 2013: Welcome all! Enter to win great prizes!

I Love Transit 2013

Welcome to I Love Transit Week 2013, everyone! Yep—it’s the one week we take out of the year to celebrate what we love about transit!

From August 5-9, 2013, your favourite transit blog will be serving up great interviews, essays, and rider submissions sharing all your transit love.

As usual, we’ll have also contests and prizes to thank you for riding transit! This year, we’re giving away five monthly Farecards, and one $100 MEC gift card. Here’s how you can win with us this week.

Enter to win a $100 MEC gift card

To enter to win the MEC gift card, register at travelsmart.ca with promo code ilovetransit and pledge to take one less car trip per week! You can actually enter for the entire month of August: the winner will be drawn and announced by Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

Colour to win one of two FareCards

Colour the picture in the August 2 print Buzzer, then email us a picture of your entry or mail it to us at #400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster BC, V3L 0E7!

You can also enter this contest for the entire month of August, We’ll do two draws for FareCards on Aug 30: one for kids aged 13 and under, and another draw for everyone else. Winners announced on the blog and newsletter!

Tweet, Instagram, or comment to enter three draws for FareCards this week

Winners!

Our Twitter winner is @bonchance2010!

Our Instagram winner is danceswithpucks, who submitted the following photo with the caption “@translinkbc #ilovetransit because I can relax and enjoy the scenery without stressing over driving.”

Our blog winner is Ann, who wrote a simple “I love transit because it is efficient.” It is!

Congrats to all our winners!

To win one of three FareCards from August 5-9, just enter through Twitter, Instagram, or right here on the blog.

We’ll do one FareCard draw per channel at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 9, 2013!

Enter through Twitter

  • Log on to Twitter and send a tweet to the TransLink Twitter account that includes and completes this sentence: “@translink #ilovetransit because….”
  • An acceptable entry (on many levels): “@translink #ilovetransit because The Buzzer is a publication of unparalleled quality”
  • But this is NOT acceptable as it has no hashtag: “@translink i love transit!”
  • This is also NOT acceptable, because it doesn’t include the right hashtag: “@translink #iluvtransit because I like sitting in the captain’s seat on SkyTrain!”

Enter through Instagram

  • Log on to Instagram and snap a great photo of transit, with the caption “@translinkbc #ilovetransit because….”
  • Please note that we’re @translinkbc on Instagram, not translink!
  • See the Twitter examples above for entries that will and will not work for the contest.

Enter through the Buzzer blog

  • Leave a comment on this post that completes the sentence: “I love transit because…”

Rules and answers for the online FareCard draws

  • One entry per person per day for each channel. Yes, you can enter up to five times per channel!
  • All entries should follow our participation guidelines.
  • The FareCard will be for one, two, or three zones, depending on where the winner travels.
  • We’re going to do the random draws on Friday, August 9, 2013, at 1 p.m. for each channel. We’ll announce the winners on the blog, Twitter, and Instagram!
  • To be fair to everyone, one person cannot win all three draws. So, if we draw your name for one of the channels, you will be excluded from the other two FareCard draws.
  • For pros: if you set your Instagram photo to also tweet out via Twitter and include @translink AND @translinkbc somewhere in your caption, you can enter both the Twitter contest AND Instagram contest through just one photo. Sweet!

Good luck everyone!

Reminder: it’s I Love Transit Week from August 5-9

I Love Transit 2013

ilovetransitflyer

Our fifth annual I Love Transit Week starts up next week from August 5-9, and we’ll have stories, prizes, and more every day. See the poster above for exactly what’s happening and share it with your friends!

I Love Transit Night is SOLD OUT

You heard that right. After a nice article in 24 Hours, I Love Transit Night, our evening of transit fun and games, registered the maximum attendance of 200 people as of Tuesday, July 30. It’s truly amazing!

We now have a waitlist of 50 people just dying to get in, so if you’re already registered and you know you won’t make it, please do cancel your tickets so others can attend.

We’re so sorry everyone can’t get in, but we’re excited that so many of you want to come join us! Can’t wait to see you there!

Farewell, dear friends: Jhen’s leaving TransLink

Jhenifer Pabillano, Buzzer editor

Jhen!

I’ve got some big news to share with you today—I’ll be leaving the Buzzer and TransLink as of Friday, August 9, 2013!

I’m off to join the City of Vancouver, helping manage the City’s social media program as their new Social Media Coordinator. It’s a huge new role and I’m very excited to join their team.

But after five years with TransLink, it’s definitely not an easy change.

I’m so proud to be the Buzzer blog’s founding editor, and so proud I shared stories from the Olympics, from our control centres and garages, from transit conferences near and far, through podcasts, video, and more. And I’m so proud this work has earned TransLink real recognition from Mass Transit Magazine, and APTA in 2010 and 2012.

Most of all, I’ve loved getting to know the intelligent, committed, and wonderful customers we serve, and it’s an understatement to say I will sorely miss every one of you. It has been a true privilege to be a part of your lives for so long.

It’s a wonderful comfort, though, to leave you in the capable hands of Robert, as the main editor, and Borjana, Jiana, Angela, Tina, Pamela, and Stefanie as contributors–the wonderful new Buzzer crew who have joined me in the past little while. They’re all brilliant folks, and will continue to do great things at TransLink for years to come!

Again, my last day is August 9, so I’ll get to say goodbye to everyone during I Love Transit Week, which I’m so happy to have created back in 2009 :) If you’d like to stay in touch, you can find me at my personal website, pabillano.com, or @jpabillano on Twitter.

Goodbye, everyone, and thank you for everything! I’ll miss you all, but I won’t be too far away.

Announcing I Love Transit Night on Thu Aug 8, 2013!

I Love Transit Week TransLink

A collage of five years of I Love Transit Week celebrations!

Drumroll please: we’ve finally got all the details for I Love Transit Night 2013!

Register to attend!

Join us here:

A map of the location - click for a bigger version!

A map of the location – click for a bigger version!

Time: 6pm – 9pm

Location: Queen Elizabeth Theatre Salons,
630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC
(The small rooms on the side, NOT the big theatre!)

July 31 update:
Wow: we just sold out all 200 event tickets!
And the 50-person waitlist is also full :(

If you’re registered but know you can’t make it, please cancel your tickets so others can attend.

Deepest apologies to all who couldn’t register: we would have loved to have you!

*Please note: by registering for this event with Eventbrite, you give your consent that any information you provide may be stored on servers outside of Canada.

What to expect

Another happy prize winner holding her special edition t-shirt

A 2011 prize winner holding her special edition t-shirt

If you haven’t been to an I Love Transit Night before, you’re in for some fun!

The event is for everyone, so we’re planning activities for people of all ages. This includes colouring and activities for the little kids, as well as group trivia and skills games for adolescents and adults.

As well, this year the Compass team will be on hand to give a demo of the new card system! And TravelSmart will share smart tips on getting around the region.

We’ll also have our staff talking about TransLink’s work and upcoming consultations, and we’re also planning to have a new bus on hand for the event!

As always, we will provide food and drinks, plus prizes! We’ve got limited edition t-shirts for sale (and a few to give away!), buttons, paper cutouts, and temporary tattoos!

So what are you waiting for? Register now — we can’t wait to see you there!

And for more info on I Love Transit Week…

Check out translink.ca/ilovetransit: it’s got a nice summary of what we’re all about and what we’ve done in the past five years! And check back here from Aug 5-9: we’ve got much more planned for I Love Transit Week!

Links and tidbits – July 12, 2013

It’s been a while since we posted a Links and Tidbits. Here’s a great video from a video produced by our friends with the Transit Museum Society. Here’s the direct YouTube link.

Links and tidbits is our 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!

 

  • One of our colleagues William recently took public transit to travel from Vancouver to Portland and Salem. This article in The Atlantic shows how you can travel across California on local transit. It make me wonder… could William go from Vancouver to Southern California by transit?

 

  • I’ve seen artists use subway stations as muse, but I’ve never seen the intersection as inspiration or even subject matter before. Some local designers did just that.

 

  • Here’s one for the transit maps nerds: a map of all the subways in North America.

 

  • What do you think of “subway libraries”? Do you think they would encourage more commuters to read on their transit trips?

 

  • The Expo Line is the oldest line of the SkyTrain rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver. From 1985, it has gone through upgrades and changes… take a look at this split-screen video Skyway, that takes you on a ride! Here’s the direct Youtube link.

 

  • Railway workers in London have uncovered what they believe was a burial ground for victims of the Black Death – a deadly disease that wiped out half of London’s population in the mid-14th century. Don’t worry, there’s no risk of a new outbreak – the bacillus is fragile and dies without a host!

 

  • Here’s a heartwarming story of a couple who found their son in a dark, damp subway station.

 

  • Check out this movie Trolleybus by the Trolley Project, promoting a new more positive image of trolleybuses in Europe.

 

  • There are always some very interesting characters on the transit system. In New York, there’s the “Lady in Lime Green”.

 

  • One of our friends of the Buzzer, Jason Vanderhill, shared this lovely video of a bus tour through Vancouver. Look at that beautiful blue sky!  Thanks for sharing, Jason.

 

 

  • This video was recently posted to our TransLink Facebook page… a humourous video involving a transit rider and a graphic designer. What if you saw this at your bus stop?

Announcing I Love Transit 2013: August 5-9!

I Love Transit 2013

A vintage bus full of I Love Transit fans in 2012!

A vintage bus full of I Love Transit fans in 2012!

We’ve set the date: I Love Transit Week this year will be from August 5-9, 2013!

What’s I Love Transit Week?

For those who don’t know: I Love Transit is the one week we celebrate what we love about transit! Tell your friends!

From August 5-9, the blog will be packed with interviews, essays, and rider submissions sharing just why you like transit. And of course, there will be contests and prizes to thank you for riding transit!

If you’d like to celebrate with us in person, we’re throwing our annual I Love Transit Night meetup event on Thursday, August 8 from 6-9 p.m. It’s a night of games, fun, silliness, and more prizes for all who join us! (We’re just locking down the venue right now, and we’ll share exactly where it will be very soon :)

Feel free to see our past I Love Transit posts to see more about the evening and the essays we’ve shared in the past.

Share your stories with us!

As usual, we are once again welcoming submissions of essays, photos, videos, and anything else you like—the only stipulations are that it’s about your love of transit, and it’s safe for a family-friendly audience.

We’ll run as many as we can on the blog, and we’ll showcase them in the August 2013 print Buzzer!

Think up your best, and send the results our way at thebuzzer@translink.ca. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got!

Share your thoughts on downtown Vancouver bus service!

Trolley buses in downtown Vancouver.

Trolley buses in downtown Vancouver.

UPDATE: The Downtown Vancouver Local Bus Service Review: Phase 1 Consultation Summary is now online!

We’re looking for your feedback on bus service in downtown Vancouver!

The City of Vancouver and TransLink are teaming up to study the downtown Vancouver bus network, developing a shared vision for service over the next five years to match rider demand and the City’s transport goals.

The study is called the Downtown Vancouver Local Bus Service Review, and we’ll be gathering your feedback all summer to help us develop concepts for public discussion in fall.

For all the details, visit the City of Vancouver’s study site, or TransLink’s study page.

Why are we doing this study?

The study area for the Downtown Vancouver Local Bus Service Review.

The study area for the Downtown Service Review.

With this study, both TransLink and the City of Vancouver are aiming to establish a common vision for bus service in downtown Vancouver, especially in light of possible major street changes that offer challenges and opportunities for the downtown bus network.

Major street changes that have been made or proposed recently include:

  • Canada Line
  • Exploration of the 800-Block Robson Street as a permanent plaza
  • Potential changes to the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts and surrounding areas
  • Proposed move of the Vancouver Art Gallery and potential for a new plaza in the 600-block of Cambie Street

As well, the downtown population has already more than doubled over the past 20 years, with most growth in the neighbourhoods east of Granville Street, such as Yaletown, Downtown South and along False Creek.

The study is intended to supplement to TransLink’s regular planning work in the area. The last Vancouver/UBC Area Transit Plan was completed in 2005, and the next update is not planned for several years.

(We only do one area transit plan at a time, and the current plan underway is the Northeast Sector Area Transit Plan!)

Get involved in person and online

First, join us at two open houses in June 2013:

Open House #1
Date: June 22, 2013
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Location: Strawberry Festival, 1447 Barclay St., Vancouver

Open House #2
Date: June 26, 2013
Time: 3 – 8 p.m.
Location: Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia St., Vancouver

We will also have an online survey that will open on June 21 and run until July 12, 2013. I’ll post the link here once it is ready!

Update: the survey is now live!

Click here to take the Downtown Bus Review Survey!

Again, for more information, please do visit the City of Vancouver’s study site, or TransLink’s study page. And tell your friends! :)

Summer transit service changes start on Monday, June 24, 2013

Our summer service changes take off on Monday, June 24, 2013!

Our summer service changes take off on Monday, June 24, 2013!

It’s that time of year again! Starting Monday, June 24, 2013, transit will see a few changes to reflect street closures and summer ridership.

Visit translink.ca/servicechanges to see if you’re affected, and share with those who need to know!

Reroutes for downtown Vancouver street closures and construction

In general, downtown Vancouver bus riders will see major reroutes, prompted by street closures and construction.

  • Granville Mall will close during summer weekends for the City of Vancouver’s Viva Vancouver program. The closure means weekend detours of all trolley buses to Howe and Seymour streets. Routes affected are the 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 20 and 50.
  • The 800-block of Robson Street will also see summer closures due to Viva Vancouver, prompting detours for the 5 and N6.
  • Construction on Powell Street near Clark Drive will also detour routes 4, 7, 209, 210, 211, and 214 for a year, finishing in summer 2014.

Increases for high-demand summer routes and more

There are also minor changes to some routes and bus bay assignments.

  • The 19 will run every six minutes instead of every 12 minutes, due to summer demand between downtown and Stanley Park.
  • From May 19 to Labour Day (September 2), the SeaBus will increase service to every 15 minutes between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 6:30 p.m., serving higher summer demand.
  • The 316 will discontinue low-use stops near 72nd Ave and 122nd Street, to make it easier for buses to enter and exit Scottsdale Exchange.
  • Bus bays will also be reassigned at Burrard Station to seasonally include the 5 and N6 routes.

For more information…

Just a reminder that we do these service changes four times a year, to better match rider demand and ensure efficient use of our fleet. Look for similar changes every April, June, September, December!

And once more, please visit translink.ca/servicechanges to learn more about the June service changes.

You can also stay informed about route changes through the following channels:

  • Subscribe to receive Transit Alerts by email or text message at translink.ca/alerts
  • Check for Alerts on your smartphone at m.translink.ca
  • Follow TransLink on Twitter, @translink
  • Or call Customer Information at 604.953.3333!

How did TransLink’s buses perform in 2012? Our new report has all the details!

TransLink 2012 Bus Service Performance Review

The cover of TransLink’s 2012 Bus Service Performance Review. Click to read the report!

The latest review of TransLink’s bus system is out today!

It’s a report called the 2012 Bus Service Performance Review, and it shows that bus ridership increased in 2012, while costs per trip dropped. That’s good evidence that our bus service is more cost-effective than ever, and that our bus service optimization measures are working.

To get really specific on the numbers: we’ve found the number of bus trips taken per revenue hour has increased 3.4 per cent, while the average cost per trip dropped by 2.2 per cent. Please do check out the full review if you’d like the all the details and stats!

About the Bus Service Performance Review

We first produced a Bus Service Performance Review in 2011, and now every year we examine bus data to track to understand trends in ridership and bus productivity.

With buses making up more than 80 per cent of TransLink’s transit services, the review is a key tool to inform service optimization, or evidence-based decision making on how to best use bus resources—a process that involves extensive public consultation.

The review examines three key indicators on three levels: the entire system, eight sub-regional areas, and for every bus route. Have a look at our Bus Service Performance Review Document Library to see current and past reviews, plus detailed reports on every route in the system!

Read on to see a handy infographic that describes our overall results. Take a read and feel free to share it with others!

Read more »

Two more real rider stories to share: plus check out our 2012 annual report!

Happy Friday everyone!

For your Friday fun post, we’d like to share two more real rider stories we made as part of our 2012 annual report work. Above, check out the story of Mike Lazzaroni, who commutes via West Coast Express and Canada Line to YVR. And below, the story of Lisa Moffatt, who carpools, cycles, and takes transit between Vancouver and Langley.

And make sure to check out our 2012 Annual Report, to see how TransLink performed last year! We’ve done well on efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability: there’s a great infographic describing the highlights.

The new Google Maps includes neat new transit comparisons

As we all have probably heard, Google launched a bunch of new things yesterday, including a new Google Maps!

It’s not quite launched yet, but the video above does a short walkthrough, and it shows the maps include a neat new display so you can compare transit trips. (PS: Google’s Vancouver transit searches runs off TransLink schedule data that we provide to them, so things are generally fairly accurate.)

I like how this might make transit even more friendly for people figuring out how to get around. And Google really seems to be interested this goal too – here’s a quote from a Skift article from yesterday:

There was also a strong presence for public transit across all Maps platforms. Product Manager for Google Maps Bernhard Seefeld said, ”We want to make public transit much much much smarter,” and you see this ambition across the Maps products, as well as the updated Google Now, which will include real-time transit information.

So now: I’m curious what you think about the new Google Maps for transit! Do you use Google Maps for transit much today—and what do you think about what you need from its future? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Late-night Expo Line riders: plan for extra travel time after 8pm, starting Sun May 12, 2013

A SkyTrain near Main Street-Science World.

A SkyTrain near Main Street-Science World.

Heads up, late-night Expo Line passengers!

Starting Sunday, May 12, 2013 plan for an extra 10-15 minutes travel time after 8 p.m., if you travel on the Expo Line between Waterfront and King George most Sundays to Thursdays.

What’s happening? We’re replacing 34 km of original power rail on the Expo Line. The power rail supplies SkyTrain vehicles with power, approximately 650 volts DC. The full project is expected to take as many as 15 months to complete.

Check out our news release for more info, or visit translink.ca/ontrack for the latest updates.

And please share with friends if they might be affected!

Edit: Lots of people on Facebook have asked why we can’t do the replacement while the service is down, and SkyTrain staff provided a great response—I thought I’d share the answer here too.

It’s just too big a project. It takes significant time to disconnect, remove, replace, reconnect the power rail. There isn’t sufficient time to do this in the 3 hours (or less) that we have on weeknights, and only slightly more on weekends.

In very basic terms the work involves the following:
– power rail sections are 10 m. in length, weighing approx. 200 kg.
– target: 130 metres of double rail (positive and negative) per night – that’s 26 sections of rail.
– old rail is disconnected from insulator posts, and removed.
– old insulator posts (every 2 m., bolted to the concrete) have to be removed.
– new insulator posts installed.
– new power rail sections lifted into place and connected.

There will be a large crew working through the night until about 4:30am, clearing out just in time for the start of morning train service; so we are making full use of the non-service hours.

We have tried to minimize the impact with a lot of pre-planning. The reduced train frequency (and longer waiting time) is the result of trains having to run in alternating directions over up to 4 km. of “single” track between available track crossovers. It’s a bit like those summer highway delays when you have to wait, and be escorted in alternating convoys, around a paving crew.

Train service is being timetabled for each area to get the most throughput, and minimize the chance of delays. Trains should be passing each other on the “normal” tracks on either side

We are making exceptions for large events, and are avoiding the busier Friday and Saturday evenings (although that may be cold comfort for any regular Sunday-Thursday evening users).

Have a look at the Transport For London plans for weekend work, where they shut down major sections of the London Underground and Overground services, mostly on weekends. (They have a pretty good web presence and notification process for this.)

Ask TransLink: transit planner Mary Riemer talks bus bunching, route numbers, inspirational cities, and more!

asktranslink

From April 15 to May 10, you can Ask TransLink! We’re spotlighting one TransLink staff member every week and inviting you to ask them questions about their work. Find out all about the series.

Mary Riemer, transit planner!

Mary Riemer, transit planner!

We’re winding down on our week asking questions with Mary Riemer, transit planner extraordinaire—and here’s a recap of what she’s been up to in her Ask TransLink post!

Why do buses “bunch up” at bus stops?

Mary took on a question from Sheila about why buses sometimes arrive very close together at bus stops!

I am curious why, between Alma & Granville, the #9 and the #14 always come at the same time?
It would be much more helpful to have them spaced. It is very disappointing to miss them both when the traffic light is against me as I try to cross Broadway at Vine or Yew.

Hi Sheila. I can relate to how missing your bus can be frustrating! While the #9 and the #14 are scheduled at different times, they are subject to a multitude of external forces such as unpredictable traffic patterns, resulting in bus bunching! (arriving at the stop at the same time – I touch on this a bit more in my answer to Eric about the #20 ) In this case, it is largely due to the fact that they are both frequent services, serving a high demand corridor with destination anchors at either end and high turnover along the route. The good news is that these are characteristics of an effective and productive service, and we can work with our operating company to address any chronic bus bunching between the #9 and #14 to make them work even more efficiently together!

How do we choose route numbers?

SS asked about how we pick numbers for new routes. Here’s what Mary said.

I’m also wondering about how route numbers are determined for new routes.

This is an interesting question. Historically, streetcars in Vancouver were named for the corridor or street that they served. As they were replaced by trolley busses, they maintained these service numbers. Across the region, most services are numbered for the destinations that they serve. We also try not to reuse numbers for new routes that have been used in the past. As for community shuttle route naming, TransLink has recognized that the vehicle type is not necessarily tied to the level of service provided, and therefore are moving away from the #CX naming.

How are we dealing with population growth South of Fraser?

From our Facebook live chat, Haruo Chikamori asked about how we are dealing with the growing population in the South of Fraser area. Here’s what Mary had to say.

How is Translink going to deal with the influx of population growth on the South Side of the Fraser? It seems as though the transit situation there is regressing there rather than moving forward. Surrey is one of the fastest growing population centers in the Lower Mainland. The Transit Plan has not been finalized, the extension of the Skytrain into Langley has been planned, but not finalized. Buses are driving by full while people wait on the sidelines and buses have been cut.

Hi Haruo! We know that the South of Fraser is growing rapidly and we have been doing as much as possible to increase service. We recently issued the Surrey Rapid Studies, looking at different alternatives. You can check them out here.

Through our Service Optimization program we have been increasing service in the South of Fraser as much as possible given our funding situation. We recently introduced the #555 Port Mann Express and later this year we will be introducing the 96 B-Line on King George Boulevard! -mary

What transit systems can Vancouver learn from the most?

And also from Facebook, Brandon Yan asked a great question.

I think Vancouver has a fantastic transit system but do you have any city in the world where you look to them and go “yeah, they get transit”? Who could Vancouver learn from the most?

Hi Brandon… Metro Vancouver has some unique characteristics, some cities we can look to and learn from include Hong Kong, Portland, and San Fransisco. While there are cities with fantastic transit systems like London, it is hard to compare their system with ours because there are so many differences between their urban fabric and ours. – mary

Get your questions in by noon today!

If you’ve still got questions, Mary will be available to answer until noon today, Friday May 10, 2013! Submit your questions on her Ask TransLink page, and she’ll get the answers for you.