Tag Archives: seabus

efficient transportation and quality education are critical hallmarks of a decent society…

I contend that efficient transportation and quality education are critical hallmarks of a decent society

bound for acupuncture – not taking translink’s recommended route…

bound for acupuncture – not taking translink’s recommended route of going downtown 1st to skytrain – heading to broadway stn then metrotown

Translink’s Name the New SeaBus Contest

You know i love the SeaBus (the crown jewel of the Translink system) and plan to be invited for the inaugural voyage … and with the dozen of so suggestions i submitted already, you don’t have a chance of winning but … i thought I’d fill you in on Translink’s Name the New SeaBus contest anyhow.

TransLink’s New SeaBus, arriving in 2009, needs a name!

Send in your entry for a chance to win 3 Three Zone Transit Passes and a ride on the inaugural sailing of the new SeaBus.

Please provide your suggestion and some basic contact information below to enter the Name the Seabus Contest.

Stay tuned for possible podcast coverage of me riding the high seas of Burrard Inlet on the new Sockeye, Coho, or Marmot, or Spirit Bear, or Minnow, or Luna, or Manatee, or Beluga … Incidentally, the two current vessels are the Burrard Otter and Burrard Beaver.

And while incredible reliable and not inundated by advertising, sometime there are mishaps on the SeaBus.

Note: So much more Seabus stuff in this archive including report on being a passenger aboard the first crossing of the newly named vessel (Pacific Breeze – ugh)

Gregor resists Translink’s draconian fine

In response to Robertson’s loonie lapse in The Province (Nov 4th) regarding Gregor Robertson (Vision Vancouver candidate for mayor) getting shook down for a wrong-zoned transit ticket:

Robertson was an NDP MLA in 2007 when he was caught riding two SkyTrain zones on a one-zone fare.

The avid cyclist told the transit police at the time it was an honest mistake, and one he rectified immediately by paying the extra dollar. He was still issued a $173 fine.

Robertson says he was going to use his Dec. 4 hearing on the ticket to argue the fine was grossly disproportionate to the offence.

I posit:

He’s right, it’s an absurd fine for a negligible offense. The excessive force used by the Skytrain police thugs is much more shocking then a failure to pony up a loonie on the horrendously overpriced and under-served transit system. Henry David Thoreau resisted taxes on principal to make a point and ended up influencing cataclysmic change in the world with his acts of non-violent civil disobedience (see: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.). Overstatement? Sure but i feel we have a stronger obligation to resist absurd laws and dranconian punishments than we do to capitulate to regulations which are not in the public’s best interest. PS More Buses Now! and transit should be free or cheap – and if you don’t use the transit system, try it – you’ll learn it is expensive, and often confusing (especially for out of towners), inconvenient (especially in the ‘burbs) and uncomfortable (especially during rush hour). Mass transit is a huge part of making an urban centre livable and needs real support, not more cops and fines.

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We Need More Buses! A Campaign by Drivers for Riders and blurb from Karen Quinn Fung

Excerpted from Meeting Friends at Health Show at Canada Place [archived link]… 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.

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!

Rooftop Transportation Bonanza in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet

From the roof of 1 Alexander in Vancouver’s Gastown, Richard Eriksson and i observe and riff about transportation methods and other sundry topics including: largest two-way Ferry, Mars Martian Flying Fire Boat, Seabus ($2/3 harbour cruise) with advice for Falafel and Suspension Bridge.

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. {video broken} Nothing more to report at this time.

Seabus Smoking

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

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.

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Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle On! #54

Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle on #54
Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle on #54

On Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, Uncle Weed and friends enjoy Absinthe from Barcelona, with carmelized with raw sugar and a magic mushroom tea infused nature stroll with a strawberry-grapefruit joint under the Trans Canada Highway where 2 people fell through the gaps. 

Pour a glass of Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle on #54 (19:35, 17MB, .mp3)

Continue reading Thanksgiving with Absinthe and Fungi Tea – Choogle On! #54

Exhaust spewing cars hotline in Vancouver

My amigo Justin passed this along, useful for folks walking and tranisting in Vancouver.

Anyone who commutes may occasionally be passed by a vehicle that is spewing exhaust. This is a major contributor to smog and health concerns in the lower mainland. You can report these vehicles at 604.435.SMOG.  Make sure to record the license plate number as well as where and when you saw the vehicle.