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The Trip Diary

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Mapping our way to more accessible, sustainable and equitable transportation in urban spaces.

The Trip Diary is an original Below the Radar podcast series examining how we move through urban spaces. SFU Urban Studies alum and host Steve Tornes invites transportation enthusiasts and policymakers into conversation about the social and political factors that impact how transportation policy plays out on the ground.

Over the course of this series, we will explore how different commute modes — walking, cycling, transiting, driving — impact daily life and why we need to think about transportation in our urban design. 

The Trip Diary and Below the Radar are recorded on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. These conversations draw from data and lived experiences related to moving through urban spaces on these lands and beyond.

Each episode of The Trip Diary is timed to the duration of a different commute across the Metro Vancouver region. We hope you’ll listen along with your own commute as we investigate and reflect upon the future of moving through cities.

About the creators of this series

Podcast Host & Producer: Steve Tornes

Steve Tornes (he/him) has an inexhaustible passion for all things related to urban planning, data, politics, and literature. With a Master of Urban Studies degree from Simon Fraser University and a thesis on the Vancouver Bike Share Program, they look at the region through an environmental and equitable transportation perspective. Besides being a founding member of LightWork, a workers co-op focused on fostering justice and belonging through safer, inclusive, and more diverse work environments, Steve also worked as a data specialist at a tech company focused on augmented reality. He is currently working to publish a collection of short stories.

A North Vancouverite on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, Steve currently sits on the City’s Advisory Planning Commission after having served as Chair of the Social Planning Advisory Committee. He can usually be found at their local library reading or getting immersed in some new subject, such as R Programming or wildlife photography.

My Commute: 45 minutes

For about 25 minutes, I listen to a podcast while casually walking to the Seabus, at which point, I switch to reading my book. It takes me 13 minutes to cross the ocean. Once I arrive at Waterfront Station, I walk until I reach the office. I love my commute because I never have to worry about congestion or delays with the Seabus and I am careful to time my walk so that I always arrive a minute before it departs.

Audio Editor: Paige Smith

Paige Smith (she/her) is an experimental filmmaker and visual artist on xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. She holds a BFA in Film from SFU and is currently pursuing a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Visual Arts. Paige has previously worked with a variety of local arts organizations before joining the SFU VOCE team in 2019 as the Program Assistant. She enjoys utilizing her technical experience to produce the Below the Radar podcast and her event management skills to support our community partners’ events.

Outside of her work with the Office, Paige also produces the podcast Film Formally and creates her own artwork. Recent presentations of her artwork include the Audain Gallery (21), Vines Art Festival (20), Dawson City International Short Film Festival (20), and the Victoria Shorts Film Festival (19)

My Commute: 20-35 minutes

I usually complete my commute by either bus, bike or walking. If busing, I walk a block from my home to the bus stop and ride till near the office. A good place to rest and read. If biking, I borrow a Mobi bike and pedal my way via Pender St. A nice option for a sunny day when I have energy to burn. And if walking, I try to stroll on different streets each time. The best way to reconnect with the city. I appreciate that I have so many ways I can go to and from.

Cover Artist & Audio Editor: Kathy Feng

Kathy Feng (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, born in Guangzhou, China, and is a guest living and working on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. As an immigrant and child of immigrants, she grew up between cultures in a constant process of learning, unlearning, and relearning. This framework informs the central themes to her work: in which memory and nostalgia are expressed through images, text, and the aesthetics of the temporal.

Kathy holds a BFA in Visual Art with a minor in Art and Performance Studies from SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts. She began working at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement January 2020 as a Research Assistant for the Below the Radar podcast. 

My Commute: 30 minutes

My commute to work is a walk to the Commercial-Broadway skytrain station, then taking the train to Stadium-Chinatown. From there, it’s a short walk to the office!

COPYWRITer: MELISSA ROACH

Melissa Roach (she/her) is a writer, mediamaker, and communicator on xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) lands. She has worked as Communications Coordinator for SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement (on and off) since 2016, promoting public programming and producing podcasts in collaboration with community and university partners.

Melissa is a founding member of the media collaborative, Grounded Futures, where she supports the creation of podcasts and multimedia works that amplify voices from below. She holds a B.A. in English from SFU, where she worked as an editor for SFU’s independent student newspaper. Her work is grounded in horizontal collaborations and a passion for sharing stories that challenge systems of power. She also loves textile art, container gardening, and walking the dog.

My Commute: 25 minutes

My commute to the office involves a walk to a nearby bus stop and then catching the bus to Cordova and Homer St. From there I walk the rest of the way.

Secondary Copywriter: Alyha Bardi

Alyha (she/her) is a passionate Sociology & Labour Studies student. Her areas of interest include capitalist critiques, environmentalism, and human rights. Throughout her academic career, she’s written essays that focus on immigrant workers, women in work, settler-colonial Canada, and ritualistic practices of consumer capitalism. Her recent Spring 2021 Honours Essay, ‘Front of House Experiences During COVID-19: An Analysis of a Coffee Shop in Vancouver’, explores how work-related changes due to COVID-19 have been felt and experienced by Front of House Coffee Workers throughout the pandemic.

Alyha was born and raised on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

My Commute: 1 hour 20 minutes

My commute starts with a short walk to the nearest bus stop, I then take the bus to Coquitlam Central Station where I ride until Commercial-Broadway to switch to the Expo Line. I then hop off the train at Stadium-Chinatown and finish off my commute by walking the rest of the way to the office. 

Music Composition: Alex Masse

Alex Masse (they/them) is a writer, musician, and Communication student residing in what is colonially known as Surrey, BC. Arts and media are longtime loves of theirs, and their work has been everywhere from the Scholastic Writing Awards to Vancouver Pride. They’re also a neurodivergent nonbinary lesbian, which greatly affects their process.

When not working at SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, they're probably working on some other passion project. When not working at all, they can be found pressing flowers or reading a good book.

My Commute: 1 hour 30 minutes

While I mostly work remotely, when I do transit, it’s a bit of a trip! Assuming I don’t hitch a ride off someone else in my house, I bus out of my semi-rural suburb neighbourhood over to a bus exchange, where I’ll catch a bus to the nearest Skytrain station. That’ll take me down the Expo line, where I get off at Stadium-Chinatown, and then I just walk the rest of the way.

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