Saturday, September 4, 2010

The intersection of my work life and running life

Running from Surrey to Langley is faster than taking the bus.

At least it was for distance runner David Palermo, 27, who beat a bus in a race from Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Surrey campus to its Langley campus on Wednesday.

Palermo finished the 19-kilo-metre stretch in just over an hour, with the bus lagging behind him by 13 minutes, said Kwantlen's student association spokesman Nathan Griffiths.

The competition was staged by the student association in light of the province's decision to expand the U-Pass program -- which gives students cheaper transit fares -- to all universities and colleges across the Lower Mainland.

But unless TransLink improves its "poor" service in Surrey and Langley, the U-Pass won't be worth the $30 a month for many Kwantlen students, Griffiths said.
"Unfortunately, a U-Pass is more valuable in the downtown area where there's already good bus service," Griffiths said. ...

I posted this link on Facebook yesterday, a rare example of where my work life and running life intersect. David is a running friend of mine, and it's no accident he was chosen to run this "race" against the bus from one Kwantlen campus to another. David is one of the city's fastest runners, and not many people can run 19K in just over an hour. Yet the stunt proves the point that transit between the two campuses is slower than it should be, and makes it difficult for students who have to take courses on both campuses to rely on transit service.

Still after posting the link on Facebook I have learned that we have it pretty good here in the greater Vancouver area, even compared to Canada's biggest city. Toronto really should have better transit service for a city its size; the truth is that the speed of the service varies depending greatly on where you live and where you're going, even in the highly densely populated areas of the city.

I also learned that my own commute from home to Kwantlen's Richmond campus will now take me about 38 minutes by a combination of bus, Skytrain, and walking. The distance is just under 9K. I thought the new Skytrain line between Vancouver and Richmond would make the trip much faster than my old route on buses, but because of connections and the walking distance from the station, it ends up being just a bit shorter. As always, the limiter in transit travel is usually how close you are to the entry points, as well as the time needed for transfers. If I run, that will take me only about 50-55 minutes; I won't beat the bus, but it's pretty close. Likely I'll end up driving most of the time, which will take only 15 minutes when traffic is light with pretty cheap parking available for faculty. But I will consider a run commute a couple times per week, or maybe even a spin on the commuter bike.

1 comment:

  1. There was a competition on a TV show to see whether it was faster to drive or run the London Marathon course. The guy running was about a 2:20-2:30ish marathoner. I started watching it, but if you think watching a marathon of no-names is boring, try watching some guy running against gridlock.