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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Buses

Fall Service Changes are coming soon!

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Summer is winding down. The leaves will soon be falling, apples are coming into season and parents around the world are celebrating because… they’re going baaaaaaaaaaack!!

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With schools heading back for the fall semester sooner rather than later, our Fall Service Changes will reflect this annual ridership change.

Beginning September 5, there will be increased frequency to routes travelling to post-secondary institutions, new service on 208th Street in Langley, a new connection to the Tsawwassen Mills mall and more!

Take a look at just a few of the highlights:

  • Return of service to post-secondary institutions including BCIT, SFU, UBC and Capilano University, with increased capacity on the 49 to improve service to UBC on weekends.
  • Introducing new service to 208th Street in Langley and Highway 10 in Surrey, providing users with direct access to transit.
  • Another brand new service  will begin for passengers connecting to the new Tsawwassen malls on the 601 and 609, and faster, more direct service to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal on the 620.
  • Implement several recommendations as a result of the 2015 Transit Network Review to the 320, 341, 394, 501, 502, 531, 590, 595, and C63.

Full Service Changes can be found online at translink.ca/servicechanges.

These changes are a part of our regular, seasonal service changes that occur four times each year in April, June, September and December to bring more service to more people with the resources available.

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

Author: Adrienne Coling

Take the “T” to the PNE!

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Get your runners out for the 2016 donut dash, go prehistoric at the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit or fly through the air as an Angry Bird on the new zip line because The Fair at the PNE is back and we have your added transit to get you to the fun!

Additional bus service includes:

  • #16 PNE Special from 29th Avenue Station – stopping at Renfew SkyTrain Station
  • #210 PNE Special from Phibbs exchange in North Vancouver
  • The West Vancouver Blue Bus Special from Horsehoe Bay

For the PNE free days on Tuesday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 30 there will be extra shuttles from 29th Avenue Station to PNE.

Remember! The Fair at the PNE is closed on August 22 and August 29.

Know before you go! Head to our Trip Planner to map out your route to the PNE grounds!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Know before you go! Weekend events August 13-14, 2016

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Lots to do around the region this weekend and that means some changes and reroutes for our buses.

Take a look!

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

The City of Vancouver will be hosting their annual Chinatown Festival this weekend!

The celebrations are on Columbia between Pender & Keefer.

The following detours will apply on Saturday and Sunday:

  • 50 False Creek: From temporary terminus at Cambie & Pender via Pender, Main, Powell, then regular route.
  • 50 Waterfront: Regular route to a temporary terminus at Cambie & Pender.
  • C23 Davie: Regular route to Quebec & National then continue Quebec-Expo Blvd, then regular route.
  • C23 Main St Stn: Regular route to Abbott & Keefer, then continue Abbott, Pender, Main, National, then regular route.

Royal City Pride Parade

Pride celebrations continue this weekend in New Westminster!

The Royal City Pride Parade is on Saturday August 13 on Columbia Street between 4th St and 6th St.

The following detours will apply from 12 p.m. until 10 p.m.:

  • 106 Metrotown: Regular route to Carnarvon & 8th St, then Carnarvon, 6th St, regular route.
  • 106 New West: Regular route to 6th St & Carnarvon, then Carnarvon, 8th St, Columbia into New West Stn.
  • C9 Lougheed: Regular route to Carnarvon & 8th St, then 8th St, Royal, McBride, Columbia, regular route.
  • C9 New West: Regular route to Columbia & McBride, then McBride, Royal, 8th St, Columbia, regular route.
  • C3 Victoria Hill: Regular route to Carnarvon & 8th St, then via Carnarvon, 4th St, regular route.
  • C3 Quayside: Regular route to 4th St & Carnarvon, then Carnarvon, 8th St, Columbia, regular route.
  • C4 New West Stn: Regular route to 4th St & Carnarvon, then Carnarvon, 8th St, Columbia, regular route.
  • C4 Uptown: Regular route to Carnarvon & 8th St, then via Carnarvon, 4th St, regular route.

Sea Wheeze Lululemon Half Marathon

They’ll huff and puff and run themselves around town!

There are numerous changes to routes in Vancouver affected by the half marathon from first bus times until 11:30 a.m.

Visit the alerts page for full listings.

Slide the City North Vancouver

Slip slide away in this annual event on Lonsdale Avenue.

There will be many reroutes and temporary bus stop changes across the weekend in the area.

Head to translink.ca/alerts for details.

Don’t forget! You can use Trip Planner to map out your transit trip!

Author: Adrienne Coling

I Love Transit Week 2016 is coming! Register for kids camp!

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transit_camp_2015The week we’ve all been waiting for is almost here! I Love Transit Week is taking place from August 29 to September 2, 2016.

This is a week dedicated to all of the things that we love about Transit – like that time Jarred and Nina tied the knot on the bus or when Annie and Mike got married on the 351 Crescent Beach!

We’ve also celebrated transit through poetry, LEGO, and more!

This year, we have a bus load of fun transit love to share with you, but first we’re excited to announce that I Love Transit Kids Camp is back for its third straight year!

 

Kids! Join us for I Love Transit Camp!

I Love Transit Camp is a once in a lifetime opportunity for kids between the ages of 8 and 12 to get a behind the scenes look at TransLink operating companies’ facilities.

Kids will learn about how transit works and have some fun at the same time! Check out all the fun that was had in 2014 & 2015.

This year’s camp is taking place on Thursday September 1st.

The plan

Meet at Gilmore Station for 9 a.m. then hop on a bus and ride to Burnaby Transit Centre (BTC)!

BTC is home to little known transit operations such as fleet overhaul, where they fix and update almost everything on a bus, including the painting of buses and reupholstering of seats.

We’ll also get a tour of the bus yard with articulated and 40-foot buses!

After that, we’ll have a little lunch then say goodbye to BTC.

Next, we’ll hop on SkyTrain and head to Edmonds Station and walk down to where SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre (OMC) live.

At OMC, campers will get a behind the scenes look at the facility where SkyTrains are maintained and cleaned as well as visit SkyTrain Control! They will also get a chance to use the SkyTrain simulator, ask questions of SkyTrain staff.

Finally, a visit with Transit Police and Transit Security to tell us all about everything they do. I’m told they’ll be bringing their vehicles and a special guest if we are lucky!

We’ll wrap the day up around 4 p.m.

Throughout the day we’ll be taking breaks for fun games and more!

How to take part

Due to safety concerns for both OMC and BTC, we’re only able to take a maximum of 20 people in the camp. That means 10 kids (ages 8-12) and their guardians will be able to participate in the camp.

Interested in a fun day on transit? If you’d like to participate, we’ll need potential transit campers to tell us (in 50 words or less) what they love about transit!

If you like, you can also submit a photo and/or a video as part of your entry. Before you or your little one starts typing or writing, you’ll want to read the participation guidelines.

Send your submissions to thebuzzer@translink.ca with “I Love Transit Camp Kids” in the subject field, or you can mail it to The Buzzer, 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC, V3L 0E7.
Be sure to include the following:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Where you heard about the camp
  • The phone number and name of the guardian you wish to bring with you

The deadline for submissions is August 22.
If you are selected, participation forms are due BEFORE August 26.

Looking for some inspiration for your submission? Check out some past successful applications.

We’re looking forward to learning about why you love transit and to seeing you at camp!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Some tweaks to the Next Bus SMS service

Next Text Promo

You can still text to get your bus timings however, how you send and receive SMS information from the service is changing slightly .

What’s new

From August 15, 2016 onward, you will need to text the stop number AND a bus route number in order to receive the next two departure times.

You must include a bus route number in your request in order to get times.

How does it work?

Text the bus stop number and bus route number to 33333 (example: 54440 240) and within seconds, you’ll receive the next 2 departure times for that bus route at that stop.

If you need times for multiple bus routes that service your stop, enter the stop number and up to two bus routes, and text 33333 (example: 50585 44 84).

You’ll get the next 2 arrival times for each bus route in separate texts. You can only request up to two bus routes per text.

If three or more bus routes are listed at a stop and you want times for all of them, an additional text message will need to be sent (example: 54446 240 246 and 54446 241).

Departure times

The predicted departure times are based on the GPS location of the buses and update approximately every two minutes, but sometimes only scheduled times will be available.

Scheduled times are marked with an asterisk (*). When a service is cancelled, we’ll indicate the time with a “C” – same as today.

Need help?

As always, you can text “HELP” to 33333 for assistance.

Remember! Next Bus is also available on our website. So, you can get departure times and all of the route and stop information provided for you on your mobile device or computer.

For more information on the Next Bus SMS service, you can visit our website.
Have questions on the go? Tweet @TransLink or call us at 604.953.3333.

Biking to the ferry: A transportation planner’s journey

Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (BCIT)

Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (Courtesy of BCIT)

Island season is most definitely here! Before the summer slips away *tear* we have some adventure ideas for all of you cycling enthusiasts and budding bikers!

Read on to learn some routes that you can take to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal that have been collected and expertly researched by avid cyclist and TransLink Assistant Transportation Planner, Denis Agar.

One of the most incredible things about living in Metro Vancouver is that we have beautiful wilderness right on our doorstep. There are a number of exciting destinations to explore on the transit network, and even more are just a short BC Ferries ride away.

Did you know that a bike can take you from one tip of Salt Spring Island to the other in just 2.5 hours?

Even beginner cyclists can enjoy low-stress cycle touring on the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, with plenty of campgrounds and B&Bs available to spend the night.

While BC Ferries charges up to $115 round trip to bring your car to the islands, they charge just $4.00 round trip to bring your bike aboard.

The only part that can be a little challenging is getting to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with your bike.

All of TransLink’s buses are equipped with bike racks which can make it easier and faster to get to the ferry terminal, but these buses only carry two bikes at a time, which can be a challenge at peak times.  But don’t worry, because you have alternatives!

So, if you’re trying to get to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with your bike, here are some options worth considering.

*All hypothetical trips start at Waterfront Station to make comparison simple*

Richard Eriksson

Courtesy of Richard Eriksson

Bus route 620 direct to Ferry Terminal
Route 620 is your direct route from Bridgeport Canada Line station to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. It’s timed to connect with the ferry to Swartz Bay (Victoria) and at busy times, up to three buses can be scheduled to meet the same ferry departure! At peak times, it can be difficult to predict whether there will be room for your bike on the bus, because of the high levels of demand. The following two alternatives are more reliable, and they also leave from the same station!

Bus route 601/602/603/604 to 56 Street and Highway 17
Your next best option is to take one of the four bus routes that go from Bridgeport Station to the village of Tsawwassen. You’ll want to get off the bus at the corner of 56 Street and Highway 17, and bike west on Highway 17’s bike lanes for roughly 20 minutes to get to the ferry terminal.

Bus route 351 to Matthews Exchange
Although this option takes longer, two key factors make it a stress-free choice:

  • The extremely frequent route 351 is unlikely to leave you behind, and if it does, it’s only 15 minutes to wait until the next bus.
  • The 60 minute ride from Matthews Exchange to the ferry terminal is breathtakingly beautiful, along the Boundary Bay Dyke.
Heather Harvey

Courtesy of Heather Harvey

Massey Tunnel shuttle
This option involves a free shuttle that takes you from one side of the Massey Tunnel to the other. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure operates this service, which can carry up to seven people and bikes at a time, making it ideal for cycling with big groups. If there are more than seven people waiting, the shuttle will come back ASAP to pick them up.

If you want to take this shuttle but don’t want to bike all the way from your home to the shuttle stop, you can take the Canada Line to Richmond–Brighouse Station and ride to the shuttle pickup point from there.

Bike across the Alex Fraser Bridge

Courtesy of Pete

Courtesy of Pete

If you want to bike all the way from your home to the ferry terminal, your closest bike-friendly crossing is the Alex Fraser Bridge between New Westminster and Delta. That’s more than a three hour trip, but there are a number of ways you can shorten it:

  • Take the SkyTrain from Vancouver to 22nd Street Station and bike from there.
  • At 22nd Street Station, you can also catch the 340, 388, or 104 buses that will take you right to the foot of the bridge at the corner of Cliveden Avenue and Hwy 91 off ramp.
  • On the other side of the bridge, you can catch the 640 bus at the corner of Nordel Way and Nordel Court, which will take you to Ladner.
  • At Ladner Exchange, you can catch one of the buses from options one or two that will help you on your way.

For more details on each option, click here.

If you encounter any issues with this information, or if anything has changed, let us know in the comments!

Author: Denis Agar

CMBC operators-to-be don blindfolds for important training session

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“Approximately half a million Canadians are estimated to be living with significant vision loss that impacts their quality of life, and every year more than 50,000 Canadians will lose their sight. This figure includes people who have no sight from birth, people who are legally blind, as well as people with less significant vision loss.”
– Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

Respectful, physical touch helps communicate with those who do not have their full sight

Respectful, physical touch helps communicate with those who do not have their full sight

When you want to become a CMBC bus operator, there are many tests and training sessions you undertake to make sure you’re ready for any and all scenarios you may encounter.

One important training session is centred around the blind and partially-sighted community in Metro Vancouver.

The 18-year-old program is meant to show the challenges and barriers the visually impaired community encounter on public transit. It gives operators ideas and tips of what they can do to help riders with visual impairments.

Steve Muller, Chief Trainer for operators at CMBC, believes this is a training that really sticks with drivers.

“This is definitely a session that operators remember participating in through their entire careers. This is not just an instructor providing the information, but visually impaired customers who actually experience the challenges of the system day to day,” said Muller.

Rob Sleath has been presenting disability awareness seminars to CMBC transit operators as long as the training has existed.

Rob serves on the Board of Directors for CNIB and the President and Chair for Access for Sight Impaired Consumers. He has also been instrumental in helping our transit system become more accessible and usable for those with visual disabilities. I was lucky enough to tag along for his very last seminar at CMBC.

A big part of the training is walking a mile – or at least riding one – in the shoes of someone who faces the challenges of a partially sighted or blind person riding the bus.

Operators (and social media hangers on such as myself) are blindfolded and asked to navigate getting onto the bus, payment, seating and more without the use of their sight and without help from anyone else.

“We put these drivers through a fairly intense exercise. It lets them feel, if only for a moment, what a transit ride is like for someone who is blind or partially sighted, ” said Sleath.

Operators are also taught about the different sight aids used, how to identify CNIB Compass Cards, how to interact with service dogs, how to walk with or guide someone who is blind or partially sighted and how best to communicate.

Feeling our way to the bus front door

Feeling our way to the bus front door

Operators learn that the type of communication is key.

Using clear and directional-based verbal communication gives those without full sight capabilities the opportunity to take transit independently and confidently .

“The difference of an operator saying a seat is 10 steps forward and one step to your left versus using generalities like ‘down a little ways’ or ‘over there’ is huge,” said Sleath.

The audible stop announcements ensure those who have sight impairments are aware of the route and upcoming stops.

Operators are reminded that a noisy bus or open windows may hinder the announcements and to maintain a volume, despite external conditions, that can be heard anywhere on the bus.

Mark McKenzie is a instructor at CMBC and says his own personal experience with this training helped him immensely in the real world situations when he was a bus operator.

“I had a far greater empathy for what they had to deal with [because of the training] and therefore I was more patient and understanding of their needs. Especially when it came to communication and the importance of respectful physical contact such as offering one’s arm to guide a rider as opposed to grabbing someone’s shoulder or hand to forcibly lead them,” said McKenzie.

Have a look at some of the photos from the training:

I think Rob explained the purpose of the training exercise perfectly when he said, “I’m blind but I do everything else that you do in life and on transit, I just do it in a different way. This training helps the operators understand those who do things just a little differently in their transit environment.”

It was my sincere pleasure to participate in this training and to learn, firsthand, what soon-to-be bus operators need to know to be able to serve this community effectively, efficiently and respectfully.

You can find more about TransLink and our Access Transit programs on our website.

Interested in becoming a bus operator? Visit translink.ca/drive for more information.

Author: Adrienne Coling

B.C. Day weekend events: Davie Street party, Afro-Brazilian Carnaval and Vancouver Pride Parade

Pride Ian Spence

Pride 2015 – Courtesy of Ian Spence

Party time! Excellent!

Pride weekend is upon us and lots of events (Pride-related and more) are taking place this weekend, in and around Vancouver’s West End and downtown.

This means that some buses and Community Shuttles have been detoured or rerouted in that area.

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In the heart of the Davie Street Village, dance the night away on July 29 at the annual Davie Street Party happening between Burrard and Jervis.

Affected routes:

2:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. (July 30) – 5 Robson/Downtown, 6 Davie/Downtown, C23 Davie, C23 Main.

ABC

Can’t get to Rio for the 2016 Olympics? Don’t worry, you can get a taste of Brazil right here in Metro Vancouver!

The 6th Annual Afro-Brazilian Carnaval is this Saturday, July 30th.

Come out to the Granville Strip between Drake and Hastings to experience a samba parade, a live percussion band, capoeira demonstrations and more!

Affected routes:

6:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. – 4 UBC, 4 Powell/Downtown, 7 Dunbar, 7 Nanaimo, 14 Hastings/Downtown, 14 UBC, 16 29 Ave Stn. 16 Arbutus, 10 Downtown, 10 Granville, 17 Downtown, 20 Downtown, 50 Waterfront, 50 S. False Creek.

6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 6 Davie and 6 Downtown.

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Everybody say love!

The Vancouver Pride Society will be holding the annual Pride Parade on Sunday, July 31!

The parade will run on Robson between Nicola & Gilford then proceed via Denman, Beach and Pacific to Thurlow.

Affected routes:

6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. –5 Robson/Downtown, 6 Davie/Downtown, C21 Beach, C21 Yaletown, C23 Davie, C23 Main,

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – 240 15 Street, 240 Vancouver, 246 Vancouver and 246 Highland.

Remember! There is extra service for the last night of the Honda Celebration of Light!

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Hey, many of us get a day off on Monday. We should probably do something super fun with it!

If you’re south of the Fraser, check out the annual Holi Colour Festival.

Between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. head to Lakshmi Narayan Mandir at 8321 140 St in Surrey.

You will experience an explosion of colours – seriously, wear some old clothes – along with music, vendors, food, kids activities and lots of fun!

Celebrate BC Day in Burnaby!

From 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Burnaby Village Museum, enjoy local artisans, food vendors, carousel rides and even a circus school!

What other events and activities do you have planned for this long weekend? Comment below and let us know!

Know before you go! For full detours and maps, visit translink.ca/alerts.
Help us plan your transit trip by using Trip Planner.
Have questions on the go? Tweet @TransLink or call us at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

New buses roll onto routes this summer and fall

New bus_Kevin Plimbley

Pssssst….check out our new buses!

We know that additions to the transit fleet, whether they be buses, a new SeaBus or the much-anticipated Mark III SkyTrain cars are always of big interest to you, our readers and riders.

With that in mind, get ready and get set for some new buses (with allllllllll the info) that have hit the streets and buses on order for the coming months!

Buses on the way

Right now, we’re in the middle of two deliveries of buses:

  • 62 – 2016 Chevrolet/Giradin G5 Microbird cutaway Community Shuttles (16501-16562).

These will be entering service now through the fall.

  • 40 – 40-foot diesel New Flyer Xcelsior buses [XD 40’s](16101-16140) and five West Vancouver Xcelsior buses (1601-1605 ) will be in service by the fall.
  • An additional 26 – 2016 Hybrid Artics are  arriving beginning late this year (16201-16226).

Bonus! All these buses are air conditioned!

More buses will be rolling out of the new Hamilton Transit Centre, opening in September, during the autumn months.

This delivery will be for 51 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses [XN40’s] (16001-16051).

Buses delivered

FYBI (For your bus information):

  • 25 – 2012 XDE60, AC equipped, 60’ Hybrid Articulated buses in Richmond, they are the 12000-series buses
  • 17 – 2012 XD40, A/C equipped, 40’ Diesel buses in West Vancouver (1201-1217)
  • 45 – 2014 XN40, A/C equipped, 40’ CNG buses in Port Coquitlam (14000-series buses)
  • 21 – 2015 XDE60, AC equipped, 60’ Hybrid Articulated buses (15000-series buses operated in Burnaby and Surrey, which entered service earlier this year)

There you go bus fans, all the new bus information you can handle for one post :)

Thanks to Juan Sanchez (loyal Buzzer blog reader and transit enthusiast) for his interest in the newest buses in Richmond that sparked this post.

You can check out his photos of the buses in action here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Added service for the Honda Celebration of Light!

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Canada’s fireworks show – August 1, 2015 (Courtesy of GoToVan)

Summer means festivals, getting outdoors more and fireworks!

We are so lucky to be treated to the Honda Celebration of Light again this year!composite_14690452769840

Here are the dates for these sparkling displays:

Saturday, July 23 – Netherlands

Wednesday, July 27 – Australia

Saturday July 30 – U.S. A. (DISNEY!!)

All shows begin at 10 p.m.

To make sure everyone can get to and from these spectacular events, TransLink has added more service for all three nights to accommodate the fireworks at English Bay.

Added service

West Vancouver Transit

West Vancouver Transit will operate additional service go to and from Downtown Vancouver before and after each event. There will be additional 255 Service to Lynn Valley from Dundarave.

SkyTrain Expo/Millennium/Canada Lines will run additional trains beginning mid-afternoon, at near-peak service levels lasting well past the end of the events.

Expo Line: Last train will leave Waterfront for King George at 1:16am, with connections to the Millennium Line at Commercial-Broadway.

Millennium Line: Last train to Lougheed will leave Waterfront Station at 1:11am

Canada Line: Last train will leave Waterfront for Richmond-Brighouse at 1:15am

West Coast Express: WCE will offer a special train on July 30 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m., arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15pm The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City approximately 1:15am.

SeaBus will provide extra and extended service for each of the Celebration of Light events.

  • July 23, 27 and 30: We’re extending our 15-minute service until 12 a.m., and then every 30 minutes until the last sailing at 1:22 a.m. from the South Terminal.

Some downtown and West End buses are also re-routing during these times. Full details can be found online here.

Station access

Before, during and after the events, transit stations will be open, but some will have modified access to ensure customer comfort and safety.

Waterfront Station: After 10:30 p.m., Expo and Millennium line customers who do not require an elevator may only access the station from the Howe Street entrance, north of Cordova. All Canada Line and SeaBus customers, and Expo and Millennium line customers who need an elevator, can access Waterfront Station through the Cordova Street entrance. The Canada Line Granville and Hastings entrance will remain fully accessible for Canada Line customers.

Granville Station: Customers can enter the station from Dunsmuir Street only after 10:30 p.m. until crowds have cleared. Also, there will be no access to Expo and Millennium trains heading towards Waterfront Station after this time.

Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance from 9 p.m. and should be removed by 10:30 p.m. onwards, until the expected crowds have cleared. Customers will not be able to access Expo and Millennium trains towards Waterfront Station after 10:30 p.m.

**Passengers will not be permitted to board SkyTrain
with bikes after the events until crowds are clear**

HCOL2016-Site-Map-updated-250614_r2-copy-2

Transit Tip!

Don’t wait in line at Compass vending machines after the fireworks!

You can buy your two Compass Tickets (save one for later that night) and top up your Compass Card beforehand to breeze through the crowds after the events!

For up-to-date transit service information including bus re-routes during special events, sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts,
follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Boundary Bay Airshow flies into Delta this weekend

75-years-Slide

What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird… it’s  a plane… it’s… oh, yep! It’s definitely a plane!

Many, many planes will be making neck-tilting appearances at the Boundary Bay Airshow this Saturday, July 23!

Some of those include a Lockheed P-38L Lightning, a Nakajima KI-43 Oscar and a Harvard Mk 4 and Mk IIb and more!

Due to this high-flying fun, various road closures will take effect from 10:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in areas surrounding the Boundary Bay Airport in Delta.

Closures and bus detours

  • Street closures will occur on 64th Street at 36th Avenue for eastbound traffic to 72nd Street, allowing only local traffic. Visitors to the Kings Links Golf Course will also be permitted to proceed. Traffic control personnel will be stationed at this closure.
  • 72nd Street at the 3900 Block will be closed for north bound traffic. Barricades will also be placed at this location not allowing traffic to proceed beyond this point. Traffic control personnel will also be stationed at this closure.
  • Closures will also occur at 72nd Street at Churchill Street with traffic only allowed to proceed eastbound on Churchill Street from this point to the event.
  • 80th Street will not be affected by any closures as this is an access route to the event.

Bus service on route 76 will be detoured from 10:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

For up-to-date transit service information visit translink.ca/alerts, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

CMBC defusers provide emotional first aid to bus operators

Video from the Vancouver Sun

A “defuser” may sound like an electronic device but in the context of Coast Mountain Bus Company, it means something much more personal and important.

A CMBC defuser provides what they like to call “emotional first aid” to employees out on the road; they help operators better cope with serious incidents. .

When the volunteers of this program are called, it’s because a driver is in need of help due to a major accident, a passenger assault or even a death.

The internationally accredited program began in 1992 and is very similar to the same resources extended to police and fire service employees after a traumatic event.

Statistics show that people who get “defusing” shortly after an incident have a much better recovery rate.

Dave McKay has been in this vital support position for 15 years and now acts as the program’s coordinator. He says they try and get a defuser out to an operator in need within hours of an incident.

“Right now we have 23 defusers. We like to have anywhere between 25 and 30. We have eight more on the way!”

All defusers are volunteers and initially were only operators but now the positions are open transit employees, including some former mental health workers.

McKay says a defuser needs empathy, listening and people skills and be able to do well in a crisis. The incidents can be very traumatic for operators and defusers are on call during all service hours.

“In these stressful situations we make sure they don’t drive, bring them to a quiet place then we take them through a defusing process which includes international critical stress management.”

And it’s not only the operators that need some support. Due to its stressful nature, all defusers have sessions themselves after responding to 10 incidents.

A defuser may not be a well-known position outside of CMBC but it is a job that makes such a difference in the lives of operators and employees and helps us keep you moving across the transit network.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Update to the C9 route this September 5, 2016

The updated C9 route as of September 5, 2016

The updated C9 route as of September 5, 2016

 

New Westminster residents will see a slight change in their C9 community shuttle route starting September 5, 2016.

This shuttle currently runs on a temporary route, which primarily runs along Columbia Street as it travels between Lougheed Station and New Westminster Station. It makes one diversion along Richmond Street, turning into Jamieson Court before returning to Columbia Street.

On September 5th the C9 will turn off of Columbia Street and run along a portion Cumberland and Richmond Street, with stops at Richmond and Cumberland and on Richmond at Miner Street. Service on Jamieson Court will continue.

For a larger view, check the .pdf.

A sneak peek at the new Hamilton Transit Centre! (photos)

Check out the new buildings!

Check out the new buildings!

In order to move over 400,000 people on transit everyday in Metro Vancouver and prepare for a growing region, it’s important to keep Metro Vancouver buses organized, fueled up and safe. Today I’m proud to announce that our newest facility, the Hamiliton Transit Centre (HTC), is well on its way to completion!

The buildings

The new facility will perform three functions: bus dispatch, bus service (fuel and wash) and bus maintenance. Buses and bus operators servicing the Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver areas will begin and complete service from this location.

Once completed, the 7.3 hectare site located in a light-industrial area in east Richmond will support the operations and maintenance of a fleet of 300 forty-foot equivalent (FFE) buses, including up to 80 Community Shuttle buses and 150 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled buses. Sixty-foot buses will also be accommodated at the centre.

HTC features a maintenance building, service delivery building, waste water treatment building, bus washing building and fueling building.

Bus operators will receive their daily assignments in the service delivery building and collect their buses from the parking lanes. Buses due for overnight fueling and washing will be collected from the buildings and returned to the parking lane, while buses due for maintenance will be parked in bays south of the maintenance building. Because there will be CNG buses at HTC, the building requires different design considerations, including floors with radiant heat. The waste water treatment plant processes oily water and waste from the facility.

One thing that strikes you when looking at the buildings at HTC is the wood ceilings and roofs. Not only does the wood look great, the wood is salvaged pine beattle wood that will, along with other sustainable features, help us towards achieving a LEED Silver certification for HTC.

The HTC lighting design has also been developed to keep as much light as possible directed to the facility and not the surrounding residential sites.

A bit of history and details on HTC

TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus saw the need for a new facility and started planning for it in 2009. Construction began in 2013 with a final completion date in 2017.

HTC will increase the capacity for maintenance and storage to 2,005 FFE buses allowing room to grow our current fleet of 1,611 FFE.

What’s next?

Even though the centre won’t be completely finished until 2017, the plan is to have buses housed and running service out of the facility by the fall!

Have we piqued your interest about HTC? Well, we’ll be planning a livestream of the centre really soon. What do you think about that?

Author: Robert Willis

CMBC attends provincially-led earthquake and tsunami response exercise

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Jon Arason, Emergency Management & Business Continuity Advisor and Stephen Shimek, Manager, Safety & Emergency Management

Always be prepared. It’s not just the boy scout’s motto!

Being prepared in an event of an emergency is important at home, at work AND on transit.

CMBC recently attended a response preparedness exercise put on by the province as to how this region could handle a larger earthquake and subsequent tsunami and how transit could help.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve often read that our beautiful province is at risk for a devastating earthquake followed by a tsunami. Given this knowledge, creating a professional disaster-response plan is not only important, but necessary.

Recognized as an organization that consistently ensures the safety and security of its staff and customers, CMBC recently took part in Exercise Coastal Response (June 7-10), the first-ever provincially-led earthquake and tsunami response exercise.

Based on a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the event included real-time simulation activities, focusing on what steps the province and its partners would take following such a catastrophic disturbance.

While in attendance at the South West Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre on day three of the event, CMBC’s Stephen Shimek (Manager, Safety & Emergency Management) and Jon Arason (Emergency Management & Business Continuity Advisor) shared important information with their colleagues.

“At the start of it,” said Shimek, “they didn’t realize what services we could provide. As we talked through it, they realized how much of an asset we are in any event like this, providing a multitude of different services, including bus shelters and transportation.”20160609_114725resize

“We became one of the partners in the exercise,” said Shimek, “having a critical role as an organization that can provide support during an earthquake event.”
The real value, according to both employees, was sharing essential information. “We needed to give them updated contact info for TransLink and the bus company,” said Arason, “as well as clarify what our role during a disaster would be.”

Not considered first responders, CMBC’s attendees emphasized what the organization is focused on. “We’re more than willing to help as a company,” said Arason, “we have a great track record of doing that, but we need to protect our staff, our riders, and we need to protect our assets.”

During one of the exercises, the organizers declared a provincial state of emergency, allowing them to provide further instructions to their partners, which include CMBC and TransLink. This prompted Arason, who referred to the post-disaster reality of fuel shortage and being short-staffed, to advise the province that the organization would need to manage itself first. “Once we know (we’re) safe, we’ll be rendering whatever assistance we can.”

Preparing for their own similar-type exercise this fall, Shimek and Arason agree there was an important takeaway from Exercise Coastal Response. “It reinforce(d) the fact that in order for us to support the city and the Lower Mainland, we have to be prepared ourselves, making sure that our own EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) is up and running and functional.”

Author: Kim Van Haren