It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer (at least some of the time), and here at BEST things are hopping. Here’s what you’ll read about in our newsletter:
Commuter Challenge is offering you the chance to win great prizes from June 4-10 (how about a fabulous Via Rail trip?); The Bicycle Valet is setting up around town, including at all BC Lions home games; Living Streets has a new coordinator, Jacqueline Hunter, who is recruiting volunteers to conduct street audits; as part of our Seniors on the Move initiative; Burnaby Community Services and Modo are partnering to make it easier for volunteers to drive seniors; and Parkbus is up and running, taking outdoor enthusiasts to provincial parks along the Sea-to-sky Corridor. Also in our newsletter we’ll tell you about the always-popular June is Bike Month and Velopalooza; our Multi-Modal Musings column looks at the variety of ways you can combine cycling with transit; and we share a couple of stories from our brilliant BEST readers about how they multi-modal their way around town. Last but not least, you’ll read about the upcoming NE False Creek Block Party and how you can participate in TransLink’s SW Area Transport Plan.
That’s a lot of news, so you'd better get started! Happy June everyone, and happy reading!
BC Commuter Challenge: Don't miss the train, June 4-10!
VIA Rail is offering you the chance to ride the rails in Canada and now is your chance to win a ticket! Just register, commute, and record and you could be experiencing the beauty of the countryside in style! That’s not all - check out the full list of prizes here! Maybe you want to check the odds of winning by seeing how many workplaces have registered this year?
Officially the BC Commuter Challenge begins Sunday June 4th and ends Saturday June 10th. However, commuters are already getting rewarded and encouraged with HUB’s BTWW celebration stations this week and the unofficial Commuter Challenge BBQ, which took place at Dude Chilling Park on Friday, May 26th. Free veggie burgers helped fuel commuters and got some extra people on board for the upcoming event!
Stephen White, BC Commuter Challenge provincial coordinator,
mellows out at Vancouver's Dude Chilling Park.
During the week of the Commuter Challenge you can also get involved with the community in North Van. They’re hosting a commuting-themed Walk-Bike-Bus Scavenger Hunt from May 29th to June 8th! We’ll certainly be there! (For more information, check out the poster at the end of this story).
The BC Commuter Challenge is a community-based event for everyone in British Columbia. It’s designed to bring people together and make connections. Leaders emerge and set an example within organizations, creating a better sense of community. If you’re planning on hosting an event let us know so we can inspire people all over BC.
For advice, information and resources visit our website. www.commuterchallengebc.ca or get in touch with Stephen White, your provincial coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget, the BC Commuter Challenge is for everyone who walks, uses transit, joins a carpool or carshare, or uses a self-propelled method of getting to work. Join the thousands of Canadians who have already signed up!
Follow @bc_commuter on Instagram and Twitter for more community happenings and unofficial BBQ’s!
The Bicycle Valet: Here, there and everywhere!
Captain America keeps his shield safe with us; and Whitecap fans park their bikes at BC Place Gate C before heading into the game.
May was a fun-filled month here at The Bicycle Valet. Our amazing team parked a staggering 1,382 bikes at Ships to Shore in Richmond and nearly 200 per game at Whitecaps matches. Wow! That lovely biking weather is upon us, and we love seeing you and your bikes around town.
Volunteering with The Bicycle Valet isn’t all work and no play, of course! In May we hosted our bi-annual volunteer party at Creative Coworkers, with our volunteers and staff enjoying a BBQ and some delicious ice cream courtesy of Earnest Ice Cream. Join in on the fun by volunteering with us! Our next volunteer training session is on Wednesday, June 7th at 6pm at Granville Island - a quick training session will be followed by a beverage on us. For more information, contact Sinéad at email@example.com.
Bicycle Valet coordinator Sinead Stinson serves up Earnest
Ice Cream to a throng of enthusiastic volunteers.
Living Streets: Auditing a street near you!
We are excited to announce that BEST’s Living Streets program has started for the 2017 season. Living Streets will be hosting educational presentations with a focus on the value of walking and leading groups on street audits to identify barriers to participating in sustainable transportation in the City of Surrey.
Living Streets participants performing audits in their communities.
We are also pleased to introduce Jacqueline Hunter, the new coordinator for the Living Streets program. Jacqueline is currently a Master’s student in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University. Jacqueline will be administering street audits in Surrey with different community organizations to collect data to help make sustainable transportation a more viable option in Surrey.
Living Streets kicked off the season with Environmental Extravaganza, an annual free event series with the City of Surrey that is focused on nature and environmental sustainability. Living Streets is also recruiting volunteers for summer 2017. If you would like to get involved or participate in an audit, you can reach Jacqueline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-669-2860.
Seniors on the Move & Modo partner for seniors
A new partnership between Seniors on the Move, a project BEST is coordinating, and local carshare Modo will make it easier for volunteer drivers to take seniors on errands and to appointments around town.
As featured in a CBC news story, the recent partnership with Modo will give volunteers the opportunity to drive a senior without needing their own vehicle and at no cost to themselves. This means that people who do not own their own car but would like to volunteer will no longer have this as a barrier to helping out; and as Modo has liability coverage there is no need to worry about insurance. In addition, Modo has a range of vehicles that are suitable for seniors with mobility issues, so not having a vehicle that can accommodate walkers and wheelchairs should not be an issue.
If you are 19 years of age or older, have your N licence and zero at-fault accidents in the last two years, you can become a Modo member. The usual $10 registration fee will be waived for applications made under the Burnaby Community Services account. If you’re not a Modo member, Modo is offering $50 free driving time if you sign up with the code ONTHEMOVE.
Seniors on the Move works to increase transportation options for Vancouver seniors and is part of a three-year Collective Impact project under Allies in Aging.
People interested in offering their services as volunteers can find more information on the STAR website.
Parkbus: Return to the wild without a car
The glorious Stawamus Chief is now more accessible.
Parkbus, an express bus service to BC Provincial Parks in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, is back helping people escape the city and explore the outdoors without needing a car.
Parkbus began in 2010 as an initiative by a group of outdoor enthusiasts in Ontario who wanted to make outdoor destinations accessible from Toronto by public transportation. The service has now expanded to include departures from Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
In 2016 Parkbus joined forces with BEST to pilot service from the city to select BC Parks destinations. Following a successful pilot, BEST officially adopted Parkbus as one of its programs.
Buses are currently scheduled from Vancouver to Garibaldi, Joffre Lakes, Shannon Falls, Stawamus Chief and Alice Lake, Golden Ears and Cypress Provincial Parks. Additional days have been added to last year’s schedule.
For more information about Parkbus and to purchase tickets, please visit here.
June is Bike Month: For all things bike in June!
Right in the middle of June is Bike Month, Velopalooza promotes bike rides and events, with a two week festival from June 9th to 25th. The opening weekend features an ever-popular Bike Rave, with other festival highlights including the Bicycle Beach Crawl, the Led Zeppelin ride, the Seventh Annual Pink Floyd the Sea Wall ride, and the Summer Solstice ride.
Velopalooza's goal is to be the most fun bike festival in Vancouver - and one that aims to promote bicycle ridership in Vancouver. From its modest beginnings seven years ago, this year the festival expects to have more than 60 events over the festival's two-week period.
The festival is a community-powered event. And it's not too late to be involved! If you are doing a bike related ride or event during our festival - or would like to do one - please add that to the calendar at velopalooza.ca/. Once on the calendar, your event will be promoted along with the festival.
During the festival there will be all sorts of bike rides and events to choose from. So check out the calendar at velopalooza.ca/. And for all things bike in June, check out June is Bike Month!
Combine biking with transit for a great trip
Our "Multi-Modal Musings" column focuses on issues related to sustainable transportation around the Lower Mainland. This month we take a look at the ways transit has become more bike-friendly.
You can now take your bike on almost
any transit mode. (Photo: TransLink)
There are lots of ways to take a multi-modal trip, and combining biking with public transit is a great one. You can take your bike almost everywhere with you on transit: on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express.
Hoping to ride to a SkyTrain station and then hop on transit without your bike? Park it at one of TransLink’s new secure bike parkades at Main St-Science World and King George stations, or rent a bike locker- found at most stations.
If you want to keep your bike with you for the other end of your trip, here are some pro tips:
- Bus: every bus has spots for two bikes, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Remember to communicate with the driver that you’re going to load a bike, and let them know when you’re getting off. If you haven’t used the racks yet, watch this video or come down to The Bicycle Valet at Granville Island this summer and try it out!
- SkyTrain: You can take your bike on the Canada Line anytime, one bike per car. For the Millennium and Expo Lines, bikes are not allowed on trains travelling inbound (to downtown) between 7 to 9 a.m., and on trains travelling outbound between 4 to 6 p.m. Two bikes are allowed per car. More information can be found here.
- Seabus: You can take your bike on the Seabus anytime, but there is a maximum number of 6 bikes per SeaBus during rush hours.
- West Coast Express: You can take your bike on the West Coast Express anytime, but keep in mind there is a limit of two bikes permitted per car.
Happy bike- and- transiting!
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. Over the next few months we will be sharing the entries of these great multi- modalists. Here are the first two:
"4 years ago my SUV of 17 years decided to roll down a hill after being put on park with the parking brake on. At first I decided I didn't need a replacement car right away as we were about to go on a long 6 week trip to India so I adapted with car pool rides with the wife and public transit. As a backup, over the 6 week trip I waited for my application with a car share program to go through. When I got back I thought, why not take advantage of all the new bike lanes and bike to work. Over the summer I effortlessly loss 10 lbs and acquainted myself with the public transit system thought the modern miracle of transit apps on smart phones which gave timely information on wait times, route planning and expected times of arrival.
"So now a trip to have Sunday dinner with the in-laws no longer requires 2 vehicles when wife works on a Sunday. Instead I bike to the nearest Canada Line station, catch the train to Richmond and bike to the in-laws. On return I just stow the bike in the wife's car and head back home. 2 car family to now a 1 car family!"
- Dr. Simon Ng
"Since I am a fair weather cyclist, and have no car, I walk and bus the rest of the year, and feel like much more of a world citizen than I ever did when I had a car. I love how Vancouver becomes more cycle friendly all the time. And I love being a walker now. The pedestrian perspective is very direct, not sealed away in a car-bubble. Hey, I still love cars - just rarely miss having one!"
- Bhavi Foxglove
Join the City of Vancouver for a NEFC Block Party
The City of Vancouver is hosting a Block Party on June 10 to present information about the early draft of the Northeast False Creek area plan, including park design concept and proposed site developments. The draft is the result of 10 months of discussions between Vancouverites and City officials on the future of the area once the viaducts are removed.
The Block Party will take place on Saturday June 10 from 11am-7pm on Carrall Street in Andy Livingston Park (between Expo Blvd and Keefer Street). Interested citizens are encouraged to attend and play, relax, eat, and share their opinions with City and Park Board staff.
For information about this important part of the City and ways you can participate visit here.
TransLink SW Area Transport Plan: Have your say
TransLink is inviting public engagement in Phase 2 of the Southwest Area Transport Plan, underway May 23 to June 19, 2017.
The SATP involves a review of the transportation network in Richmond, South Delta, and the Tsawwassen First Nation, as well as important connections to North Delta and other nearby areas. The plan will focus on improving transit service and infrastructure, while also addressing aspects of cycling, walking, driving and goods movement. The planning process considers customer experience, current and projected land use and development, transportation and ridership data, and feedback from the public, stakeholders and local governments.
People are invited to use one of the following options to get involved:
For more information, visit here.
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