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The Frequent Transit Network map

Quick and reliable transit service revealed on a map!

The term “Frequent Transit Network” or “FTN” has been mentioned a few times on the blog. As explained on the TransLink website, the FTN “… is a network of corridors where transit service runs at least every 15 minutes in both directions throughout the day and into the evening, every day of the week.”

Besides the convenience of knowing that transit will be there every 15 minutes, the FTN makes public transit easier for these corridors since planning your trip is as simple as showing up at your stop (provided a maximum of 15 minutes is not too long of a wait for what you want to do). TransLink has just release a map of the TransLink FTN. The Human Transit blog (written by author and transit planner extraordinaire Jarrett Walker) has also recently posted about our FTN map. For more info on the map, you can check out the dedicated FTN page on the TransLink website, which speaks to the benefits the network’s benefits to not only users but for municipalities and developers.

Showing is always better than just telling, so please download the map, and let us know what you think!

10-Year Vision Spotlight – North Shore, Burnaby and New Westminster

10-Year Vision Spotlight

SeaBus service will be extended to meet the last Canada Line train as part of the planned improvements in Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision.

This post is part of our 10-Year Vision Spotlight series, breaking down the nitty gritty of what’s planned in Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision! 

Public engagement for Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision is now underway through May 11! There’s lots of improvements coming to the North Shore (Bowen Island, Lions Bay, City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver), Burnaby and New Westminster! Read more »

10-Year Vision Spotlight: South of Fraser and Southwest

10-Year Vision Spotlight


This post is part of our 10-Year Vision Spotlight series, breaking down the nitty gritty of what’s planned in Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision! 

Public engagement for Phase 2 of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision is now underway through May 11! Phase Two builds on the momentum of Phase One, bringing even more transit and transportation improvements to the region.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at all the improvements coming to South of Fraser (North Delta, Langley city, Langley township, Surrey and White Rock) and Southwest (South Delta, Richmond and Tsawwassen First Nation). Read more »

Q&A: In conversation with a transit planner—TransLink and transit in Canada

Prior to joining TransLink as a senior planner, David Cooper worked for Calgary Transit and the City of Toronto, where he supported the Toronto Transit Commission’s subway expansion projects.

Owing to TransLink’s international reputation as a progressive company in the transportation industry, our positions attract talent from across Canada and the world. Perhaps most notably, our CEO came from Seattle!

TransLink is regarded as one of the most innovative transportation companies in the world. We are unique in that we are the first North American transportation authority—and only one in Canada—to be multimodal. TransLink is responsible for the planning, financing and managing of all public transit in addition to major regional roads and bridges, transportation demand-management strategies and programs, and supporting the region’s growth strategy and regional economic development.

It was this unique challenge that spurred transit planner David Cooper to pack up and move to the Vancouver to join TransLink earlier this year as a senior planner in TransLink’s system planning department.

He came to us from Toronto where he was a senior transportation planner with the city, and prior to that, he worked for Calgary Transit.

Cooper recently sat down with The Buzzer blog to chat about working for TransLink and transit planning in Canada:

What drew you to Vancouver to work for TransLink?

I call the System Planning group the place where ideas come true at TransLink. We are advancing a vast range of projects that will forever transform our transit system.  We are advancing new fleet technologies, expanding our service, and adding new rail service.  In the transit world, you name it—we are probably doing it. Who wouldn’t want to work for an organization that is open to new ideas and is moving ahead projects that will make Metro Vancouver an even better place to live!

“Who wouldn’t want to work for an organization that is open to new ideas and is moving ahead projects that will make Metro Vancouver an even better place to live!”

—David Cooper on working for TransLink

Read more »

Happy 40th birthday SeaBus! #SeaBus40

The SeaBus on a sunny day during the Olympic period!

Fit and fabulous at 40!

Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40!!

On June 17, 1977 the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was known then) sailed into the Burrard inlet connecting downtown Vancouver and the North Shore. Retro SeaBus

Read more »

Get involved! Southwest Area Transport Plan consultation continues May 23 to June 19, 2017

Last year we began consultation for the Southwest area of Metro Vancouver that highlighted transportation improvements in Richmond, Tsawwassen First Nation, South Delta and connections to North Delta.

We’re back again with Phase 2 of the Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) and we still need your help and want your input!

Take the survey from May 23 until June 19 and have your say, your way on proposed changes for this area.

What exactly IS SWATP?

I’m so glad you asked!

SWATP is a review of this area that will focus on improving transit service and infrastructure while addressing cycling, walking, driving and goods movement.

The planning process looks at customer experience, current and projected land use and development, transportation and ridership data as well as feedback from the public, stakeholders and local governments.

What is the goal of SWATP?

Proposed changes in Phase 2 aim to:

  • Provide more reliable and convenient bus service.
  • Provide Frequent Transit Network (FTN) service along key corridors.
  • Improve bus service for growing communities and large areas of employment, including industrial areas.
  • Make NightBus more direct for service to Richmond City Centre and YVR Airport.
  • Identify regionally-significant corridors for cycling investment.

How do I get involved?

Again, so glad you asked!

First, read all about the proposed changes to Southwest area at

Take the survey!

It just takes a few minutes of your time and you can do so by clicking here.

Attend an in-person event:

Ladner May Days
Sunday, May 28, 2017
10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market
Sunday, June 4, 2017
10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Bridgeport Station
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
3 p.m.–7 p.m.

Tsawwassen Farmers Market
Saturday, June 10, 2017
10 a.m.–2 p.m.

North Delta Farmers Market
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Pick up a paper copy of the survey at these locations:

  • Delta library branches– George Mackie, Ladner Pioneer, Tsawwassen
  • Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre (North Delta)
  • KinVillage Community Centre (Tsawwassen)
  • McKee Seniors Recreation Centre (Ladner)
  • Minoru Place Activity Centre (Richmond)
  • Richmond Centre for Disability
  • Richmond Chinese Community Society
  • Richmond Public Library branches–Brighouse, Cambie, Ironwood, Steveston
  • Tsawwassen First Nation–Administration building, Lands department office

**Please note** Surveys are available in both English and traditional Chinese at in-person events. The online survey is in English only.

The feedback you share with us from May 23 to June 19 will be considered, along with other technical and budgetary factors, as we identify transportation priorities for the Southwest area.

Thank you for participating and making your voice heard!

Need more information?
Visit the project page or sign up for TransLink eNewsletters!

Author: Adrienne Coling

(Video) SeaBus extends 15 minute sailings until 9 p.m. every day!

The SeaBus is coming up on its 40th birthday in June but riders have an early reason to celebrate!

Starting May 19, taking the SeaBus to and from the North Shore is going to be even easier.

We are increasing service as part of the continued roll out of Phase One of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.

The added service means 15 minute sailings will start earlier on weekends and run every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. every day!

“The SeaBus is a fast and convenient service to and from the North Shore and we’re excited to announce it will be even more convenient with 15-minute service throughout the day and into the evening. At most times of the day, passengers won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for the next sailing. This is just one of the ways we continue to deliver on Phase One of the 10-Year Vision to reduce wait times and offer customers more flexibility.”

– Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

SeaBus service increases include:

  • 15-minute sailings starting at 6 a.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. on Sundays and most holidays.
  • 15-minute service will also extend later into the evening. Enjoy peak-hour service for departures until 9:02 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay and 9:16 p.m. from Waterfront Station every day.

What is the Frequent Transit Network?

The Frequent Transit Network (FTN) refers to convenient, reliable and easy to use transit services that are frequent enough that they do not need to refer to a schedule. Other TransLink services that are part of the FTN include the Expo, Millennium and Canada lines and B-Line bus service.

SeaBus fast facts!

  • In 2016, there were 5.9 million boardings
    • Average boardings from Monday – Friday: 17,600
    • Average boardings on Saturdays: 15,000
    • Average boardings on Sundays and holidays: 11,400
  • 100 million boardings since TransLink came into being in 1999
  • SeaBus opened for service in 1977
  • Another SeaBus will be put into service in 2019 as part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision

Over the next two years, TransLink will continue rolling out Phase One of the 10-Year Vision with a region-wide expansion of transit services and road, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Want to learn more?
Visit and read the media release here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Share your thoughts on the future of transportation in the region


2045 Employment & Population Projection map - from the regional and economic growth backgrounder document of the Regional Transportation Strategy

2045 Employment & Population Projection map – from the regional and economic growth backgrounder document of the related documents section of the Regional Transportation Strategy

Post by TransLink communications advisor Borjana Slipicevic

TransLink is updating Transport 2040, with the current Regional Transportation Strategy (RTS) and we are looking for your feedback.

By 2045, Metro Vancouver is expected to welcome one million additional residents, adding 500,000 jobs and three million more passenger trips every day. We can’t have all of those people travelling the same way we do today and keep our quality of life. Improving our system in a way that protects our health, economy, environment and our future is more important than ever.

To ensure that we can achieve all that our region aspires to and within the resources available, we need to start rethinking transportation. We are proposing an approach where we make the most of existing investments, and plan new ones around more walking, cycling and transit.

At the same time, we need to provide more management measures, such as better information, regulation and pricing so people have the tools to make different travel choices. We are also committed to working closely with local governments to encourage community plans that locate jobs, housing and services closer to the frequent transit network.

How to get involved?

We have started a dialogue on this proposed approach and would like to hear from you. Please go to, to learn more and read the Draft Strategic Framework for Consultation. Between now and July 8, 2013 you can share your perspectives via an online questionnaire.

Your input is important to us, and will help us finalize the strategic framework and develop an implementation strategy that includes investment options for the future. This is just the beginning. We will continue this conversation in the fall of 2013.


Building a better transit line: how location and land use make or break good transit service

Buses on the 9 and the 99 routes battling traffic.

This post is part of a series about Managing the Transit Network: all about how TransLink plans transit service in our region. See all the past blog posts in the series here.

This post covers pages 12-21 in the Managing the Transit Network primer.

So far in our series, we’ve talked about the overall goals and challenges for transit planning. And we’ve looked at the broad themes we keep in mind when we design a transit network. (We also did an interview with the planning team behind this project!)

But in this post, we’re going to take a look at transit planning on the street level. That is, how do we design a good bus route or transit line? (And by “good,” we mean “a transit line that serves lots of people for as much of the day as possible.”)

Well, there IS an actual answer. Generally, we try to design a transit line with nine specific elements to make it likely to serve lots of people almost all the time. They are:

  • Serve areas of strong demand
  • Have strong anchors at both ends
  • Be as direct, simple, consistent and legible as possible
  • Maintain speed and reliability along the entire route
  • Avoid duplication or competition between transit services
  • Match service levels to demand
  • Have balanced loads in each direction
  • Experience an even distribution of stop activity
  • Have an even distribution of ridership by time of day

We’ll talk about each of these elements in more detail below. But eagle eyes will already note that locations and land use of the existing environment play a big role in making a transit line a success!

Read more »

Layers of design: guiding themes for planning a transit network

The numerous layers of our transit network

This post is part a series about Managing the Transit Network: all about how TransLink plans transit service in our region. Click here to see all the posts.

When we plan our transit network, we have three main objectives: to maximize ridership, encourage long-term ridership growth and provide access to transit service across the region. With these objectives in mind, we employ four design themes that contribute to the overall network design.

Interdependence/Network Integration

Good network design requires thinking about the network as more than just a collection of isolated single transit lines. It means recognizing that each transit line influences and depends on the others. For a network to be useful, it is integral that all the parts work together and complement each other.

Networks by nature connect. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a network as, “a fabric or structure of cords or wires that cross at regular intervals and are knotted or secured at the crossings.” That fabric/structure in Metro Vancouver consists of cycling infrastructure, rapid transit, frequent transit, local transit service and road and pedestrian infrastructure. This, of course, includes SkyTrain lines, bus lines as well as cycling and pedestrians paths.

Everyone would love to have a direct one-seat ride from their home to work, but that simply isn’t doable with public transit, since we all live and work in different places. TransLink tries to help people get where they want to go quickly and efficiently by providing high-frequency service between key connection points (the knotted crossings of the dictionary definition) in the transit network. The inconvenience of having to transfer is often overcome by shorter wait times, leading to faster travel times overall. Jarrett Walker’s blog explains transit networks versus no-transfer service very well. Read more »

Big goals, big challenges: what we think about when planning the transit network

The 17 UBC out and about in 2010. (The route is now the 14 UBC, but it's still a great photo of one of our buses out in normal traffic!)

This post is first in a series about Managing the Transit Network: all about how TransLink plans transit service in our region. See all the blog posts in the series here.

By Tina Robinson

Since I started working at TransLink, many of my friends and family have told me what they think is wrong (and right) with our transit system. And I’ve been told all the solutions as well: “You guys should just run a few extra buses on that route.” Or, “All you have to do is run more buses in the morning that way and more buses in the afternoon the other way.” And, of course, “I would take transit more if the bus came more often where I live.”

What I’ve come to realize is that managing a transit network isn’t so simple, especially when resources are limited. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding where transit should go and the level of service to provide. TransLink’s new Managing the Transit Network primer  describes what our planners think about when they design services and what makes a transit network work well. We’re going to break down the primer over the next few weeks in a series of blog posts.

In this post, we’re looking at the objectives we think about when we design and manage the transit network. And, more significantly, the challenge we face in balancing all three.

Read more »

Park and rides: let’s talk about them

CBC Video of an interview with Jason Martin, TransLink’s communications manager, about future park and ride policy.

It seems like lots of local media are talking about TransLink and park and ride policy these days!

So we wanted to take a moment to talk about our approach to park and rides, and the South Surrey Park and Ride situation.

First, check out the news video above from CBC, and have a look through these park and ride articles about South Surrey and more:

And let’s talk more about park and rides below.

Read more »

New wayfinding signage is going up around the region

Old and new bus stop signs in North Vancouver. You can hardly see the old sign!

Astute riders may have noticed some new signage up at bus stops and transit exchanges in the region lately! It’s all part of our new wayfinding strategy, designed to help everyone better understand the transit system. (For more, check out Robert’s overview post on the strategy here.)

I got planner Jeff Deby to help explain what new signage is out there right now. Here we go!

Read more »

North Shore Area Transit Plan

The longer I spend at TransLink, the more I realize how much work is put towards planning for the future of transit. Besides the day-to-day monitoring of bus routes and flow of customers, planners are constantly looking to the future of transit. Part of this process includes putting together a coordinated plan for all the communities TransLink services.

Teresa O'Reilly in front of some work on the NSATP

Starting today, TransLink is announcing Phase 3 of the four-phased North Shore Area Transit Plan (NSATP). In late 2010, analysis of the current network was carried out as Phase 1 of the plan. Phase 2, completed from January to June 2011, was the development of a long-term vision for the next 30 years. Phase 3 starts in January and goes until June 2012. Phase 4 is the monitoring phase, which will continue until the planning process begins again.  To find out more about these plans, I sat down with Teresa O’Reilly. Teresa is the Manager of the Area Transit Plan Program. Read more »

Links and tidbits for Tue Feb 1, 2011

I saw this written on a bus window this winter :)

Tidbits and links on transportation from the last little while!

If you have any items to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at! (Seriously: photos. Send them to me!)