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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Buses

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign… New bus stop signs, that is!

Say hello to your new bus stop signs!

Say hello to your new bus stop signs!

Late last year we mentioned how some bus stop signs around Surrey Central were getting a new look.

Now, you may have noticed that these new signs are popping up at bus stops across the region!

That’s because they will become the new bus stop standard for TransLink.

TIPs

Transit Information Panel

As current signs come to the end of their lives, we will be switching all of our bus stop signage across the region to mirror the new look.

The new signs include the “T” for transit, route numbers, Next Bus information and the bay number are placed in prominent locations.

To differentiate from regular bus service, B-Line information will be highlighted in orange and NightBus in navy blue. Plus, they are reflective and easily seen at night!

The best part is really the fact each new sign will list EVERY route at that stop. No more wondering if you’re waiting in the right place, just check the sign!

Another change you may start to see is the end of infotubes at bus stops where they exist and the installation of Transit Information Panels (TIPs).

The new TIPs bump up the font of the scheduled times, include the stop number as well as the recognizable “T” for transit.

The hardware used is much more durable than the old infotubes, which makes them longer lasting and more cost effective.

Thirty-six stops in downtown Vancouver have been updated with these awesome TIPs!

Next up is Surrey City Centre starting mid-May. The rest of the infotube stops will be updated throughout this year.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus rack demo now in North Vancouver!

City of North Van FB pic

Test out your bike rack skills in North Vancouver (Photo courtesy of City of North Vancouver)

Did you know that every single vehicle in our bus fleet has racks for your bike?

That’s right! And with Bike to Work week quickly approaching, why not try loading your bike on a  bike rack without the bus?

That way, you’ll be a bus rack superstar when you use the real thing!

Well, you’re in luck!

TravelSmart and North Vancouver have paired up to provide a demo bike rack between City Hall and the library in Civic Plaza.

Have you spotted this new cycling gem?

We tested out a bike rack (we practised first!) in our first Facebook LIVE streaming.

Some tips for using the bike racks:

  • Before the bus arrives, remove loose items such as water bottles, pumps, and panniers.
  • Tell the driver you want to load your bike, and then lower the bike rack by pulling on the handle.
  • Lift your bike onto the rack. If no other bike is on the rack, place your bike in the slot closest to the bus.
  • Lift the support arm up and over the front tire. On newer racks you might have to push the black button at the end of the support arm in order to release the ratchet mechanism.
  • Sit at the front of the bus and keep an eye on your bike.
  • When leaving the bus, please tell the driver that you need to remove your bike. Exit from the front door.
  • Remove your bike and raise the rack to the upright position if it’s empty.
  • Slip-covers are recommended for folding bikes.

Check out a rider’s first hand experience documented in this great blog!

For more information on bikes on buses and transit in general, head to our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Communicating bus stop relocations and closures in a new way

Bus Stop

Bus operators will now have up to date info on moved or closed bus stops

Bus stops can get cancelled or have to be relocated for a variety of reasons.

Construction, motor vehicle accidents, special events, police incidents and more.

To help our bus operators and riders have the most up to date information, operators will now be informed about any bus stop changes at the beginning of the route trip and again one bus stop before the closed or relocated stop.

This measure allows for a text to be sent to operators about bus stops that have been moved or closed.

“This is great for our customers. Closed stops won’t be announced as ‘next stop” any longer, so there’s less confusion and better communication for everyone,” says Louise Hearty, CMBC’s Director of Service Support and Security.

When a bus stop is moved, the stop will remain in the system and still be announced to riders and the operator will verbally tell passengers the new location.

When a bus stop is closed (not relocated), the stop and announcement will be removed from the system.

I actually just experienced this on my route this week! It was great to see this practice being put into action to help out riders be aware of changes to the stops on their route.

Has anyone else noticed this change? What are your thoughts?
Comment below and let us know!

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink is going LIVE! Facebook Live!

Facebook Live

Today is an exciting day for the TransLink Social Media team, as we will be streaming LIVE for the first time from Facebook at 2:00pm PST. For our inaugural stream, we will be doing a demo of how to take your bike on the bus! After all, Bike to Work week is coming soon!

Make sure to tune in and learn how you can take advantage of the great weather we’ve been having in the Metro Vancouver area, and perhaps make your commute multi-modal!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

UPDATE: Here’s the recording of our first Facebook Live!

TravelSmart to the BMO Vancouver Marathon!

On your mark. Get set. GO!

On your mark. Get set. GO!

Where can you find 31,000 litres of water, 13,000 bananas, over 90,000 spectators and 4,000 volunteers?

At the 45th annual BMO Vancouver Marathon and it’s happening this Sunday!

Runners from around the world will lace up and descend on our fair region on May 1 for this award-winning race.

Not up for the 42 kilometre trek? Not to worry!

There are races for everyone! You can participate in the marquee marathon, a fast half marathon, a relay, an 8 km run, a kids run or a 2.5 km walk.

The big news on the transit front is that the Vancouver International Marathon Society is offering free, single-use Compass Tickets to all runners.

There will also be free TravelSmart Bus Shuttles available in five locations for registered Marathon and Half Marathon runners.

You can find more information and register for the shuttle here.

Canada Line is one of the most convenient ways to get to the race with peak service levels in effect until 8:15am — meaning trains will be running every 6-7 minutes.

Remember! Different races have different starting points and times.

Check out this handy-dandy chart to help you get to the starting line!

Let transit help you get to the starting line

Let transit help you get to the starting line

*Relay Exchange Zones are located near Imperial Drive and W 16th, NW Marine and 4th Ave, plus Chestnut and Cornwall.

Get those pompoms and bullhorns out because the day isn’t just for the runners!

If you come out and cheer for the thousands of runners as they race toward the downtown Finish Line Street Festival, YOU could win prizes!

Know before you go!

The following bus routes will be modified at certain times during the day to accommodate the marathon: 2, 9, 15, 17, 19, 22, 25, 33, 41, 49, 99, 160, 210, 211, 240, 246, C18, C19, C20, C21, and C23.

SkyTrain and SeaBus will operate regular Sunday service; there is no Sunday service on the West Coast Express.

More race details as well as road closure information can be found online at bmovanmarathon.ca/travelsmart.
For transit information and detours, visit translink.ca/alerts.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Significant detours on the #49 bus between West Boulevard and Dunbar Street

The #49 will detour from May 2-Sept 5 2016

The 49 will detour from Monday, May 2 to September 2016

As the warm, summery months draw near, many construction and road rehabilitation projects around the region will take place that may have an impact on your commute.

From May until September 2016, the City of Vancouver will be replacing the sewer main and rehabilitating the roadway along Southwest Marine Drive.

This project requires a full closure of Southwest Marine Drive from Granville Street to Camosun Street, which will affect service of the 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar/UBC route between 49th Avenue and West Boulevard and 41st Avenue and Dunbar Street.

Effective Monday, May 2, the 49 will be re-routed and no longer service stops along:

  • 49th Avenue between West Boulevard and SW Marine Drive;
  • SW Marine Drive between 49thAvenue and Dunbar Street; and
  • Dunbar Street between SW Marine Drive and 41st Avenue.

The 49 will now route off 49th Avenue via West Boulevard and 41st Ave (Westbound direction) and 41st Avenue and East Boulevard (Eastbound direction).

There are no direct impacts to the 41, 43 and 480; however, there may be increased traffic congestion along the 41st Avenue, potentially causing some delays.

Stopping procedures during detour

The 49 will run express – between East Boulevard and Dunbar Street, along 41st Avenue and East and West Boulevards– not providing local service along its detour routing (no pick up/drop off) so that it stays reliable and for our customers and delays are kept to a minimum.

There will be two additional temporary stops to minimize travel distances for passengers:

  • Last Stop Westbound (prior to express section) – #51018 (Northbound West Boulevard far side W 49th Avenue)
  • Last Stop Eastbound (prior to express section) – #60745 (Eastbound W 41st Avenue far side Alma Street)

The Southwest Marine Drive Upgrades Project is estimated to be completed by September 2016.

We appreciate your patience as the City of Vancouver completes this necessary road work.

For more information on changes and detours, visit translink.ca/alerts

Author: Jordan Keim

Participate in the 2016 International Bus Benchmarking Group survey

Take the survey for CMBC from April 4–May 1

Take the survey for CMBC April 4–May 1

Do you have thoughts about CMBC service you want to share?

Now is your chance to weigh in, on an international scale, and help us improve our bus service!

The International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) is an association that compares experiences, performance, identifies best practices and allows participating transit organizations to learn from others in the group in order to improve performance on their own systems.

They do this by surveys completed by riders in these urban areas.

That means YOU!

You can take the 2016 IBBG Customer Satisfaction Survey for CMBC to help us improve our service across the region!

The survey will be available from April 4 to May 1.

Be sure to check out a quick interview we did last year with Associate Director of the Bus Benchmarking, Mark Trompet (below).

FYI – The members of the IBBG are:

Author: Adrienne Coling

Spring into Service Changes!

spring_2016_buzzer_640x340
You know the drill!

Four times a year (spring, summer, fall and winter), we adjust transit service across the region to make our network more efficient and provide service where it is needed most

This spring’s service changes are extra exciting!

Why you might ask?

Because we are implementing changes that were consulted on during the 2015 Transit Network Review.

Highlights of the 2016 spring service changes include: 

  • Seasonal service changes on routes serving post-secondary institutions to reflect decreased demand following the completion of the winter semester and through the spring/summer months.
  • An additional bus service on routes 104, 340, 388 and 410 to increase service reliability and reduce congestion associated with the Pattullo Bridge Rehabilitation Project.
  • Service changes to community shuttles C3, C4, C8, C9, C19 and C20 in New Westminster and Vancouver-UBC as recommended in the 2015 Transit Network Review. These changes increase service reliability, reduce overcrowding and improve direct connections to key destinations.

Want to know more information? Check out the upcoming print Buzzer, our service changes page and all of the recommendations in the Transit Network Review.

How else can you stay in touch? Sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Jordan Keim

Bus stop changes to Richmond-Brighouse Station

Station

Bus stops and bay assignments will be temporarily changing at Richmond–Brighouse Station on Canada Line

The City of Richmond is conducting work on the plaza by the entrance to Richmond-Brighouse Station.

The work begins on March 28, 2016 and is expected to last several months.

During this time, SkyTrain and bus service will continue to run as scheduled but station access will be partially impacted and some bus stops and bay assignments will shift.

What to expect

Effective March 28, until the end of May, the following bus stops and bays will be shifted along No. 3 Rd:

  • Bay 2 will be moved to the current location of Bay 3
  • Bay 3 will move to the other side of Saba Road and temporarily replace bus stop #56452
  • Bay 3 will serve the same bus routes as before and will now include the C96 and N10 previous serviced by stop # 56452.
  • Signs will be installed at bus stops and the station entrance to direct customers to the correct locations

map
We thank our passengers for their patience while the renovations to the plaza by the entrance to Richmond-Brighouse Station are completed.

Author: Jennifer Morland

Burrard Corridor upgrades

Burrard St Bridge

Map-Burrard-Corridor-01

The affected area – City of Vancouver

Over the next 18 months, the City of Vancouver will be doing major upgrades to the Burrard Corridor – from Davie Street to 16th Avenue – which includes necessary structural rehabilitation work on the Burrard Bridge.

Work has commenced between Harwood Street and Pacific Street, where they will be replacing aging water, sewer and road infrastructure and improving safety for all modes at the Burrard–Pacific intersection.

This work will impact bus routes that normally travel on and around the Burrard Bridge.

Affected routes include the 2, 4, 22, 32, 44, 258 & N22.

Please allow extra time if travelling either direction on these routes.

What to expect during construction

  • One travel lane in each direction that will stay open on Burrard Street on the north side
  • Some full road closures on weekends on the South side to allow for major roadwork and final paving
  • Access for cyclist, pedestrian, and motor vehicle over the Burrard Bridge

Click here more information and up-to-date closures.

Throughout the course of the construction, we will monitor service reliability and make service adjustments/changes as necessary.

We thank our passengers for their patience while the City of Vancouver makes these critical upgrades to the Burrard Corridor and bridge.

Authors: Adrienne Coling and Jordan Keim

Capilano Road Bus Detours update

Customer Alert generic busTo accommodate the ongoing Capilano Road water main construction, the 232 Capilano Road route continues to be affected.

Here are the updates and what you need to know:

  • From March 14 to 18, 2016 the 232 will route temporarily via Edgemont Boulevard and Capilano Road on a single lane alternating traffic.
  • The 232 will detour and operate on Eldon Road, Ruby Avenue and Sunset Boulevard between March 19 to April 3, 2016.
  • Beginning on April 4, 2016 the 232 will return to its regular routing via Edgemont Boulevard and Capilano Road.

For more details, visit translink.ca/alerts.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Spring forward this weekend!

image

Set your clocks forward one hour this Saturday night

It’s that time again for daffodils and early season flowers to pop up out of the ground and welcome spring.

Another spring behaviour that is slightly less appealing is springing forward to Pacific Daylight Time where we lose and hour in the day.

Ok, we don’t really lose it but it can feel like it in those first few days!

This year, the time change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

However, our transit services will finish their Saturday night service on standard time and the time change will take effect for the start of Sunday service.

So, remember to change those clocks before you head to bed on Saturday!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Transit Driver Appreciation Day is March 18th, 2016

LOGO

On March 18, give your bus operator a big thank you! (logo courtesy of transitdriverday.org)

Do you have a favourite transit operator that goes out of their way to make your commute just that much better?

I know I do and I’ve heard so many stories and have seen countless posts on our social media channels about wanting to thank operators for all that they do.

Take a look at just few of the tweets we have received about our great bus operators:

Tweet twoTweet three

Tweet oneTweet four

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, now it’s your ‘official’ chance!

This Friday, March 18th is Transit Driver Appreciation Day!

This day of recognition falls on this specific date because it marks the debut of bus service in Paris in 1662! (Albeit the buses were carriages drawn by horses.)

Thank you card ex

Download your thank you card at transitdriverday.org

This day is set aside to recognize those great operators out there who get you to and from work, school and everywhere you need to go on transit systems all around the world.

Here at home in Metro Vancouver, that means the dedicated drivers at CMBC.

Showing your thanks is simple! You can give them a smile, say thank you when you get ON the bus (to switch it up) or even download and print out transit-themed thank you cards to give out to your favourite operator.

To show your appreciation online, like TDAD on Facebook and share #tdad with your family and friends to use on Twitter and Instagram!

You can also submit an official commendation so your drivers can be formally recognized for their efforts.

Author: Adrienne Coling

My smartphone-free week on transit

notes

The tally from my smile experiment

Last week, I was inspired by a link in our latest Links and Tidbits post.

It lead me to try my own smartphone-free commuting week!

Let me give you a little background of what my normal commute is like.

I hop on the bus for about half an hour, then I continue on SkyTrain for another 30 minutes. In the evening, I reverse it, obviously.

I will often just listen to music and check games or idly scroll through my Instagram feed.

For my “unplugged” week, I didn’t allow myself to touch it from the moment I left my house to the moment I stepped into work.

This required one behaviour change for me right off the bat… A CLOCK! I don’t usually wear a watch and use my phone to check the time so for the first day I had no reference of time on transit.

Other than that, I made some observations with my pen and notepad each day.

Here’s what I found out:

Monday:

  • OK, a LOT of people spend their entire trip on their phone. Is anyone concerned about becoming a society of strained-necked commuters?
  • I wish I could read my book. Motion sickness is the worst! Think of all the work I could do if I didn’t get sick reading on transit.
  • I have no idea what time it is. I really depend on my phone for telling the time. Not a lot of others are sporting watches either. Does everyone rely on their phones for the time?

Tuesday:

  • A woman is putting fake eyelashes on while on the bus. I can’t make my makeup look that good sitting still. She’s some sort of make-up wizard!
  • There are such distinct housing development and decor patterns as you cross the region. ie. Vancouver Specials, gated yards with lion statues, colourful stucco East of Main St., laneway house builds.
  • Riders say ‘thank you’ to operators much more often in the afternoon/evening rides than in the morning.

Wednesday:

  • There’s a man who I thought was talking to me but turns out wasn’t. He looked puzzled/annoyed when I said, “pardon?” Apparently it was a conversation for one.
  • It’s so foggy today I can’t even see the mountains. I should really look at the mountains more. Seriously, they’re gorgeous and you have a great view from the Expo Line trains in Burnaby.
  • I sat beside a woman with a purple bag. I didn’t notice the doggy with the matching purple bow until she licked me “hello!” Jazz was very friendly and quiet while we rode together.

Thursday:

  • How hard is it to put the free newspapers we all get handed in the recycling? There are bins at every station! Disclaimer: I sat on one that was stuffed in the side of my seat and wet so, in turn, I then got my whole side wet and I may be a little grumpy about it.
  • I just played with the air bubbles on a SkyTrain window for a good 10 minutes. I should probably wash my hands.
  • Sock fashion is in! Stripes, polka dots, bright colours – men and women; young and old seem to be rocking some funky socks. I’m liking the attention to the space in between shoes and pants.

Friday:

  • Everyone is in such a good mood today! I think TGIF culture is real because this is a total 180 from Monday
  • Someone is doing a crossword. I love crosswords. I feel like they have taken a backseat to Sudoku and I never understood why. I wonder what the ratio of Sudoku players versus crossword puzzlers on the train right now?
  • How many Starbucks drinks are sold in Metro Vancouver during the AM commuting hours? I’ve been on transit for 45 minutes and I have counted nearly 27.

I also conducted a little something I like to call the smile experiment.

Each day I tried to look someone in the eye and smile then I would record if they smiled back.

I think many people were a bit surprised, but the ones that returned the smile looked so happy!

Eye contact & smiles given = 37
Eye contact & smiles received = 11

Overall, though I did miss my commuting soundtrack, it was nice to actually LOOK UP and see the world around me and I’m going to try to leave my phone in my pocket more often!

Now, I put the challenge to you. One week’s commute with no smartphone. Can you do it??

Author: Adrienne Coling

Vancouver CelticFest is back!

12th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. on March 10

12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. on March 13

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

**Fun fact, an appropriate response to that greeting would be, “And the rest of the day to you!”**

CelticFest logo

CelticFest runs from March 10-17

March is here and that means spring is… springing, flowers are blooming and St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching!

CelticFest is back again this year with many lively, Irish-inspired events to celebrate from March 10 to March 17.

In fact, this is Western Canada’s largest Celtic celebration!

Some of the celebrations include a Celtic village and street market on Granville street March 12 and 13, Celtic musical performances and, of course, the 12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day parade!

The parade starts at 11 a.m. on March 13 will follow the same route as in 2015, beginning on Howe and Davie, proceeding north along Howe to Georgia and ending at Georgia & Granville Streets.

Because of the route, some buses will be re-routed on the day of the parade.

Affected routes include:

004–POWELL/DOWNTOWN/UBC, 005–ROBSON/DOWNTOWN, 006–DAVIE/DOWNTOWN, 007–NANAIMO STN/DUNBAR, 010–GRANVILLE/DOWNTOWN, 014–HASTINGS/UBC, 016–29TH AVENUE STN/ARBUTUS, 020–VICTORIA/DOWNTOWN and 050–WATERFRONT STN/FALSE CREEK SOUTH.

Bus reroutes

Street closures on parade day

Know before you go!

Stay up to date with all transit alerts by visiting translink.ca/alerts or signing up for alerts via SMS text or email.

Plan your trip with our Trip Planner and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for real time service updates.

For more information on all the festivities surrounding Celtic Fest,
visit celticfestvancouver.com.

Author: Adrienne Coling