TEA & TWO SLICES | On Translink’s Derps And The Prudish (But Still Sexy) 69% Of Us

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by Sean Orr | Compassholes: SkyTrain won’t take bus transfers with new Compass Card system. Translink’s new motto: We drive you…insane. And it’s not like you can just take the bus to where you are going because they are all designed to link with the Skytrain. And remember, the people that made this decision have probably never taken a bus in their lives. Update: There is already a petition.

So why does Translink want you to get a Compass card so badly for anyway? Metropolitan police requests TfL’s data 22,000 times over four years. That one comes care of Bob Mackin.

And it’s not like this is an isolated incident: A long list of public transit gripes in a so-called world-class city. I’ll add a few of my own: Translink bosses get raises; Translink voted down the vehicle levy that would have likely prevented the financial predicament they are currently in; the Gateway Project was largely panned as it defied the GVRD’s own Livable Region Strategic Plan; the new buses didn’t work with bike racks; the new cash machines didn’t take the new currency; the constant delays on the Evergreen Line; the arming of security guards; the decision to use the Cambie corridor over the Arbutus right-of-way and the ensuing damage done to small businesses; the removed capacity for rapid transit over the new Port Mann Bridge; buses not coordinating with BC Ferries and the West Coast Express; Skytrain technology is extremely expensive; SNC Lavalin is a war profiteer; The Canada Line was made with foreign, non-union labour; and finally, Translink is tied to gas taxes, so the more people who take transit, the more money Translink loses.

Oh, what do we have here? B.C. Gas Prices Most Expensive In North America. What are you going to do, take transit and get all your little friends to come? I’d like to see that! NO really, I would like to see that.

Deja vu all over again: Demands grow for return of Winter Olympics to Vancouver. Makes sense. The Athlete’s Village is still mostly empty.

Hopeless: The ‘Wild West’ of groundwater: Billion-dollar Nestlé extracting B.C.’s drinking water for free. Yeah, I guess we should update the 105 year old Water Act. #facepalm

Racy Science World Ads About Sexuality Go Viral. 69% per cent of respondents said the ads were not inappropriate for a general audience. SIXTY NINE! And all was right in the world.

And all was wrong again: Government targeting 60% increase in BC student debt levels. “I think the reasonable man, as my friend may know — as defined, perhaps, by the Criminal Code — would define that the 8 percent is a maximum goal, not a goal that we wish to attain. We wish to attain a maximum of 8 percent but, preferably, if possible, less than 8 percent. So that’s the goal of trying to stay below that.” Yikes, move over Miss Utah.

Vancouver as facade: Vancouver okays $200-million environmentally sustainable office tower.

  • http://www.musicwaste.ca Dustin Bromley

    The Olympic Village crack is perfect.

  • Sharp

    It’s not empty. Vancouver Is Awesome’s Bob Kronbauer lives there and is paid by Bob Rennie to promote it.

  • Ken Hardie

    Just to clarify – bus to SkyTrain transfers will continue to work as usual for those who have a Compass card or a limited-use Compass ticket.

    Only those who pay cash fares on a bus and want to transfer to SkyTrain will be affected by the change…and out of 1.2 million transit boardings on an average weekday, only about 6000 people (not the same people every day) would be affected — the very casual users.

    TransLink did phone surveys and focus groups with cash-paying customers, and most told us they would simply get a Compass Card. When they were told that the bus fareboxes could be modified to issue Compass chip-bearing transfers (the chip opens the gate) at a cost of about $25 million, or to put ticket conversion machines at stations for about $9 million, they told TransLink not to bother.

  • Ken Hardie

    Took another look at your article and saw the comment that TransLink ‘turned down the vehicle levy’. That’s not correct.

    TransLink’s Board (then made up of mayors and councillors) approved it…the GVRD (Metro Vancouver) Board also approved it. However, the provincial government of the day in 2000 refused to honour what many saw as a commitment to enable the levy.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Yeah, I mean, when has a focus group ever been wrong?

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Thanks for refuting one single point in a long list of fuck ups. I will concede that this current crew of real estate developers and investment CEOS might not have been responsible for turning down the vehicle levy, but you can’t deny that as a public transit user, there is a litany of bad decisions made at every level of political office- and that this latest doesn’t exist in a vacuum but repeats the behaviour of a corporation entirely out of touch with it’s users.

  • Ken Hardie

    There is, in fact, a long list of accomplishments– significant modernization of the fleet, significant growth in ridership (12 annual records in a row); service expansion that most cities in North America could only dream about; in the top five most efficient bus operations in the world (International Bus Benchmarking Survey); SkyTrain the most cost efficient in North America according to data from the US Department of Transportation.

    Look, I don’t dispute that there are screw-ups…when you have all those buses on all those routes…1.2 million boardings per average workday…if 1 per cent of 1 per cent have a lousy experience, and one per cent of them complain to the media…that’s a couple of stories per day. But sorry, I don’t buy what the constant critics are on about.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    “if 1 per cent of 1 per cent have a lousy experience, and one per cent of them complain to the media…that’s a couple of stories per day. But sorry, I don’t buy what the constant critics are on about.” Thanks for commenting on a story that one per cent of one per cent care about. You’ve shown yourself to be a true champion of the .099%. I was wrong to suggest that years and years of alienation might lead to years and year of more alienation. Thanks for taking your precious (and we now know just how preciou$ it is) time to lower yourself to this low, low demographic. We hope you enjoy your raise, and I’m sorry to question your hard, hard, hard, work.

  • http://seanorr.tumblr.com/ Sean Orr

    Also sorry for the last part of that comment which has now been deleted.

  • Ken Hardie

    No worries Sean…I’m now an old retired guy and (hold your nose), fairly objective. Cheers!

  • http://www.stephenharper.org coddman

    The people who will be most affected by this ridiculous reconfiguration of the transit system are the people least able to adapt to it: Vancouver’s poor. The 14% discount for purchasing a monthly pass means little if you can’t afford one. Other low-income residents lack credit/debit cards and would be limited in their ability to pre-load a Compass card. The poorest of the poor sometimes have to haggle with willing bus drivers to get a paper transfer for, say, $2.25 instead of $2.75. Then they’d be asked to pay $2.75 again at the SkyTrain station?

    This ill-conceived move by TransLink may only affect a minority of 6,000 riders, but I suspect it’s going to be a very vocal, very angry minority. And guess who’s going to bear the brunt of their frustration? The bus drivers and station attendants …who had no say in any of this.