The heart of the summer is upon us and our newsletter is full of all the great things going on here at BEST. Check out our newsletter and you’ll learn that BC had a first place finish in the Commuter Challenge (thanks to some pretty creative commuting!); The Bicycle Valet is going to be set up all over town in July, including 7-days a week at Granville Island; YVR Airport is joining with The Bicycle Valet for the 2nd annual YVR Community Day on Sea Island; Living Streets has expanded into Vancouver’s Dunbar-Kerrisdale Malkin Park area for street audits; Parkbus is hard at work taking people to Provincial Parks and is looking for volunteer ambassadors; and Seniors on the Move is calling out for photos to use in their program materials. We also have 3 more stories from our readers about how they multi-modal around town; information about a Fall 2017 in-class transit education program being put on by HASTe; and an update on TransLink’s recent transit improvements.
Enjoy your summer everyone, and happy reading!
Commuter Challenge: Celebrating BC's First Place finish!
Stephen White, BC Commuter Challenge coordinator,
On Thursday, June 29th we gathered to toast all the workplace coordinators and participants in the 2017 BC Commuter Challenge. With more than 75 people in attendance a glass was raised to acknowledge all the volunteers that prepared their workplaces for a week of sustainable commutes.
selects lucky winners of door prizes at the 2017 wrap-up party.
For the first time in more than six years BC claimed the title for most workplaces registered!!! That means we saw a 77% increase in workplaces registered! In BC 561 workplaces registered, 4160 individuals participated, 52,564 kg’s of CO2 was avoided, and 339,887 kms were travelled. You can see in more detail how each city and workplace did here on the National website!
The Commuter Challenge isn’t just about statistics though. Some of our
top competitors took it to the next level and really got into the spirit. For instance, the City of Victoria set a shining example of teamwork and enthusiasm for the Commuter Challenge. Colleagues Tim, Bronwyn and Nick decided to paddle and portage to work on Monday, June 4th as a fun alternative and to generate some hype in their workplace!! And it worked! The City of Victoria was the top CO2 avoider in Victoria!
Tim, Bronwyn, and Nick of the City of Victoria
The paddling crew consisted of two canoers and one paddleboarder. They went from the Tillicum bridge, through the Gorge Waterway and into the Upper Harbour in Downtown Victoria. What a way to start a work week! As Tim put it, “It’s amazing that in a busy city you can unwind on a Monday morning on your way to work.”
set an amazing example of sustainable commuting!
The BC Commuter Challenge will return for it’s 22nd year in 2018. As always it will coincide with National Environment Week. You don’t have to wait though! Commute sustainably wherever you go, all year long!!!
Didn’t know about the party? Want to know more about the Commuter Challenge? Get in touch with Stephen White at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy, safe, and healthy commuting everyone!
The Bicycle Valet: Gearing up for Canada's 150!
The seasonal valet at Granville Island is now open (and how!); patrons know their bikes will be safe at the Bike to Work Week Wrap-up BBQ.
Summer is heating up, and as always, The Bicycle Valet will be busy buzzing all around town to watch your wheels during the month of July! Last month, we were at the awesome Bike to Work Week Wrap-Up BBQ, and we started our very first season at the BC Lions home games (Go Lions Go!). We’ve also just opened up our seasonal valet on Granville Island, where you’ll be able to safely park your bike from 10:00am-7:20pm every day, all summer!!!
It’s going to be an action-packed month as we head into Canada Day! On July 1st, we’ll be at 8 locations from Vancouver all the way up to Whistler. In addition to the summer-long valet at Granville Island, check out where else you’ll find us:
July 1 - Canada Day at Granville Island - We’ll be at 3 different locations at Granville Island: Tennis Courts at False Creek Community Centre, Ocean Concrete, and our seasonal location at the wood carving shed!
July 1 - Canada Day in Whistler
July 1 - Canada Day in Surrey
July 1 - Steveston Salmon Festival in Richmond
July 1-2 - Canada Day at Canada Place
July 1-3 - YVR Food Fest
July 4 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: The Lego Batman Movie
July 5 - Whitecaps home game
July 7-8 - FVDED in the Park
July 8 - Khatsahlano Street Party
July 9 - Car Free Day on Commercial Drive
July 11 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: The Goonies
July 12 - Gastown Grand Prix
July 18 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: Toy Story
July 21 - BC Lions home game
July 22 - West Vancouver Bike to Shop Day
July 22-23 - Fusion Festival in Surrey
July 22-30 - Drum is Calling
July 23 - Whitecaps home game
July 25 - Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park: National Lampoon’s Vacation
July 29 - Celebration of Light
We’re always adding new events and details, so check our calendar to stay up-to-date!
For more information on anything Bicycle Valet, please contact Sinéad at
email@example.com or 604.669.2860 ext.207 or sign up now if you’d like to volunteer.
YVR promotes cycling around Sea Island
Checking out the bicycle infrastructure on Sea Island.
Summer is the season for cycling on Sea Island and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is pleased to participate in a number of initiatives that promote sustainable transportation. Everybody is encouraged to check out the bike paths all around the airport in the upcoming months.
As a community-based organization, YVR is committed to investing in cycling infrastructure, wayfinding signs, and bicycle racks. They are also one of The Bicycle Valet's generous sponsors! This summer, they are excited to continue working with The Bicycle Valet, who will be joining YVR on August 19th for their second annual YVR Community Day (Community Chill!). Keep an eye out for more details on this event!
For more information on biking at YVR, check out this video.
Living Streets: Moving into new territory!
This summer we’ve been lucky enough to expand our Living Streets program into Vancouver, partnering with a community group to conduct street audits around Dunbar-Kerrisdale’s Malkin Park area. This neighbourhood is already highly congested due to it being surrounded by three local schools. It has recently become even busier due to the increase in traffic that has resulted from the Southwest Marine Drive closure for summer roadwork.
Living Streets participants take us on their daily routes through
In June we conducted a number of street audits with kids, parents and other community members in the area in an attempt to understand the challenges the neighbourhood faces in facilitating sustainable transportation. Malkin Park sits adjacent to Kerrisdale Annex Elementary School and Crofton House School, and it is also three blocks away from Kerrisdale Elementary School. This makes the area very busy, especially at peak drop off and pick up hours during the school year. Moreover, drivers seem rushed and frustrated with the Marine Drive closure and are speeding through alternative routes in an attempt to avoid traffic. The speed and frequency of cars travelling in this traditionally family-oriented neighbourhood has made it uncomfortable for cyclists and pedestrians (many of them children) who are also trying to navigate the area.
As one of our audit participants put it, “you hope kids can feel safe walking and biking to school, but there seems to be a car culture mentality resonating in the area that is making it too dangerous.” One of our Living Streets participants attached a Go-Pro to his helmet as he scootered along the route of our Audit. Stay tuned for that video footage soon!
Living Streets is still recruiting volunteers and partners for our 2017 season! And our Living Streets charrette event is happening in Surrey on July 17, 2017 (see the invitation below). If you would like to attend, participate in an audit, and/or volunteer, reach out to Jacqueline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-669-2860.
Park Bus: Looking for volunteer ambassadors!
Enjoy Squamish, one of Parkbus' beautiful BC
Want a ride to the outdoors? Book your ticket with Parkbus now!
Want a free ride to the outdoors? Become a Parkbus Ambassador!
BEST’s newest initiative, Parkbus, is looking for volunteer ambassadors!
The Parkbus Ambassador Program is a volunteer-run program conducted on board our buses as they travel to and from various Parkbus destinations. The program helps bring together past and present passengers, members of the community, media and partners. The goal of the program is to establish a network of ambassadors representing and informing the general public of the outdoor opportunities available in outside our cities, while promoting a sustainable and environmentally-friendly transportation option.
Parkbus Ambassadors are responsible for assisting with some basic operations i.e. checking people off the list, doing head counts and making various announcements on board the bus. Our Ambassadors need to be personable and approachable, highlighting the community aspect of our service. In return for some logistical help, volunteers get to ride for free and enjoy a day out at one of the parks we service.
For more information on the program please visit: https://parkbus.ca/pas. For any questions, please email Alex at email@example.com.
Parkbus has been getting lots of buzz lately with articles in the Georgia Straight and Vancouver is Awesome.
Join in on the excitement on the next scheduled run on July 2!
Seniors on the Move is looking for photos!
For many, getting around without driving is not a scenario that is planned. For others, having a conversation with a friend or family member about when it might be time to stop driving is not an easy task. In fact, it is the kind of conversation that can be so difficult it is often avoided.
Seniors on the Move wants to help people plan for the next chapter in their lives, where they get around without driving, or driving less.
To do this, we’re planning some materials, and are looking for photos of older adults in real life, using transportation other than driving (carpooling is fine!).
If you have a photo you have permission to give us to use in seniors transportation materials, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or reply with them to this newsletter.
Multi-modalist contest: Sharing your stories
In April we asked you to tell us about all the sustainable and creative ways you use to get around the Lower Mainland. We had an amazing response with five lucky winners being chosen to win Earnest Ice Cream. Last month we shared two of these great stories, and this month we are sharing the remaining three. Thanks again to everyone for participating, and keep on multi-modalling!
"Starting downtown where I live, I took the Expo skytrain line to Commercial Station and transferred on to the Evergreen line to get to Coquitlam Centre Station. I then took the Community Shuttle #185 for 2 stops and walked from the bus stop home to have lunch with my parents. Later that afternoon they dropped me off at Coquitlam Centre Station in their car on their way out shopping, and I took the same/reverse route back to Stadium Skytrain station where I live, grabbed my bike from the parkade and bicycled out to Kitsilano where I work an evening shift. It's a distance of about 5km over the Burrard Bridge (which offers a stunning nighttime view when there's not so much construction happening), and cycled back at the end of my shift."
- Michelle S.
"My name is Laura and I am a multi-modalist! I gave up my car when I moved from Ontario to BC in November 2015. I often think to myself about how happy I am to be so free while saving on my transportation costs, reducing my environmental footprint, and living a more healthy and active lifestyle all because I am no longer car dependant!
"A typical day for me usually looks something like this:
"I walk to 4th Ave in Kits to grab the 4 or the 7 bus to take me to East Van every morning for work. It's busy at first but I love the long transit ride for listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and sometimes guided meditations. Once I get off the bus at Clark I have a 10 minute walk to my office.
"After work I often carpool in a car share to downtown Vancouver and hop on a Mobi bike to quickly get across the Burrard bridge and back to my favourite bike share station at 7th and Cypress. Other times I carpool with my coworker to Commercial and Broadway and grab the 99 B-line to Granville and walk the rest of the way to Kits for some fresh air.
"Many evenings I like to go to the beach of the gym by just grabbing a Mobi heading to Arbutus and McNicoll or 7th and Granville. No matter the place, I love mixing up my journey with walking, bike sharing, transiting, and the occasional car share (I'm a member of Evo, car2go and Modo for all the options!) to keep my multi-modal adventures going."
- Laura B.
"On the Monday morning of every week I bus to work and bring 5 days' worth of lunches (throw 'em in the freezer) and snacks, as well as changes of clothes. Then for the rest of the week I alternate between biking and running (10K each way) and don't need to worry about prepping anything or carrying a heavy bag!"
- Michelle H.
HASTe launches transit education program
In the fall of 2017 HASTe (Hub for Active School Travel) will launch an in-class transit education program for students in grades 5-8. This two workshop series will provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to be confident transit users. HASTe will use a variety of fun, interactive activities to explore this topic. Along the way they will touch on a variety of core competencies and big ideas.
In Workshop 1 students will explore What is public transit? and Why use public transit? and look at who uses transit and reasons for choosing transit (cost, accessibility, land use, safety, environmental factors).
In Workshop 2 they will study How do I use public transit? and learn about Compass cards, safety, etiquette, and trip planning.
Please contact Anna email@example.com for registration details. Space for this program is limited.
TransLink bus improvements in effect
On June 26 TransLink added 24,000 annual service hours of permanent bus improvements across Metro Vancouver to reduce wait times and overcrowding, extend service hours to existing areas, and introduce bus service to new areas. More improvements will be coming throughout the region over the next two years.
A fare increase effective July 1 will help fund the $2 billion investment in transit and transportation across the region as part of TransLink’s 10-Year Vision.
Don’t forget: You have until July 8 to fill out the questionnaire on the Millenium Line Broadway Extension. The project will continue the Line from VCC-Clark and includes six new stations, ending at Arbutus Street. A future phase will connect rapid transit all the way to UBC’s Point Grey campus.
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Vibrant, healthy communities built around sustainable modes of transportation
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