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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Blog Stuff

Introducing Allen!

Allen

Happy to join the TransLink team!

Hello Buzzer readers! My name is Allen and will be a member of the TransLink communications team over the summer as its Student Communications Assistant.

Receiving that first pack of Concession FareSaver Tickets is a significant milestone for any teenager in Metro Vancouver. It represents an increase in mobility and a new-found ability to travel anywhere by themselves — a taste of adulthood. Since I received my first pack of FareSavers, I’ve become hooked on transit and it is has become my primary means to get around.

Being both a Geography and Communications student at Simon Fraser University has made me appreciative of the important role TransLink plays in the overall livability of our region by reducing our carbon footprint.

Three things about me:

I’m proud to call myself a transit geek and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for transit with you all over the next few months!

Transit Driver Appreciation Day is Tuesday, March 18th!

Downloadable Bus Driver Appreciation Day Cards

Downloadable Bus Driver Appreciation Day Cards


They’re the people that many of us see almost everyday. Some of us speak with them regularily others may simply exchange a, “hello”, a smile or maybe nothing at all. They can make or break your commute and when the make it, it can really change you day. They’re your transit operators and tomorrow is a day to say thanks for getting me to where I need to go.

It’s called Transit Driver Appreciation Day, and it’s tomorrow! If you check out the website, you can download!

Conceived in Seattle in 2009, the date was chosen because, “That’s the day that bus service is believed to have debuted in Paris in 1662.”, says the organizers

This day is not to be confused with the Bus Driver Appreciation day at Vancouver Technical School or Say Hi on the Bus. And of course, any day can be a day to appreciate your driver.

So, if you haven’t yet, say thanks to the driver you like, give them a card or simply give them a smile. I’m sure they’d love to receive it!

Introducing Julia!

Hello there!

Hello there!

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
It’s Julia.
Julia Who?
Julia the new Buzzer contributor!

Why hello there! Nice to e-meet you.  My name is Julia Ren and I am a new member to the TransLink communications team. Since the Compass Card and fare gates project is my bread and butter, I will do my best to keep you posted on the latest scoop of this very exciting system. Stay tuned…

Three things about me:

  • I am a certified Yoga instructor and I get a little giddy when I see my students carrying re-usable bags and drinking coconut water.
  • I have the cutest puppy in the whole wide world (totally objective), and he sleeps with a baby seal.
  • I always say hi to people in the elevator and I get REALLY offended if someone ignores me and maybe cry a little in the bathroom.

Anyway, I hope to hear from you. Comment away and I will do my best to answer all your Compass related questions.

Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year from the Buzzer!

What we lacked in colour coding we make up for in Christmas decorations.

What we lacked in colour coding we make up for in Christmas decorations.

From our Buzzer family to your family, we wish you all a happy and safe holiday season and 2014. Thanks for reading and contributing to the blog in 2013!

Buzzer blog editor away over the winter holidays

I'll see you all in 2014!

I’ll see you all in 2014!

I’m taking a break from the blog to catch up with family over the winter holidays. I’ll be back in mid-January. But don’t worry, Jennifer, Angela and Jiana will be watching things while I’m away.

This year was a big one and 2014 looks even bigger with Compass Card, a new SeaBus, station upgrades and so much more. Thanks Buzzer readers for making 2013 a great one!

Introducing Jennifer B!

I ride the SeaBus every morning!

Hi Buzzer Readers! My name is Jennifer Binnington and I’m very excited to be a new member of the TransLink communications team. Having worked in the industry since the start of my career, transportation is something that’s very near and dear to my heart.

Work and life takes me all over Metro Vancouver, and public transit has been my go-to form of transportation. But I like to switch it up sometimes and when I’m not on the bus, SkyTrain or SeaBus, you may find me on my bike or Vespa!

Here are some other tidbits about me:

  • I’ll eat almost anything, except for peas or cereal.
  • I started ballet two years ago as a beginner adult. Right now I’m floating somewhere between beginner and intermediate.
  • I grew up just outside of Toronto but have been very happy to call Vancouver my home for the past eight years.

I’m excited to share TransLink news and project updates with you and I hope you find the stories as interesting as I do!

Introducing Angela!

Introducing Angela Blog Post

Happy to be joining the team.

Pssst, Buzzer Readers….pssst, over here! My name is Angela Salehi, and I am so pleased to be meeting you as a new member of the communications team at TransLink. One of my many roles is contributing posts to this awesome blog. I invite you to share your comments and ideas so that I can cover the issues you are interested in.

Below are five interesting (totally subjective) factoids which will close the gap on our long distance relationship and save you time googling me on social media.

  • The tip of my left ring finger has been numb since 1999.
  • I went on my first yoga retreat in September on Salt Spring Island.
  • The book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch makes me cry each time I read it.
  • My kryptonite is a COBS cinnamon bun.

One more insight: This summer I took my five-year old on the Skytrain for the first time. We were headed towards Science World and the look of pure wonder and thrill on her face is burned in my memory. I hope to uncover and nourish this level of joy for transit in Metro Vancouver and I’m excited to be at TransLink.

Bus to Rail Transfer Still Possible with Compass Card

Hello Buzzer friends! 

Recently, there has been a number of media reports talking about a “double transit fee” when transferring from a bus to the SkyTrain with the upcoming Compass Card. I’d like to share some information about this issue with you, and hopefully clear up some questions you may have! 

 

Here’s a link to the media release regarding this news.

The upcoming Compass Card will be the easiest way to travel across the system.

When you use a Compass Card, you will be able to transfer between all transit modes, including bus and rail easily. You will also be able to enjoy other benefits, including a discount of up to 14 per cent over cash fares.

Tap in, tap out with a Compass Card to easily transfer between all transit modes!

Tap in, tap out with a Compass Card to easily transfer between all transit modes!

To be clear, you will be able to transfer from bus to rail with the Compass Card or a Compass ticket, without paying the “double transit fee”.

It is only customers who purchase fares on buses with cash who will not be able to use those transfers to transfer to rail.

To convert all the bus fareboxes to issue passes that would access the fare gates would cost about $25 million, and would also take a long time to implement.

Customers in focus groups had told us that they would rather us save the money and time, and instead, focus on an extended transition period.

During this period, TransLink will be providing an education and awareness program to give customers plenty of time to pick up a Compass Card, and to learn about the new system.

We are not unique in our approach. Many other transit systems around the world, including London and Paris, also don’t allow cash bus to rail transfers.

As is the case with many significant, complex and innovative Information Technology (IT) projects, Compass will be introduced in phases. The great thing about Compass is that the technology has built-in flexibility and scalability which will allow us to eventually add in features to make the transit experience better for you!

 

For more information about the Compass Card, please take a look at the FAQ page.

 

 

UPDATE: Thank you all for your ongoing interest in the upcoming Compass Card! I am happy many of you are taking steps to ask questions and learn more about the program. Keep in mind beta testing hasn’t quite started yet, so we will have more information rolling in for you as the time comes around!

Due to the large number of questions surrounding the $6 deposit fee, I want to provide a clarification and an example. Hope this helps!

Read more »

Buzzer blog editor away for a couple of weeks

I'll catch up with you all in a couple of weeks!

I’ll catch up with you all in a couple of weeks!

Now that I Love Transit Week is done for another year, I’m taking a couple of weeks off. But don’t worry, Angela and Jiana will be minding the blog in my absence. So you’re all in good hands.

Thanks for making I Love Transit another great success this year! I’m already looking forward to I Love Transit 2014.

Farewell, dear friends: Jhen’s leaving TransLink

Jhenifer Pabillano, Buzzer editor

Jhen!

I’ve got some big news to share with you today—I’ll be leaving the Buzzer and TransLink as of Friday, August 9, 2013!

I’m off to join the City of Vancouver, helping manage the City’s social media program as their new Social Media Coordinator. It’s a huge new role and I’m very excited to join their team.

But after five years with TransLink, it’s definitely not an easy change.

I’m so proud to be the Buzzer blog’s founding editor, and so proud I shared stories from the Olympics, from our control centres and garages, from transit conferences near and far, through podcasts, video, and more. And I’m so proud this work has earned TransLink real recognition from Mass Transit Magazine, and APTA in 2010 and 2012.

Most of all, I’ve loved getting to know the intelligent, committed, and wonderful customers we serve, and it’s an understatement to say I will sorely miss every one of you. It has been a true privilege to be a part of your lives for so long.

It’s a wonderful comfort, though, to leave you in the capable hands of Robert, as the main editor, and Borjana, Jiana, Angela, Tina, Pamela, and Stefanie as contributors–the wonderful new Buzzer crew who have joined me in the past little while. They’re all brilliant folks, and will continue to do great things at TransLink for years to come!

Again, my last day is August 9, so I’ll get to say goodbye to everyone during I Love Transit Week, which I’m so happy to have created back in 2009 :) If you’d like to stay in touch, you can find me at my personal website, pabillano.com, or @jpabillano on Twitter.

Goodbye, everyone, and thank you for everything! I’ll miss you all, but I won’t be too far away.

Introducing Borjana!

Borjana

Greetings!

Hi Buzzer readers. My name is Borjana and I recently joined TransLink to support the work of the Regional Transportation Strategy team. I love the work this team has done on preparing for how we’ll travel in Metro Vancouver in the next 30 years and I’ll be sharing those ideas and plans with you. I already posted about the Regional Transportation Strategy twice here and here.

I’ve been a transit commuter for years and so far I’ve used SkyTrain, buses, West Coast Express and Seabus to get to work. You can probably tell I moved quite a bit, right? My favourite commute option is SeaBus because of the stunning views of the coast line on a sunny day. My transit commute is great for reading. It’s so great I sometimes get so absorbed with a book and I miss my stop!

I hope you’ll enjoy my future posts.

Introducing Jiana!

Jiana Ling - Buzzer contributer

Hello everyone!

It’s my pleasure to introduce another contributor to the Buzzer blog – Jiana Ling! Jiana joins myself, Jhen and other members of the TransLink communications department who write for the blog. Jiana has actually already written for the blog. Check out her first post!

Howdy Buzzer Readers, my name is Jiana and I just joined the TransLink family in May. My main role will be in the media relations department, liaising with traditional media like print, radio and TV. When I do get a chance, I will be helping Robert with social media, including tweeting for @translinkmedia and writing for the Buzzer Blog. I’m super excited to contribute to this blog and start interacting with our Buzzer followers!

A little about myself:

  • I am named after Canada. Jia Na (da) means Canada in Chinese.
  • I am fluent in English (of course!), Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese (the dialect spoken in Shanghai).
  • I am a loyal transit rider, and have taken transit all around the world including Canada, America, China, and Mexico.
  • I worked for a TV Station both on camera and behind the scenes.
  • And last but not least, my guilty pleasure is FOOD! I LOVE food, and can eat LOTS.

I’m looking forward to writing about transit related matters and communicating with all of you!

Introducing Angela!

Hello Buzzer Readers!

Buzzer, Translink, Introduction, Angela

Hello everyone! I’m very excited to be here :D

My name is Angela and I am very excited to be joining TransLink and the Buzzer Blog as TransLink’s new student communications assistant.

Over the next two months, I look forward to contributing to The Buzzer and hopefully getting to know the Buzzer readers.

Living in Metro Vancouver without a car has made me a frequent transit user — I depend on the transit system everyday to go to school, work… anywhere I need to go!

Studying at Simon Fraser University also pushed me to learn to travel from my city of Richmond, to Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey for my classes and activities. Pure curiosity pushed me to travel beyond, to all corners of Metro Vancouver. I’m definitely grateful that this system exists in our cities.

Between transfers and buses, I’ve discovered that commuting has its perks: one is that spending time on the transit system is a great way to learn to love and appreciate the magnificent beauty of Metro Vancouver.

As a fellow transit commuter, I hope to share my experiences and discoveries of the region’s vibrant culture with all of you over the next two months!

 

The Buzzer blog editors are speaking at the 2013 Northern Voice Conference!

Come join us at the Northern Voice conference!

Come join us at the Northern Voice Conference!

Since 2005, the yearly meet up to be at if you’re into weblogging and social media in general is the Northern Voice Conference. I wrote one of my first Buzzer blog posts when I attended the 2011 conference.

This year, myself and Jhenifer will be speaking at it! That’s right, we’ll be talking about the five plus years that TransLink has been blogging and in social media in general. Our talk is called Social Media Hits and Misses: Tales from a Middle-aged Social Media Progam and it’s on Saturday, June 15th from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. We’ll be taking our audience through a journey of TransLink social media and what we’ve learned along the way. It’s going to be fun!

The conference is two days and runs from Friday, June 14 to Saturday, June 15, 2013. There are a lot of great talks going on, so, you’ll wanna check out the schedule before Friday!

Spotlighted in 24 Hours!

Look, it's Jhen in 24 Hours!

Look, it’s Jhen in 24 Hours!

I clean forgot to mention that TransLink’s social media work was spotlighted in 24 Hours newspaper last Friday, April 5, 2013!

Check out the article here: I got to speak on behalf of the TransLink social media team and its fantastic work. Especially our Twitter account, which now tops 30,000 followers!