Translink Buzzer Blog

Snow updates on Youtube

Due to all the snow, our media relations department is trying something new today — updates via Youtube for the media.

Check out our latest second update clip above (here’s the first clip we did too), and you can follow TransLinkInfo on Youtube for more updates. It might seem kind of odd to have the updates read to you, but the clips help give media outlets audio to use if necessary. Anyway, I just thought you would like to hear them too, so you can keep on top of the situation. You can also check out our Customer Alerts page for updates.

(Twitter fans: we are working on doing Twitter updates and will launch that service early next year. Sorry it can’t be sooner! We are keenly aware you want Twitter updates, as our Twitter poll showed, so now we are just working out processes for reporting the info and other such things before we can start. Really, we want to put out reliable updates, so that’s what’s guiding us here.)

Hey, a positive SkyTrain story

Lindsey Lewis posted a positive SkyTrain story over at her Joy Yoga blog. It’s a little story, but really great.

Canada Line photos: Waterfront Station

The Canada Line route map.

The Canada Line route map.

Here is the third of three posts about the Canada Line construction. Yesterday we had a look at Vancouver City Centre Station, the day before we looked at Yaletown Station, and today we’re going to look at Waterfront Station.

Aha – it just occurred to me that you might like to see the Canada Line route map to better situate yourselves in this discussion. There it is at right. Waterfront is the northernmost station, with Vancouver City Centre Station next, and Yaletown. These three stations make up the downtown Vancouver segment of the Canada Line.

Again, some of you might recognize these photos from the Canada Line site, except that I’ll provide detailed comments on each photo from John Walker, senior technician for the Canada Line.

John took all these photos on Nov. 26. As he’s said, heavy construction is mostly done on the stations, and they are now mainly focused on the finishes and the electrical and mechanical systems. Testing has also started with train cars on the Vancouver portion of the line, which is all underground.

And now, on to the Waterfront photos. Remember to click each photo to see a much, much larger version.

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Video of the SkyTrain security press conference

My colleague Drew Snider has a new post up on his blog about media coverage of the SkyTrain security plan, which the Buzzer blog talked about last week. (There’s been a lot of interesting discussion over at that post so far, and Miss604 even linked to it in a post about the same topic.) Anyway, we actually filmed the whole press conference, and the video is available on YouTube if you’re interested in hearing the full discussion with Doug Kelsey, Ward Clapham, and the media in attendance. Again, check out Drew’s new post for the links.

Canada Line photos: Vancouver City Centre construction

Vancouver City Centre station will come up right next to the Sears in downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver City Centre station will come up right next to the Sears in downtown Vancouver.

So, here’s the second of three posts about the Canada Line construction. Yesterday we had a look at Yaletown Station, and today we’re going to look at Vancouver City Centre.

Again, some of you might recognize these photos from the Canada Line site, except that I’ll provide detailed comments on each photo from John Walker, senior technician for the Canada Line.

John took all these photos on Nov. 26. As he’s told me, the heavy construction is mostly done on the stations, and they are now mainly focused on the finishes and the electrical and mechanical systems. Testing has also started with train cars on the Vancouver portion of the line, which is all underground.

Also, for those interested in more on the Canada Line, in the comments on the last post, David pointed out the 80-page thread discussing the Canada Line over at the SkyscraperCity forum. I should also mention the Canada Line photo blog run by Tafyrn Palecloud, which has an enormous number of pictures of the construction.

Now: on to the Vancouver City Centre photos! Remember to click each photo to see a much, much larger version.

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Fighting spam, Buzzer style

We got a huge wave of Christmas-themed spam comments with single URLs in them yesterday! So unfortunately, from now on, any comment with at least one URL will have to be moderated by yours truly. This is all just to say that if you put a link in your comment and it doesn’t show up on the blog, it hasn’t disappeared into the ether. I’ll approve it during office hours, unless your link is related to Levitra, online gambling, or stock tips. Deposed Nigerian princes also need not apply.

U-Pass photo contest winners

Malloreigh Hamilton in one of the winning photos from our U-Pass photo contest.

Malloreigh Hamilton in one of the winning photos from our U-Pass photo contest.

We declared two winners in our U-Pass photo contest a while back, and Malloreigh Hamilton and Daniel Loke had the best photos capturing the concept of “good karma and less carbon.”

Malloreigh, who is a Langara College student, submitted the photo at right. It was taken by Lindsay Elliott (you can check out Lindsay’s photo website too). Here’s what Malloreigh had to say about the photo:

The photo I entered into the U-Pass Photo Contest was taken in early September – a warm early autumn day in Vancouver. I ride my bike all summer, and in the winter, too, if I can – but on those dismal rainy days when I have schoolwork to do, I take the bus. I consider it my responsibility to do everything I can to minimize my impact on the planet – I love what we have left of it and I want to help save it. I take a lot of joy in riding my bike around beautiful Vancouver, and I love the friendships I make on the bus to and from school. My goal is to infect everyone with the contagious happiness that comes from doing little things that help make the world a better place for everyone to live in.

Daniel Loke's photo, one of two winning entries in our U-Pass photo contest.

Daniel Loke's photo, one of two winning entries in our U-Pass photo contest.

Daniel Loke goes to UBC and took this photo himself. Here’s how he described his picture:

My photo represents a lot of what I think of the environment. Besides just riding a bike and reducing carbon emissions, I was riding it on Rottnest Island in Australia, which generates 37% of its power through renewable resources. In fact, there’s a wind turbine just behind me! Ecotourism is becoming a big thing now, and I’m happy to be a part of it. For me, taking local buses and transit is the real way to travel. In addition to ‘being a local’, it’s just part of being environmentally friendly. I ride my bike to work and bus to school every day, even though I have a car available to me (why not? I have a U-pass anyway!). It’s just little things like that that means I use less carbon, and gain more karma. Earth gives so much to me, I just have to give something back!

Thanks again to everyone who entered! It’s great to see that students care about the environment and are trying to make a difference!

Canada Line photos: Yaletown Station construction

Yaletown Station: an illustration of what it will look like when complete!

Yaletown Station: an illustration of what it will look like when complete!

I’ve been noticing some interest in posts about the Canada Line lately, so this here will be the first of three posts on Canada Line station construction.

We’ll start with a look at Yaletown Station. Some of you may recognize these pictures from the Canada Line website, except I’ve got some detailed comments on the photos from John Walker, senior technician from the Canada Line project. (We’ll look at Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront Stations in the next few days.)

A brief overview: John took all these photos of the stations on Nov. 26. The heavy construction is mostly done on the stations, and they are now mainly focused on the finishes in the stations and the electrical and mechanical systems. I know that testing has also started with train cars on the Vancouver portion of the line. That’s all underground, so unfortunately you can’t see those trains in action.

Click on each photo for much, much larger versions.

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Something neat: the bike-rack rap!

If you haven’t seen this already, it is quite possibly the best thing you will see all day. It’s a rap on how to use bus bike-racks from TARC, the transit agency in Louisville, Kentucky! You can find out a bit more on the making of the video at Active Living By Design. (Big thanks to one of my co-workers for sending me this: and thanks to Streetsblog for the link to Active Living.)

Retired trolleys make their way to Mendoza

One of our retired trolleys on a flatbed truck, arriving in Guaymallen, Argentina en route to Mendoza.

One of our retired trolleys on a flatbed truck, arriving in Guaymallen, Argentina en route to Mendoza.

Thanks to the kindness of Jorge Luis Guevara, we have pictures of our retired trolleys arriving in Argentina on Friday, Dec. 5!

(Recap for those new to the story: we sold 80 of our retired high-floor trolleys to Mendoza, Argentina. Older stories on the trolleys’ voyage to South America can be found here, here, and here.)

Jorge works for Empresa Provincial de Transportes de Mendoza (EPTM), the transit agency who bought our trolleys. He’s promised to send more photos of the buses during their journey in the Andes, too!

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Our 2009 budget and capital plan

The 2009 budget will support many major initiatives that are reaching completion, such as the 48 new SkyTrain cars set to arrive next year.

The 2009 budget will support many major initiatives that are reaching completion, such as the 48 new SkyTrain cars set to arrive next year.

Our 2009 budget and capital plan was released to the media over the weekend, and it’s resulted in some prominent news stories today. I thought we’d take a little time to talk about the highlights and answer some questions you might have. Here’s the official press release that was sent out, if you’d like to read it as well.

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More about the December 29 bus service improvements

This is our biggest service improvement yet: 14.7 million extra trips were added to the Metro Vancouver region!

This is our biggest service improvement yet: 14.7 million extra trips were added to the Metro Vancouver region!

While you can find the full list of Dec. 29 bus service improvements in the print Buzzer, I also wanted to direct you to the full list of service changes on the TransLink website.

I’ve also got some more information about the overall service changes, and some highlights and further info behind many individual service improvements. Shall we?

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Christmas parade reroutes this weekend

The Canada Line float from last year's Rogers Santa Claus Parade. This year, there will be a Canada Line float and a TransLink bus in the parade!

The Canada Line float from last year's Rogers Santa Claus Parade. This year, there will be a Canada Line float and a TransLink bus in the parade!

No less than four Christmas parades are happening this weekend! Unsurprisingly, there will be some bus reroutes owing to all the Christmas cheer — please use the links below to see what reroutes will apply to your local event.

Saturday parades
Langley: Magic of Christmas Parade – #320, #341, #501 reroutes
New Westminster: Hyack Santa Claus Parade – #106, #112, #123 reroutes

Sunday parades
Cloverdale: Santa’s Torch Light Parade – #C70, #320, #341 reroutes
Vancouver: Rogers Santa Claus Parade – many, many downtown Vancouver bus reroutes.

SkyTrain will provide additional trains before and after the Rogers Santa Claus parade in Vancouver, to give you an easy, traffic-free way to get there and back. The parade starts at 1 p.m., and to get there, exit SkyTrain at either Burrard or Granville Station, and walk to Georgia. The Skytrain site has more info.

The December Buzzer is out today!

Get the latest Buzzer on all our buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express today!

This issue has all the service changes planned for December 29, plus info on transit service over the holidays.

The Back Issues history item is from 1947, about a special Buzzer issue that was home-delivered to the residents of Vancouver. Fares saw the first hikes in 18 years, including a cash fare increase from seven to 10 cents, which horrified transit customers. (Read the item for more on that story!)

As always, if you can’t get the Buzzer on the system, you can always read it in PDF form on our website. Visit our Buzzer PDF archives, which stretch back to the heady days of June 2006. (Here’s the direct link to the December issue PDF.)

Don’t forget to enter the FareCard contest too: you can win a free FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer. Read the issue, then answer the question right by Monday, Jan. 12 at 9 a.m. to win!

Enjoy the latest Buzzer: comments are welcome below!

The retired trolleys arrive in Chile!

The retired New Flyer trolleys, being offloaded at the docks in San Antonio, Chile.

The retired New Flyer trolleys, being offloaded at the docks in San Antonio, Chile.

After 20+ days at sea aboard the ship Wisdom, the retired trolleys arrived in Chile on Nov. 28!

CTL Westrans Shipbrokers, the company shipping the trolleys, sent us some photos and the following update on the trolleys’ progress:

M/V Wisdom arrived safely in San Antonio Chile on Friday Nov 28th, and completed discharge of all 80 buses by Sunday Nov 30th. We understand the buses will now be transported in sets of 10-12 at a time on flat-bed trucks over the Andes highway into Mendoza.

And CTL Westrans promises to send more photos when they get to Mendoza in Argentina!

There’s one more offloading photo below, plus a few more of the trolleys being loaded onto the ship at the Fraser Surrey Docks. Click each picture for a for larger version.

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