Hear the voice of the SkyTrain in our second Buzzer blog podcast!
So if you didn’t know, the voice announcing the stations on our SkyTrain comes from an actual person. That person is Laureen Regan, president of Regan Productions in Calgary, who recorded the announcements for the launch of the Millennium Line. In this interview, I ask Laureen to do a few of the station announcements, how she got into the job, and whether she’s the voice of any other train systems. (You can also check out the article on Laureen in the Oct. 10 Buzzer for more!)
Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido went down to an event called the Baldy Bash in Las Vegas, participating to raise money for PEP, an organization of professionals helping parents and families of very sick children.
An example of bike lockers in use at Rupert station
We’ve still got bike lockers available for rent at Metrotown!
If you didn’t read about it in this month’s Buzzer, bike lockers are for people who want to ride their bike to connect with rapid transit. Each locker has space for one bicycle and related equipment (sorry, you can’t put anything else in there), and costs just $10 a month, with a minimum three month rental period.
We’re currently building the Golden Ears Bridge over the Fraser River, connecting Surrey and Langley to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows—hurrah!
Golden Ears also features the first electronic tolls in Western Canada, and we’re trying to get the word out about how the system works. I sat down with Mahrokh Arefi, tolling manager for the Golden Ears Bridge project, to talk about the subject. Feel free to add your own questions in the comments below – I’ll get Mahrokh to answer them at a later date.
It turns out that putting together good blog posts takes a lot longer than you think–especially when you’re writing the print Buzzer at the same time.
As such, I’m going to have to withdraw my earlier promise of putting out one piece of new content every weekday, and pledge instead to update the blog as often as I can.
Never fear though: I am fiercely devoted to keeping this arm of the Buzzer media empire going, so keep on checking back for more! There just might be a space of a day or so between posts, as I gather the research and write up the posts for you.
Listen to the voice of the SeaBus in our very first podcast!
(Some of you might be asking “What’s a podcast?” Well, a podcast is a lot like radio-on-demand. Podcasting Alley has a good definition of podcasting, and Wikipedia has info too. But for our purposes, it means the Buzzer can bring you radio-quality sound stories in files you can download — and this, believe it or not, is a really exciting thing.)
You may have already heard it in newsreports this morning, but yes: TransLink is currently running a deficit. This made the news because yesterday, TransLink released its second quarter report on financials and performance for 2008, which outlines the situation in great detail and which you can download here.
So, since we have this fancy blog up and running now, I thought I’d take a look at the report and talk about some of the issues which you no doubt have questions about. Have a read through and feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments below.
Great news, Buzzer fans: we’ve fixed the e-mail issue! Commenting can begin!
New registrants will now be e-mailed a password when they sign up. But if you’ve already registered on the site and haven’t received a password, please visit this page and fill in the e-mail address you signed up with. A password will be sent to you. And everyone, please be aware of the Buzzer’s participation guidelines before you start commenting! Thanks for all your patience!
Edit: We’ve adjusted the registration page! Instead of a password being mailed to you, now you can create your own password, and then you’ll get an e-mail confirming that your e-mail address is valid. Plus you can read and agree to the participation guidelines!
I’ve received some emails, and we are now aware that nobody is being emailed a password after they register. Hence, no comments, which I must really apologize for: we really do want to hear from you. The Buzzer’s hardworking web staff is now trying to sort the issue out!
So far, I’ve been told that it is a technical issue with how the email is set up on the server. Once it’s fixed, everybody should get their passwords mailed to them. Send me a note if your password arrives – then we’ll know from all sides that the problem is resolved.
And now, if you caught it last night, CTV News did a segment on the Buzzer blog! If you’re interested, you can see the clip online here.
The Massey Tunnel - bikes can shuttle through it all winter!
Big news in the world of regional cycling! The Massey Tunnel bike shuttle service will be extending its weekday operation through the wintertime, as a service trial project by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.
Well, if you haven’t heard already, TransLink Ride-Share Week starts today! We’re encouraging everyone in Metro Vancouver to rideshare whenever possible, and we’re giving away over 300 prizes if you use ride-share.com—a free online ride-matching database—from October 6-10.
To get a little attention, we kicked things off with a free Spirit of the West lunchtime concert in downtown Vancouver. Staff were on hand to help people sign up at ride-share.com, and I got Vince Ditrich, Geoffrey Kelly, and John Mann from the band to talk a little about their ridesharing experience:
I’m Jhenifer Pabillano, and I edit the print Buzzer for TransLink. I’ll be the chief writer behind this new blog, which will be the online companion to the Buzzer newsletter.
There are a few reasons we’ve decided to take the Buzzer into the digital realm. First, having a blog lets us update you directly on the latest TransLink news, commentary, and behind-the-scenes stories. We can also start publishing things that wouldn’t usually make it into the print version, or can’t be showcased in the newsletter format (hello, photo galleries, podcasts, and video clips!).
Second, a blog lets us open up a two-way conversation with you, our customers. Comments are built into every blog post, giving you the chance to provide your feedback or spark up a constructive discussion about what’s happening at TransLink. We’ve also got an e-mail address in case you’d prefer to communicate with us that way. (Please read our participation guidelines before you jump in, though!)
I’ll be updating the Buzzer with new content at least once every weekday—you can check back at buzzer.translink.ca, or subscribe via RSS to see the updates. I’ll also respond to comments regularly during normal business hours (around 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday).
(Edit: Also, since each post takes a fair amount of work, I’m now simply pledging to update the blog as often as I can. Hope that’s not too much trouble.)
Once again: welcome! We can’t wait to start talking with you about TransLink and its work!