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Category: 2010 Olympics and Paralympics

Canada Line and the Olympics

The lineup for the Canada Line at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

Well, the Olympics have been a huge part of Canada Line’s history so far, so I thought I’d put together a few photos that capture the Canada Line Olympic experience.

For the 17-day Games period, the Canada Line carried over 3,881,986 passengers, with the most ever riding on Friday, February 19: 287,000 riders! Towards the end of the Olympics, the full set of 20 trains was deployed to handle the huge crowds, and most everyone seemed to have a good time, despite the close quarters on the cars. (For some more detail and stats about the Canada Line, check out this post from the APTA Rail conference. For more Olympic transit stats, see this press release.)

A few more photos follow. Enjoy!

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28 Olympic transit maps to give away!

The pocket-sized fold-up Olympic transit map. While supplies last!

The pocket-sized fold-up Olympic transit map. While supplies last!

Remember those nifty transit maps we provided with the Olympic transit passes? Well, I have 28 of them just sitting on my desk, and I thought some of you might like them as a Games souvenir.

If you want one, send an e-mail to thebuzzer@translink.ca with the subject line “Olympic Map,” along with your name and address. The first 28 to e-mail in will get one sent to them — I’ll let you know when I run out!

OK — don’t send in more entries! 28 people have e-mailed in for maps now! Thanks to all who wrote in!

(PS: I’ve asked, and we can’t give away the Olympic transit passes because they are a tax credit! Sorry about that.)

Photos of the Flexity streetcars traveling home

One of the Flexity streetcars being taken to Tacoma, to be shipped home to Brussels! Photo by <a href=

One of the Flexity streetcars being taken to Tacoma, to be shipped home to Brussels! Photo by David Lam.

Well, as you might have suspected, David Lam was out taking photos of the Flexity streetcars as they were loaded up and driven over to Tacoma to be shipped home! Check out his photo gallery here.

I am also told that there were other train enthusiasts out there snapping pics — if you are one of them and you want me to post a link to your pictures, just send me an e-mail!

Edit: Terry Muirhead has passed along his photos of the Flexity leaving town. Keep on reading to see the rest of them plus his notes on the evening.

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Photos from the last run of the Olympic Line streetcar

The last run of the Olympic Line on Sunday March 21. Photo by <a href=http://www.trans-continental.ca/vancouver/specialcollections/lastnight/IMG_6332.jpg.php>David Lam</a>.

The last run of the Olympic Line on Sunday March 21. Photo by David Lam.

David Lam has sent along some photos of his last rides on the Olympic Line demonstration streetcar this Sunday. Check out his full gallery of photos for more! And feel free to e-mail me any more photo/video links from your last rides on the streetcar too — I’ll post the links here.

Edit: Enrique has passed along his album of black & white streetcar photos. Thanks Enrique!

Last chance to ride the Olympic Line this weekend

The Olympic Line Streetcar, photographed on opening day, January 21, 2010.

The Olympic Line Streetcar, photographed on opening day, January 21, 2010.

Just a heads up: the Olympic Line demonstration streetcar will wrap up its run on Sunday, March 21. This weekend is your last chance to try it out!

If you don’t know, the streetcar stops just outside Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station and runs to Granville Island. It’s actually a project from the City of Vancouver and Bombardier: we’re encouraging people to try it out so they can get a feel for this kind of rail car.

For more, John Calimente at Regarding Place Magazine has recently written all about driving the streetcar, plus a detailed story about the streetcar project.

Plus here’s my post from day 1 of the Line, some photos and video from others, and my interview with Matthew Laird, another of the streetcar’s drivers.

Feel free to visit the streetcar project pages at the City of Vancouver website, or at Bombardier’s site too!

Here’s Don, our YVR gift basket winner!

Don, the winner of the YVR gift basket!

Don, the winner of the YVR gift basket!

Here’s Don, who came by yesterday to pick up the YVR gift basket he won!

I asked if I could share his entry about his favourite Games experience too, and he said sure. Here it is!

Favorite Games Experience
Going to a Victory Ceremony and watching the audience fill up with pride as Canada was awarded its 2nd Gold medal. The audience was celebratory without being over the top. I’ve only lived in Canada for 1-1/2 years now and it was the biggest outpouring of emotion over Canadian pride I have witnessed to date. Canadians are proud about their country but usually in a ‘sedate’ manner. It was fun to watch them be emotionally passionate.

So congratulations again Don — enjoy the basket!

A visit with Paralympic hosts at Broadway-City Hall and King Edward Stations

Hosts Selina and Barb at Broadway-City Hall.

Hosts Selina and Barb at Broadway-City Hall.

This morning, I popped by Broadway-City Hall and King Edward Stations to visit the Paralympic transit host team.

As you may know already, since there are only two Paralympic sports hosted in Vancouver, our transit hosts are deployed at a few key transit hubs close to those events.

Broadway-City Hall is a key connection to the 99 B-Line, where customers can head to ice sledge hockey at UBC Thunderbird Arena. It’s also a key transfer point to King Edward Station, which is near the wheelchair curling venue at Vancouver Paralympic Centre. However, it was pretty quiet in the morning, according to hosts Selina and Barb.

(Also, as we’re finding it so quiet out there, I’ll plug the Paralympics events here — just visit the Paralympic Games website to find more about the events and get tickets. Curling is $15-25 a person, and hockey is around $30, which is a pretty great deal!)

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The winner of the YVR gift basket is…

There were 52 entries, but the winner of the YVR gift basket is………. Don L!

Congratulations, Don! Hope you enjoy all the goodies, thanks to our friends at YVR.

Thanks to all who entered! I’ll post a photo of lucky Don after he collects the basket :)

A visit with Paralympic transit hosts at UBC and Broadway-City Hall

Hosts Terry and Lise, out at UBC Loop during the Paralympic period!

Hosts Terry and Lise, out at UBC Loop during the Paralympic period!

I went out this morning to see a few of our Paralympic transit hosts in action!

As there are just two Paralympic sports being held in the Vancouver area, our transit hosts are being deployed at just a few key locations in the region, working in shifts timed to match the events. All the hosts are staff from TransLink and its family of companies, and about 40-50 in total are working as hosts for the Paralympics.

Ice sledge hockey is held at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena, and there are 12 extra buses working on the 99 B-Line route to help ferry people to UBC Loop. Transit supervisors are out there managing the traffic, and transit hosts are helping people find their way to Thunderbird Arena.

Terry and Lise above are from CMBC, and were happy to get out and host for the Paralympics—they weren’t able to host during the Olympics since they work in key positions at Vancouver’s main bus depot. Lise was having a great time talking to operators and helping visitors out. She even ran into someone she used to work with, and hadn’t seen in 13 years!

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Get a (chocolate) medal on transit for being TravelSmart!

You might get a sweet treat on transit over the next few days, right as the Paralympics kick off!

Starting today, Friday March 12, we’re sending out street ambassadors to thank you for helping to contribute to the success of the Games by going TravelSmart. They’ll be handing out chocolate medals to those who can answer a few TravelSmart questions correctly.

As you may know, our transit system managed to move an average of 1.6 million people every day during the Olympic Games, which is about 50 percent more people on a normal day. And much of the credit goes to everyone in Metro Vancouver, for choosing to leave your private autos behind and using other means of getting around.

Our ambassadors will be on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express today and on the weekend: so keep an eye out to win a medal!

Reminder: Paralympic Games opening ceremonies, Friday March 12

Just a reminder that the Paralympic Games opening ceremonies are at B.C. Place today, Friday March 12!

That means some road closures downtown, transit reroutes, and crowds heading to the event at B.C. Place. Full details are below.

Please do remember: as with the Olympic Games, tickets to Paralympic events (including the opening ceremonies) are also good for unlimited travel on the TransLink system on the date of the event!

Opening Ceremony at B.C. Place on Friday March 12

During the Opening Ceremony on March 12:

  • SkyTrain will operate “event level” service, with 55 trains running on the Expo/Millennium Lines before and after the ceremony and additional trains available for the Canada Line if needed.
  • SeaBus will run two vessels following the ceremonies to help deal with crowds, and Coast Mountain Bus Company will have additional buses available if needed.
  • Cambie Street Bridge and the Georgia Viaduct will be closed, 10am-Midnight on March 12. The #15 will only serve the south-of-False Creek portion of its route during that time; customers coming into downtown Vancouver will need to use Canada Line.
  • Buses to and from North Vancouver will travel via Georgia/Pender to Richards, then to Georgia for the return trip
  • Due to the closure of Cambie and Quebec Streets, the C21 and C23 Community Shuttles will be re-routed via Seymour, Pender and Main, returning via Main, Pender and Richards.
  • An accessible shuttle bus will provide service for those with mobility issues between Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and BC Place Stadium from 3-10pm.

For more information….

If you have any questions on these services or need help with tripplanning, feel free to contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

If you’d like more information about the Vancouver road closures, please see the City of Vancouver’s Paralympic Transportation Plan page.

Remember, you can follow the TransLink Twitter account for real-time service updates during the Paralympics! You can also sign up for alerts to be delivered to you via e-mail or text message. See this post for even more ways to get transit info during the Paralympic period.

Transit service for the Paralympic Games, Fri Mar 12 to Sat Mar 21

With the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games underway Friday March 12 to Saturday March 21, that means some changes to transit service in the city of Vancouver.

Remember: as with the Olympic Games, tickets to Paralympic events are also good for unlimited travel on the TransLink system on the date of the event! (Your transit travel has already been included in the ticket price!)

Paralympic Torch Relay, Thursday March 11 and Friday March 12

For the Paralympic Torch Relay on Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12, there will be no bus service on Robson Street: the #5 and N6 NightBus will travel via Georgia/Pender and Denman in both directions, all day.

The #17 Oak returned to its regular routing along Robson following the Olympics, but on March 11 and 12, it will turn on Davie to avoid anticipated crowds downtown.

Opening Ceremony at B.C. Place on Friday March 12

During the Opening Ceremony on March 12:

  • SkyTrain will operate “event level” service, with 55 trains running on the Expo/Millennium Lines before and after the ceremony and additional trains available for the Canada Line if needed.
  • SeaBus will run two vessels following the ceremonies to help deal with crowds, and Coast Mountain Bus Company will have additional buses available if needed.
  • Cambie Street Bridge and the Georgia Viaduct will be closed, 10am-Midnight on March 12. So, starting at 7 a.m., the #15 will only serve the south-of-False Creek portion of its route during that time; customers coming into downtown Vancouver will need to use Canada Line.
  • Buses to and from North Vancouver will travel via Georgia/Pender to Richards, then to Georgia for the return trip
  • Due to the closure of Cambie and Quebec Streets, the C21 and C23 Community Shuttles will be re-routed via Seymour, Pender and Main, returning via Main, Pender and Richards.
  • An accessible shuttle bus will provide service for those with mobility issues between Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and BC Place Stadium from 3-10pm.

Reroutes and service for the general Games period, Fri March 12 to Sat March 21

During the Games themselves, CMBC will provide additional service to and from the Games venues:

  • 12 additional buses available on the 99 B-Line to and from UBC, where the ice sledge hockey events will be held.
  • Accessible shuttles between UBC Loops and Thunderbird Arena, and between King Edward Station and Vancouver Paralympic Centre (for wheelchair curling)

Re-routes in effect during the Games:

  • With the Robson Square Celebration Site still in operation, the #5 Downtown and N6 NightBus will travel via Thurlow, Smithe, Burrard and Pender Streets,. The #5 Robson will route via Pender and Burrard Streets.
  • NB: The #5 and N6 will continue on re-route via Burrard, Pender, Richards, Robson, Seymour and Pender to Burrard and Robson after the Paralympics and at least through the summer, due to the eventual reconstruction of the “Robson Street Bridge” between Howe and Hornby (Robson Square).
  • #50 False Creek South will continue to run along Seymour and Howe until March 21.
  • At UBC, buses are still detoured away from Wesbrook Mall. Buses will be approaching the UBC loops via 16th Avenue, Blanca and University Boulevard; and via Southwest/Northwest Marine Drive and Wesbrook Mall, approaching the UBC loop from the north. Community Shuttles will detour via University Boulevard and East Mall. Accessible shuttles will be available between the bus loops and Thunderbird Arena at event times.
  • The C21 and C23 Community Shuttles will be routed away from Expo/Pacific Boulevard for the first two days of the Games. They will return to their regular routes when Expo/Pacific Boulevard reopens on Tuesday, March 16.

For more information….

If you have any questions on these services or need help with tripplanning, feel free to contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

If you’d like more information about the Vancouver road closures, please see the City of Vancouver’s Paralympic Transportation Plan page.

Remember, you can follow the TransLink Twitter account for real-time service updates during the Paralympics! You can also sign up for alerts to be delivered to you via e-mail or text message. See this post for even more ways to get transit info during the Paralympic period.

Photos of our extra Olympic buses from David Lam!

Extra Olympic buses parked on Pender Street, waiting to pick up crowds from the PNE.

Extra Olympic buses parked on Pender Street, waiting to pick up crowds from the PNE. Photo by David Lam.

As I secretly suspected, David Lam from the Trans-Continental bus photo site was out during the Games taking photos of the buses roaming around!

He just recently sent an e-mail with some highlights, saying he dedicated most of his time photographing the older equipment due for retirement soon. Click through to enjoy his picks — and visit the full gallery for even more shots of the soon-to-be retired buses. Thanks Dave for all the lovely photos!

(PS: Dave also has a gallery devoted to VANOC’s Olympic bus network buses!)

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Monday fun draw: win a prize pack with Olympic stuff from YVR!

An Olympic-themed gift basket from YVR, glamourously photographed in our offices.

An Olympic-themed gift basket from YVR, glamourously photographed in our offices.

Argh—I meant to post this on Friday but my scheduling didn’t work!

Anyway, if you’re still a bit sad that the Olympics are over, maybe this will cheer you up. YVR has given us a gift basket filled with many Olympic-related items, and we’d like to give it away through a draw!

The value is $250 and it is filled with stuff from YVR’s many stores. The full list of items:

  • Two Olympic pins, Olympic toque, Quatchi plush toy, Sumi playing cards, and a Capilano Satchel Bag from the Olympic store
  • Assorted chocolates from Daniel Le Chocolat Belge
  • A First Nations aluminum water bottle from Discover BC
  • A hacky sack from from Life is Good
  • A plush seal from the Vancouver Aquarium
  • A Samsonite travel organizer from Travel and Leisure
  • A travel neck pillow from Virgin Books and Music
  • $35 in YVR Bucks (gift money to spend at YVR stores)

So, to enter, please send an email to thebuzzer@translink.ca by Tuesday, March 16 at 9 a.m. with the following info:

  • make your subject line “YVR draw”
  • include your name and phone number (so I can contact you quickly!)
  • write a paragraph or two about your favourite experience from the Games! (Keep it clean please!)

Key items to keep in mind:

  • One entry per person!!!!
  • If you enter, you must be able to pick this basket up from TransLink’s head office (16th floor Metrotower II in Burnaby, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays). We can’t mail it to you!
  • No entries from employees of TransLink or its family of companies.
  • This draw is only open to those in Canada.

I’ll randomly draw a winner from everyone who submits an eligible answer and contact you on Thursday. (All entries will be deleted after the draw is over — I won’t keep your personal info for anything.)

Behind the scenes with Trolley Overhead

A Trolley Overhead crew: Miles (driver), Doug, and Al (chargehand). Photo by Charlotte Boychuk.

A Trolley Overhead crew: Miles (driver), Doug, and Al (chargehand). Photo by Charlotte Boychuk.

Yes, the Olympics are over, but I still have a couple of articles left to share about our work! This is another article is by Charlotte Boychuk from CMBC’s employee communications team, and it recognizes the great work of our trolley overhead division — the folks who make sure the wires for the trolleys work!

A Trolley Overhead crew repairs lines at Homer and Hastings on Friday, February 19.

A Trolley Overhead crew repairs lines at Homer and Hastings on Friday, February 19.

Trolley lines stay in good shape thanks to Trolley Overhead crews checking and repairing as needed all the line switches, as part of a regular 6-month inspection just prior to the Olympics.

To ensure the system stays energized during the Olympics, Trolley Overhead also had coverage in the downtown core from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. every day, plus, an additional floater crew standing by to handle trouble calls outside of the downtown core.

David, the Trolley Overhead Manager said his team is working hard to keep the system live in the Olympic zone, and despite road closures in many areas, they can still respond to an incident within 15 minutes, even less on Wednesdays and Thursdays when two crews provide extra coverage in the downtown core.

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