Seabus Sprint

Photo: Flickr, Ted McGrath

On your mark, get set, GO! Riding the Seabus from Vancouver’s historic Waterfront Station across the Burrard Inlet to the bustling Lonsdale Quay is an experience unto itself. Granted, I am not a regular traveller to the North Shore consequently, my ocean travels via Seabus are predominately for pleasure versus the daily grind of a long work commute. For regular commuters, the crossing may have lost its’ charm, but for me, each voyage is a treat, a twelve-minute long ocean cruise so to speak. Most often, I am embarking on a hike, cycle or a simple visit to the Lonsdale Quay Market in search of treats and good eats and Seabus is my preferred mode of transportation to reach the North Shore.

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Seabus Sprint

End of an Era: Fare Gates Officially Close on Vancouver SkyTrains, starting April 4

Photo credit: Shwangtianyuan | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Shwangtianyuan | Wikipedia

It was five years ago when fare gates began appearing at the entrances to Vancouver SkyTrain stations. Starting April 4, they’ll finally come into use – system-wide.

It will officially be the end of an era for Vancouverites who grew up using a SkyTrain network that essentially operated on the “honour system.” Transit police did occasionally crack down on fare evaders, but there were no gates to keep people from wandering into the SkyTrain stations without paying.

On April 4, TransLink will officially shut all the gates at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations, a roll-out that is expected to be completed by April 8. Riders will be required to use a valid Compass Card or single-use Compass ticket to tap into the system and open the gates. Compass Card holders must also tap out to avoid being charged for more zones than they actually travelled.   Continue reading:
End of an Era: Fare Gates Officially Close on Vancouver SkyTrains, starting April 4

No more sweaty rides: Vancouver buses to get air conditioning

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Soon enough, those sweltering rides on Vancouver’s 99 B-Line may be a thing of the past.

TransLink has announced that 21 new articulated buses (the ones with the hinge in the middle) will be added to its fleet in coming months. And, for the first time, they’ll all have air conditioning.

But there’s more good news. Going forward, all new buses purchased by the agency will have air conditioning. TransLink says this the decision was made to improve the “comfort and safety of both passengers and drivers” during the warmer months, according to Vancity Buzz.

The change may also reflect Vancouver’s ever hotter summers. The city experienced its hottest summer on record in 2014, a trend expected to continue into the future. For sweltering riders, air conditioning has become less a luxury than a necessity on long cross-city trips.  Continue reading:
No more sweaty rides: Vancouver buses to get air conditioning

The Ultimate Free Ride: Free Public Transit in Vancouver this New Year’s Eve

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

As Vancouverites know all too well, the mathematical odds of finding a taxi on New Year’s Eve in Vancouver are pretty close to zero. Fortunately, taking transit should be easier (and cheaper) than ever this year.

Translink is offering free, extended service starting on New Year’s Eve and continuing into the wee hours of New Year’s Day. The bumped-up transit offering starts at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015, and goes to 5 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2016. The best part: It won’t cost you a thing during that time period.

The SkyTrain will be running more frequent evening trains and also extending service by approximately one hour. The last trains will be departing Waterfront Station at 2:05 a.m. (Canada Line), 2:16 a.m. (Millennium Line) and 2:20 a.m. (Expo Line). Continue reading:
The Ultimate Free Ride: Free Public Transit in Vancouver this New Year’s Eve

Vancouver Bus Riders Rejoice: All Fares to be Just $2.75

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Photo credit: ArielKettle | Wikipedia

Vancouver bus riders are about to get a little break, courtesy of some newfangled technology that just never worked right.

Starting on Oct. 5, all TransLink bus riders will be charged a single rate of $2.75, regardless of how far they travel. Currently, that’s the rate for single-zone riders, while passengers who cross zones have to pony up $4 or $5.50 for two- or three-zone fares.

The rate change corresponds to the official roll-out of the Compass Card payment system to all transit users this October. Under the new system, passengers use a card to “tap in” and “tap out” of buses, SkyTrains and SeaBuses. The cards are loaded with value in advance and the appropriate fare is deducted automatically.   Continue reading:
Vancouver Bus Riders Rejoice: All Fares to be Just $2.75

Ride Translink free – and take in some art!

MadeIn Company's Physique of Consciousness, 2013 Installation at Lyon Biennale, 2013 performance and 35 display cases. Photo: Biennale de Lyon 2013.

MadeIn Company’s Physique of Consciousness, 2013 Installation at Lyon Biennale, 2013 performance and 35 display cases. Photo: Biennale de Lyon 2013.

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Ride Translink free – and take in some art!

TransLink Introducing Fare Gates and Metro Cards in 2013

Photo credit: BC Gov Photos | Flickr

The days of the honor system are almost over.

TransLink, which runs Vancouver’s SkyTrains and buses, has officially announced it will implement fare gates by next fall, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  That means an end to the current system, where transit riders are largely trusted to purchase tickets and don’t need to pass through turnstiles.

The centrepiece of the new $171-million system is the Compass Card.  Similar to metro cards in many other large cities, the Compass Card allows riders to deposit money for fares onto a swipable card – from a single day’s worth of fares to an entire month’s.  You scan the card at validators when you enter and leave the transit system, and the correct fare is automatically deducted.

There’s a big convenience factor that goes along with the new system.   Continue reading:
TransLink Introducing Fare Gates and Metro Cards in 2013