Category Archives: Transit Planner’s Technical Notebook

Tips and how to’s for the practice of planning transportation networks. (I learned the hard way so you don’t have to). For professionals, newer planners and interested citizens alike.

On a New Job and the Undeniable Importance of 5 a.m. in a Bus Yard

Early morning at VTC

This past Friday I left my role as BC Transit’s Manager of Planning to take on new opportunities as a Senior Transportation Planner & Transit Lead with Calgary-based Watt Consulting Group. Understandably, this change has occupied much of my mind and presented a range of feelings. Gratitude for the opportunities I had to grow over the last 21 years with… Read more »

Going Less Loopy: The Transit Basics Behind TransLink’s SkyTrain Changes

TransLink SkyTrain Change

This past weekend, TransLink’s SkyTrain network in the Metro Vancouver, BC region underwent a pretty sizable series of route and platform changes. The changes are paving the way for the start later this year of service along the new Evergreen Extension and revised supporting bus routes. I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the transit planning… Read more »

Beyond Portage & Main: Winnipeg Transit Connects to its Future

Tania Wegwitz   July 12, 2016   Comments Off on Beyond Portage & Main: Winnipeg Transit Connects to its Future
Winnipeg Transit Bjorn Radstrom

There is no greater gift than having a deep connection to the work you do all day. And it’s exactly that kind of connection that I heard from Winnipeg Transit’s Manager of Service Development’s Björn Rådström when I asked him about his job recently: “I don’t believe in the importance of transit because I work at a transit system,” said… Read more »

Yes! The Long Form Census is Back: Now Could We Make it More Multimodal?

Our daily lives are increasingly multimodal when it comes to how we get around.  How might we shape our Census to better track how we are mixing and matching our transportation choices? This past weekend I sat down at our kitchen table and discovered that I had come out ahead in two uniquely Canadian games of chance*: Against all odds,… Read more »

Creating Beautiful Communities that Move Us: Thoughts on Ensuring Connection between Land Use Plans and Mobility

This article was published in Planning West magazine, Volume 58, Number 2 (Spring 2016), and is reprinted here with permission from the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC), all rights reserved. Since Planning West is a professional planning publication, the article was written with that audience primarily in mind, one planner to another as it were.  However, I still want… Read more »

The High Cost of Three Minutes (+ Thanks)

It’s been a very busy few weeks here at Connecting Dots… and I wanted to follow up on a few threads. Three Minute Math There’s been lots of great comments and discussion on the post about the “just three minute” requests that make transit planners twitchy.  Much thanks to all who have read the post, shared it and added their… Read more »

Why Your “Just Three Minutes” Request Makes Transit Planners Twitchy

“Oh, but it’s only adds on another three minutes,” is one of those phrases I’ve heard over and over again during my time as a transit planner and scheduler.  And like some evil Pavlovian trigger, I can’t help but get bad flashback twitches every time I hear it. The changes that folks request that “will only take three minutes” sound… Read more »

The Three Community Characteristics of Highly Successful Transit Systems

Think quick!  What are the most important elements of a really great transit system?! Chances are if you just answered that in your head right now, you might have said things like: frequency, directness, reliability, easy fare payment, easy to use and understand information, consistency, comfort or safety. Some of you might have answered “convenience,” which I would then have… Read more »

Rockin’ it New and Old School: Transit Data and Planner Scratch Maps

It goes without saying that changing technology has had huge impacts over the last 20 years, and its impact on how we plan cities and transit systems is no different. This post is about some of the best parts of those changes…and a love letter to the “old school” practice of marking up maps that I still believe is an… Read more »

Why the Odds are Usually Stacked Against Transit Schedulers (and Why They Deserve our Thanks More Often)

Transit Schedulers as Superheros

As I write this, over this past week, transit systems across North America have been gearing up for the big show: the Tuesday after Labour Day when schools and colleges again crank into full swing and travel patterns hit reset after the summer. Trains and buses will get crowded, new and revised services will roll, and many, many transit operators… Read more »