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Out on the roads, spot the reindeer bus!

We spotted the bus today!

Beep beep! Rudolph is running on a route near you!

**Extra points for you if you sang the title to the tune of “Up on the Housetop!”**

‘Tis the season for the reindeer bus and reindeer community shuttle to be out and about on regular routes around Metro Vancouver starting tomorrow for the whole month of December!

reindeer bus

This community shuttle has a very shiny nose!

For 30 years, these decorated vehicles have spread the holiday cheer and surprise passengers with a unique ride throughout Metro Vancouver!

The reindeer bus kicked into gear a little early last week with a visit to Toys for Tots. This year, TransLink and its operating companies have promised 3,000 toys to help make this Christmas extra special for children in our communities!

When they are not out on the road, the reindeer bus calls the Vancouver Transit Centre home.

Head to Twitter where our team will try their best to tweet out what routes the two reindeer will be serving so you can hop on!

Keep your eyes peeled for our reindeer and send us your pictures of it!

Tweet your photos to @TheBuzzer using the hashtag #ReindeerBus, post them onto Instagram mentioning @TransLinkBC and hashtag #ReindeerBus, or email thebuzzer@translink.ca. We’ll be sharing some of our favourites!

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle delivers two busloads of toys in 2014

On Friday, December 19, the TransLink Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle delivered approximately 3,500 unwrapped toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau as part of our annual Toys for Tots charity drive!

Sparky the Elf with Global BC's Sophie Lui

Sparky the Elf with Global BC’s Sophie Lui

Toys for Tots collects newly unwrapped toys or money for the less fortunate and since the launch of the program, employees from TransLink and its subsidiaries Coast Mountain Bus Company, BC Rapid Transit Company and Transit Police have donated 61,000 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

Throughout the month of December, the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle have been surprising commuters with a unique ride. Sparky the Elf, Mr. and Mrs. Claus along with the bus also visited Ronald McDonald House, Canuck Place, the Simon Fraser Center for Community Assisted Living and various bus loops handing out candy canes and spreading the holiday cheer.

“We were greeted by many in the public smiling, waving and even taking pictures of the bus,” Sparky the Elf said. “We found great pleasure again in pulling the bus to the curb near children and surprising them by having Santa exit the bus giving out candy canes to them.”

Staff from Coast Mountain Bus Company have been dressing up one bus and one community shuttle as a reindeer for over 25 years, starting just after the very first Toys for Tots charity drive done in 1987.

Look for the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle this holiday season starting on Mon, Dec 1, 2014!

We spotted the bus today!

We spotted the bus today!

Photo by David Lam

Photo by David Lam

What’s a sure sign of the holiday season in the Lower Mainland? Sightings of our Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle!

The reindeer bus and shuttle will be out and about starting on Monday, December 1, spreading the holiday cheer and surprising passengers with a unique ride throughout Metro Vancouver. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf will also be on the bus periodically and stopping at mystery stops!

Keep an eye out to see if they’re in your neighbourhood. But if you do want more specific locations, the TransLink Twitter account will be tweeting the location of the reindeer bus and shuttle when they know where they are.

And just to clarify, the reindeer bus does NOT offer free rides, but there may be some tinsel and holiday treats presented by your friendly transit operator!

Staff from Coast Mountain Bus Company have been dressing up one bus and one community shuttle as a reindeer for over 25 years, starting just after the very first Toys for Tots charity drive done in 1987. Toys for Tots collects newly unwrapped toys or money for the less fortunate and the entire supply of donations to is delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies by the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle.

Keep your eyes peeled for the bus and send us your pictures of it! Tweet them to @TheBuzzer using the hashtag #ReindeerBus, post them onto Instagram mentioning @TransLinkBC and hashtagging #ReindeerBus, or email thebuzzer@translink.ca. We’ll be sharing some of our favourites!

Photo by Laura Wilby

Photo by Laura Wilby

Author: Allen Tung

Spot the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle Contest and help TransLink spread some holiday cheer!

TransLink Reindeer Bus at Pan Pacific

The Reindeer Bus at Pan Pacific

You may have already seen these two cheerful transit characters around Metro Vancouver. The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle have been making there way on different routes in Metro Vancouver since mid-November and will continue to be in service into January. Have you spotted them yet?

The Reindeer Bus’ most recent public event appearance was visiting the Christmas Wish Breakfast, hosted by the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau at the Pan Pacific Hotel on December 11, 2013 (see picture). That particular Reindeer bus had Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf Sparky inside.

The festive threesome also visited mystery stops between December 10-13 throughout Metro Vancouver; and will be part of the Toys for Tots campaign run on December 19-20. Both the Reindeer Bus and Community shuttle will deliver two buses full of new, unwrapped toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau as part of its employee-driven Toys for Tots program. Toys for Tots was created in 1985 by a group of eight BC Transit bus operators out of the Surrey Transit Centre. TransLink and its employees are invited to donate to the cause throughout November and December.

Spot the Reindeer Bus or Shuttle and Win one of two monthly January 2014 FareCards!

Want to win? Send your picture our way of the Reindeer Bus or Shuttle in one of three ways:

1. Tweet it to @TransLink with the hashtag #TLReindeerBus.

2. Email it to thebuzzer@translink.ca and make sure to include #TLReindeerBus in the subject line.

3. Post it on our Facebook page with hashtag #TLReindeerBus.

* Remember to read our terms and conditions to get the specifics – contest terms and conditions.

We’ll be randomly drawing two winners on these dates:

Draw #1 will be on Friday, December 20, 2013. Cutoff for entries will be 11:59 p.m. on December 19, 2013.

Draw #2 will be on Friday, December 27, 2013. Cutoff for entries will be 11:59 p.m. on December 26, 2013.

There you go. Get those camera and phones out and snap some holiday transit magic and you might be getting an early or late Christmas present for your trouble!

Photo by Laura Wilby

Photo by Laura Wilby

Author: Angela Chang

2012 Reindeer Bus and shuttle and photo contest

Photo by Laura Wilby

What’s a sure sign of the holiday season in the Lower Mainland? Sightings of our annual reindeer bus and shuttle, appearing on routes throughout December! If you spot one of the popular buses, be sure to snap a picture and send it our way by December 20 for your chance to win a monthly FareCard.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf will also be on the bus periodically and stopping at mystery stops between December 10-13 throughout Metro Vancouver. The bus and shuttle will also be part of the Toys for Tots run on December 19-20.

Want to win? Just tweet us your picture of the reindeer bus or shuttle in one of three ways:

1. Tweet it with the hashtag #tlcontest.

2. Email it to thebuzzer@translink.ca.

3. Post it on our Facebook page.

The winner will be announced on December 21, 2012.

Update: The randomly chosen winner of the contest is Kevin W. Congratulations to him and everyone who participated!

Kevin W’s winner Reindeer Bus photo!

 

 

The 2011 Reindeer Bus

ReindeerBus

Happy holidays from the ReindeerBus!

You may have noticed the ReindeerBus over the last few weeks, making its rounds of the Lower Mainland. After paying special visits to Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House (along with Mr. and Mrs. Claus of course), it’s been stopping by TransLink operations, collecting toys donated by employees for our Toys for Tots program. All the toys go to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau to distribute.

The ReindeerBus popped by TransLink head office yesterday to pick up donations from staff here and, as you can see in the photo below, it was already well on its way to being packed with toys.

John Strachan, Head Elf during the holiday season (and a CMBC operator instructor the rest of the year), says that the bus has collected more than 2,700 toys this year.

You can read more about the origins of the ReindeerBus in this 2008 post, and see some amazing photos of the bus and its community shuttle sibling in this post from last year.

Toys on the ReindeerBus

The ReindeerBus filling up with toys.

Author: Tina Robinson

The 2010 reindeer bus and community shuttle

The C28 community shuttle, dressed up as a reindeer! Photo by Chris Cassidy.

Our reindeer bus, photographed by David Lam! Click the picture to see David's full gallery of reindeer bus photos.

Chris Cassidy sent along some photos of the 2010 reindeer community shuttle this morning, so I thought I’d give the reindeer buses their own post :)

If you don’t know, one TransLink bus and one community shuttle get dressed up as reindeer every year. Staff from the Coast Mountain Bus Company have been performing this bit of holiday magic for over 20 years, starting just after the very first Toys for Tots charity drive done by the company in 1987. Check out this 2008 post for more history, plus the challenges of finding the right antlers and nose that work on the road!

The bus and community shuttle get dispatched all over the Lower Mainland, so just keep an eye out to see if they’re in your neighbourhood. But if you do want more specific locations, the TransLink Twitter account has also been tweeting the location of the reindeer bus and shuttle when they know where they are.

And just to clarify, the reindeer bus does NOT offer free rides, but there may be some tinsel and holiday treats presented by your friendly transit operator!

For more pictures of the 2010 reindeer buses, check out Chris’s reindeer shuttle gallery, and David Lam’s reindeer bus gallery. Here’s one more picture of the reindeer shuttle’s festive interior!

The interior of the reindeer shuttle. Photo by Chris Cassidy.

The reindeer buses are out and about

Santa and his friends with CMBC's reindeer bus!

Santa and his friends with CMBC's reindeer bus!

Here’s one of our two reindeer buses, who have been out on the road spreading Christmas cheer this week!

Our reindeer bus and reindeer community shuttle have been travelling around Vancouver, surprising passengers with a little Christmas fun on their regular routes. (There’s no telling where they’ll be –operators have to request the reindeer bus each day, and it’s popular!) The reindeer were also in a number of Christmas parades this year, including the Rogers Santa Claus parade and the Hyack parade.

But the chief job of the reindeer is delivering toys to charity every year. On Dec. 17 and 18, the buses will be loaded up with toys collected by TransLink and its subsidiaries, and the reindeers deliver them to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. (That’s 46,000 toys and $37,000 so far, and that doesn’t include 2008!)

Read more »

Ho-Ho-Hold on to your Compass Cards, Rudolph is comin’ to town!

Reindeer Bus

That’s right, the Reindeer Bus (aka: 9543) has saddled up and is ready to spread some holiday cheer throughout the region. The Reindeer Bus operates out of Vancouver Transit Centre (VTC), so expect to see it on Vancouver streets as soon as tomorrow!

Read more »

Santa is ready to tap his way across the region – just in case!

Santa-01

Don’t make Santa’s naughty list – Be sure to tap in and out at all Compass gates!

We all know the Santa flies around the world on Christmas Eve in his sleigh with some help from Dasher, Dancer and the rest of the reindeer crew.

But what happens if the sleigh malfunctions or the reindeer catch a cold and can’t fly?

How ever will Santa get around Metro Vancouver?!?

Well, we’ve got you covered, Nick!

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to report that I have spoken with Santa who confirmed that his Compass Card is loaded and ready to use on Christmas Eve.

“Santa informed me that in the event of an unfortunate sleigh malfunction, or in case Rudolph or any of the other reindeer need a quick rest during present-delivery duties, he will be depending on TransLink’s convenient public transit network to efficiently deliver presents to children across Metro Vancouver.

“Compass Cards facilitate travel on the region’s buses, SkyTrains and SeaBuses as well as the West Coast Express, which is why it is on Santa’s list of “recommended” stocking stuffers. The cards are already popular with Metro Vancouver residents – over one million Compass Cards are in active use by more than one in three people in TransLink’s service area.

“I also had the pleasure of speaking with Mrs. Claus who told me that while Santa and his elves have been hard at work this past month making lists and checking them twice, she did hear about the historic opening of the Evergreen extension and has packed a SkyTrain map alongside Santa’s Compass Card to ensure that he can easily navigate the longest, fully automated rapid transit system in the world.

“Both Santa and Mrs. Claus wish Metro Vancouver transit users a safe and Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing them on transit in the New Year!”

Author: Adrienne Coling

The season of giving continues with thousands of donations for Toys for Tots

DSC_1096

Delivering our promissory note of 3,000 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau!

IMG_1529

Lots’o’toys!

It was a unseasonably chilly morning when Sparky the Elf promised 3,000 new, unwrapped toys on behalf of TransLink and its operating companies to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau (LMCB), but the air was filled with warm, holiday cheer!

Toys for Tots in our region was developed by a group of BC Transit operators back in 1985.

Each year since, the employees of the TransLink enterprise have donated to the less fortunate during the holiday season.

Donations have been made at all eight transit centres, TransLink Lost Property as well as HQs for TransLink, CMBC, BCRTC and Transit Police.

How do we deliver these packages of Christmas joy to the LMCB? By reindeer bus and shuttle, of course!

Santa, Mrs Claus, Sparky, Prancer (that’s me) and some plucky helpers collected 6,111 toys and items from across the Enterprise! That is on top of over $500 of cash donations!

This year is record-breaking and it wouldn’t have been possible without the immense generosity from all of our staff to make this season a little brighter for those in need.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink Facebook reaches 20,000 likes!

Here's to the next 20,000!

Here’s to the next 20,000!

Twenty grand. Likes, that is.

We are so pleased to announce that the TransLink Facebook page has officially reached the milestone of having 20,000 likes. Actually, right now we’re at 20,323 and climbing!

We strive to make our Facebook page accessible, transparent, informative and a whole lot of fun!

Therefore, in honour of our growing online community, we’d like to take a look back at 20 of our favourite Facebook posts.

If you have favourites that aren’t featured here, be sure to comment below!

Enjoy!

Check out the story behind SkyTrain chimes – November 2010

Customer Information on Twitter started out as a pilot project – December 2010

An Olympic look back one year later – January 2011

Pet Peeves Battle Royale – November 2011

SkyTrain photo project by Alejandro Mejía Greene – December 2011

A dress made out of nearly 3,000 fare transfers? YEP! – May 2012

Early edition print Buzzer cartoon – October 2012

Bbbb…rrrraaaaiiiinnnnsssss…I mean, bus operator zombie – October 2012

They found love in a transit place – August 2013

Happy 5th birthday, Canada Line! – August 2014

Our annual I Love Transit Camp – August 2014

Cutest. SkyTrain. Ever. – November 2014

Sparky the Elf, Mr. and Mrs Claus and a Reindeer Bus! – December 2014

Rocky loves transit so much he wants to ride the bus! – March 2015

Transfer throwback – March 2015

A surprise serenade at Burrard Station from PALS Chorus – May 2015

Compass 101 video – Where to get a Compass Card – October 2015

Our region’s SkyTrain riding, celebrity crow, Canuck – December 2015

Compass gates are closing! – March 2016

Be a SkyTrain VIP! – April 2016

Author: Adrienne Coling

Links and Tidbits – December 18, 2015

Links and tidbits is our semi-regular roundup of interesting fodder about transportation from the last few weeks or so. If you have links to contribute, put them in the comments, or email us.

Rudolph reindeer bus

Our very own Rudolph ready to drive the Reindeer Bus!

»   TransLink continued the wonderful tradition of gathering thousands of toys for less fortunate children in the Lower Mainland with our Reindeer Bus!

»   From bus routes to humble abode. This Georgia couple turned an old bus into a house!

»   Serial bus thieves? They exist! You think he would’ve learned his lesson after 10 or 20 arrests!

»   It’s like… a lava lamp. Have some time to kill? Watch this oddly fascinating, real time transit tracker in Germany.

»   A new study suggests that living near transit lines may be good for your mental health!

»   From mind to body! A Japanese study found commuters who take the bus have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke than people who drive.

»   This TTC operator is making the most of his bus break with some push ups!

»   Riders who get stuck on downed trains in NYC can request a late-to-work slip from the MTA. Last year’s count? 100,000!

»   Germaphobes beware!! Take a look at what bacteria are lurking on a subway pole. Lucky you, there are pictures.

»   You have goat to be kidding me…

»   Talkin’ ’bout my generation. In Bostonl, millennials love transit!

»   You know nothing, Jon Snow. We’d LOVE to sit next to you and your posters on the bus!

»   We may have crows but Teipei has cranes!

»   This is like SkyTrain Inception. Thank you to @wetcoastlife for the share!

»   Washington pokes fun at the different types of “transit haters” in their region.

»   Lump. Throat. Watery eyes. These types of transit interactions truly warm my heart!

»   Waste not, want not! London’s old tube cars are being transformed into traditional rail trains for Northern England.

»   Read minds with a new virtual reality experience in the New York subway system!

»   Daycare on a train? How exactly are you going to get the kids to leave? Playtime is WAY better than getting off at your stop! (In reality, I think it’s more likely that this was a converted retired transit vehicle).

Play pen transit car
»   TTC throwback to the first bus route in Toronto and on a double decker no less!

»   FINALLY! I think those grates are scary enough without getting your heel stuck!

»   This new app guides visually impaired riders through London’s Underground through audio instructions. The future is now!

»   The ultimate showdown in transit mapping: Google vs. Apple.

»   Avoid waiting for trains in NYC by walking to your station. This chart shows you how much you’ll burn!

»   At Union Square station in NYC you can find this guy playing a mean sax, dancing like no one’s watching and using transit! That’s my kind of triple threat!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Toys for Tots is back for another holiday season!

Toys on the ReindeerBus

The Reindeer Bus filling up with toys.

Toys for Tots is a wonderful program where you can donate new, unwrapped toys or money to the less fortunate to brighten their holiday season.

Created by a group of BC Transit bus drivers, we have been donating to this cause since 1985!

Last year, Toys for Tots delivered 3,559 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau with the grand total of 66,267 since the launch of the program.

Reindeer bus

Sparky the elf delivering our promissory note of 3,000 toys!

Nearly $700 was also contributed to the donations, totalling $43,939.96 since 1985.

This year, we started our collection on November 26 when we promised 3,000 toys to the program!

The donations are being collected today and tomorrow by Santa and Mrs. Claus (plus Sparky the elf!) at TransLink head office and all the operating companies.

The toys will be loaded onto the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle and be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies on December 17.

Here are some pictures from the Toys for Tots pick up from TransLink head office at Sapperton in New Westminster!

Check out the video from last year!

Author: Adrienne Coling

 

Buzzer illustrator interview: Hazel Cheng

The December 2014 issue of the Buzzer's illustration done by Hazel Cheng!

The December 2014 issue of the Buzzer’s illustration done by Hazel Cheng!

Oh, look what do we have here – another Buzzer illustrator interview! We were lucky enough to have Emily Carr University of Art + Design student Hazel Cheng illustrate the December 2014 issue of the Buzzer.

‘Tis the season of giving and Hazel really captured that for us in her illustration. Throughout the month of December, our Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle has been out and about spreading the holiday cheer. On December 18, the bus will be delivering toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies as part of our annual Toys for Tots charity drive.

Hazel was nice enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about herself and her work:

Who is Hazel Cheng?
I am an illustrator living in Richmond. My website is hazelcheng.weebly.com.

Tell me about the work you do.
Right now, I am working through a children’s book that deals with some struggles of immigration. It’s something that has come to my attention recently after a trip I made this year.

What’s your favourite thing to draw?
A recurring subject in my art are animals, usually small and fuzzy ones.

Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite route or mode transit?
Yes, I enjoy taking buses that I’ve never taken before, and going to far away places. I like the routes on the highways, speeding past the farmland with the mountains in the background.

What’s next for you?
Graduating university, and then I’d like to keep on telling stories.

Thanks for your time Hazel! Pick up your copy of the December 2014 issue today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or download it here. The next issue of the Buzzer will be out February 2015 – that means the next illustrator interview will be then too!

Author: Allen Tung