I can’t believe it’s September already. The weather is starting to become cool and wet, days are becoming shorter, marking the end of what has been an incredible summer (and year to date). It’s been a while since I’ve written here, so with the changing season I thought I’d share a bit of an update of 2016 so far.
Some of these warrant their own blog posts, but until I have time to write the full thing here is a summary. Continue Reading
Earlier this year, in search of a new hobby, I took an Amateur radio course (also known as ham radio) and received my license about a month ago. Amateur radio is all about non-commercial communication over radio waves. Most consumer walkie-talkies (like ones using the FRS) work only over several kilometers in the best of conditions. Believe it or not, Amateurs are able to use equipment to communicate all over the world, and even into space contacting the International Space Station using radio frequencies. This kind of communication was probably more popular decades ago when there was no Internet, or cheap long distance phone calls. However, Amateurs still involve themselves in activities such as contests contacting the most people, and on a more practical level (at least to me) emergency and volunteer event communications.
So putting my new license into use, last Sunday I helped out with the Vancouver Sun Run as an Amateur Radio operator. With about 80 other Amateurs, we were positioned in pairs along the entire 10km route.
Yesterday, for some odd reason, I woke up wanting to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery. I haven’t been in that art gallery for probably more than 10-15 years. When I was very young my mom used to have a membership and brought me on Sundays after church to participate in some kids art activities, but I haven’t been since then.
As it was Tuesday, I took advantage of the Art Gallery’s admission-by-donation time in the evening. It’s the only day of the week that the Gallery is open late in the evening so I could visit after work. Also, I wasn’t going to pay $24 to look around. I was originally going to pay $5 to get in (really just wanting a quick look around not expecting to be interested too much), but the sign at the door suggested a $10 donation, so I went with that. Continue Reading
This past Wednesday, TransLink started to put the newest batch of buses out onto the streets, in particular, Surrey streets. The transit enthusiast in me could not resist seeking out that new bus smell.
These buses are the same model as the previous set of articulated buses back in 2013. However, this new batch has the “charcoal top” livery instead of the light grey which I think looks much better and fitting with the rest of the fleet. Like the last batch, these buses are fully air-conditioned. (Recently, TransLink announced that all future bus orders will have air conditioning standard.) These will be great to ride in the summer!
Surrey hasn’t seen a new bus delivery in ages (better transit enthusiasts can quote the exact date); they’ve always been getting “hand-me-down” buses from other depots in the area. I guess it is a show of good faith for further development of transit in the South of Fraser area and the #96 B-Line corridor. Twelve of these new buses will serve the #96 B-Line while the remaining eleven in the order will be distributed to other articulated bus routes in the region.
Have you had a chance to ride the new buses? Leave your impressions in the comments!
This particular bus entered service in 1954 and was retired in 1984 when the second-generation Flyer trolleys entered into service. It has been restored and preserved by the Transit Museum Society (TRAMS).
The bus will be making a loop around Downtown Vancouver via:
Southbound Cambie (stopping at Hastings – Victory Square)
Westbound on Pender (no stops)
Southbound Burrard (stopping at SkyTrain station and Robson)
Eastbound Davie (stopping at Howe)
Northbound Seymour (stopping at Dunsmuir)
Eastbound Cordova (stopping at Waterfront Station)