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My growing dependency on transit in the Metro Vancouver region June 3, 2008

Posted by Raul in transportation, urbanization, Vancouver.
Tags: , , ,

This past month (May), for reasons that I will not get into here, I had to buy bus tickets and spent over $60 on tickets alone. Admittedly, if I had known that the bureaucratic issues were not going to be resolved by May 2nd, I would have bought a traditional bus pass. Unfortunately, I didn’t and ended up feeling trapped. Yes, trapped is the word. I had to ask my friends to come to my stomping grounds (the Main St./Mount Pleasant area).

Moreover, when I had to head downtown, I had to be very strategic about where I was going and how many events I attended in a day. Fortunately, the week that I attended Launch Party IV, VIDFEST, Convergence and Third Tuesday I also happened to be downtown, so it wasn’t all that bad. All this comes to just remind me how dependent I am now on my bus pass and on transit in general.

I fixed these issues last Thursday, and even though I am not attending lots of events, I have been feeling incredibly free. Just the mere fact that I can commute everywhere within the Metro Vancouver area without feeling trapped by the confines of my geographical area (as I was before, not having my bus pasS) has made me gain a new appreciation for the need for appropriate transit.

I rarely talk about transit or local politics or these kinds of issues as there are many other bloggers in the Metro Vancouver area who do it (of course, admittedly, I may disagree with many of these bloggers’ views, but I still think that we need them). But for example, some local bloggers who talk transit in a much better light than I do are Stephen Rees, Karen Fung and Paul Hillsdon (who by the way is running for council in Surrey).

Despite the fact that my blog is pretty personal, I think it is important for me to highlight some issues that are of relevance (at least, to my personal life!) – and one of these is the need for good transit. I have become very dependent on a good transit system, and I am pretty good at navigating it. The other day, JT and I were roaming around Vancouver and Burnaby, and I was the one giving directions. Why? Because I’ve used the system for so long and so frequently that now I know many of my routes.

I do wish that we had a better system, including (but not limited to)
– that Translink got their act together with a line that goes through 16th Avenue,
– that Cambie hadn’t been decimated the way it was,
– that the board was more transparent and accountable,
– that the rest of the Metro Vancouver was as well covered as some of the downtown areas,
– that the fares weren’t as high (I dare Metro Vancouver and Translink to offer such low fares as those offered in the Mexican transit system),

Now, the question goes to YOU. What things are in your wish-list for the Metro Vancouver transit system and for Translink?



1. Rebecca - June 3, 2008

Seeing as how Translink is responsible for the Patullo Bridge as well, my list could go on for EVER. But one of my biggest concerns has been the infrequency of bus times outside of Vancouver. Commuters are coming from Surrey where you can only get a high-traffic route bus every 45-60 minutes and sometimes not even past 7:00 at night, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

2. Barbara Doduk - June 3, 2008

I hear ya Becca, I grew up in North Delta, and was a teen in the late 80s. There was NO life without a car, as transit simply was unavailable. I don’t think it has changed much either.

3. Beth - June 3, 2008

How about the overcrowding? Waiting helplessly at a stop as bus after bus drives by because they are too full to pick anyone else up is a commonplace occurrence!

4. Marina - June 3, 2008

I share the same concerns as Rebecca, Barbara and Beth and living out in Burnaby, somewhere in between the Lougheed and 22nd Street stations, things are a bit better but not by much. Buses are every 30 minutes all day except for early morning when they through in an extra bus for commuters heading downtown. But what good is that when you have to wait on the Skytrain platform for 3 trains before you can get on?

On a more positive note, I’ve come to depend a good deal on 2 new technologies recently implemented by Translink. 1) The Google Transit service is much nicer than trying to mess with the actual Translink website for planning trips and 2) The text message for next bus time service which I *love*

5. Phaedra - June 3, 2008

I bought a car after 9 years of being carless due to the reasons mentioned above.

6. studioyvr - June 3, 2008

Consider getting yourself a bike. Then you could further reduce your dependancy on transit while truly minimizing your carbon footprint. Bonus, you might also get some cardio excersize in at the same time.

7. Matt - 604homesguy - June 3, 2008

Well, one bit of good news. I 16th Ave bus is coming. I was at a clients place at 16th and Ash last week and there was an info sheet by the buzzer about the new route. Wish I could remember the detail. I can’t find any clear info on it on the Translink site (not supringly).

8. BCXS.com - Local BC Blog Link Explosion - June 4, 2008

[…] blogged about Vancouver Transit – “What things are in your wish-list for the Metro Vancouver transit system and for […]

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