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Translink Buzzer Blog

Improving washroom facilities for SeaBus riders

Burrard Otter - Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Burrard Otter – Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Attention SeaBus riders!

Beginning in October, washrooms at the north and south SeaBus terminals will temporarily close to undergo work, including accessibility improvements.

As part of the work, separate accessible washrooms will be built within the existing space and will include infant changing tables.SeaBus Advanced notice north side washroom closure-page-001

A temporary portable toilet will be available for customers at the south terminal by the exit, near the elevator.

SeaBus passengers are encouraged to use public facilities on the north side or travel to the south terminal.

In the coming days, you’ll see signage advising passengers of the temporary change, with construction work starting shortly after.

Improvements will be complete this winter.

Have questions?
Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

The 20th Anniversary Poetry in Transit issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Another special edition of the print Buzzer is out on the system.front page

Today, and this year, we are celebrating 20 years of the Poetry in Transit!

This program began in 1996 and it’s used to promote and celebrate BC poets published in Canada.

Along with these meters of iambic pentameter and free verse, we also have our Contest Corner where we ask you to choose your favourite poem for a chance to win a free Monthly Pass on your Compass Card.

Enjoy 20 (how fitting!) poems from some really wonderful authors for you to peruse on your travels.

Here’s a little sneak peek for you:

RAIN

Sometimes I thirst to be the rain I curse
and fall into my beloved’s cup
fill it up so he will be quenched

settle like mist or a kiss
on my daughter’s face
dampen my sons’ heads
like baptism wherever they travel

and seep down into the ground
to my parents’ graves
to touch them, once again, as rain.

– Susan Telfer
@susanktelfer
(from Ghost Town by Susan Telfer, 2016, Oolichan Books)

Tap into your inner Keats and pick up one today or download it here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Poetry In Transit: Interview with Jennifer Zilm

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Courtesy of jenniferzilm.com

Poetry in Transit has been sparking inspiration and meaningful thought on transit in BC since 1996.

For those of us who adore the written –and spoken – word, (*ahem* ME), this is such a great opportunity to share the work of BC authors across the province and promote and celebrate this wonderful art form.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Zilm, one of the featured poets for this 20-year anniversary about her poem and Poetry in Transit.

Tell me about your inspiration for this poem?

It’s part of a three part poem called Spiritual Media and I was trying to take on different forms of social media. So, the first part is about Twitter with really bad hashtags because it was before I understood what hashtags were! But I love them. It’s interesting how the hashtag modifies the content of your message. The second part was about book history… but it was about Facebook and what happens when you’re talking to somebody and you don’t really know who they are or what they’re doing. The third part, the part on the bus, is only loosely connected to social media because I was interested in this therapy procedure called EMDR where you focus on light or sound while focusing on a traumatic memory with headphones in. So, it’s sort a being linked in and how what you’re linked into affects you.

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Published by BookThug – April, 2016

This poem can be found in your collection, Waiting Room. This piece is very observational, how does it compare on that level to other pieces in your book?

I would say I like to observe and write things down but I also like to work from a certain conceit. There’s a section in the book where I was working at a housing project in the downtown East side at the front desk and I know that those experiences absolutely inspired the way I wrote. I compared it to Dante’s purgatory… which is the good one, I think. Or at least, that’s my theory! But where you are and what you see of course affects how and what you write.

What makes transit a good place to gather inspiration?

I think it’s the last, great public space. I also find, personally, that it’s really hard not to do things when you’re on transit. There’s something about the bus that you get on and you just need to trust where it’s going and it forces you to be contained where you are and read or write or do whatever you need because your brain is not occupied with driving or biking. It helps me focus. It gets me down to business!

Poetry in Transit has been around for 20 years now. How do you feel being a part of this anniversary special?

If you’re from the Vancouver area, and I am, I grew up in Surrey, you remember Poetry in Transit! I remember reading Jamie Reid’s poem Prez or Stephanie Bolster’s Many Have Written Poems About Blackberries. I have memories from the beginning of this program. When you’re a person who writes poetry, it’s not always obvious to you what your career “landmarks” will be. I remember people saying, “well, maybe one day you’ll get a poem on the bus!” People don’t read poetry that much anymore and having it in a public space like transit, where you can just look up and read a piece on your bus, it connects people. It’s like a great, classic disruption. It’s not an ad for the dentist or a job college, it’s a poem!

What do you hope people take away from reading your poem on transit and the others included in this project?

You can be really idealistic and why not?! Maybe it will be inspirational? Maybe it will disturb them, but in a good way! Any time we get a chance to see something in these public spaces that aren’t market-based is really amazing. So, something like Poetry in Transit, if you’re someone who doesn’t have books in your house or visits the public library, it can be a hidden suggestion that there are other things in the world, besides what is immediately around you.

How long have you used transit? What’s your favourite mode?

My entire life! Growing up in Surrey, the Expo Line was my life blood. I rode it all the time. Now, in Vancouver, the #7 bus is my temple. It’s my thought bubble, it’s my inspiration at times. Plus, 7 is really lucky in Judaism so I feel like all around it’s my little bus home!

You can see Jennifer’s work along with the other amazing poets in this month’s special Poetry in Transit edition of the print Buzzer as well as on buses, bus shelters and SkyTrains across the system!

If you really can’t wait to see each poem on the system, you can head to the 2016 Word Vancouver Festival this weekend and hear live readings from some of the featured Poetry in Transit authors.

If you have a favourite you see on transit, snap a pic and let us know how it made you feel!
Twitter: @TransLink
Instagram: TransLinkBC

Author: Adrienne Coling

#SkyTrainChanges Q&A with Ian Fisher

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In case you missed our announcement earlier this week — big changes are coming to the way you ride SkyTrain! On October 22nd, 2016 the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will change. We took some time today with Ian Fisher, Manager, Operations Planning to get an indepth look at what the new SkyTrain changes mean and how they will change the way we ride.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

The key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Everything Evergreen: New SkyTrain operating pattern for Expo and Millennium Lines


Evergreen is coming!!

To prepare for the Millennium Line’s extension opening by Christmas, we need to get all of our riders ready for a seamless transition.

With that in mind, we are changing the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network on October 22, 2016.

For many of you, these changes won’t affect your daily commute but this still a big change for the transit network.

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Come out to TransLink’s Open Board Meeting on September 23, 2016

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You are invited to TransLink’s next Open Board Meeting!

Attending this meeting gives the general public a chance to see behind-the-scenes on matters relating to TransLink’s mandate and responsibilities

The meeting takes place on Friday, September 23 at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at TransLink Head Office in New Westminster.

Click here for more information. You can apply to speak at the meeting and find the agenda on our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Investing in Metro Vancouver’s transit future: The 10-Year Vision

10 Year Vision

In Metro Vancouver today there is overcrowding on the transit network, increased traffic congestion and another one million people moving here over the next 25 years.

It’s pretty clear that our transportation network needs new investment and we need it now.

That is why our local mayors created a 10-year Vision and today, the Mayor’s Council released some more information about Phase One of this vision.

This plan sets out the new services and infrastructure needs of our region now and down the road.

Phase One of the 10-Year Vision is funded through regional funding sources to match investments by the provincial and federal governments.

Phase One details:

  • Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
  • Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
  • Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
  • Improve the region’s major road network
  • Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
  • Improve access to transit stations and stops
  • Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
  • Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.

The Phase One plan includes regional funding sources so that, if approved, we can begin rolling out new services and projects in the Vision starting in January 2017.

The goal is to reduce traffic and make transit commutes faster and more comfortable for all riders in communities across the region.

The public will get a chance to weigh in on the plan during public consultation that will take place in October.

Next Steps:

September 2016: 10-Year Vision: Phase One plan introduced

October 11–31, 2016: Public consultation on the Phase One plan

November 2016: Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board approve final plan

January 2017: Transit system improvements begin

Watch our FB LIVE stream of the press conference with Vancouver Mayor Robertson, Surrey Mayor Hepner and TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond.

Want more information?
More details can be found in the 10-Year Vision and the press release.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fun Poll: How do you spend your transit time?

Many riders turn to their phones on transit!

Many riders turn to their phones on transit!

Now that everyone is slowly returning to regular scheduled programming with school back in full swing and the summer months inch further away, the transit network enters its busiest time of the year.

But how do we spend our time on transit? How do YOU spend your time?

Are you a reader? A window gazer? A meet and greet commuter? A candy crusher?

Weigh in with our new poll!

Vote below to let us know how you spend the majority of your transit ride. Don’t see your choice? Select “Other” and comment with your answer below!

How do you spend your transit time?

View Results

Author: Adrienne Coling

Meet our newest contributor – Jessica!

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Welcome Jessica!

Hello hello! Although, you may have seen a few of my posts already, I’m happy to get my official introduction to you.

While I’m relatively new to the TransLink communications team, I’m not new to the organization.

Previously, I worked in communications at Coast Mountain Bus Company, where I learned the nitty gritty about the bus world. Now that I’m a quasi bus nerd, I’ve become the go-to bus expert in communications.

Like most of my TransLink peeps, I use transit ALL. THE. TIME. Although I share a car with my husband, it’s so busy in Vancouver and I absolutely hate traffic, so I much prefer to walk or take SkyTrain (hello, Mark III).

My favourite bus route is #99 – I love that I never have to check the schedule and it’s super handy for me!

My best transit memory was when I was working at Coast Mountain Bus Company, I had the opportunity to learn more about Transit Security firsthand. Read more about my experience in Bike Patrol training.

I will hopefully be posting and interacting with all of you on a regular basis.

Stay tuned to the blog so you’re in the loop on new and exciting TransLink projects.

Some of my favourite things include:

  • Chicken strips and fries (I’m 29 going on 12)
  • All things CATS!
  • Reality TV (it’s so bad, it’s good)
  • My weekend wardrobe: aka jeans and hoodies
  • Costco (my faves: peanut butter, cereal, rotisserie chickens and pot pie)

Fun Facts:

  • First job: McDonald’s, but mostly in the drive-thru. That’s where they put the all-stars.
  • First car: ‘89 Dodge Aries in maroon. The lock on the driver’s side door was broken, so I’d unlock it on the passenger side and crawl over to the driver’s seat EVERY TIME.
  • Favourite chain restaurant: Red Robin. The only place where you can get a plate of fries as an appy for FREE!

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Poll results: Saying thank you on transit takes the day!

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Transit kindness for the win! What a great poll – thanks for sharing your experiences!

You voted and saying thank you to a transit employee is the most witnessed random act of kindness with 88 votes.

Hot on its heels is offering a seat to a fellow rider with 85 votes.

Returning a lost or dropped item came in with 53 votes, paying for another rider’s fare garnered 20 votes and finally, the “other” pulled in 10 votes with some great TRAK stories attached.

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BB comment 2

 

 

Thanks for voting! Stay tuned for another fun poll this week!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Some cool photos from a friend at TRAMS

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

If you follow the blog, you’ve met Angus before and TRAMS is old hat – but oh, so awesome!

However, if this is your first foray into the transit enthusiast world, you might be unaware that old transit vehicles are HUGE for fans here in Metro Vancouver, across Canada and the world!

Angus recently sent us some great pictures (captioned by the man, himself) of an old streetcar, refurbished and being used in service on Sundays all this summer in Toronto.

He rode this streetcar as a part of a chartered tour and shared some shots from his ride PLUS some way-back-play-back pictures of transit vehicles in 1970s Toronto.

Take a look!

Thanks for thinking of us on your travels, Angus!

Do you have some interesting transit photos from around Canada and beyond?
Email us with your photos – we’d love to share them on our social channels!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Metrotown loop truss is going up!

As part of the ongoing work at Metrotown Station, construction crews will lift the second half of a massive 120 ton overhead steel structure overnight on September 10 – that’s this Saturday!

To give crews the time and space they need to safely install the loop truss, SkyTrain will not run between Patterson and Royal Oak stations after midnight on Saturday, September 10. Scheduled construction for September 9 has been cancelled.

Frequent shuttle buses will run between Patterson, Metrotown and Royal Oak stations for customers who want to travel to or from Metrotown Station, eastbound beyond Patterson Station, or westbound beyond Royal Oak Station.

Eastbound train service from Royal Oak Station will also be extended to allow connections from the last train and shuttle bus.

Customers should plan for an additional 15 to 20 minutes of travel time while the work is underway. Customers may find it faster to take the Millennium Line from Commercial-Broadway.

The loop truss is the roof of the new west stationhouse. In order to lift the 120 ton structure into place, two cranes will be used – a 250 ton crane and a 500 ton crane – yowza!

The first half of the lift was completed on August 25.

Want the latest on Metrotown Station Upgrades?
Click here or check OnTrack!

Author: Jennifer Morland

I Love Transit 2016 – Cut. Print. That’s a wrap!

I Love Transit 2016
Well, another I Love Transit week has come and gone *tear* but we’ve had a blast!

This year, we had some great events and contests plus awesome transit tales of friendship, love, LEGO and more shared by riders just like you.

Take a look at some of the #ILoveTransit because… posts from Twitter:

Don’t forget Instagram!

@translinkbc #ilovetransit because I can sit back & relax whole someone else does the driving

A video posted by Seamus Greene (@retro_wizard) on

We received lots of entries for our I Love Transit colouring contest. Here are just a few:

Colouring contest collage
And, of course, right here on the Buzzer blog, you shared your comments and transit love:

BB comment 1 BB comment 2 BB comment 3
We also got a chance to invite some lucky people to visit the brand new Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond:

HTC I Love Transit
Last, but certainly not least, we had our awesome kids I Love Transit camp!

Campers were invited to Burnaby Transit Centre where we learned about bus engines, fleet overhaul and got to see where all of our signs are made. Then we headed off to Operations Maintenance Control at BCRTC (near Edmonds Station) and checked out everything SkyTrain, including getting a spin on the SkyTrain control simulator! We even had a special, furry guest accompany Transit Security and Transit Police.

Check out the fun!

Thank you for being part of this amazing yearly tradition when we get to celebrate everything we love about transit!

We’ll see you next year! Same transit time, same transit channel.

Author: Adrienne Coling

It’s going to be a ‘green’ Christmas on the Millennium Line!

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This is the first test train on the Evergreen Line alignment in Port Moody. The train is travelling from Inlet Centre Station to Moody Centre Station. Courtesy of B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

BIG NEWS from the province today! I’ll give you two hints just in case the title didn’t resonate.

  1. Ever.
  2. Green.

So, not only is the Evergreen Extension to the Millennium Line going to be open before Christmas, but stations will also be provided with parking for commuters.

This includes 150 new spaces available for transit users at the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station that are fully funded within the project’s $1.43 billion budget and are on top of the 500 parking spaces outlined in the project’s scope!

What is TransLink doing now?

We here at TransLink are so thrilled with today’s announcement!

We continue to get ready behind the scenes to ensure that customers will have an easy transition right out of the gates.

There’s a lot to do and want to get it right before the extension officially opens.

What about the Mark IIIs?

A few Mark III trains have been on the system since August 18 and will continue to roll out and used where customers need them most.

Read the province’s entire press release here.

Want the latest on Evergreen?
The Evergreen Line Project: evergreenline.gov.bc.ca
Information in other languages is available at: evergreenline.gov.bc.ca/languages.htm
Twitter: @TranBC #EvergreenlineBC
Facebook: facebook.com/evergreenline

Author: Adrienne Coling

The Transit Service Performance Review results are in!

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Today, we released the findings of the 2015 Transit System Performance Review (TSPR), a comprehensive review of ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

FYI: This is the first year the review has expanded beyond bus!

The TSPR gives us valuable information on boardings, ridership, transit trends and more. By monitoring services and ridership, we can respond to changing demands with available resources.

“The Transit Service Performance Review demonstrates how we are actively monitoring the transit system across Metro Vancouver to improve our performance. We know where we need to reduce overcrowding, improve travel speed and respond to changing customer demands,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The 2014 Mayors’ Council Vision sets out a blue print to tackle these needs and with sustainable investment, we can take action.” 

Increasing Ridership

We had record ridership across the system in 2015 with 364 million boardings – that’s our highest ever!

Boardings remained high despite decreased per-capita service hours and slower bus speeds.

The annual review shows that ridership across the system continues to grow:

  • Total system-wide boardings increased 2.1 per cent and total bus boardings increased 2.8 per cent, year-over-year. SkyTrain passenger volumes at Canada, Expo and Millennium line stations have also increased by up to 28 per cent.
  • West Coast Express and SeaBus ridership remains steady. In 2015 there were 6.1 million recorded boardings on SeaBus; if it were a bus route, it would rank tenth highest in annual boardings!

Other trends identified during the 2015 Transit Service Performance Review include:

  • Bus boardings in all sub-regions continue to grow or remain stable
  • Some bus routes have consecutive years of growth in boardings, contrary to system-wide trend
  • Almost half of bus revenue hours with chronic overcrowding occur outside weekday peak periods
  • SkyTrain passenger volumes continue to increase
  • Weekend passenger volumes on SkyTrain are similar to weekday volumes outside of peak periods

What happens next?

Knowing how our transit system performs helps to ensure that we are responding to changing customer demand with available resources and lays the foundation for future investment. The data from the TSPR shows us the need for transit investment in our region is high.

Transit ridership across the system continues to grow despite decreased service hours and service speed. The 2014 Mayors’ Council Vision sets out a blue print to tackle these needs and with sustainable investment we can take action. We are currently developing the 10-year Investment Plan which supports the 2014 Mayors’ Council Vision.

Based on the findings from the review, we’ve strategically allocated available resources to improve the experience for our customers:

  • 15,000 revenue service hours were reallocated from bus routes with low demand to routes where customers need them most
  • Service frequencies were increased to reduce overcrowding on a number of routes, including the 49, 100 and C23 in Vancouver; C28 in the Northeast Sector; 335 and 351 in the South of Fraser; and 403 and 410 in Richmond.
  • Improvements were also made to the NightBus network to provide extended service hours and increased frequency.

Did you know?

Thirty per cent of trips on the system involve a multi-modal transfer (almost all are bus to SkyTrain transfers).

SkyTrain ridership at individual stations has grown by up to 28 per cent. The stations where ridership is growing the fastest are Canada Line stations that have experienced significant redevelopment, including:

  • Olympic Village (driven by new, mixed-used development)
  • Templeton (driven by new, McArthur Glen outlet mall)
  • Marine Gateway (driven by new, mixed-use development adjacent to the station)

Want to learn more? You can read the full report here.

Author: Jessica Hewitt