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Translink Buzzer Blog

Secure bike parkades secure top spot at HUB awards!

HUB Bike Parkade Award

HUB Cycling recently hosted their 4th Annual Bike Awards – a celebration of organizations, individuals, schools and municipalities who have led the way in increasing biking across Metro Vancouver.

This year, we took home more than just our bikes! TransLink was awarded Best Public Bike Parking Facilities for our King George Station and Main Street Station Secure Bike Parkades!

TransLink is a big supporter of multi-modal transportation (did you know that our entire bus fleet is equipped with bus bike racks?) and participate annually in Bike to Work Week.

All of our secure bike parkades are Compass enabled, and easy to use! Check Jess out in action!

Thanks to HUB Cycling for this awesome award!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

March is Fraud Prevention Month! Register your Compass Card

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March is Fraud Prevention Month and before the month comes to a close, we’re giving you a friendly reminder to register your Compass Card!

One of the added benefits of the Compass system is that it’s far safer and more secure than our old paper fare media.

Did you know?!

When you register your Compass Card online at compasscard.ca, you can to take advantage of AutoLoad, valuable record keeping information such as trip and purchase information and Balance Protection.

With Balance Protection, users can report their Compass Cards lost or stolen and any passes or Stored Value will be transferred to a new Compass Card. Additionally, a found registered Compass Card can easily be returned to it’s owner.

750,000 of our 1.1 million Compass Cards are currently registered and we’d love to see that number grow!

Register your Compass Card today at CompassCard.ca.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

#MyTransLink – March 21, 2017

It’s that time again! We’re back featuring content from you – our riders!

Check out what our transit travellers have snapped lately…

“Explore more” – – Photo – 56 of 365 #photography #photo365 #mytranslink

A post shared by Jamie Taylor (@cryptic_photos) on

Visions📷 – Westcoast Express X Skytrain 🚅 – Have a great weekend🔥

A post shared by Ibrahima Cisse 👓 (@thevancityphotographer) on

Foggy bus windows on chilly days. #mytranslink

A post shared by Julie Ratcliff (@juliemratcliff) on

Thanks to all of our latest transit photogs!

Want to be featured on the blog?
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Sarah Kertcher and Adrienne Coling

UBC designs a winner at NAIOP Vancouver’s Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge

NAIOP Vancouver

January kicked off with the start of the 14th Annual Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge. This annual event was hosted by NAIOP’s Vancouver Chapter and marked the first time in history that this competition has been held on Canadian soil.

About the Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge

The Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge has teams consisting of real estate program students from various Northwest universities competing for the best design of a high profile development in a major metropolitan area.

Each team must design and propose a development and strategy that may be implemented after the competition.

This year, TransLink partnered with NAIOP to have students propose plans for Coquitlam Central Station on the Evergreen Extension, a 14-acre project with a high volume of transit, residents and commuters.

On March 9th, less than eight weeks from the first site visit, teams presented their final development to a panel of judges, TransLink officials, and members of the commercial real estate industry.

The home team from UBC finished ahead of University of Washington and Portland State, winning the NAIOP Bob Filley Cup and the potential opportunity to have their plan implemented by TransLink.

“It was a difficult decision to make, as we were very impressed with all of the proposals from the students,” said Guy Akester, Director of Real Estate Programs & Partnerships at TransLink. “Coquitlam Central Station is a very important and critical transportation hub. Ultimately we were looking for a highly walkable, mixed-use site that brings the community together. The UBC students were able to deliver this on all fronts.”

“We are ecstatic to be named the winners, and the fact that we won the first competition held in Canada makes us feel extremely proud,” said Stephanie Yeargin, UBC Student. “It was very challenging, and we worked around the clock. Coquitlam is a dynamic and growing city, so we hoped that our proposal would be able to meet the needs of the community and of TransLink. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Congratulations team UBC! We hope to see your plan in Coquitlam in the future!

For more information about NAIOP and the Pacific Northwest Real Estate Challenge check out their website.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink once again named one of BC’s Top Employers for 2017!

BC's Top Employer
We’re thrilled to share that TransLink (also known as South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority) has been named a top employer in BC for the third year in a row!

In addition to taking this title for the last three consecutive years, TransLink made the list of Forbes Magazine’s “Canada’s Best Employers” this year.

With nearly 7,000 employees across the enterprise, it’s clear that our employees love where they work and take pride in delivering top-notch service across our entire system, every single day.

It’s an honour to have been named again this year among so many other amazing BC employers.

About British Columbia’s Top Employers

Now in its 12th year, BC’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

This special designation recognizes the British Columbia employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Read the press release announcing the 2017 winners.

About Forbes Magazine

Forbes Magazine compiles annually a list of companies across Canada and ranks a list of Canada’s Best Employers.

This year, the TransLink enterprise ranked #202! Check out what other employers made the list.

For more information on BC’s Top Employers, visit the BC Top Employers website.
Information about Forbes Magazine ranking can be found on the Forbes Magazine website.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Transit Police took the plunge and were #FreezinForAReason!

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On Saturday, March 4th, 2017 our Transit Police Officers and civilians took the Plunge, The Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics Canada.

This annual event takes place at Kitsilano beach in Vancouver, with the support of other police agencies and organizations, Polar Plunge participants are #FreezinForAReason raising money in support of adults and children with intellectual disabilities providing the opportunity to participate and excel in sporting activities.

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Transit Police have supported Special Olympics BC in a variety of ways over the past number of years, from fundraising through the BC Law Enforcement Torch Run, an overtime drive for personal donation by staff, an annual golf tournament and of course this event – the Polar Plunge.

Transit Police surpassed their fundraising goal for this event, however if you’re interested in giving back and supporting a great cause or learning more, check out the Transit Police Polar Plunge page.

 Author: Sarah Kertcher

#MyTransLink – February 20, 2017

Hey Buzzer readers! We’re back with another edition of #MyTransLink, sharing your photos from around the system!

With a transit network spanning land, sea, and Sky(Train), it’s no surprise that you, are riders are able to capture some of our best photos.

Here’s what you shared this week!

 

[=]’These are the days we’ve been waiting for’ [=] #vancouver #burnaby #SkyTrain #MyTranslink

A post shared by Kobie Huang (@kobiehuang) on

Bridge life #newwestminster #mytranslink

A post shared by Rich Elliott (@therichelliott) on

This is why i love #beautifulbritishcolimbia.. taken from #carvolthexchange in #langley.. @translinkbc

A post shared by FerretLover (@atomikangel69) on

Want to be featured on the blog? You know you do! It’s easy!
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Donate your Compass Card to a great cause!

Compass Card Donation Bins

Moving people is what we do, and now through a new initiative with a long standing partner, the United Way Lower Mainland (UWLM), you can help!

Simply donate your new or semi-used, unregistered Compass Cards into one of our donation kiosks located around Vancouver. There are currently five donation kiosks for customers to donate their unregistered Compass Cards:

Canada Line kiosks

  1. Waterfront Station
  2. Vancouver City Centre
  3. Broadway–City Hall

Expo Line kiosks

  1. Granville Station (Dunsmuir exit)
  2. Compass Customer Service Centre (Stadium–Chinatown Station)

We hope to install more donation kiosks in the coming months at key locations around Metro Vancouver where customers are likely to tap in to their generosity and support this program and the United Way.

Transit plays an important role in helping people live full successful lives, whether it’s going to work,  job interviews, healthcare appointments or other activities that enrich their lives.

“Some of the region’s most vulnerable populations are reliant on both United Way funded programs and services – and on TransLink,” said Cathy McLay, CFO and EVP, Finance and Corporate Services, TransLink. “I am extremely proud of this new initiative and the ongoing commitment employees across the TransLink enterprise display to our United Way campaigns each year.”

To donate a Compass Card, simply deposit the unregistered Compass Card into your nearest donation kiosk. You can unregister your existing Compass Card by calling Compass Customer Service at 604-398-2042 or by visiting the Compass Customer Walk in Centre. Both the deposit and balance of unregistered Compass Cards will be converted to Compass Tickets for distribution by UWLM to selected agencies working directly with those in need.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Compass Stored Value Minimum Load Drops to $5!

You’ve asked, and we’ve listened!

We’re happy to announce that we have lowered the minimum Stored Value load amount for Adult Compass Cards at Compass Vending Machines (CVM)! Customers can now load Adult Compass Cards at a CVM and select a minimum Stored Value of $5! This change was based on feedback received from you, our customers, requesting a lower minimum Stored Value than the original $10.

This change applies only to Stored Value at a Compass Vending Machine. When loading Stored Value online, customers can choose from a number of set options starting at $10, or can choose to “pay balance” to bring a negative balance back up to zero. Minimum Stored Value load amount for Concession Compass Cards remains at $5.

For customers wishing to load an amount outside of the set CVM, online or phone parameters, a Compass Customer Service staff member at our walk in centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station can help. For added convenience, customers add AutoLoad to their Compass Card directly from their bank accounts to automatically renew monthly passes or to top-up Stored Value using this form.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Thank you for your patience during recent Canada Line service disruptions

Canada Line North Arm Bridge

There is no denying that Mother Nature has not been kind to Metro Vancouver roads this winter season. Our Public Transit system has been no exception to this. Part of the TransLink mission is to provide a sustainable transportation network for our customers and this has proven challenging of late.

The past few days have been tough on commuters across Metro Vancouver, but for Canada Line passengers impacted by recent major delays, we know that a tough commute has been made even more difficult. We extend our sincere apologies to our customers for those service disruptions.

The unprecedented weather patterns and environmental conditions have presented us with many challenges, including in a particularly steep area over the Fraser River (the North Arm Bridge). Because of the steep grade, trains require full power when travelling through this section of the bridge, and Canada Line believes ice buildup on the power rail is the likely cause of the disruptions.

With more wintry weather in the forecast, we’re working diligently to reduce the likelihood of this issue repeating itself. Please be assured that we remain committed to dedicating the necessary resources in doing everything possible to prevent recurrence.

Once again, we apologize for the delays and appreciate your patience and support as our teams work to keep you moving through this weather.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

More snow is on the way for Metro Vancouver

When I was young, I thought these were the cat buses in Totoro 🐱🚎

A photo posted by JASON YEH (@jsonyeh) on

Despite the fact that Wiarton Willie and Shubenacadie Sam both predicted an early spring this Groundhog Day, our local weather forecast is calling for snow Friday morning.

With the possibility of two to five centimeters of snow falling tomorrow and possibly into the weekend, here are some of the ways our operations team is preparing to keep you moving through snow and slushy wintry conditions:

  • We work closely with our municipal partners to have bus routes plowed first.
  • If a street is not plowed, operators may refrain from pulling into bus stops to avoid getting stuck. In these cases, operators will stop in an area that is safe and accessible for riders.
  • Trolley de-icer trucks will spray the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.
  • SkyTrain power rail and collector shoes on the trains will be de-iced, and de-icing stations set up in covered areas and tunnels.
  • Measures are also taken to ensure rail switches are protected from freezing.
  • During times of heavy overnight snow, SkyTrain will run throughout the night to keep tracks clear.
  • Where possible, articulated buses are replaced by traditional coaches as they’re more agile and better equipped to handle hills or streets with poor conditions.

Check out our posts from earlier this season with some excellent transit tips to manage inclement weather, an in depth look at 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather, and what role Transit Supervisors play when the snow falls.

Know before you go.
If there’s snow or ice, ensure you plan ahead with Trip Planner or  m.translink.ca on your mobile device, and make sure to allow yourself extra commuting time.

Sign up for transit alerts so you’ll be the first to know if there are changes in the transit schedule.

Follow our customer information team on Twitter (@translink) and save their number (604) 953-3333 on your mobile device.

Step Carefully

Snowy floors can become slippery floors. Where possible, kick the snow from your shoes before getting on the your chosen mode of transit. Use handrails and please be courteous to other passengers and don’t put your feet up on open seats.

Dress Warmly

While your ride will be climate controlled, we can’t control the temperature outside of our vehicles. Make sure that you’re dressed warmly for your trip to and from your stop.

Be Courteous

Please remember that transit is a popular choice on snowy days, therefore you may see more people out than usual. Always use your common transit sense to ensure a comfortable ride for everyone.

Are you ready for spring, or excited for this wintry rewind?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

So, you wanna be a bus operator? Come to our Reddit AMA!

 

asktranslink

If you haven’t heard, we’re currently looking for busloads of new operators to help us move the region.

Being a Coast Mountain Bus Operator is an amazingly rewarding career. With over 1,300 Conventional buses and 140 Community Shuttle buses in our fleet, we’re once again adding drivers to keep the wheels on the bus going ’round and ’round.

Our Transit Operators play a vital role in keeping our region moving, literally, and with ridership in the region growing at a rapid pace, and we’re looking for motivated, energetic and customer-centric people like you to hop on board!

Bus Operator AMA

Want to get an inside look at what it’s like to be a Bus Operator? Join us this Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 1:00pm PST on Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with one of our very own seasoned Bus Operators! Come prepared with your questions about what it’s like moving people each day, how you apply, or anything else related to what it’s like to be a Bus Operator. If you can’t make it to the AMA, post your question below and we’ll do our best to answer it during the AMA.

If you’re interested in applying online, check out our video tutorial on how to use our careers page!

 

Author: Sarah Kertcher

A heartwarming transit story

HUGS Random Acts of Kindness

If you’ve lost faith in the kindness of strangers, this story is for you!

One of our riders, Kajal, shared with us a heartwarming story of an elderly lady sharing kindness and “hugs” on a recent transit trip.

I was on the 4 bus on Tuesday around 1pm when a lovely old lady with a walker came and sat beside me. She struck up a conversation with a gentleman sitting across from him who was offering his seat up for her so she could be more comfortable. Refusing, she in turn responded that she wanted to give him something.  

Seeing his confused look, she pulled out a stack of these little cards with “hug” expressed in bold red letters. Laughing, she began distributing cards to everyone on the bus. Soon, everyone on the bus had received a hug save for me. 

When she saw me sitting beside her laughing, she exclaimed “did you get a hug? You didn’t! You have to holler at me, I’m 92 years old so I don’t hear very well!” and with a beautiful smile, she passed a card to me.  

As I exited the bus, I could hear her spreading joy among strangers who felt like familiar friends. Days like these I appreciate Vancouver more and more. 

After sharing this story on our Instagram Channel, we quickly realized that Kajal’s story is not unique! Azalea also met our lovely “hugs” lady, and knows her by the name of Anne, a 90 something transit rider who loves the bus and a good pizza from Main & Hastings!

“Anne” has been spotted riding the number 004 – POWELL/DOWNTOWN/UBC, 020 – VICTORIA/DOWNTOWN, and at the SeaBus.

Have you seen Anne the hugs lady? We want to catch up with her!

If you’ve seen Anne, or received a “hug” of your own, please share the details below in the comments section!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Evergreen Explorer: Caffeinate your Commute

Evergreen Explorer

Coffee and commuting go hand in hand, no? If you’re anything like me, your go-to travel companion is your to-go coffee mug. Whether you’re making your daily commute, or just looking for a transit friendly stop for coffee with a friend, here’s a list of locations along the Evergreen Extension to get your daily grind.

Production Way–University Station – Looking for coffee at this stop? Look no further than Mac’s Convenient Store. It’s no gourmet coffee shop, but if you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up, this location is just a few steps outside the station!

Lougheed Station – For an extra special latte, look no further than Coffee Monster. Their latte’s are amazing, but their latte art puts them over the top — you wont be disappointed. Located on North Road, just down the street from Lougheed Station this is the perfect stop to perk you up! Bonus! If you have a 2017 Entertainment Book, check it out for valuable coupons! Lougheed Mall is home to Starbucks Coffee, Tim Horton’s, and a David’s Tea.

Coffee bar at Connected Minds Cafe & Roastery

Burquitlam StationConnected Minds Cafe & Roastery boasts fresh coffee as unique as you. Get your custom roasted coffee, roasted right before your eyes in 20 minutes! Delicious pastries and other treats can also be found here.

Evergreen Explorer

Moody Centre – Try something different by visiting the Lazy Den Tea House for a bubble tea to go. Known for their amazing pies, Gabi & Jules does more than one thing right! Visit this cafe on Clarke Street in Port Moody and enjoy you java with a slice — or the whole pie! Gabi & Jules gives back with a portion of all pie proceeds to two not-for-profit, volunteer organizations have been advocating for support services for families dealing with Autism.

Inlet CentreGallagher’s Coffee Bar and Starbucks are a short jaunt down the way into Newport Village. A unique village with quaint shops and a variety of watering holes.

Coquitlam Central – If you’re in a rush, Creekside Coffee Factory is unlikely the place to go. Not for a lack of service or timeliness, but like a good cuppa-joe, you’re going to want to sit and enjoy this place. There is almost always a rush and buzz of people at Creekside Coffee Factory, and while it could be for their delicious beverages and treats, I personally think it’s for their well known stuffy mascot Bearicano!

Caffe Divano

Lincoln Station – This is the most convenient station to Coquitlam Centre Mall, home to Starbucks, David’s Tea, and Tim Horton’s. Also just down the street from Lincoln Station is Him & I Cafe. This quaint location has ample seating and big bright windows perfect for nestling in with a good book, catching up on your studying, or people watching! Their homemade pastries and cakes are to die for. Try the Black Forrest Cake!

Lafarge Lake–Douglas – A short walk from the terminus station you can find one of three Caffé Divano locations (also located in Burnaby and Port Moody). Fun Fact: Owners Patrick and Lisa Beecroft also own Gabi & Jules located near Moody Centre! Bonus! If you collect Belly rewards, Caffé Divano is a participating member. If you’re craving a Canadian Coffee & doughnut fix, Douglas College just up the street is home to a small Tim Horton’s.

Where is your favourite place to caffeinate along the Evergreen Extension?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

More wintry weather is on the way for Metro Vancouver

Wintry weather

It’s snow joke folks — the forecast is calling for more of the white stuff this week and into next. We’re diligently working behind the scenes and on the front lines to ensure that our entire operations are as prepared as can be for the impending snowfall.

A photo posted by Richmond BC Canada (@100ave) on

When snow starts to fall, Transit Supervisors play a crucial role in overall transit operations. A valuable mobile resource for bus operators, Transit Supervisors are in the know about problem areas and ensure they stay accessible as long as possible. When buses get stuck, and unfortunately they will during extreme weather, it’s the Transit Supervisors that help to dig them out.

Safety is a priority for Transit Supervisors, as they work to keep our property well plowed and salted to help minimize the risk of falls and injury, often doing the work themselves. Many stay well past the end of their shift, working in sub-zero temperatures to make sure that customers are able to safely get to where they need to go. We are committed to keeping walkways on our properties clear, however if you do notice an area requiring attention, or are unsure who is responsible for an area, please tweet us @TransLink , or contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

Check out our posts from earlier this season with some excellent transit tips to manage inclement weather, as well as an in depth look at 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather.

Are you ready for the snow?

Author: Sarah Kertcher