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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:21 AM   #1521
officedweller
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And a button on the outside of the door to push if you wanted to enter (and no one was exiting) - both measures intended to save on power.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:05 AM   #1522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
And a button on the outside of the door to push if you wanted to enter (and no one was exiting) - both measures intended to save on power.
OHHHHHh so thats what its meant..
i thought they were like if the doors closed on you
you press it and it would open back up or something like that..
but something special about the MK I's is that
when it starts up,
it makes this noise
its like a steam train starting up..

--------------------
btw.. how come vancouver makes their transportation not spacious as if
it may be a advantage for them..
for example,
more space = more passengers = more profit
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:25 AM   #1523
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Quote:
Transit crisis deepens

Buses may be leased from other parts of B.C. to put more rubber on the road in a fresh bid to ease transit congestion that has hit extreme levels.

“We’re trying to find if there’s buses West Vancouver can loan us for a bit or Vancouver Island,” Coast Mountain Bus Co. spokesman Doug McDonald said, adding the aim is to get more buses and improve service by April.

Four buses have already been borrowed – two each from Abbotsford and Chilliwack – and more sources of surplus buses will be investigated.

The rare move to seek outside help comes amid rising complaints of long waits and frustrating commutes because there aren’t enough buses and new ones arriving aren’t keeping pace with increasing ridership and the need to retire old vehicles.

“We went through a real crisis in the last couple of months at least,” McDonald said, adding the vehicle shortage was compounded by bad winter weather, delays due to Canada Line construction and now problems that have forced 39 new electric trolley buses off the road.

“We’ve had some real significant holes in the service.”

Proof of the transit troubles is in the number of “pass-ups” happening.

Those are incidents where a driver with an already full bus no longer makes stops, cruising past would-be riders at the curb with perhaps a grimace or an apologetic wave.


Full buses drove past passengers on nearly 2,000 occasions in Surrey last year.

The latest statistics show that in 2006, bus drivers across the region reported a staggering 19,000 pass-ups.

Although Vancouver had the largest number of pass-ups – 8,454 – it’s considered less serious there because bus service is much more frequent. TransLink officials liken a pass-up there more to the minor inconvenience of missing a green light trying to drive through an intersection.

In the rest of the region, where service is slower, pass-ups can add up to waits that drag on for hours for angry transit users.

Coast Mountain statistics show pass-ups were worst as a percentage of service in Richmond, where 4,454 were recorded.

Burnaby drivers recorded 3,305 pass-ups last year. Nearly 2,000 were measured in Surrey. And there were 686 for North Vancouver buses and 536 for buses based out of Port Coquitlam.

Union reps say the figures are well below the true magnitude of the problem, noting drivers are sometimes told to stop reporting pass-ups on particularly harried days.

And they say the pass-up stats also don’t take into account when a scheduled run is cancelled altogether – as has been happening with 10 to 20 runs per day in Surrey in recent weeks.

In those cases, the bus never does show up – full or otherwise – and waiting passengers are just left to wonder what happened.

Passengers sometimes take out their frustrations on drivers – the number of assaults on them hit a new high of more than 200 last year.

Local politicians, like Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, say they’re under pressure to help transit-dependent commuters.

“They can’t count on the bus being on time,” she said. “It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

Watts invited union reps for the drivers to meet with Surrey councillors last week and says she’ll push TransLink for answers and improvement.

And if equipment shortages aren’t enough, the bus company is often short of drivers and mechanics. Coast Mountain is planning to recruit and train 1,000 more drivers.

But Gavin Davies, union rep for bus drivers based in Surrey, says the staff shortage is worsening every week because more drivers are opting to retire early rather than continue to work under extreme pressure and often abuse.

“They’ve had enough,” Davies said. “They don’t have enough money to retire, but they can’t take it any more.”

Those drivers often keep working – but for another employer.

“They go to drive a school bus or pick up golf balls at a driving range,” he said.

Transit trouble tales abound

With many people rethinking their driving habit in the face of climate change fears, high gas prices and worsening traffic congestion, it’s not the most opportune time for transit troubles.

But residents who are trying to park their cars say they’re being stymied by TransLink’s service.

“I can’t count how many no-shows I’ve had to endure,” Arthur Laskowski wrote on a web site dedicated to transit serving White Rock. “We need more buses, more often – at least as a starting point.”

Langley resident Alf Leake said he had to recently wait three and a half hours trying to commute by bus from Surrey Central station to Aldergrove.

He said the incident was blamed on a breakdown, but said it underscores the lack of spare buses in the system.

“It is ridiculous that when there is a mechanical issue on the bus, there is no replacement,” he said.

The bus shortage also recently disrupted transportation for students at some high schools.

Coast Mountain had to cancel a special “school tripper” run to Kwantlen Park Secondary School in Surrey because the bus was needed elsewhere.

Smaller community shuttles couldn’t handle student volume, forcing students to either walk or more often get rides.

“We’re not going to have our kids walking from there through the Gateway area or downtown Whalley’s crack alley to get home,” said Bolivar Park resident Skip Angus.

Service was restored the next week, but Angus said many students and parents still won’t use it because they can’t trust it.

“It’s just a farce,” he said.

TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said the run had to be cancelled because the bus was needed for other congested routes.

“We’ve had similar problems in Coquitlam,” he added.

In some cases, Hardie said, the transit system upgraded school runs to full-sized buses to pick up the slack for bus service formerly provided by school districts.

“It’s nice to be able to provide these special trips to schools but in some cases we’re doing it in areas the school system used to provide buses and has pulled out,” Hardie said. “But they are difficult to sustain when the system itself is short of buses.”
http://www.surreyleader.com/
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:25 PM   #1524
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchengg View Post
but something special about the MK I's is that
when it starts up,
it makes this noise
its like a steam train starting up..

--------------------
btw.. how come vancouver makes their transportation not spacious as if
it may be a advantage for them..
for example,
more space = more passengers = more profit
The noise is from the power converters - the MKIIs don't use the same equipment, so don't make the noise.

The size of the vehicles is just due to the technology selected. It was also an advantage in re-using the existing Dunsmuir Tunnel - the width of the smaller cars fit without widening it. The tunnel was just heightened (floor dug deeper) to fit two guideways stacked.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 09:18 PM   #1525
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Not sure how it would do as a P3, but that's what they want to try.


Government guarantees Evergreen Line but TransLink is short money
Friday, February 23 - 06:30:00 AM

Reaon Ford/Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - After months of nasty debate, the Provincial Government is finally offering a guarantee about the Evergreen Line. Transport Minister Kevin Falcon says the rapid-transit project to the Tri-Cities will be built but the only question is how TransLink will pay for it.

The answer will be private money. TransLink has submitted a new business case to Partnerships BC, which is a body that helps set up private involvement in public projects. Falcon has been pushing a so called P3 to build the line since the start. TransLink is short more than $400 million in funding, which is almost half of the project's overall cost.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 02:05 AM   #1526
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Canada Line guideway at YVR from a couple of weeks ago (from flickr):
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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #1527
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Took a drive around Grant MacConachie Way the other day to have a look. The guideway looks to gradually rise in elevation as it approaches the terminal building (rather than rising from grade and levelling off)
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Old February 24th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #1528
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New Global Air Photos - dated Jan 30th

http://www.globalairphotos.com/galle...r/South/2007/1
http://www.globalairphotos.com/galle...Richmond/North





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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #1529
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New pics at the website:

Cambie Village and Cambie & 12th:







Yaletown Roundhouse Station:





Vancouver City Centre Station:

Dec 2006


Feb 2007


Waterfront Station







Middle Arm Bridge:





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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #1530
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Very cool renderings of the YVR2 - Sea Island Centre Station at the Walter Francl website - go to transit projects under Portfolio:

http://www.wfrancl.com/main.htm
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #1531
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Sea Island Centre Station







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"Preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics are progressing so well, it's boring. We'd like there to be some challenges, so we [the IOC] could shout at them." - IOC (Sept. 2007)


"In medieval Europe if you didn't like somebody's argument and couldn't think of a real response you called them a witch and demanded they be burned at the stake. In the US you call them unpatriotic, and in Canada you call them racist."
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #1532
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Thanks for posting.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 09:03 PM   #1533
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The Tunnel Boring Machine has broken through at Vancouver City Centre Station (southbound tunnel) - pic in the Province.

The article said it will take 6 days to traverse the open pit of the staion and will then get to Pender Street by the end of April, then be dismantled and shipped back to the 2nd Ave. site to start the northbound tunnel.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 03:42 AM   #1534
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Pics of the TBM breaking through at Vancouver City Centre Station (southbound tunnel) from the Canada Line website:







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Last edited by officedweller; March 5th, 2007 at 10:38 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #1535
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Tunnel boring machine at Vancouver City Centre Station
image hosted on flickr
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"Preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics are progressing so well, it's boring. We'd like there to be some challenges, so we [the IOC] could shout at them." - IOC (Sept. 2007)


"In medieval Europe if you didn't like somebody's argument and couldn't think of a real response you called them a witch and demanded they be burned at the stake. In the US you call them unpatriotic, and in Canada you call them racist."
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Old March 7th, 2007, 11:38 PM   #1536
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Latest postcard:

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Old March 8th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #1537
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FALCON TO RADICALLY CHANGE TRANSLINK MANAGEMENT

Canada.com | March 07, 2007

VICTORIA — The provincial government will radically alter the management of public transit and roadways in the Lower Mainland by scrapping the current TransLink transportation authority that it has called “dysfunctional.”

In the next few weeks B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon will introduce sweeping legislation that will create a “Council of Mayors”, who will be asked to oversee all transit decisions. The government will tell the mayors to come up with a 10-year, integrated plan for an area stretching from Pemberton to Chilliwack.

In a news conference Thursday, Falcon will also say that to make sure that bold plan actually happens, the government will also create a 11-member, full-time “Professional Board” with the expertise in law, accounting, finance and transit planning to oversee the system’s management on a day-to-day basis.

A report commissioned by a panel appointed by the government has found that under the current situation, TransLink would chalk up a $200-million deficit annually by 2013. The new government plan would end that sea of red ink by giving the TransLink authority new revenue streams. It is also contemplating allowing the authority to develop land around rail stations and major transit hubs, not unlike private transit companies in Hong Kong, to cash in on the lucrative spike in real estate that usually happens when transit is developed.

To keep TransLink from being too ambitious in the costs it passes along to the public, however, the government will set up an “Independent Commissioner” to review such things as fare hikes and make sure that local land-use plans are followed.

The TransLink board that now exists will stay in place until the new legislation takes effect, in the autumn.

The government’s move follows years of tension between the province and local governments, who are often at odds about how, where and when to build up transportation infrastructure.

Set up by the New Democratic Party in 1999, theoretically to give local government more say and independence on the planning of transportation and mass transit, TransLink has always been conflicted, caught between local politics and the demands of the province.

The NDP government, for example, had to overrule TranslLnk's attempts to impose a vehicle levy -that is tolls - as a source off revenue for the new projects it was supposed to build. The Liberals have similarly intervened, such as when Falcon scuttled TransLink’s suggestion of tolls on existing infrastructure as a way to pay for new projects.

But that leaves TransLink in a bind.

How can it raise money for projects, such as the $970 million Evergreen light rail line from Burnaby to Coquitlam, without major new revenue streams?

TransLink, for example, was more than $400 million short for the Evergreen line but the provincial government would not pump in more money, suggesting that a private-public partnership — the so-called P3s — was the way to raise the needed funds.

TransLink -- officially, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority -- manages the transit stem, some provincial highways and bridges as well as major municipal roads that carry traffic across municipal boundaries.

It had a major long-term expansion strategy including a major bus fleet expansion, several new rapid transit lines and a lot of regional road improvements.

Operations were to be funded from fares, the share of property taxes that used to go to hospitals, a share of provincial fuel taxes, a small levy on Hydro bills and -- potentially -- a few other things like parking taxes.

Major expansion was to be paid for from a new vehicle levy - about $70 a year - on every motor vehicle in the region. But the vehicle levy was political dynamite and a lot of local politicians, especially in Surrey, fought against it.

It never got implemented.

The province dithered for a time, then the NDP government backed away from the issue in the run-up to the 2001 election. That forced TransLink into drastic cutbacks on an expansion program it had already begun, and led directly to a long transit strike in 2001.

That cost George Puil, TransLink's founding chairman, his seat on Vancouver council the next municipal election when public anger over the strike was directed at him.

Nothing has ever surfaced to replace the vehicle levy.

Consequently TransLink is far behind on plans to expand the bus fleet, build more rapid transit, and carry out more maintenance work.

TransLink maintains it has done well under difficult circumstances.

But Falcon, who believes that TransLink is parochial and poorly run, has expressed little patience. Here’s what he said in a recent Vancouver Sun Interview:

"With the current fiscal plan that TransLink has in place today and the current projects they have in the pipeline, they are going to start significant deficits in '09, and they will essentially be bankrupt by 2012.

So the whole organization is not financially sustainable.

“They can't go forward like this,” he added. “They're lurching forward, adding new projects without putting the financing mechanisms into place, and they run off and do things like parking stall taxes etc., and it's a combination . . . that is filling the public with a deep sense of unease and lack of confidence in their ability to carry these things forward."

But the province, which prefers not to be directly linked to the thorny issues of solving gridlock and fixing eroding infrastructure, has also never really engaged fully with TransLink.

There are supposed to be three provincial representatives on the TransLink board. Yet those seats have never been filled, likely because all the local directors would have looked to the provincial appointees for policy direction and funding for projects. One of TransLink's arguments is that if the province had appointed its three directors, they would have been able to swing all the controversial, close decisions that Falcon was so frustrated with in the province's preferred directions.
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"Preparations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics are progressing so well, it's boring. We'd like there to be some challenges, so we [the IOC] could shout at them." - IOC (Sept. 2007)


"In medieval Europe if you didn't like somebody's argument and couldn't think of a real response you called them a witch and demanded they be burned at the stake. In the US you call them unpatriotic, and in Canada you call them racist."
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:31 AM   #1538
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Vancouver bus info signs 'duds'
Last Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2007 | 4:13 PM PT
CBC News

TransLink admits the electronic information signs at stops along a major bus route between downtown Vancouver and Richmond don't work, can't be fixed and could soon be gone.

The digital signs along the 98 B-line between downtown Vancouver and Richmond are supposed to let people waiting at the bus stop know when the next bus will arrive.
The digital bus signs along the Vancouver-Richmond bus route don't work, TransLink officials admit.
(CBC)

The signs, which are linked to a GPS system on the buses, haven't been working for the past week, freezing up and requiring frequent reboots.

"The signs at the bus stops have been duds," said TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie, adding the company that installed the system said it cannot be fixed.

"This system unfortunately just has never worked properly. Siemens has basically thrown up its hands and say they can't make it work."

Hardie said the GPS part of the system is working, and will continue to be used to hold green lights if buses are running late.
Continue Article


Officials haven't decided whether to continue to reboot the signs, or turn them off altogether.

Translink has already spent $30 million for a new system to provide real-time estimates on other major bus routes throughout Greater Vancouver.

It's expected to be installed by August, and Hardie said he is confident the new system will work better than the old one.

---

Sad, more taxpayer's money wasted, when it worked, it wasn't even accurate. Lots of other cities in Asia can do it properly, I wonder why Vancouver can't. More Translink incompetence...
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:57 PM   #1539
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New pics (undated) from the Canada Line website:

Area around Cambie & 33rd (The Rock):
http://www.canadaline.ca/gallery.asp...=55&CurrPage=1



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Old March 24th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #1540
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Richmond guideway pics (Bridgeport & No. 3 Rd) posted by The Henry Man over at SSP:





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