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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Bus

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) that measures bus performance from larger transit agencies across the globe.

Each year, we ask our riders to participate in a survey through IBBG that helps 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!

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TransLink leads the charge launching new electric-battery bus trial

At TransLink, sustainability is very important to us and we are always exploring innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions while providing efficient travel for our customers. That’s why we’re excited to announce our partnership with Natural Resources Canada, Metro Vancouver and BC Hydro to bring four fast-charging electric-battery buses to the region starting in 2019.

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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!

Have your say on the new B-Line routes and Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows Area Transport Plan, April 3 – May 31!

Next year, TransLink’s launching four new B-Line bus routes in 12 Metro Vancouver communities—that means shorter travel times, shorter waits and less crowding!

It’s part of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for better transportation in Metro Vancouver. The new B-Line routes are:

  • Fraser Highway (Surrey Central to Langley Centre)
  • Main-Marine (Dundarave to Phibbs Exchange)
  • 41st Avenue (Joyce-Collingwood to UBC)
  • Lougheed Highway (Coquitlam Central to Haney Place in Maple Ridge)

The public is invited to weigh in on proposed bus routes, local service changes, and speed and reliability measures! Visit us at a pop-up information session and take the survey from April 3 – May 31 at translink.ca/bline

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Giving thanks for Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Sunday, March 18, 2018 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day, or #TDAD for short, but we’re celebrating early on Friday, March 16, 2018 to give weekday commuters an extra chance to say “thanks” to their drivers.

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Psst…more B-Line service is coming to Metro Vancouver!

B-Line bus service offers faster travel time, direct routing and connections to key regional destinations in areas that need it most. It’s a cost-effective way to reduce congestion and overcrowding on transit.

You may have heard, 80 new SkyTrain cars will be available for service in Metro Vancouver by 2020 (28 of which are arriving early!). Now, we’re excited to announce we’re preparing to roll out four new B-Line bus routes by the end of 2019!

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Keeping transit accessible

Customer using wheelchair getting on the bus

TransLink recognizes and celebrates the diverse demographic of transit users on our system. In fact, we have an entire team of Access Transit professionals dedicated to breaking down barriers and improving the accessibility and overall transit service experience for people with disabilities, seniors, new immigrants and young people alike. We’re proud to be a leader in providing an array of accessible travel options to passengers. Buses, Community Shuttle, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express vehicles are all fully accessible.

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Bus exchange improvements at 29th Avenue Station are complete!

UBC Bus at 29th Avenue Station

The improvements to the bus exchange at 29th Avenue Station are now complete!

Do you catch the bus at 29th Avenue Station? Improvements to the bus exchange are now complete!

The upgrades include:

  • A new bus bay to allow all buses to pick-up and drop-off within the bus loop
  • Design elements that meet CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) guidelines to make the bus loop safer and more secure, such as improved lighting, glass shelters and lower-profile landscaping
  • Three new crosswalks to improve safety and access to the bus loop and station
  • New signage to better direct customers, including tactile strips to meet accessibility standards

Our top priority is customer and staff safety and all of these improvements help support our goal of making everyone feel safe and comfortable on our system.

What do you think about the improvements to the bus exchange at 29th Avenue Station? Let us know in the comments below and at translink.ca/feedback!

RECAP: 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year Parade

It was a brisk and sunny Sunday, but that didn’t stop our TransLink and TRAMS crew from taking to the streets of Chinatown to hand out those coveted lucky red envelopes in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

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Celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with TransLink!

Chinese New Year

Gong hei fat choy! Today kicks off Chinese Lunar New Year – also known as the Spring Festival in modern China, which is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunar Chinese calendar. This year is the year of the Dog, and we’re excited to be a part of one of the 45th annual Chinese New Year Parade taking place in Chinatown on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

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2017—a record year for transit ridership in Metro Vancouver

Thank you to our customers for choosing us to get around in 2017!

In 2017, ridership in Metro Vancouver reached a record-breaking 407 million boardings! That’s a 5.7 per cent increase over 2016.

Not only that, the number of journeys in the system reached 247 million—another record and 5.8 per cent increase over the year before! Read more »

Luggage racks deliver improved customer experience onboard the 620

The luggage lack onboard one of our articulated buses.

Five articulated buses operating out of Richmond Transit Centre are now equipped with luggage racks, improving the onboard experience for our 620 Tsawwassen Ferry / Bridgeport Station customers.

This means a more comfortable ride for our customers! The three-level luggage rack is located across from the middle doors on coaches 8060, 8063, 8064, 8065 and 8066.

The 620 service is unique compared to other service in the region as it’s designed to align with the Victoria ferry schedules.

How it began

Coast Mountain Bus Company first piloted a luggage rack-equipped bus back in April 2017. During the pilot, the luggage rack was installed near the rear doors of the bus.

Our transit operators and customers provided valuable feedback, letting us know that they really liked the idea, but the rack’s height and location were not ideal. Passengers were having trouble lifting their luggage onto the top shelf because they had to lift it over their shoulders. So, our maintenance team adjusted the rack’s height to ensure more customers could easily use the rack.

The luggage rack’s final design is lower and is installed across from the middle doors on all five buses, allowing for easier access.

Have you tried them yet? If so, let us know what you think!

Author: Allen Tung

Double the fun: Double-decker buses will add to the fleet in 2019

TransLink double decker bus

Back in November of 2017, we launched our highly anticipated Double-decker bus pilot project, with two, double tall buses rolling out on various long-distance commuter routes.

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Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: Burnaby & New Westminster

Bus Route Buzz
Bus Route Buzz is our series each service change that takes a deep dive into what’s coming to your area. In this edition, we take a look at improvements in Burnaby and New Westminster. 

TransLink makes bus service changes every quarter (spring, summer, fall and winter), to reflect seasonal changes in demand and bring more service to where customers need it most. This winter, we’re improving bus service to reduce overcrowding and wait times, expand service hours, and increase reliability.

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Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: Vancouver

Bus Route Buzz

Bus Route Buzz is our series each service change that takes a deep dive into what’s coming to your area. In this edition, we take a look at improvements in Vancouver. 

We’re improving bus service to reduce overcrowding and wait times, expand service hours and increase reliability!

More than 29,000 annual service hours of bus service are being added as part of Winter Service Changes that began on December 18, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

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