Translink Introduces

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

With transportation and traffic congestion being a hot topic with Metro Vancouver commuters, Translink is preparing to launch a new site this November that aims to be an “all-in-one” source for getting around the region.

The website integrates bus, train and ferry schedules along with delays at YVR and the status at the Canada US border. is currently in the testing phase and is expected to be fully running by November. [CKNW]

One of the best things Translink could do is come out with a system that’s easy to use and time-saving. Unfortunately no matter how informed we are about a traffic camera being on HWY 1 at the Kensington on-ramp, it still doesn’t solve most problems with our major thoroughfares and lack of public transit options.

I’m certainly willing to give i-Move a chance, and I’ve even been tinkering with it for a while this evening.

The cycling section seems pretty interesting, laying out lines for routes on and off-road travel in all cities (I’m interested in seeing what Paul, Richard and Roland think of this).

“Trip Calculator” estimates 18-25 minutes from Burnaby to Vancouver depending on if you take the bus, or your car (on a day when there are no “events” present) and it also allows you to enter the current price of gas so it can tally how much you’ve used at various points along the way.

The “events” option is useful, displaying reported trouble-spots on the Google Map so drivers can plan alternate routes, although I’m not sure how often it’s updated. The rest of the features (cameras, borders etc.) just add icons to the map with flags containing basic information.

Despite bumping into an error from Microsoft CMS 2002 on the site, it’s definitely got a lot of features. I fully understand this is not the complete version of i-Move but will look forward to exploring it in detail once launched next month.

8 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Paul HillsdonThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 2:02am PDT

    Haha Rebecca, I’m waay ahead of you 😛 Being on the Translink Advisory Panel, I got an email when they first started beta testing this product, and I wrote a blog post about it back then.

    I looked over the site again tonight, and nothing’s improved at all. I think my points, which I outlined in the blog post, and still just as valid. I still am not all that keen on the cycling info either, and I think I’d actually rather view a PDF of the routes. It’s not like it helps you plan a route or anything fancy like that (and there are actually web services that do that –

    I do like the Trip Calculator. Of course, it’s not really integrated either (certainly not as well as Google does with Google Maps, Google Transit, and Google Driving Directions).

    Unless they improve it, I believe it’s basically a waste of money. The traffic info was already available on the Ministry of Transport’s Drive BC site. I want to know how much they spent on this. The money would’ve been better spent studying a regional wide smart card system.

  2. DarrenThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 6:29am PDT

    I do like that they’re using Google Maps as the base interface. That’s an unexpectedly rational choice.

  3. bzThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 7:22am PDT

    The site puts my commute at 51 minutes (its really 35), but I’m sure it’s accurate when it says transit would be 70 mins (EACH WAY).

    The site also says my car costs 2.75 each way, while the bus is 3.25.

    So, for an extra dollar and an extra hour in my commute, each day, I could take the bus.

    No thanks.

  4. Miss604Thursday, October 11th, 2007 — 7:44am PDT

    Oh Paul – of course you’d be all over this 😛 It just hit my radar cause of the CKNW story, they must be pretty close to launching if they put out a release or something. I think Travis alluded to it in your post’s comments… what’ with the hyphen in the url? As for a smart card system? YES please.

  5. Miss604Thursday, October 11th, 2007 — 7:53am PDT

    Quick side-story from the “obvious” column this morning – apparently Translink users are unhappy with service:

    “The consensus on the street this morning suggests service challenges go beyond difficult weather. One man says it takes too long to get anywhere because the buses are all packed, even early in the morning.” – [News1130]

    Yeah I don’t think a new website with a catchy name will solve these issues.

  6. RaulThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 8:58am PDT

    I commute by bus. I used to do so every single day. This week, I’ve been working from home, and since I live around the Main St./Mount Pleasant area, I am able to get everywhere (Safeway included) walking. I have never been more thankful in my life about living in a neighbourhood where I didn’t really need a car. BUT, and here is the big BUT…. I have to go to Surrey this weekend, and the commute is not going to be a short one. So, something like iMove would probably be useful.

    Still, I am somewhat surprised to hear BZ that a 70 min commute would be unacceptable. The price of car commutes does not include (as far as I can see) externalities. That’s the problem. If we paid full prices for environmental goods, we would have to pay green taxes on everything. We don’t pay for the pollution we generate. So I am not sure if iMove calculates the cost of pollution, health costs, etc. If it did, the price of driving your car would be higher than the price of taking transit. But that’s another story (probably one I’ll pick up on Monday Oct 15th, Blog Action Day)

    The longest I’ve commuted to work has been 1 hour 15 mins. I guess it depends on what you do on the bus, how often they run and what you make of the journey itself. On the bus I read, listen to my iPod and sometimes do actual work (my laptop used to be quite resilient – and then it died 😀 – I should switch to Mac)

    I agree that buses can often run totally packed and leave you behind and that you can get all wet and cold (with our beautiful Vancouver’s weather). But I guess taking transit is in many ways, a matter of personal choice (in my case it’s more environmentally conscious than anything… I used to drive way back then).

  7. TawcanThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 10:16am PDT

    Hey that’s pretty neat, I’ll have to start using it. Thanks for the heads up!

  8. MegThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 12:49pm PDT

    I think some of the costs depend on if you have to pay for parking where you work. If you worked DT, it’s a bit pricey.

    And transit passes make everything cheaper. 🙂 My average trip is less than 2.25 with my frequency of use.

    But I’d rather be a car person. One day…

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