Tag Archives: translink

Quote by Dave Olson Re: Vancouver Police Dept. giant new aggression machine

Just wait, within a year, this expensive monstrosity will be used to effectuate excessive force and cause more harm than good. Just look at Tasers for example of the roadmap of poor execution by police. Get the cops on shoes walking the beat and talking to the community. Not hiding behind more barriers. Perhaps capital crimes would be prevented and solved by genuine outreach rather than big machines and power.

Quote by Dave Olson Re: Vancouver Police Dept. giant new aggression machine

Seabus Voyage: 11 minute crossing of Burrard Inlet on a rainy Vancouver day

The Seabus is a passenger ferry running between downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver across the Burrard Inlet. The crossing generally takes about 11-12 minutes. This video is a simple single shot of the crossing with ambient sound and no alterations.

The Seabus (there are 3: The Otter, and The Beaver, were launched in 1977 and the Pacific Breeze was launched in late 2009 just before the Winter Olympics) are operated by Translink, the transit authority for the greater Vancouver BC area. Many folks ride this daily as part of their commute to work in downtown or even closer, in Gastown or Railtown.

Further Reading on the launch of the Breeze:
http://www.miss604.com/2009/12/new-seabus-pacific-breeze-now-in-operation.html

The dock on the south side is adjacent of the wharves of Canada Place and accessible via Waterfront Station or the Heliport door on the low road. The north dock is in a complex with Lonsdale Quay market — a great tiny alternative to the busy (especially in the summer) Granville Island Market.

Both docks closely connected with other transit modes: at Waterfront, all Skytrain lines and Westcoast Express train; and, busses to all points on the North Shore at Lonsdale Quay (including busses to Grouse Mountain, Deep Cove and Horsehoe Bay).

Tip: Exit via the Heliport door and walk to unknown CRAB park just a few 100 metres away to the east – further east, a bridge connects you to the north end of Main St.

Tip: Ride the Seabus to North Vancouver and catch the 228 bus and ride to Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. It’s free, unlike Capilano, and it’s not a tourist trap

Skytrain Trip: From Main St. to Waterfront — back seat of Mk 1 car

Sitting in the rear seat in a MkI type Skytrain car in Vancouver, BC, I documented the journey. The change in light via tunnels and so on, created interesting reflections and a curious virtual ALRT trip. The tunnels sometimes remind me of Battlestar Galactica (the old TV show) set.

The Buzzer blog » I Love Transit Week essay: Dave Olson

The Buzzer blog » I Love Transit Week essay: Dave Olson

“Rolling to the End of the Line” Transit mixed-media essay on the Buzzer

As part of Translink (the greater Vancouver area transit authority)’s “I Love Transit” week, i was invited by Jhenifer Pabliano to contribute an article about why i love transit. I assembled a mixed-media package to tell my story a few different ways – words, photos, poems, twitters and a podcast (some video coming soon for extra fun).

Here it is for your convenience, here’s: I Love Transit Week essay: Dave Olson

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For I Love Transit Week, I’m happy to share a contribution from Dave Olson, who is a prolific and talented local writer, podcaster, poet, Canucks superfan, and much more. You can find all of his work at uncleweed.net — and here’s some direct links to his blog, notebook, Twitter, and three podcasts: Postcard from Gravelly Beach, Choogle On, and Canucks Outsider.

So without further ado, here is “Rolling to the End of the Line,” an essay about transit by Dave Thorvald Olson.

Escape

Dave's 4th grade science fair project on trolley buses. Photo from Dave's <a href=

Dave’s 4th Grade Sciene Fair Exhibit

Brother Bob and I would mimic the airhorns on the way to elementary school – same as we’d do for truckers and fire trucks, pulling the string down, hoping the bus driver would notice and honk. Seemed like a blast to me, tooling along in those big buses, filled with interesting people coming and going. I’d trace routes around Vancouver maps, then memorized provinces, states and countries – imagining myself at the wheel of some kind of bus. My 4th grade science fair exhibit extolled the wonders of Trolley Transit, complete with the proposed ALRT route traced off in felt pen on a GVRD map plus a stack of Buzzers to give away.

Later, transit became my escape. In the early 80s Vancouver was growing up – so much newness everywhere it seemed, except in my neighbourhood. So buddy Brad and I would skip out errr … wait until after … school and hop the 312 or 316. We’d roll down Kingsway, over an hour all told, to tromp down Granville to Odyssey Imports for records or Black Market for t-shirts. Then maybe skateboard over to that crazy new domed stadium place and hang out on the steps, trying to imagine would Vancouver would look like in 20 years. Then warm up in the law courts or the Vancouver Art Gallery before hopping a bus back home to the ‘burbs.

Exploration

My forays stretched later into night and ventured further afield – wherever there was an all-ages punk show or a sweet girl with busy parents, I’d find a bus route – navigating to shows at the York Theater on Commercial Drive or tracking down some old church or community hall on some route I’d never heard of charted out in a battered paper schedule. I remember missing the last bus to Surrey from downtown and hoofing all the way down Hastings to the PNE to catch another – a long walk in the cold Chuck Taylors before ending up at Whalley Exchange in the wee hours.

Dave's beloved VW bus. Photo from Dave's <a href=

Dave’s beloved VW Microbus

In 1986, Vancouver changed. A lot. The SkyTrain (or Airbus as I preferred) was running for a few years to New West. We’d hop a #319 and whisk downtown on the ALRT in 22 scant minutes for the barrage of international events in shiny teal buildings. Suddenly Vancouver was modern and everyone came to watch. I’d seen most all of Vancouver from Ambleside to Crescent Beach by then, so I got my own bus – a VW camper bus – and set off travelling.

Creation

Twenty-two countries later and countless bus, trains, trolley and trams rides later, I returned and moved high up Lynn Valley – “Just ride the 210 ‘til the driver turns off the engine,” are the instructions to visiting friends. Living on the Baden-Powell trail also means I ride transit – a lot. Currently to Kitsilano – that’s two bridges of patience. But now, I am more prepared – I strap on oversized headphones, grab iPhone for live Twitter updates, snacks in pocket, and travel mug with tasty bevvie. Importantly, a Moleskine notebook, inky pens and an audio recorder in my lunch sack allow me use transit as a creative space.

The Crazy Canucks podcast crew, on the back of a bus! (Dave's at far right). Photo from <a href=

The Crazy Canucks podcast crew, on the back of a bus! (Dave

Creation works best aboard the Seabus – the views stunning, you always get a seat, and if you are waiting, its your fault as the Seabus boasts punctuality the Germans would envy – indeed, “Otto and the Beav” rarely stumble whither windstorms or traffic jams (digression: i was hoping for “Sockeye” rather than “Breeze” for the third vessel’s name).

On my commute and weekend excursions, I mix up the routes for exploration and documenting the curious. I look to old-timers who rode routes toting heavy film cameras just to document the ordinary goings-on on 1930s Vancouver for inspiration. What I see goes into notebooks, snapshots, video clips and audio podcasts – sometime in the back seat recording a Canucks Outsider podcast, riding the SkyTrain end to end for a Choogle on podcast or documenting the SeaBus on Car-free day. Maybe writing freeverse and Twitter updates describing the scenes of life from the transit journey then co-mingling the spectacular and mundane of metropolitan Vangroovy into literary dim sum.

I love you, you’re perfect, now change

change my route to think about the neighbourhoods
March 30, 2007 – Dave Olsoni change my route
from time to time
to think about
the neighbourhoods

switched Cambie 15
for Main Number 3
or Fraser if i don’t mind
cutting across Kingsway

skirted schoolgirls Xavier-bound
headphones, sweaters
in rows

downtown exchanges
spake in broken halts
sometime gleaming
often rain
occasionally sleet, hail or ice

Here are two more transit poems from Dave: The Ferry Changes Tack, and Waiting Only Twice a Day

Aboard these cooperative transport pods are keys to a civil society – you mingle with strangers, you guess their stories, you accidentally eavesdrop on conversations, or hope for the character who amuses you to come on board. Tolerance and translucency abound onboard. For me, I roll with a load of billeted foreign exchange student chattering away in Portuguese, Japanese or practicing English. You begin to notice the same people and sometimes recognize your bus buddies at a store or a bar as “ahhh it’s that guy from the 228″. At least I do.

I tell myself I am helping reduce greenhouse gases and getting one more car of the road, but it ain’t always easy keeping it that way. Like any relationship, me and transit have rifts and differences – ask me about my issues another time. Despite my policy conundrums, I ride because efficient transportation is key to a pleasing living experience for more of us. So the escape, exploration, creative space, collective experience and chance encounters still get me running down the block – with a warm beverage, giant headphones and notebook – to hop aboard, flash my two-zone pass, and say “hello” to the driver while heading for the good seat in the back.

Rolling to the End of the Line ~ Choogle On! #77

Rolling aboard buses, trolleys, Skytrain and Seabus, Uncle Weed discusses changing routes and riding transit for escape, exploration, creativity, inspiration and adds in tourist fun plus concerns about free expression, aggressive security and love for the Seabus in a special documentary dispatch from Upper Lynn Valley to Kitsilano in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

See Rolling to the End of the Line article in at I Love Transit Week essay: Dave Olson series at Buzzer blog (thanks Jhenifer) or “Rolling to the End of the Line” Transit mixed-media essay on the Buzzer at Feasthouse blog.

Hop aboard for Rolling to the End of the Line – Choogle on #77 (.mp3, 28:00, 26MB)

Rolling to the end of the Line

Photos

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

as seen in lynn valley - lost pipe

Twitter updates

Transit dimsum via @uncleweed Twitter

Transit freeverse

change my route to think about the neighbourhoods
March 30, 2007

i change my route
from time to time
to think about
the neighbourhoods

switched Cambie 15
for Main Number 3
or Fraser if i don’t mind
cutting across Kingsway

skirted schoolgirls Xavier-bound
headphones, sweaters
in rows

downtown exchanges
spake in broken halts
sometime gleaming
often rain
occasionally sleet, hail or ice

The Crazy Canucks
Photo via Miss604 on Flickr

Subscribe

Grab the Choogle on feed or subscribe Choogle on via iTunes

More Podcast Goodness

Postcards from Gravelly Beach – Literature podcast – FeediTunesBlog

Out n’ About with Uncle Weed– Travelin’ man vidcast – ShowFeediTunes

Ephemeral Feasthouse – Miscellanea & notes – BlogFeedPodcast

Clubside Breakfast Time – OlyWa Rock and Punditry – BlogFeediTunes

Visit

Uncleweed.net for more writings, podcasts, paintings and photos

Follow along via Twitter @uncleweed

Seabus Station Evacuated due to Smoking Vessel

Seabus Station Evacuated due to Smoking Vessel

Seabus Smoking

The Seabus (not sure if it was the Otter or the Beaver) began smoking heavily upon docking at Waterfront Station. After passengers disembarked and crew investigated the problem, the station was evacuated and firetrucks responded. The counterpart vessel waited in Burrard Inlet and didn’t immediately dock.

Nothing more to report at this time. Video forthcoming.

Seabus Smoking

See also:

One SeaBus breaks down The Province, Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uncle Weed Flickr photos tagged seabus

Vancouver Transit Camp is a go – Saturday, Dec. 8th at Workspace

Trolley Transit science fair exhibit - 4th gradeInterested in geeking out about all things related to Metro Vancouver’s belaugered transit system? Then punch your transfer for Vancouver Transit Camp.

Mashups, schedules, design, politics, business, seats, routes, maps, outings, and general conveyance enjoyment are all on the table cause this is an “un-conference” meaning you show up and pitch what you wanna talk about an/or vote on other peeps’ presentations.

Karen, Roland, Paul, Jason and more are working diligently to get the word out and make a neat event which costs little more than a $5 suggested donation from the first 100 folks who sign on the muster roll.
JMV makes cool buttons for transit camp
We are lining up sponsors (thanks to Vancouver green directory happyfrog.ca!) and invite you to rough up your workplace or wallet for a hundred or two to pay for the sweeeet WorkSpace facility (with exceptional coffee), lunch o’ rama for hungry participants and incidental expenses like cool buttons, art and ambiance.

Being a daily transit roller, I’ve appointed myself as the Seabus Czar and will answer and evangelize this crown jewel in the Translink empire.

I am eager to brew up some transit ideas for tourists trips (how to avoid those goofy, expensive tourist buses and see the real sights of Vangroovy) as well as rail on about turnstiles, advertising and reminiscing about the burbs before the ALRT. And you? Well if you have something to say, get over and sign up, showup and be ready to pitch in with words and thoughts.

Upcoming: Vancouver TransitCamp

Facebook: Facebook event

Documenting pleasing mundanity of Vancouver commuting

Chinatown GateTis oft remarked that what constitutes a commute in Vancouver, may be considered a pleasure sightseeing adventure in other cities.

My treks starting from the North Shore and heading across Burrard inlet via Seabus or Lion’s Gate bridge are certainly visually inspiring albeit a wee bit crowded at busy times (which are almost always in transit-hungry Vancouver).

As such, i often join the tourists in snapping pics along the way. Heck, i film Seabus voyages and Skytrain rides when i can score that very front seat.

Anyhow, along with a rabble of techies, I tested a Nokia N95 phone for 8 days and used it to create a group project so to speak in which Roland, Richard, Rebecca, Kris and I all documented part of the Vancouver commute experience in order to try out different features and engage with one another using mobile technology. The quest: Return and report both the phone’s functionality/usability as well as the mobile presence-ness mojo conjured up during the experiment.

sun building vancouver lovely north van commute
Of course, Canada’s absurd mobile data plans really limit the usefulness but the wi-fi ability and 5MP camera (with solid video) made for some fun times documenting and getting up quick. I connected to the freethenet.ca connections but having to go through the web screen caused an extra clumsy step.

I also extended the phone’s ability with Shozu which allows direct photo upload to Flickr. I found the tool useful but set-up painful and wouldn’t have pulled it off without the help of Shozu warrior Roland Tanglao. I wish there was a direct upload of video as connecting via usb and then dragging the vid files to the ‘puter and then ftp upload was more steps then i’d like. I also didn’t pre-tag in Shozu but did later in Flickr (typing tricky with small keys). Riding the Seabus

Really, the phone’s user interface lacks massaged usability polish which remove the intimidation for all but the geekiest users. We all provided frank opinions to Jean Hebert (great hockey name eh) who was research project dude for SFU at Harbour Centre. We also commented on what we’d like to have in a portable communications device. I want flexibility, versatility, ruggedness, ease of use, big buttons, quick response – not too much to ask right? {Gonna test an OpenMoko phone next.}

My artifacts from the test are the a stretch of 5 vidcasts — both from my commute from North Van to Gastown and also a roadtrip to Olympia WA where i saw The Dirty Birds rock out at McCoy’s and connected to Zhonka Broadband’s free wi-fi hotspots. There are also a solid batch of photos snapped from the office roof to the Trans Canada trail park by my house in Vancouver Commute set.

Dirty Birds Rock McCoy'sDirty Birds Rock McCoy'sDirty Birds Rock McCoy'sDirty Birds Rock McCoy'sDirty Birds Rock McCoy's

Waiting for the Bus Again: Commute 4


A bus ride and stroll from a North Vancouver bus stop in front of a pet shop to downtown Vancouver’s rather seedy Main and Hastings and then into tourist-laden Gastown to 1 Alexander with comments on urban transition and the Nokia N95 phone.