Tag Archives: transportation

Vancouver’s SeaBus, Uncle Weed’s Annotated Voyage

“Tracks on Tracks” Rock n Roll Train Trip: Teaser Video

Tracks on Tracks teaser trailer with some clips from the musical journey across Canada on a train. If you weren’t there, this will make you wish you had been.

 

Tracks On Tracks Train Journey – Podcast Roundup

Tracks On Tracks, a remarkable journey with 11 musical acts on 1 train that crossed 5 provinces in June 2012. For those who weren’t able to go, there is a special treat waiting for you in the form of a podcast series that documents the journey. Musings on train life, interviews with Canadian artists, some amazing live music, and a fondness for beards colour this audio spectacular.

Plus, there’s a Storify roundup of photos, tweets, notes, vids, audio snippets and more: Tracks on Tracks Roundup

Here are all the podcast episodes:

Renegades Roll East ~ Chooglin’ on Tracks #1

Bottomless Lakes of Adaline ~ Chooglin’ on Tracks #2

Athabasca with Oboes ~ Chooglin’ on Tracks #3

Shredding on Melville ~ Chooglin’ on Tracks #4

Portage and Winnipeg ~ Chooglin’ on Tracks #5

Descending upon Hornepayne ~ Chooglin’ on Tracks #6

You can subscribe to the Choogle On! podcast series via RSS feed or on iTunes. You can also click through to download or listen to individual episodes.

Featured Vancouverite Sharing Ideas with Travellers – Inside Vancouver

This profile was published in Vancouver Tourism’s Inside Vancouver blog on Dec. 14th ias: This Week’s Featured Vancouverite: Dave Thorvald Olson with photo by Kris Krug

Hometown:

I grew up in Whalley, and now live in Lynn Valley, but have done a lot of worldwide traveling in between.

How long have you been a Vancouverite?
On and off since I was 4 years old, and I’m 40 now.

Occupation:
I’m community and marketing director for HootSuite.com—a social media web tool for Twitter that is used by both Tom Waits and Barack Obama.

Favourite place in the city:
The Varley Trail named after the Group of Seven painter and WW1 battlefield artist Frederick Varley—it’s a short loop through in the rainy woods near my house—you can extend around Rice Lake to see remnants of early logging culture along rushing river dotted with memorials to loved ones.

Best way to spend a Saturday in the city:
Sleep in, then dim sum in Chinatown at New Town or Floata. Find a street festival on Miss604’s blog or in the Georgia Straight, roll there by transit and dig the music and snacks. Seabus to Lonsdale Quay and either pitch and putt golf at Murdo Frazer or Ambleside, or stroll across the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge. Head back by bus through Stanley Park for Kintaro ramen on Denman Street, have a quick nap, regroup at New Amsterdam Cafe, and head to a concert at Rickshaw, Malkin Bowl, or The Railway Club (depending on taste), then meander home smiling for sure.

Favourite Vancouver artist:
Dan Mangan—this singer-songwriter is everything good about Vancouver to me: understated, sincere, charming, and a wee bit scruffy. Catch him on the rise. See also: Geoff Berner and Jeremy Fisher.

Top insider tip for visitors:
Explore Vancouver’s counterculture history including sites where the Grateful Dead played free shows, Tommy Chong met Cheech, and Jimi Hendrix practiced guitar at his Granny’s house, as well as the site of the legendary punk club The Smilin’ Buddha or at the new Empire Field on the site where Beatles and Elvis both played. Oh yeah, the Museum of Vancouver is a hidden gem at Vanier Park.

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

“Riding the Roof of the Breeze” Dossier in The Vancouver Observer

I’ve started a new column at Vancouver Observer, a web-based, hyper-local news site. The Column is called “Uncle Weed’s Dossier” and I’ll mostly write about transportation, Vancouver secrets and history, public policy conundrums, Cascadian diplomacy and creative activism.

Enjoy this first installment from the $3 Harbour Cruise featuring my pal Rebecca Bollwitt with thanks to urban transit explorer JMV.


Photo of this reporter on the SeaBus Bridge by Rebecca Bollwitt.

Here’s an excerpt of Riding the Roof of the Breeze:

1977 was a stellar year for culture. The Ramones, The Clash and Bob Marley with classic albums, Elvis for a half-year, plus Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever and the launch of the SeaBus. Since that banner year, the intrepid lil catamarans have toiled across Burrard Inlet, unheralded and undaunted. Now the two vessels – the Beaver and Otter – are three as the Pacific Breeze set off from Waterfront station Wednesday Dec. 23rd with politicians on-board and me on the roof.

Transit’s Crown Jewel

I’m the guy who did a 4th grade science fair project about transit, rode the long way on buses downtown to punk rock shows and celebrated when the ALRT began (even when it ended in New West). But living in Whalley, the SeaBus was an exotic morsel in the transit offering – i have scant memories outings to the Quay or the free suspension bridge but mostly i remember skipping out of school and riding it just to ride it.

These days, the Seab is my daily ride and my nightly schedule revolves around the run down the gangway into the surreal confines of a hazy crossing in a humming shuttle. Unlike the sway of the bus, the Seab is pod of relaxation and creativity and (the best part) you always get a seat. Indeed, I extol the virtues of the perfect day out in Vancouver on my podcast which includes “the 3 dollar harbour cruise” complete with a falafel and a rainforest stroll – all on one transfer.

Bonus Round

Miss 604 photos from inaugural crossing

Miss 604 coverage
JMV’s sneak preview photos
This reporter on deck

Links

Rolling to the End of the Line – Choogle on #77
I Love Transit Week essay: Dave Olson

Transit science fair project circa 1980

via Riding the Roof of the Breeze | The Vancouver Observer – Vancouver Olympics News Blogs Events Reviews.

2010 transportation plan disappointing, says mayor | Local News | Squamish Chief

2010 transportation plan disappointing, says mayor | Local News | Squamish Chief 

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.

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Gardner looking for answers in behalf of residents

March 20, 2009 By Kim Thompson kthompson@squamishchief.com / Staff writer

“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

We Need More Buses! A Campaign by Drivers for Riders (ps thanks)

Uploaded - 28108Excerpted from Meeting Friends at Health Show at Canada Place

… I can’t help but mentioning “More Buses Now!

This campaign, organized by the transit drivers union, is holding the government to their promises of more buses – not just new buses to replace the aging fleet, but a significant increase in the total buses to encourage ridership, and stop the overcrowding which leads to pass-bys, crowded conditions, and compromised service and safety.

Not fun for anyone – riders or drivers – watching the bus roll by on a rainy day with places to go – yuch.

Participate by sending your opinion to Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.

More Buses Now! Ask Kevin Falcon very nicely
More Buses Now! Ask Kevin Falcon very nicely

I’m a daily transit rider (rocking the bus, seabus and skytrain – sometimes all in the same day) and certainly advocate for making transit more convenient and more comfortable rather than looking at public conveyance as a perk or service only for the dis-enfranchised.

I love riding and relaxing while someone else drives which is why I helped ringlead Vancouver Transit
Camp so continued big-ups to Translink for participating in the Skytrain Security Un-conference and huge ups to the organizers for putting this important dialogue in front of the public.

Finally, to really support transit and sensible transportation policies in general – anyone living in Surrey, be sure to vote for Paul Hillsdon for Surrey City Council and/or School Trustee – otherwise, be sure to read his plans for sustainable transportation in the entire region.

Bonus

Karen Quinn Fung – transit activist and scholar, added some of my acerbic dose of punditry to the conversation in Public Perceptions of Transit Security:

Rolling Transit Museum

As I mentioned yesterday, if you haven’t heard Dave Olson aka Uncle Weed’s rant on transit police on his Choogle On podcast, I highly recommend it with some good humour – his delivery is spot-on, and he entirely captures my own feelings on the topic. (For those of you with delicate ears, he does use some abrasive and explicit language. Nothing worse than you’ll hear on the SkyTrain.) It also brings home an awful lot of issues for me – this is a bit of a long post as a result.

{snip}

Perhaps you’re ready to write Dave off, because you think he’s of a different political stripe or has an entirely different set of values. That’s a legitimate reason to disagree with his delivery, perhaps, but not, I think, with his observations or the broader argument: that as citizens we have the right and perhaps even a duty to question how the presence of surveillance and constant visible law enforcement in our every day lives affects how we act and live in our communities.

Thanks to Karen for so gracefully sharing my spiel with transcription (which matches my stream of consciousness exactly – like stepping my own head). I do indeed ride transit everywhere i go (as in, in other countries and cities besides Vancouver) and like the other Dave OlsEn, i wish transit were free for the people!