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Translink Buzzer Blog

Meet Your Transit Police: 5 things you might not know!

Cst. Avgerinos and Cst. Cheng speaking to a transit operator at Braid Station.

National Police Week is May 13–19! This week, police forces across from Canada are connecting with their communities and increasing awareness about the services they provide. Here on The Buzzer blog, we’re kicking off our new series, Meet Your Transit Police!

This will be a semi-regular series that profiles members of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, who ensure safety and security on and around the region’s public transportation system, including SkyTrain, bus, SeaBus and West Coast Express.

Metro Vancouver is home to Canada’s only public police force dedicated to transit with full provincial policing powers: Metro Vancouver Transit Police (MVTP). They’re responsible for a service area that crosses 21 municipalities and one First Nation, working to reduce crime and disorder through community policing and beat-style patrols.

Here are five things you might know about Transit Police!

They’re provincial police officers

Transit Police officers are designated provincial police officers. It means they have full police powers throughout the province of British Columbia, 24/7, on and off duty—the same as municipal police officers in British Columbia.

Dogs with jobs

The Transit Police Dog Service Unit, specializing in explosives detection, patrols the system. It’s just one of the many initiatives that keep the system safe!  The unit is comprised of four Labradors: Lucie, Cruiser, Kona and Diesel. They’re friendly and you are often welcome to pet them—just make sure you ask their human partner for permission first!

A photo of Transit Police constable Leanne Smith and police service dog Diesel

Cst. Leanne Smith with police service dog Diesel

On duty 24/7/365

The Metro Vancouver Transit Police Operations Centre is available 24/7/365, responding to non-emergency events texted to 87.77.77 and calls to 604.515.8300. Remember—in an emergency, always call 9-1-1.

Patrol operations are guided by intelligence reports and crime trend analysis. Transit Police also works closely with Transit Security on ensuring the safety and security of bus operators and passengers across Metro Vancouver.

Policing the moving city

Metro Vancouver Transit Police responds to incidents all over the transit system, and deploys foot patrols and mobile response units. Their work is guided by four operational priorities: reducing sexual offences, reducing frontline workplace assaults, helping vulnerable people in crisis and building system resiliency.

Transit Police patrols 144 kilometres of rail, 63 transit stations, the SeaBus, and more than 1,500 buses and 200 bus routes, spread out over 1,800 square kilometres.

Walking the beat

Did you know Transit Police officers usually patrol the same areas each day? It’s called walking the beat. This community-focused, holistic approach allows our Neighbourhood Police Officers (NPOs) to develop specialist knowledge of the areas they work in and understand the particular needs of each community.  This approach translates into a safer journey for all passengers and safer workplace for transit staff.

Over the coming months, we’ll be profiling members of Transit Police and all they to do keep our transit system safe!

Visit transitpolice.ca to learn more, or follow Transit Police on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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 »

Granville Escalator Replacement Project set to begin on May 26


The escalators at SkyTrain’s Granville Station—the longest in Metro Vancouver—carry 30,000 people per day and have been operating since the Expo Line opened in 1986. That’s more than 30 years!

The time has come for them to be replaced to ensure the escalators are safe and reliable for our customers today and well into the future. That’s why we’re embarking on an ambitious project to replace the six escalators at Granville Station, beginning with the three main escalators on May 26 and continuing for about two years.

The Seymour Street entrance to Granville Station will be closed for the duration of this work in order to ensure the safety of customers and construction crews, and minimize project cost and time. Customers will access the station from the escalators and elevator at the Dunsmuir Street entrance where new fare gates have been installed for the increased passenger volume.

Customers are asked to allow for extra travel time or consider using Burrard or Stadium–Chinatown stations, a five to eight minute walk away. Additional SkyTrain staff will be on site to assist customers.

DID YOU KNOW? 💡 The escalators at Granville Station are the longest in Metro Vancouver at 115 feet (35 metres) long!

It’s no easy feat as it’s not your typical escalator installation! The confined location of the escalators requires them to be built on-site piece-by-piece.

Escalators typically come prefabricated and can be installed in about six months. However, the length of the escalators at Granville Station (the three main ones are the longest in Metro Vancouver!) and the challenges of bringing large prefabricated pieces into a constrained, underground space means the escalators must be built and assembled on site, and must be adapted to the exiting truss.

The Granville Station Escalator Replacement Project is part of the TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program, our annual investment in repairing, replacing and improving aging infrastructure across the system to keep customers safe, comfortable and moving across a reliable transit network every day.

In total, 37 escalators at 13 SkyTrain stations along the Expo Line and at select West Coast Express stations will be replaced through the Expo Line Escalator Replacement Project, with Granville Station up first. Improvements to the other 12 stations are anticipated to begin rolling out in 2019.

Extensive proactive maintenance is being completed on the three escalators serving the Dunsmuir entrance at Granville Station to reduce the need for unplanned maintenance, and replacement parts have been pre-ordered to allow for faster repairs.

Learn 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 »

SeaBus seismic upgrades and terminal renovations begin

Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink, and Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver–Centre, reveals a sketch of the upgraded Waterfront Road entrance at the SeaBus’s south terminal.

A lot of exciting things are happening with SeaBus!

As part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, a new SeaBus is being built and service increased to every 15 minutes all day and every 10 minutes during peak! In Phase Two, which public engagement is underway for, SeaBus service is set to increase so it meets the last Canada Line train.

And beginning today are seismic upgrades and accessibility improvements to Waterfront Station’s SeaBus terminal! It’s all part of the annual TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program, which kicks off for 2018 with this project. The improvements include:

  • Four replacement escalators, one replacement elevator and a new elevator.
  • A new staircase to make it easier to transfer to SkyTrain at Waterfront Station and improve passenger flow during peak times.
  • An extension with a new entrance and Compass Vending Machine for customers accessing SeaBus from HeliJet or Waterfront Road.

DID YOU KNOW?💡 More than 5.8 million passengers rode the SeaBus in 2017, passing through the terminals at Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay!

SeaBus will continue to operate as normal during the upgrades and the terminal will remain fully accessible.

These improvements are made possible through partnership between TransLink and senior levels of government, which includes provincial and federal contributions through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

The TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program is our annual investment in repairing, replacing and improving aging infrastructure across the system to keep customers safe, comfortable and moving across a reliable transit network every day.

There are currently 98 active maintenance and repair projects throughout the transit system—this is an investment of $200 million!

Future investments totaling $150 million is also planned as part of this integral long-term initiative to maintain and improve our transit network. Key initiatives include running rail and rail pad replacement, SkyTrain station upgrades, upgrades to the Major Road Network including the rehabilitation of Westham Island Bridge, and bus fleet replacement.

Watch the announcement

10-Year Vision Spotlight: Vancouver, UBC and University Endowment Lands

10-Year Vision Spotlight

As part of Phase 2 of the 10-Year Vision, potential upgrades, such as transit priority and enhanced passenger amenities, are planned for the 95 B-Line.

We’ve got a lot going on at TransLink these days. Already underway, Phase One of the 10-Year Vision is bringing a 10 per cent increase in bus service across the region and more!

Among the funded and implemented improvements in the Vancouver, UBC and University Endowment Lands communities are new B-Line routes on Hastings Street and 41st Avenue, increased service on SeaBus and 17 different bus routes, SkyTrain fleet expansion, as well as upgrades to SkyTrain stations, cycling, road and pedestrian infrastructure.

Phase Two, building on the first phase’s momentum, is set bring even more improvements to these communities and the rest of the region!

As part of Phase Two, we’re planning potential upgrades, such as transit priority and enhanced passenger amenities, for the 95 B-Line on Hastings Street and the new 41st Avenue B-Line.

We’re introducing service to the growing East Fraser Lands (River District) community and more NightBus service is coming with extended hours of service. We’re reducing wait times on the 26, 27, 44 and 100 as well reducing overcrowding on the 2, 4, 14, 25, 44, 49 and 84.

These are only the bus improvements! We are also introducing SkyTrain improvements, planning for rapid transit to UBC’s Point Grey campus, and building and operating an extension of the Millennium Line along Broadway to Arbutus Street.

Public engagement on Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision is now underway until May 11! Visit tenyearvision.translink.ca to learn more and have your say.

Going for a world record: fastest time to travel to all SkyTrain stations

Stephen Quinlan

Stephen Quinlan will attempt to set a world record for the fastest time to travel to all 53 SkyTrain stations on May 4.

Ever since he was a young child, Stephen Quinlan has wanted to be a world-record holder.

Originally from the United Kingdom, he grew up watching the BBC show Record Breakers, a children’s show that followed contestants as they sought to break a myriad of Guinness World Records.

Now, he’s getting ready to fulfill that dream.

Read more »

Have your say! Public engagement begins for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision

Have your say! Public engagement on the Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision is open from April 30 to May 11.

Public engagement begins today for the investment plan to fund Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision! This is your opportunity to comment on the spending priorities and the sources of revenue for the program.

You can learn more and provide feedback online at tenyearvision.translink.ca until May 11 or attend any of the eight pop-up open houses (see below for schedule) being held around the region.

Read more »

Get involved! Take this international benchmarking survey for bus and SkyTrain until May 7, 2018

TransLink is a part of the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) and CoMET and Nova benchmarking groups, which measure the performance of larger transit agencies across the globe.

Each year, we ask our riders to participate in benchmarking surveys that help us look at best practices, customer satisfaction and performance measurements. Your feedback is extremely important to help make our bus and SkyTrain service better than ever!

Read more »

5 things you need to know about Tap to Pay launching on May 22

Get ready…Tap to Pay launches on May 22! That means Compass Card readers will accept contactless Visa® and Mastercard® credit cards as a convenient way to pay an adult, cash fare. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay with a Visa® and Mastercard® credit card linked will also be accepted. Please note: card readers will not accept debit cards, including Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit cards.

Here are five things you need to know to get ready:

1. Tap your card, not your wallet

Tap only the card you intend to pay with, whether it’s a Compass Card or a contactless Visa® and MasterCard® credit card. This ensures the correct card is charged once the technology goes live.

If more than one payment card is presented at a card reader through tapping a wallet or any item with multiple cards inside, the system will charge the first card it detects, which may not be the one you intended for payment. Read more »

Bus Route Buzz – TransLink’s Spring Service Changes begin on April 23, 2018

Bus Route Buzz

Photo of the 403 Three Road/Bridgeport Station bus

The 403 Three Road/Bridgeport Station is one of the routes that will see increased service as part of the 10-Year Vision, beginning on Monday, April 23. (Photo: UltraBuizel10/Flickr)

It’s that time of the year again—Spring Service Changes is here! Most changes are effective Monday, April 23.

As part of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision, we’re delivering increased service at busy times on the 229 Lonsdale Quay/Lynn Valley, 337 Fraser Heights/Guildford/Surrey Central Station and 403 Three Road/Bridgeport Station to reduce wait times for our customers.

Map of the 129 and 133 routes

Map of the 129 and 133 routes starting on Apr. 23 (click to enlarge)

The 129 route is renaming into the 129 Patterson Station/Holdom Station and 133 Holdom Station/Edmonds Station to make the routing easier understand and more intuitive for our customers.

Bus routes that service post-secondary institutions, including the 125, 145 and 480, will be adjusted to better reflect ridership during summer semester.

C-ya later! We’re phasing out the “C” on more community shuttle routes this round of service changes, so your route number may be changing. Among them is the C18 and C20, which are now the 68 UBC Exchange/Lower Mall and 70 UBC Exchange/Westbrook Mall.

The letter “C” used to indicate that a route was only served with community shuttle buses. Today, we can better serve our customers by operating different sizes of buses interchangeably, depending on demand.

These are just a few highlights from the Spring Service Changes! For a complete list of the improvements we’re bringing to your neighbourhood, visit translink.ca/servicechanges and stay tuned for Bus Route Buzz.

Four times a year (spring, summer, fall, and winter), TransLink updates its bus service schedules to reflect seasonal changes in customer demand and to optimize service.

 Plan your trip at translink.ca/tripplanner! Have specific route questions? Tweet us @TransLink or call 604.953.3333.

TransLink recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018!

TransLink is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018! Pictured is a New Flyer battery-electric bus that the enterprise will be testing next year.

Each year, Earth Day (April 22) aims to encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly!

TransLink works diligently in our day-to-day operations to protect our planet, and this year—just time for Earth Day—our efforts have been recognized with a placement among Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018!

The Canada’s Greenest Employers designation, selected by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, recognizes employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations. TransLink earned this distinction as an enterprise, which includes British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, Coast Mountain Bus Company and Metro Vancouver Transit Police. Read more »

Wayfinding 101: the SkyTrain, B-Line and SeaBus Network map (in depth)

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

This week, we’re going to do something a little different and bring you a guest post from Jada Stevens, wayfinding specialist and graphic artist at TransLink.

She designs TransLink’s myriad of maps, including the SkyTrain, B-Line and SeaBus Network map that’s found at SkyTrain’s platform level. This map is used as a high-level snapshot of our fastest, most frequent and highest-capacity modes of transit. The routes on this map create the foundation of TransLink’s  entire network, and these routes have become synonymous to the growth and liveability of our region.

It’s up against Chile’s Santiago Metro in the World Cup of Transit Maps today, so we’d thought we’d reach out to Jada to write a guest post about all the quirks and details about this map! Read more »

Wayfinding 101: progressive disclosure

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

Wayfinding signage at Main Street–Science World Station helps customers find the platform they need to be at to catch their train.

In our introductory post for the series, we talked about how wayfinding tools distill complex environments into easily navigable chunks for our customers by providing pertinent information only when needed. This is called progressive disclosure!

For example, if you are on the SkyTrain and planning to transfer to a B-Line bus, our in-car diagrams will show you the transfer stations to the B-Line, using the orange B-Line branding.

To confirm that you are travelling towards the B-Line stop, we use the same orange B-Line branding at all decision points as you exit a station. And you will recognize the B-Line stop as you will see the same branding on the bus stop sign. Read more »

A conversation with James Tanaka, our dapper transit operator!

James Tanaka

James Tanaka

An infectious smile and passion for providing great customer service. Smart, well-dressed and dapper in his bow-tie.

There are just some of the ways customers and colleagues describe James Tanaka, a transit operator with TransLink’s Coast Mountain Bus Company.

It’s an attitude and approach that James brought over from his many years waiting tables and managing various Japanese restaurants, and working as a bank teller. Getting positive reactions from the public is, “The best,” say James.

Board his bus and he’ll always greet you with a smile and a “How are you doing?” Disembarking from the bus? It’s an exuberant, “Have a great day!”

In the food industry, everything has to be on time—sometimes that means rushing. But as a transit operator, James has learned you can’t rush and safety is number one.

“Coming from a customer-focused industry, there is still a part of me that wants to provide great service as much as possible for the company,” says James. “The public has their schedules to keep and they do rely on us.”

That’s why if there’s an incident on the road or bad traffic, and he’s running late, James will make an announcement on his bus, letting customers know what the situation is a apologize for the delay.

“It does diffuse the situation,” he says. “That’s the whole customer service end. It’s ingrained in me. By keeping the passengers informed, it allows a sense of transparency.”

James is committed to making a difference in people’s day, however small.

“If I can get you to your destination safely, and make you smile—add a little sunshine to your day—then that’s great, I’ve done my job.”

Do you think you have what it takes to be a transit operator? Visit translink.ca/drive to learn how you can apply!