Translink Buzzer Blog

Posts tagged: TRAMS

RECAP: 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year Parade

It was a brisk and sunny Sunday, but that didn’t stop our TransLink and TRAMS crew from taking to the streets of Chinatown to hand out those coveted lucky red envelopes in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

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Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with TransLink!

Chinese New Year

Gong hei fat choy! Today kicks off Chinese Lunar New Year – also known as the Spring Festival in modern China, which is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunar Chinese calendar. This year is the year of the Dog, and we’re excited to be a part of one of the 45th annual Chinese New Year Parade taking place in Chinatown on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

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I Love Transit: 2017 Pop-Up Wrap Up!

I Love Transit 2017

You asked for it, and we answered!

Yesterday, with our friends at TravelSmart, Transit Museum Society (TRAMS), and Mobi, we hosted a pop-up event celebrating I Love Transit at the EasyPark lot on the corner of Cambie and Georgia Street in Vancouver. The sun was shining bringing transit enthusiasts young and old out to play some games, win some prizes and learn all about transit in our community outreach vehicle.

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I Love Transit: Join us for an I Love Transit Pop-Up Event – Oct 5, 12 – 4pm

 

I Love Transit 2017

Calling all transit fans!

In celebration of I Love Transit Week, we’re once again hosting a pop-up event with our friends at the Transit Museum Society (TRAMS) on Thursday, October 5, 2017. For a sneak peek at what to expect, check out the recap of our 2014 event. We’re also super happy to add our fun consultation bus with staff on hand to answer your questions.

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Join TRAMS for their annual holiday lights tours around Metro Vancouver

Courtesy of TRAMS

Courtesy of TRAMS

Do you love outdoor holiday decorations AND old transit vehicles and memorabilia?

Well then, you’re in luck! Because TRAMS (The Transit Museum Society of Vancouver) is hosting their yearly holiday lights tours!

bus

Let Rudolph lead the way to festive fun!

Hop aboard the Rudolph-themed bus and explore the region’s best decorated homes and buildings.

Tours are taking place December 16, 17, 18, 21, 23 and 30.

This two (and a bit) hour tour leaves from 22nd Street SkyTrain Station at 7 p.m.

Fares:

  • Adults – $25
  • Senior/Student –$15
  • Children – $5
  • Children under 2 years of age ride free!
  • Family rate – Bring four children for the price of two
  • Members of TRAMS receive $2 discount for each member of their travel party

Reserve your spot online today! You can pay online ahead of time or with cash or credit on the bus. If you are paying cash, please have exact change.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Looking back at Metro Vancouver’s Transit History with Angus McIntyre!

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Angus back in the day

Angus back in the day

June 27th marked 125 years of transit in the region. To honour this special occasion we have been mining old photos, stories and even brought a 1954 trolley bus out of retirement to celebrate!

If buses could talk, we’d probably ask the old Brill trolley how things have changed since it first hit the streets in 1954.

Seeing as talking is not yet a feature of buses, I thought it best to catch up with someone who has not only seen our system evolve over the decades, but is also able to share their experiences!

1954 Brill Trolley

1957 Brill Diesel

So, last week I visited TRAMS BC and chatted with retired bus operator, Angus McIntyre. Having spent 41 years driving buses in Vancouver, Angus knows the transit system well and was nice enough to gives us an overview of transit history and his time behind the wheel.

According to Angus, he started as an operator when he was 21, back when BC Hydro was the transit authority.

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Driver’s seat of the 1954 trolley bus!

Initially covering the evening shift route along Nanaimo, Powell St. to Stanley Park, he says, that back then, being an operator was both physically and mentally challenging.

He explained  “there wasn’t any power steering or right hand mirrors and drivers also had to handle money.” “You’d be steering with your left hand and filling the [money] changer with the other!”

Staying on similar routes for years at a time, Angus  says he loved getting to know his passengers. He even tallied the number of people that boarded his bus and bought his one millionth passenger a book of faresaver tickets!

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

During our chat, Angus also gave me a quick rundown of the history of transit in the region.

As Angus tells it,  Metro Vancouver’s transportation network has changed hands more than a couple of times since the first streetcars rumbled through Vancouver in 1890.

Citing transit history like a pro, Angus  led me down the path of changing transit authorities over time from its start with independent companies in 1890 to BC Electric company in 1897, BC Hydro in 1962, Metro Transit Operating Company in 1973, BC Transit in 1983 and then TransLink in 1999.

Angus McIntyre

Here’s Angus holding a license plate perfect for celebrating 125 years of transit!

Looking at this timeline, Angus said during his career he had “four employers, three different unions and four major labour disputes”!

Despite these many changes he insists that although “bus schemes [liveries] changed and uniforms changed, the transit service still remained the same”.

When I asked Angus what crosses his mind when he thinks about 125 years of transit in the region, he said he thinks of “The early pictures showing the first streetcar running within the tiny city limits, and how the transit system is now so huge.”

According to Angus, the system was once so small that when he started as an operator, private commuter clubs were chartering buses to Tsawwassen and White Rock to supplement the non existent transit service in these areas.

He explains “the transit system had no money and couldn’t expand [so] people were doing a do-it-yourself transit system without the internet or anything. I don’t know how these people found each other, but you’d go down to Howe and Robson in the afternoon and there would be all these people waiting, but not at a bus stop. Then a school bus would pull up and all these people would get on and head somewhere out of the city”.

To say the least, talking to Angus about Metro Vancouver’s early transportation network was an eye-opener.

It’s hard to fathom getting around today without our current infrastructure — I’m pretty thankful I’m not chartering a bus everyday to get to work!

Author: Laura Tennant