Haaaaaaaaave you met Denis?
Denis has been with TransLink for three and half years and in the planning department for the past two and half.
When the Evergreen Extension opened, that meant a lot of bus route changes and Denis offered to help us explain a little more about some of the route modifications to our riders who reached out on Twitter.
— TransLink BC (@TransLink) December 22, 2016
These responses have been so successful that Denis has agreed to be our “go-to” planning guru across our social channels!
With Denis’ help, this will allow us to delve deeper into service changes and explain more about specific routes and modifications to service.
Not only does Denis help plan things like your favourite bus route, he’s also a transit fan, transit rider as well as a cycling enthusiast. Let’s get to know “Denis the Planner” a little better!
Why did you choose planning as a career?
I originally got into planning because I was concerned about big issues like climate change, preserving farmland, and health. Buuuuttt also I love maps and I love cities. Planning allows me to address those big societal issues AND spend my time working with maps and cities. It’s great!
What drew you to transit planning in particular?
I want to make transit (and walking and cycling) attractive to more people for all of the big reasons mentioned above. This would be a really straightforward job if we had the ability to just put buses everywhere. But, since we can’t just put buses everywhere, we have to have conversations about where those buses should go. And these are really interesting, challenging conversations!
What’s the best part of your job?
The most exciting part is early in the planning process when we get to have blue-sky conversations about different designs for the transit network. It’s a cross between art and science because you need to be creative, but your ideas also have to be based on real data!
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Saying no! I love transit and I want everyone to have great transit access! Until someone invents a money tree, it’s not going to be possible to run a bus to everyone’s doorstep. A big part of my job is explaining the tough transit trade-offs, and that we’re trying to provide the best possible service to the region with the resources we have.
What are your favourite modes transportation besides transit?
I don’t own a car but I recently got an electric bike and I love it! I feel like I can go anywhere on it! Hills are no match for me now.
Why did you want to be #Denistheplanner and personally respond to people’s concerns about service changes?
I’m excited to tell the story of transit. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and I want to help people know more about that stuff! We’ve always answered tweets and messages; but videos are just more fun, and so hopefully more people will see them!
What do you hope to achieve by being able to directly respond to our riders?
I would love to convert everyone into a transit nerd. If we get more people thinking about transit, hopefully that will mean more public participation, and ultimately better transit!
Check out Denis talking about bus integration for Evergreen!
Although we appreciate and value all of your feedback, Denis will not be able to respond to everyone.
Do you have a planning question for Denis?
Comment below or use the hashtag #DenisthePlanner on social media to reach out!
You can also email us with the subject “Denis the Planner” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Adrienne Coling