We’re excited to be starting our 26th year and to be involved in helping make Vancouver a more multi-modal city. To tell you about some of these initiatives and how BEST fits in we start off our first newsletter of 2017 with a letter from our GM, Stephanie Williams. We hope this inspires you to get more involved with BEST – to help you get your year off to a good start her letter is followed up by some information about volunteering and a story from one of our volunteers, Alessandro Cabai. Next is a story about STAR ride programs, a resource that is helping seniors around BC remain in their communities. We’ve also got for you an update on the Arbutus Greenway and a really cool quiz, guaranteed to get your brains cracking!
Happy New Year everyone from the team at BEST!
A message from our General Manager
2016 marked our 25th anniversary. Not bad for a bunch of “bicycle people” who just wanted to organize a bike ride! While the year provided an opportunity to celebrate all that BEST, and its many partners, have accomplished throughout the years, it also gave us a chance to reflect on where we’re going. Back in 1996 we made the decision to not just advocate for bicycling, but for other modes of sustainable transportation as well. For walking and public transit, and later, car-share and ride-share. We were thinking multi-modal before it was a buzzword.
With the introduction of Vancouver’s Mobi bike share taking place this summer, multi-modal trips within Metro Vancouver just got a whole lot easier. Biking and transit just became a whole lot easier too. Want to use your own bike? Park it at TransLink's secure bike lockers. Need some help getting started? Download the Transit app for all the information you need from Mobi and TransLink.
For trips outside the city (or when you just have a lot of stuff to carry!), Modo provides an easy, affordable answer. Don’t want to drive at all? Check out BEST’s newest venture, Parkbus, which links you to Provincial parks and the great outdoors, by bus.
Here’s the thing. We know you don’t exclusively ride your bike, walk or take the bus. Sometimes you might do all three in one trip, sometimes it just depends on the day and destination. BEST’s goal is to fill the gaps in this multi-modal picture, just as we’ve always done. That’s why we’re continuing to focus where we can make the most impact. This includes continuing our work on seniors transportation with STAR, our innovative partnership fighting bike theft with Project 529 and the VPD, expanding the extremely successful Parkbus BC pilot, focusing on pedestrian advocacy alongside our Living Streets program, encouraging more people to try alternative ways to get to work with the Commuter Challenge, and of course growing our flagship enterprise, The Bicycle Valet.
Want to become a part of this movement? Sign up to be a member now.
- Stephanie Williams, BEST General Manager
Love sustainable transportation? Volunteer with BEST!
Looking to help the cause of sustainable transportation in the new year? And have fun and learn lots while you are at it? Why not come join us as a volunteer at BEST?
Volunteers are always needed in a range of areas. Over the warmer seasons The Bicycle Valet needs team members to valet bikes at events all around the region. During the summer Living Streets is on the lookout for community engagement volunteers. And we often need people to do specific projects, like mapping the results of the BC Commuter Challenge, designing communication materials, or taking care of a variety of other projects around the BEST office.
Interested in learning more? For Bicycle Valet volunteer opportunities visit the website or contact Sinead Stinson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-669-2860 Ext 207. For other volunteer opportunities you can visit the website, email email@example.com or call 604-669-2860 for more information.
We would love to have you join us in 2017!
BEST volunteers are involved in a whole variety of projects around
A volunteer story: Alessandro Cabai
At BEST we are fortunate to have volunteers from all over the world working with us. Volunteers might help at The Bicycle Valet or one of our other programs or around the office – whatever they do, we are enriched by their participation. This month we asked Alessandro Cabai, who lives in San Daniele del Friuli in Italy (a town one hour from Venice), to answer our BEST Volunteer Questionnaire.
What were you doing in Italy before you came to Canada?
I worked at Simevignuda for 8 years. I was in the Purchasing Department as a buyer for the company, which sells lighting and electrical materials.
Why did you want to come to Canada, and Vancouver in particular? How long were you here for?
Having a 6 month working holiday visa, I came to Vancouver to improve my English skills and have a great life experience. In the past I studied English twice in Vancouver and I fell in love with the city and the surrounding ocean and mountains.
How did you come to volunteer at BEST?
I got in touch with Sinead Stinson, coordinator of The Bicycle Valet.
What were you doing for BEST?
Working for The Bicycle Valet, which provides professional and secure bicycle parking in and around Metro Vancouver.
What did you learn / how did you benefit from your volunteer work with BEST?
I improved my bicycle maintenance skills. I met lots of nice people involved in ecofriendly activities. I discovered another point of view of the city. I had an absolutely great time.
What would you say to somebody thinking of volunteering?
In broad terms I guess volunteering is important for every human being. Speaking about The Bicycle Valet, I definitely recommend that everyone volunteer for this organization; you would be doing something very important for the city community and at the same time you would have fun, meet people, and grow personally.
STAR: Looking for a seniors' ride program?
Affordable, accessible, and convenient transportation helps BC seniors remain active citizens within in their own communities. Unfortunately, finding this kind of transportation can often be a challenge.
BEST's STAR program maintains a comprehensive list of for-profit and not-for-profit ride programs around the Province in the hopes that these will help seniors find a ride. Some of these programs are organized by government agencies and some by local non-profit agencies. STAR works with some of these agencies to help ensure that seniors can turn to reliable transportation services run by and for local people. Each ride program is different, because each is designed to address needs unique to its community.
To look at the list of ride programs visit here. If your agency would like to be included on this list, please contact Stephanie Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604 700 8843, ext 212.
STAR’s mission is to help seniors remain healthy, contributing community members in the places they call home, and support the efforts of families and seniors-serving agencies to make this possible.
Arbutus Greenway: A work in progress
Construction of the Arbutus Greenway's temporary pathway has begun and the City continues to seek input from citizens as planning continues. Open houses are slated for February 4, 9, and 11 and there will also be the opportunity to review materials and provide feedback online. For more information visit the Arbutus Greenway website, where you can also sign up for project updates.
Arbutus Greenway project team members are open to attending community meetings to provide more information about the Greenway. Requests can be emailed to email@example.com.
The Arbutus Greenway is an opportunity for Vancouver to have a fantastic public space for walking, cycling, and wheeling. At BEST we intend to learn as much as we can, keep on top of developments, and give the City our input -- so we can have the best Greenway possible!
The 9 km Arbutus Greenway is a work in progress - and
a place for a pleasant winter stroll.
A new years quiz
Here’s a quiz that will get your brain cracking in these early days of 2017. Put together by New York artist and urban planner Neil Freeman and taken from The Guardian, it asks us to identify the cities in a selection of geographically-accurate maps of city subway systems. Give it a go! (And if you like this one, the other cities quizzes are also pretty cool).
Is this the subway in Seoul, Stockholm, or Sydney?
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
Thank you for your continued interest in BEST!
To advance the transformation to sustainable transportation
Vibrant, healthy communities built around sustainable modes of transportation
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