Now that the rainy season has begun here in Vanouver (I just call it “anti-summer”), my thoughts have turned to travel.
Sadly, not the exotic vacation kind of travel, or even a fun weekender in Victoria. No, merely the pedestrian “how do I get to work” kind. This anti-summer (aka winter) may be especially challenging for a number of reasons.
- Dog. Rumble isn’t at all fond of the anti-sunshine (rain) that happens during anti-summer. He hates being un-dry and double-plus un-likes the sound of cars roaring past on the un-dry pavement. (Ok, enough of the Orwellian-speak). Most days that it rains, we take the bus. Amazingly convenient.
- Rain. Can’t stand it, hate it. It makes me sad. When I first moved to Vancouver over 10 years ago, I had heard of SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) but never thought it might affect me. But it does. Last year, Chris even arranged to get me a sunlamp for work, for mornings when the sun isn’t shining. And here it comes again.
- Translink. If you’ve followed me on Twitter, then you know I rant about the bus regularly. Translink’s concept of a schedule is laughable at best. I know that traffic is random and an accident along a bus route will mess things up, but when 2 bus routes are virtually identical and one manages to get 3 busses through to the other’s 1, somethings wrong.
- Olympics. Yep. They’re gonna SUCK. Every route I can take to work involves passing through some sort of Olympic security / pedestrian zone. Unless I can find a route that takes me through North Vancouver or something. Living beside GM Place (Canada Hockey Place soon, I guess) will mean it’s going to be busy around here ALL THE TIME. Olympic re-routes go into effect in late January.
So what brought this on? A few realizations from the last week. Chris came to pick me up one night and the bus was packed due to the number of people getting on at the Yaletown SkyTrain station. Same thing in the other direction. A lot of people take the bus along Davie east and get off at the SkyTrain station.
But wait, what’s that you say? Why is this a problem? Downtown Vancouver is now home to 3 SkyTrain stations (Burrard, Granville and now Yaletown) and of those, only 2 are serviced directly by busses. Of those 2, only 1 is new Canada Line station, and that some one is also the ONLY one easily accessed by people in the West End.
Seriously. Think about it.
Granville Station currently has it’s ONLY stops 1.5 to 2 blocks away (Between Georgia and Robson, or North of Dunsmuir somewhere) which the 5 and 6 both stop at.
Burrard Station has a number of stops outside, but neither the 5 nor the 6, downtown’s only 2 regular busses, go near it.
Yaletown Station is serviced by the C23 and C21 depending on the time of day and direction of travel. Wait, what’s a C23 or C21? C stands for “Community Shuttle” or as they’re known to the rest of the world “Short bus” – a modified bus / van that holds a maximum legal capacity of 16 people as long as there’s no wheelchair passenger or strollers, and they run every 10 to 15 minutes.
Think about that. Canada’s most densely populate area (the West End) has only 1 real direct bus route accessing the SkyTrain, and can only handle (16 people x 4 per hour=) 64 people an HOUR. Huh?
Oh, and did I mention how busy the Olympics are going to be?
Oh, and have you see the route of the C23? The one that runs RIGHT through an Olympic Security, no car zone? Uh huh. That one.
I’m sure TransLink has a plan for that, but nobody is making it easy to find.
So, come the end of January, not only will I have weather/darkness related depression, a dog that won’t walk in it, no way to bus to work, and a longer community, but 40,000 idiots partying outside my door when my dog is going to need to poop.
Fun. 2010 should be fantastic.