Archive for the ‘Translink’ Category

More on Transit adjustments

Remember how I said my brain turned to mush after all the fare weirdness we’ll see during the Olympics and I couldn’t sort through all the bus route changes and how to get to Whistler options, etc? Well, Miss 604 did the heavy lifting for us already – awesome! Admittedly, with a lot of help from;

Last night John was looking over street closures during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and trying to figure out his new public transit route to work. I would imagine many who work in or around downtown Vancouver are also going through this phase of planning their commute (if they haven’t taken two weeks holiday during this time).

Here are some transportation options you’ll need to consider over the next two months, according to

[VIA Miss 604]

Friendly Neighborhood Newspaper Carriers

Kudos to the two people at Gateway station who give me my copies of The Metro and 24 Hours each day at Gateway station. Morning in and Morning out, I can count on a nice, “Good morning,” from the Korean lady dressed in green and and a bright,  “24 hours?” from the lady dressed in orange.

It’s not an easy job. You have to be on your feet all day long, trying to get people to grab a paper that they don’t necessarily want or need. You get ignored or get the odd rude comment. All for a piecemeal rate. But it’s a living and the two that give me my paper seem to enjoy it.

Delivering for the Sun, Province or National Post is no easy task either. Take this posting from Craigslist for example. They need to get to their collection site by 2 AM, and have them all delivered by 8AM. From what I heard, for every complaint that they get, they get a certain amount knocked off their pay to compensate for the call centre time. Not pretty and not fun if they have a route that’s on an hill that ices over or gets snowed up.

So if you see someone giving you a newspaper, pick one up. If you don’t like the content, you can always recycle it at Burrard station anyway. At least you helped someone earn just a few pennies more… that add up in the end. And if you subscribe to the Sun or Province, a nice tip at Christmas time would be a nice gesture… especially if they get your nice, dry paper to your doorstep despite the weather.

Metro Vancouver Trolley Buses Headed To Argentina

These New Flyer Trolley buses are now 25 years old and for many Vancouverites they have served us faithfully at one point or another during our lives here.

Unfortunately they’ve reached the end of their useful life here in Metro Vancouver. They simply don’t meet accessibility standards that we have. For example they have steps at the entries as well as poles in the centre aisle.  Since they were being phased out anyways, Translink managed to secure a deal selling them to the city of Mendoza in Argentina for $2300 a piece plus shipping.

The parade of them being towed/hauled from the Oakridge Transit Centre to the Fraser docks will continue on throughout Sept 11th.

N00bz on public transit.

Bus Pass

To the young woman who couldn’t understand why her friend from UBC got on the Skytrain with her “photo student card” but she wasn’t allowed to get on the Skytrain with her student card from a makeup and beauty school.

You need a bus pass, and this is what one looks like.

Your friend has a U-pass. You have a photo student card. Arguing with the Skytrain attendant about you “having the right” to get on the Skytrain with your photo student card is fruitless.

Let go. And stop holding up the line for the escalator.

Smells on the Skytrain

I don’t generally like taking the Skytrain during the hot weather.  As much as it can smell like wet dog on those rainy winter days when people’s clothes mixes with the heaters to create a pungent oder, it’s during the summer that people’s B.O. problems really stand-out.

Sure sometimes I don’t feel as fresh as I’d like, walking down Kingsway on my way to the station I can work up a sweat when it’s as hot as it has been the past few days, but I’d like to believe that I don’t cast a thirty foot protection spell of smell.  I’d like to believe that I’m invisible to your nasal nerves.

Maybe I’m not as silent smelling as I’d like to think.  Maybe I assault the senses of others just as strongly as the large man whose clearly seen a loaf of garlic bread more recently than he’s seen a shower or a toothbrush, though I do doubt it.   I think he’s some kind of terrorist weapon to make us lose faith in public transportation, to increase our dependence on foreign oil.

So despite the transit pass I’m walking as much as I can, at least until I can be assured that everyone on tram has met minimum levels of cleanliness.

What are your transit pet peeves that other riders subject you to?

Farewell to the E901 trolleybus

2707 at Marpole 20080427

While the last run in service was on April 20, some fan trips have been run to say goodbye to the type of electric trolleybuses that have served Vancouver for 23 years – well over their design life.

The old Flyer trolleybuses in Vancouver BC have now been retired. The process of replacement has been going on for some time with the worst examples taken out of service first and sent for scrap. At least one of the better examples will be preserved for the Museum fleet, possibly with another to provide spares to keep it running. Most of the rest are being exported to Argentina for further service.

A special, final fan trip was run today, and that will be the last we will see of these buses. The two that will stay here were joined by one of the old Brills for a network tour that started at Marpole Loop and took in 41st to Oakridge and then on to Dunbar, out to UBC and then through Kerrisdale with a stop for lunch at Tenth and Granville. The afternoon included Stanley Park and Fraser Loops before returning to Marpole.

The Brill was still the most popular choice for riders – odd given that rides on a 901 will not be available again soon, and we were supposed to be bidding farewell to them. I found the 901s to be much quieter, more comfortable, despite the hard seats, and smelled better too!

The image below is of the Brill leading the parade into Marpole loop

2040 at Marpole 20080407

Canada Line Fun


When crews demolished and tore up the south end of Davie street they left a freestanding brick structure, which they worked around for two years [a thumbnail photo can be viewed here]. The part of the future Roundhouse Canada Line Station contained a small elevator lobby that lead down to the Easy Park below but other than that, the structure (about 2 storeys high) was kept intact throughout the entire construction process.


Last week with incessant jackhammering that still rang through my ears when I got home from work at night, they structure was demolished. I assume part of it is because they wanted to maintain elevator access throughout the project, but as I’ve caught several passery-by note, “why did they save it for so long, just to tear it down in the end?”. Each day someone from my office asks the same question – perhaps someone out there has an answer.

On a related note, does anyone know if there are any available artist renditions/mock ups of the new Canada Line stations available online? I’ve only found this one so far but I wonder if the brick structure was included in the one for the Roundhouse… hmmm….

Update: Thanks to Karen I found the following for the Roundhouse Station:


Not much response

Translink 2135 on wb 9 Broadway Vancouver BC 2007_0108

Translink held a public meeting last night at the Burnaby Firefighters’ Hall. It was intended to elicit input on a proposal to increase property tax by $18m a year to replace the parking tax.

Raising taxes on anybody cannot be expected to be popular, and Translink has been taking a beating in recent months as it was rearranged by the Province to be even less representative and open than it had been. A new Board has been appointed and intends to hold its meetings in private.

Clearly they expected a bigger turnout. That hall holds three times the number that attended. The Sun reports that about 50 people attended and 11 spoke in a meeting that lasted about an hour. So whatever the outcome, we can hardly complain. An opportunity was missed by those who said they who wanted more input, and those who don’t like paying more tax than absolutely unavoidable. (Mind you if you read the cbc coverage, they make it sound like a different meeting although the facts they report are the same.)

Or maybe we have become cynical. And thought that attending a meeting about an issue that has only arisen because the Province listens to businesses (mostly) was a bit of a waste of time, with a foregone conclusion. Or perhaps “cynical” is too harsh a term and “realistic” is closer to the mark.

The sum in question, by the way, is less than 2% of Translink’s annual revenues

And You Thought Catching a Bus in Vancouver Was Bad

Surrey’s got it worse, and appears to be a little more disgruntled.


Photo Credit: Paul Hillsdon on Flickr

PS – It feels wonderful to compose my first post on WordPress-powered Metroblogging.

Vancouver Five: Canada Line Celebrations


The CBC [cbc] informed me that the city was celebrating the completion of the Canada Line tunnel today, bringing the most patriotic Skytrain line that much closer to completion.  Here’s five more things that we’re celebrating today.  Please insert sarcastic quotes where appropriate.

5)The Canucks loss to the Blackhawks [cbc]: Face it we’re not a city that’s comfortable with a winning NHL team, and so these overtime losses are making us feel safe.  When the team’s winning we start getting into debates with each other on the Skytrain and in line at the movies about ontology.  Now we no longer have to worry about Anselm and his arguments.

4)The Olympics are coming: Why did we have a two year pre-Olympic celebration and not a two year minus one month pre-Olympic celebration?  Is it just me or do the rest of you feel your very neutrons vibrating with eager anticipation?  If I get much more excited I might dissipate.

3)More Pickton [vs]: I have to pick the first season up on DVD before watching next year’s.

2) Conrad Black is going to jail [gs]: Happy days.  No sarcastic quotation marks needed here.

1) The Canucks again [exn]: They might not be able to beat an NHL team, but boy they can wipe the floor with the Hives.

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