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Vancouver general sightings and notes


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25 minutes ago, anyfong said:

How feasible would it be to install AC on the trolleys, compared to purchasing a new trolley fleet with AC?

It would obviously be cheaper to install on existing trolleys, but it would also be a waste of money since they’re nearing the end of their service lives.

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3 hours ago, Zortan said:

I feel terrible for the 19 riders right now, that route is a total oven going up Kingsway in the sun, I can't imagine what it's like during a heat wave

I took it in the sun yesterday. Not pleasant. Honestly, they should have all 104 A/C Novas out and use any remaining buses as backup. I think they would’ve been more useful on routes like the 5/6 or 19 today rather than the 41. I’m sure RTC could’ve swapped some of their local Novas with Orions or Nova Suburbans since it doesn’t seem too uncommon for suburbans to end up on local routes.

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On 6/23/2021 at 2:39 AM, jmward said:

I think this is a step in the right direction - whether it comes from stacking or alternating sign exposures, more routes need to get some better wayfinding beyond simply stating the eventual destination.

406 is a perfect example - if you're in steveston, you could take the...

401 Brighouse Stn, 402 Brighouse Stn, 406 Brighouse Stn or even the 407 Brighouse Stn. Nothing tells you where each bus will take you along the way! 406's new sign is much improved.

Interesting to hear that this convention dates back to 1986. There's a few other spots where the current system is especially ridiculous (newton exchange im looking at you) and the 323 is another improvement there too.

Not quite s o l d on the s p a c i n g yet though, the TTC does that, but the TTC does a lot of s t r a n g e things. Maybe it'll grow on me.

This is LONG overdue...  I actually sent in a request for this back in the late 2000s, and the reply was "the older buses don't allow us to do that" (they were right with the flip dot ones) and something to the effect of "they are too small on the others and no other transit authorities in Canada do this..." (which is very much incorrect...).  I rebutted with "then the old flip dot signs to multi exposures, and the LED signs do stacked.  And, submitted photos of TTC and HSR which both use stacked signs.  I even suggested, if they were concerned about the size, of doing it like Winnipeg - using multiple exposures, with a "..." at the end if the exposure continues (like "41 41st Avenue ... / to Joyce Stn", or a more complex one like "229 29th Street ... / to Lonsdale Quay ... / via Lonsdale Ave").  Never heard back after those suggestions - not saying I like those (they took a long time to see all three exposures if you needed to know the last bit), but still solves the visibility problem.  Then they kept making new routes in the old manner which basically said squat for the users (188 Coq Stn, 188 Poco Stn - and the new ones reflecting the Skytrain Station name are no better...).  I remember going into Surrey once years ago when I was new to the area (mid 2000s) and seeing a bunch of different buses going to "Newton Exch" with route numbers that didn't even correspond to the street numbers, so had no idea where they went until I looked them up.  And later answered oodles of questions in Richmond about a similar thing for all Northbound buses that were going to a Canada Line station...  At least those were numbered for their street number when appropriate.

 

As for the spacing, Translink does has even recently done it for "U B C" and "S F U" on some of the newer exposures (the 33 comes to mind, forget which other - maybe the 41 used to?).  Always thought it looked ugly, especially on the flip dots, but it can make it more readable and I'm fine with that for the others.  But that's easy to change back if it doesn't work well.

 

These new signs will take some getting used to but is the way it should be.  Except they've already made a mistake with the 10...  It should be "10 Granville / to Waterfront Stn" (or the "to Davie" exposure used for some AM trips) not "10 Downtown / to Waterfront Stn"...  Anyway, still better than the existing and gives MUCH more information to the riders.

 

Now, wonder how they'll name the 33?  33rd Avenue or 16th Avenue?  It travels along 16th Avenue for longer than 33rd, but was numbered for 33rd...  I suppose "33 33rd Avenue / to U B C via 16th" would be best, but doubt they'll do that...

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17 minutes ago, Opal said:

These new signs will take some getting used to but is the way it should be.  Except they've already made a mistake with the 10...  It should be "10 Granville / to Waterfront Stn" (or the "to Davie" exposure used for some AM trips) not "10 Downtown / to Waterfront Stn"...  Anyway, still better than the existing and gives MUCH more information to the riders.

 

Now, wonder how they'll name the 33?  33rd Avenue or 16th Avenue?  It travels along 16th Avenue for longer than 33rd, but was numbered for 33rd...  I suppose "33 33rd Avenue / to U B C via 16th" would be best, but doubt they'll do that...

Definitely agreed about the 10, I don't get why it says downtown to Waterfront, I think most people know that Waterfront is in downtown.

Anyway, about the 33 - I don't know if this would work but it would be cool to see the sign just read something like "33 33rd - 16th" so as to include both of the streets it travels along. That might bring its own confusion, but I think it would probably still be more helpful than the current signs.

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8 minutes ago, Opal said:

This is LONG overdue...  I actually sent in a request for this back in the late 2000s, and the reply was "the older buses don't allow us to do that" (they were right with the flip dot ones) and something to the effect of "they are too small on the others and no other transit authorities in Canada do this..." (which is very much incorrect...).

Technically, "the older buses don't allow us to do that" is also incorrect. The flipdot signs might not be able to display stacked text, but in Toronto, the old TTC buses (GM fishbowls and Flyer D901s, for instance) used scrolling to display two-part destinations. Where the problem arose, in my opinion, was with PR messages, because that would result in a scrolling cycle like "129 MCCOWAN NORTH / TO MAJOR MACKENZIE DRIVE / EXTRA FARE REQUIRED / NORTH OF STEELES", which might leave riders waiting at a stop served by multiple routes not knowing if the approaching bus is the one they want, until it has already passed them by and they see the rear sign displaying "129". On a modern sign like a Luminator Horizon with stacked text, that same front message could be displayed in two exposures - and this was 15 years ago, which is the last time I was in Toronto.

 

And let's not forget, revisiting your Richmond example, that the sign "401 ONE ROAD / TO STEVESTON" already exists, and has existed for a long time. I have a picture of it being used on a 7100 series D40LF many years ago, and I've used it a few times myself because it appears on the sign code sheet.

 

On 6/26/2021 at 8:36 PM, 8010 said:

I’m sure RTC could’ve swapped some of their local Novas with Orions or Nova Suburbans since it doesn’t seem too uncommon for suburbans to end up on local routes.

A couple of employees have actually suggested this. I'm not sure whether the suggestion will be heeded or not; probably not. 

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This is the second of three Mk Is in a row going Westbound on the Millennium Line as of the time of this posting. I saw a lot of them parked at OMC 3 yesterday, which is not necessarily new but certainly a peculiar sight in the quantity observed (at least 5 trains).

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3 hours ago, Citaro said:

This is the second of three Mk Is in a row going Westbound on the Millennium Line as of the time of this posting. I saw a lot of them parked at OMC 3 yesterday, which is not necessarily new but certainly a peculiar sight in the quantity observed (at least 5 trains).

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I saw a MK I set sitting outside of VCC-Clark on the WB tracks on Friday. I wonder what the purpose is of having MK Is on the Millennium Line when they don’t operate on the line.

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1 hour ago, 8010 said:

I saw a MK I set sitting outside of VCC-Clark on the WB tracks on Friday. I wonder what the purpose is of having MK Is on the Millennium Line when they don’t operate on the line.

They do now, but probably not for long. This was observed by another online community (ELMTOT on Facebook); someone there enquired about this with a SkyTrain attendant and was told that there were some issues affecting Mk IIs and IIIs. This prompted shorter Mk I trains to ensure regular frequencies could still be maintained.

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12 hours ago, MCW Metrobus said:

Technically, "the older buses don't allow us to do that" is also incorrect. The flipdot signs might not be able to display stacked text, but in Toronto, the old TTC buses (GM fishbowls and Flyer D901s, for instance) used scrolling to display two-part destinations. Where the problem arose, in my opinion, was with PR messages, because that would result in a scrolling cycle like "129 MCCOWAN NORTH / TO MAJOR MACKENZIE DRIVE / EXTRA FARE REQUIRED / NORTH OF STEELES", which might leave riders waiting at a stop served by multiple routes not knowing if the approaching bus is the one they want, until it has already passed them by and they see the rear sign displaying "129". On a modern sign like a Luminator Horizon with stacked text, that same front message could be displayed in two exposures - and this was 15 years ago, which is the last time I was in Toronto.

 

And let's not forget, revisiting your Richmond example, that the sign "401 ONE ROAD / TO STEVESTON" already exists, and has existed for a long time. I have a picture of it being used on a 7100 series D40LF many years ago, and I've used it a few times myself because it appears on the sign code sheet.

It's not that it couldn't be done.

We know it could be done.

They knew it could be done.

But you can't underestimate the organizational inertia that has to be overcome to make a change of this nature. Thirty-five years of middle managers who could have done something, but chose not to take on that battle. We should be grateful someone finally was able to push that rock up a mountain and get it done.

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On 6/28/2021 at 11:37 AM, Opal said:

These new signs will take some getting used to but is the way it should be.  Except they've already made a mistake with the 10...  It should be "10 Granville / to Waterfront Stn" (or the "to Davie" exposure used for some AM trips) not "10 Downtown / to Waterfront Stn"...  Anyway, still better than the existing and gives MUCH more information to the riders.

 

Now, wonder how they'll name the 33?  33rd Avenue or 16th Avenue?  It travels along 16th Avenue for longer than 33rd, but was numbered for 33rd...  I suppose "33 33rd Avenue / to U B C via 16th" would be best, but doubt they'll do that...

Ugh, I'm surprised they haven't fixed the display for the northbound 10.

My headcanon for the 33 includes "East 33rd-West 16th" as a description.

Hopefully in the next round, they'll include the 9, as that one has always bugged me that the display just shows "Alma" or "Boundary".

And has there been any discussion of updating bus stops and schedules with the "[Street Name] to [Destination]" description?

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On 6/28/2021 at 6:15 PM, 8010 said:

I saw a MK I set sitting outside of VCC-Clark on the WB tracks on Friday. I wonder what the purpose is of having MK Is on the Millennium Line when they don’t operate on the line.

If they finally want to maximize the maximum capacity of the trains without running any more trains this is the way to do it since they have more Mk3 trains in their possession to use based on what we have available.. By using 4 car Mk1 trains it increases capacity on paper by 60. This way all trains if possible can be Mk2 and 3 trains with a 4 car arrangement having more capacity per train than a 6 car Mk1. Assuming the system is near capacity as to how many trains they can run making more efficient use of their cars is a smart idea. if a 4 car Mk3 having the greatest capacity is already full in certain times Rush Hour during these times on Expo Line then a 6 car Mk1 is too small. Same with Millennium line. 2 car Mk 2's every 6 mins during the day gets full when it gets to the original part of the line. This new arrangement of cars will be a blessing the short time coming until they get full. Even then this is better than if they left things as before.

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On 6/30/2021 at 11:28 AM, briguychau said:

Does this mean that the issue at Lougheed with Mk 1s timing out has been resolved?

Pretty much

Edit: I take it back - these are 4-car formations, and some are saying that the issue happens specifically with 6-car formations.

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