Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for December 2020

Recent transport news items

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Mass Transit discusses the recent ransomware attacks on TransLink and STM (Montreal). They were preceded by a number of similar attacks on U.S. transit properties. TransLink is still rebuilding some of its online service affected by the ransomware attack.

Trains magazine commented on VIA’s 2020-2024 plan. VIA states the current iteration of The Canadian is unsustainable and lays the blame on “host railroad actions”. A return of tri-weekly service is not possible because VIA does not have enough equipment to support the 5 required consists.

The full VIA report (PDF) makes for depressing reading, particularly for western Canadians.  

The report links to the federal Transport Minister’s Mandate Letter in which VIA rates two mentions – one to work on high speed rail in the Toronto-Quebec City corridor (Windsor-Detroit no longer matters?) and the other to improve VIA travel to National Parks. There is not much here for the west, although the National Parks connection might be used to justify extending The Skeena back to Edmonton, over CN’s objections, of course..  

BC Transit and the Fraser Valley RD proposal (PDF of the Agenda go to page 103) to extend the Fraser Valley Express bus service (Chilliwack-Abbotsford-Langley) from Carvolth Exchange to Lougheed Town Centre SkyTrain station was put on hold due toCOVID. BC Transit has asked the FVRD to recommit to this proposal with a planned implementation in January 2022.


A synopsis from the Toronto Star of  what can happen (i.e. not much) to rapid transit plans when conflicting political and bureaucratic agendas overwhelm the  process.

Thanks to Rick Jelfs

Written by Stephen Rees

December 19, 2020 at 10:38 am

FACT CHECK “BC Transit retiring Victoria’s original double decker buses, were 1st in North America”

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BC Transit Dennis Trident Victoria BC 2007_0909
One of the buses to be retired: my picture

The Headline is taken from a CTV Vancouver Island news story which is just wrong.

The first paragraph tries to nuance the headline a bit but doesn’t get it right either. The twenty year old retiring buses were “reportedly the first double decker buses to ever be used in a North American public transit system.”

Actually there were double deckers running on 5th Avenue in New York City in 1912 – as a Google search will confirm.

Postcard of a double decker bus on 5th Avenue
A post card scan from flickr

Paul Bateson reminds me that Brampton Transit in Ontario had a double decker Leyland Olympian that entered service in March 1989.

Victoria, of course, has had double decker sightseeing buses – most retired from the UK – for many years

former NYC Atlantean Gray Line 406 Victoria BC 2007_0909
Sightseeing bus in Victoria formerly used in NYC: my image

Written by Stephen Rees

December 2, 2020 at 7:54 am

Posted in transit, Transportation