Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Community Events

Notes and Questions & Answers from TransLink’s 2013 AGM at Surrey City Hall

It was a packed house at TransLink’s 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the new Surrey City Hall on Wednesday, May 28 as hundreds joined us to hear more about our accomplishments and financial highlights of the past year.

TransLink’s achievements in efficiency and customer service were shared by TransLink Board Chair Marcella Szel, TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis and TransLink CFO Cathy McLay.

In 2013, TransLink achieved $16.3 million in efficiencies and reduced costs while maintaining strong customer service ratings. Other achievements shared at the AGM include:

  • $248 million invested in infrastructure and transit fleet upgrades to keep the transit system in good repair today, and for years to come.
  • 58,600 new bus service hours for the new 555 bus route between Langley to New Westminster over the Port Mann Bridge, and for the new King George 96 B-line.
  • Transit customer satisfaction ratings of 7.6 out of 10.
  • 1,760 fewer tonnes of CO2 emitted by reducing bus idling by 161,000 hours since 2009.
  • 10,000 customers participated in Compass Card Beta test, and 80,000 Compass cards are now in circulation.
  • Moved an estimated 233.9 million transit passengers in 2013.
2013 TransLink Annual Report

2013 TransLink Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

TransLink’s Annual Reports highlight the accomplishments of each fiscal period. The Reports are prepared under the direction of the Board of Directors. Each report contains performance measures, selected by the Board, as well as a consolidated Financial Report.

» Read the 2013 Annual Report

Questions and Answers

Due to time constraints, we were unable to get to many of the online questions, but fear not! We have gotten you the answers!

Please note: questions may have been edited for clarity.

Why aren’t there power outlets on the buses and SkyTrain? There are power outlets on the SeaBus and West Coast Express, so why can’t they be on the buses and SkyTrain as well? In the US, there are power outlets on every single bus, so why can’t that happen here? Richard via email

Convenient outlets on SkyTrain cars and buses are not considered necessary most passenger trips are short – the typical passenger trip is about 17 minutes. The cost of putting in the wiring and outlets in an already crowded space would likely be significant. Furthermore, electronic devices plugged into power outlets are likely to be an obstacle for the smooth flow of the heavy traffic in and out of SkyTrain cars.

I would like to know if you [TransLink executives] regularly use public transit in the Metro Vancouver area? This will tell me if you are aware firsthand what issues us transit commuters are faced with. –Chris via email

All executives at TransLink do frequently use transit, particularly when traveling to meetings around the region.

Read more »

Reminder: Take part in the TransLink 2013 annual general meeting in person or online May 28, 2014!

You're invited!

You’re invited!

Just a reminder that we’ll be holding our 2013 annual general meeting at Surrey City Hall, this Wednesday, May 28, 2014!

It’s your chance to hear more about our accomplishments and financial highlights of the past year.

Following the main presentation, there will be a panel discussion and an opportunity for the audience and webinar participants to ask questions.

Please note, we have limited time to answer all of the questions we receive in person and online. However, if we can’t get to your questions during the AGM, we’ll do our best to answer them afterwards.

If you’d like to participate in our annual general meeting, you can do so in person or from the comfort of your own home. Here’s how:

Participate in person

The AGM will take place in the Surrey City Hall Council Chambers and will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

Surrey City Hall
13450 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC

It is located one block from Surrey Central SkyTrain Station and paid parking is available beneath the city hall plaza for $1.50 per hour.

You can plan your trip using Google Maps or our Trip Planner!

Participate online

If you are unable to attend the AGM in person, we will be live streaming it online and it will be archived on our YouTube page.

Just click on this webcast link, fill in the required fields (first name, last name and email address), then click on “Register,” and you’ll be redirected to the live stream.

If you’d like to ask a question, which will be read on your behalf during the AGM question and answer period, you have a few options:

 

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the AGM on Wednesday! See you there or online!

Watch the archived webinar

Come to the TransLink 2013 Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 28!

Come join us at the new Surrey City Hall – just one block from Surrey Central Station!

It’s that time of the year again!

The 2013 annual general meeting will be taking place at the new Surrey City Hall at 13450 104 Avenue and is located one block from Surrey Central Station. The meeting will start at 10 a.m.

After the main presentation on our accomplishments and financial highlights of the past year, a panel discussion and question period will follow.

Commuters can take the Expo Line from Columbia Station and the 96 B-Line from Newton and Guildford Exchange to reach city hall. Use our Trip Planner or call 604-953-3333 to plan your trip. Paid parking is also available beneath the city hall plaza for $1.50 per hour.

If you’re unable to attend in person, check the blog in the coming weeks for information on how you can watch the live webinar. We look forward to seeing you in person or online on the 28th!

TransLink offers passengers more service on race day

Sun Run photo

More than 50,000 people expected at 30th annual Vancouver Sun Run.

 

Ready, set, GOOOOO!!!! TransLink will extend transit services to help runners and their fans get where they need to go before and following the Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, April 27.

To plan your trips to and from the race, you can visit here, here and here.

The quick facts:

  • Expo and Millennium Lines will leave King George Station at 6:38 a.m. & Lougheed Station at 6:45 a.m.
  • Canada Line will begin service at 4:48 a.m.
  • Coast Mountain Bus will provide regular Sunday service, with detours in effect in the West End and along Georgia Street.
  • The SeaBus will leave Lonsdale Quay at 7 a.m. and every 15 minutes from Waterfront until 2:45 p.m.
  • West Coast Express will depart Mission at 7 a.m. and arrive downtown at 8:15 a.m. The return trip will leave Waterfront at 1 p.m.
  • West Vancouver Blue Bus will provide regular Sunday service, with increased frequency on the 250 in the morning and after the run.
  • BEST’s Bicycle Valet, will once again offer cyclists temporary and free storage at Gate F on the second level of BC Place.

 

To prevent long line-ups after the Sun Run, SkyTrain customers can pre-purchase return tickets prior to the race. Portable fareboxes will be set up at Bridgeport, Burrard, Granville, King George, and Vancouver City Centre stations. They will also be set up at Stadium-Chinatown and Yaletown-Roundhouse stations  for up to one hour after the race. Exact cash fare is required and tickets will be valid until late afternoon.

Due to crowding and safety concerns, cyclists may need to wait to take their bikes on SkyTrain until the crowds clear.

 

For more service information follow TransLink on Twitter @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Choosing the Happy City: People

Living in the #happycity means hopping on the train for an impromptu sunset seawall stroll after dinner.  Photo by Chris Bruntlett (@cbruntlett)

Living in the #happycity means hopping on the train for an impromptu sunset seawall stroll after dinner.
Photo by Chris Bruntlett (@cbruntlett)

 

 

The lecture Choosing the Happy City is just around the corner and it’s a good time to explore different perspectives on the connection between neighbourhoods and the happiness of people who reside in them. A few days ago, I posted the interview with Charles Montgomery – I hope you enjoyed it.

Today, I had a pleasure to speak with Chris  Bruntlett, a residential designer, writer, photographer, and bike enthusiast. During the day, Chris works as a residential designer, designing single family homes, duplexes and laneway houses in the City of Vancouver.

Outside of the office, he spends a great deal of his evenings and weekends encouraging people to get on a bicycle through writing, photography, public speaking, and filmmaking. If you read posts about city cycling in the Spacing, Vancouver Is Awesome, Vancity Buzz, Hush, or Momentum Magazine, the chances are that you came across Chris’ work.

 

What city in the Lower Mainland do you live in?

Our family of four lives in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood of Vancouver, just a couple of blocks from the Commercial-Broadway Skytrain station, and have done so for five years now.

What makes you happy about where you live?

We love having the freedom to choose how we’re getting somewhere, dependent on the nature of the trip we’re taking. Sometimes it’s walking. Sometimes it’s cycling. Other times it’s by bus or Skytrain. And once in a while, we’ll borrow a car from Modo or Car2Go.

How do you usually travel around your neighbourhood?

More often than not, we get around Grandview-Woodlands by foot or bicycle. We are fortunate enough to have the traffic-calmed 10th Avenue, Lakewood, and Mosaic Bikeways at our disposal, although running errands along Commercial Drive can be problematic. We’re certainly hoping the long-term plan to create safe, comfortable space for cycling on The Drive happens sooner rather than later.

What’s your favourite thing about how you get around your neighbourhood?

Moving at a slower pace allows us to have an intimate, unfiltered, first-hand connection to our neighbourhood, its shopfronts, merchants, houses, parks, and neighbours we may run into along the way. Our kids know the people and places in their community like the backs of their hands.

How do you usually travel around your city?

When it comes to longer distances, we’ll usually take a combination of Skytrain and/or bus, although our kids have been known to amaze us with their ability to ride their bikes long distances. We absolutely love cycling on the seawall as a family, with its stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and glass towers; and can sometimes ride over 20 kilometres in a single day!

What do you like about travelling around your city?

Getting around without a car transforms all of our travel time into family time. Walking, cycling, or riding the bus provides ample opportunity to relax, hold hands, make eye contact, and chat about any number of topics, big or small.

You’re often involved in projects that focus on city cycling as part of everyday life. What are you currently working on?

I recently produced a series of six short films which intimately profile a number of Vancouverites who use a bicycle to get around. We just wrapped up the first series (http://www.youtube.com/vancyclechic), which were incredibly well received and publicized; and have started pre-production on a second series, to be shot and released in 2014.

You recently wrote a review of the book “Happy City” for Vancouver is Awesome. Anything you want to mention from the book?

As Charles Montgomery points out, the greener, happier and resilient city all occupy the same place. In my opinion, Vancouver should be aiming to be the “World’s Happiest City”, and framing the (sometimes heated) discussions around what we have to gain – rather than give up – in order to live sustainably.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter the Happy City contest to win some great prizes.  Apart from the Buzzer, this contest is run by the Vancity Buzz, The Thirties Grind and Surrey604.  The lecture Choosing Happy City is sold out but you can watch it live via webcast; simply click on the webcast link here at 7 pm on March 26.

 

All aboard the live opera train on the SkyTrain!

Get a little culture on the rail this weekend with the Opera Train!

Get a little culture on the rail this weekend with the Opera Train!

Looking to do something you’ve never done this weekend? How about some live opera on a SkyTrain courtesy of our friends at TravelSmart!

That’s right, starting at Surrey Central SkyTrain station at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 9 (don’t forget to spring forward before you go) live performances will be happening until approximately 12:30 p.m. at all Expo line stations between Surrey Central and Stadium-Chinatown station.

For more info on the schedule and why this is happening in the first place, check out the TravelSmart post!

 

 

Bus Driver Appreciation Day 2013 at Vancouver Technical School

Can you small the hot cocoa?

Can you small the hot cocoa?

What a morning I had watching students at Vancouver Technical School handout hot chocolate to #9 bus route operators!

Every year in December, students give out hot chocolate and a little gift to each mid-morning bus operator that stops in-front of the high school.

I’m told the tradition was started by a teacher at the school nearly twenty years ago and has been going strong ever since. The excitement was palpable this chilly morning filled with sing-a-longs to Christmas music classics. Students got out of bed early to get the hot chocolate ready to go for 7:00 a.m. And Judging from the honks from each bus and smiling operator the effort was greatly appreciated.

For a bit of history and a look at past years of the program, you’ll want to read these past two (2011 and 2012) blog posts.

A big thanks to all of the students and staff at Vancouver Technical School who were involved in this incredible slice of annual holiday cheer!

TransLink employees raise $346,445 in support of the United Way

The TransLink family joins together for a great cause.

The TransLink family joins together for a great cause.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of employees in the TransLink family, we once again supported the annual United Way campaign, raising a big $346,444.70!

  • A gift of $1.00 every day over a year provides 36 hampers of food to vulnerable pregnant women and      parents of young children
  • A gift of $1.80 every day over a year engages 20 children in a school-based bullying prevention program
  • A gift of $3.30 every day over a year provides accessible community gardening plots to three seniors with disabilities
  • A gift of $5.00 every day over a year provides a range of supports to ten unpaid seniors caregiving for a loved one, ensuring that they are not alone and isolated

United Way of the Lower Mainland invests in more than 150 agencies to deliver over 450 programs and services to help children, families and seniors in 26 communities in Metro Vancouver, the Sea to Sky corridor and the Sunshine Coast.

This contribution will go a long way in helping families and individuals in need in our community. For more information about how contributions to the United Way are helping to make a difference in the lives of so many in our community, we invite you to visit the United Way Lower Mainland website.

“I am extremely proud of the commitment that employees across the TransLink enterprise have dedicated to the campaign this year. We have been strong supporters of the United Way for over 40 years because they have the ability to address problems facing many people who live in the communities we serve.”  - Cathy McLay, United Way Campaign Cabinet Transportation & Shipping Co-Chair and TransLink Chief Finance Officer and Executive Vice President, Finance and Corporate Services

“TransLink really demonstrates their commitment to support and improve their communities by supporting the United Way. Without the funds raised by organizations like TransLink, we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do helping prevent social problems like child poverty, bullying, and senior isolation across the Lower Mainland.” - Michael McKnight, President & CEO of the United Way of the Lower Mainland

So You Think You Can Busk? – and the winner is Patrick Jolicoeur!

SYTYCB2013

 

The online vote to pick the eighth and final transit busker license for 2014 is now complete! All four candidates really rallied their troops to get the vote out, but in the end Patrick Jolicoeur was the winner of the eighth and final transit busker license with 34% of the vote!

We’d like to thank all the buskers who came out for the auditions. Now watch out and listen up for Patrick and the other seven successful musicians on the system in the new year!

For those who haven’t watched it yet, here’s Patrick’s winner audition!

Santa to keep steering the sleigh…er, bus

Santa, Mrs Clause, Sparky the elf and the Reindeer bus!

Santa, Mrs Claus, Sparky the elf and the Reindeer Bus!

It’s that time of the year for candy canes, ginger bread houses and Santa Claus. Speaking of the jolly old elf, he’s been the subject of some media attention of late. Santa shows up on a number of routes including the #27 Kootenay Loop/Joyce Station run which sparked media coverage.

Just to be clear, we love Santa, we love the holidays and we love our riders! We’ve heard about your love of seeing Santa on this route and we would like to let our riders and the public know that we will continue to allow our bus operator to wear his Santa suit while on duty. We recognize that we underestimated how much our riders valued his holiday spirit and it was certainly never our intent to offend the public.

Where can you see holiday cheer on the transit system?

The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle (November 2013 – January 2014)

The Reindeer Bus, Sparky the bus operating elf and Jiana from TransLink

The Reindeer Bus, Sparky the bus operating elf and Jiana from TransLink

The Reindeer Bus has been driving various routes across Metro Vancouver since November. Recently, the bus made a public appearance at the Christmas Wish Breakfast, hosted by the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau at the Pan Pacific Hotel on December 11. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf Sparky have also periodically been visiting mystery stops this week throughout Metro Vancouver. Here’s some fun facts about the program:

  • Since 1985, Coast Mountain Bus Company annually decorates one bus and one Community Shuttle to resemble a reindeer. This year it will operate from November 12 to January 1.
  • The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle visit a number of holiday celebrations including local agencies likethe Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House (December 9-12).

Toys for Tots

The Reindeer Bus and shuttle are a part of the Toys for Tots campaign. Here’s some info about the program:

  • Created in 1985 by a group of BC Transit bus drivers, Toys for Tots allows TransLink employees to donate newly unwrapped toys or money to the less fortunate.
  • Last year, Toys for Tots delivered 2,709 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau with the grand total of 57,968 since the launch of the program.
  • In addition, $300 cash was contributed to the donations, totaling $42, 822.86 since 1985.
  • The entire supply of donations to be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies from Monday, December 9 to Thursday, December 19.

Canada Line Blanket Drive (November 22 – November 23)

We were part of the fifth annual Drive on the Line campaign -partnership between Blanket BC Society and the Canada Line – that took place along the Canada Line on November 22 – November 23.

  • This year, the two-day blanket drive collected 8500 blankets, exceeding the last year’s record of 6200 blankets.
  • All donated items are distributed evenly to shelter programs and organizations that work directly with most vulnerable individuals and families throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and this year, Vancouver Island.

West Coast Express Santa Train (December 7 and December 14)

Now in its 17th year, this is an annual toy-drive that collects toys on behalf of the Christmas bureau, serving communities in the Northeast sector including SHARE in the Tri-Cities, the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, and the Christmas Bureau in Mission.

This year on Saturday, December 7 and December 14, riders will be able to ride the special train in return for a newly unwrapped toy.

Want more seasonal cheer? Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle contest coming soon!

Keep watching the blog for a fun contest you can take part of if you see the Reindeer Bus or Community Shuttle!

So You Think You Can Busk? – Vote for who busks on the transit system!

SYTYCB2013

 

UPDATE: The voting is now complete and Patrick Jolicoeur is the winner of the eighth and final transit busker license for 2014 with 34% of the vote!

We’d like to thank all the buskers who came out for the auditions. Now watch out and listen up for Patrick and the other seven successful musicians on the system in the new year!

For those who haven’t wanted it yet, here’s Patrick’s winner audition!

Previously… It’s time to help TransLink choose the eighth and final busker license this year. Yesterday, we held our annual busker licenses auditions, So You Think You Can Busk? This morning we contacted the seven successful musicians who will be busking on the system starting in 2014. The winning buskers include musicians who play guitar, tamboa and harmonica.

Our panel of amazing judges also chose four candidates who will compete for the eighth and final busker license. Now it’s your turn to be the judge and pick which one of these four candidates will be the successful busker to play on the system!

Videos of each of the four candidates’ auditions were taken and are posted below. Take a look, enjoy the music, and vote for which musician you would like to see perform at six different transit locations in Vancouver! Those station include: Waterfront (Howe Street entrance and SkyWalk), Burrard, Granville, Vancouver City Centre and Commercial-Broadway.

This public vote is open between December 5 to 15, 2013. The busker with the most votes will be announced on December 16, 2013. I’ll do my best to update the blog throughout the competition with the results.

When you’re watching the videos: It’s good to think about what the atmosphere is in these stations during morning/evening rush hour periods as well as slower periods on the system when you’re considering who to vote for. Would you like to hear certain things when it’s busy? What would you like to hear on a Sunday afternoon on the system?

Now, enjoy the show, and get voting!

*note: Buskers had roughly three minutes to perform. Some buskers interacted with our judges which made for different auditions lengths.

Who's your favourite busker?

  • Patrick (34%, 3,913 Votes)
  • Connor (24%, 2,738 Votes)
  • Jessica and Hugh (22%, 2,523 Votes)
  • Jovana and Tobias (20%, 2,173 Votes)

Total Voters: 11,365

Connor Kelly

Patrick Jolicoeur

Jessica Malihot and Hugh Barbour

Jovana Golubovic and Tobias Oliveira

So You Think You Can Busk? – What a Day!

SYTYCB2013
Wow! A whirlwind of a day is over, but the fun has just begun! If you weren’t following #sytycb on Twitter and Instagram, below are some shots of the day that Angela C took. Thanks Angela!

Tomorrow is the big day for the start of the public vote that will decide the eighth and final TransLink busking license. I’ll be posting the videos we shot of the four candidates, so that between Dec 5 to 15, readers of the blog can vote for who they think should be busking on the transit system.

We can’t wait for you to see them!

Today is… So You Think You Can Busk?

SYTYCB2013

 

 

Today is the big day for So You Think You Can Busk?

After preparing all morning, we are looking forward to see all the performances from Metro Vancouver’s talented buskers.

Aside from TransLink’s Cindy Bromley, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, we are also expecting a few guest panelists to be our judges today!

Aamer Haleem, co-host of CTV Morning Live

Jonny Staub, co-host of The Beat 94.5 FM’s morning show

Kenneth Chan, Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator with Vancity Buzz.

The four judges will decide who will successfully audition for the first seven busker licenses. Stay tuned – we’ll be announcing how you can cast your vote in deciding which busker should get the eighth and final license!

TransLink So You Think You Can Busk 2013

All set up and ready to go!

 

 

TransLink’s 2013 busker auditions start tomorrow!

SYTYCB2013All the busker applications are in, and we have a full house for TransLink’s annual busker competition So You Think You Can Busk? tomorrow! In the two-week call for audition applications, we had nearly 50 musicians apply. These musicians will compete for eight coveted one-year TransLink busker licenses.

The 2013 So You Think You Can Busk Judges:

This year, we’re adding some guest panelists to join TransLink’s Cindy Bromley, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations. They are:

Aamer Haleem, co-host of CTV Morning Live

Jonny Staub, co-host of The Beat 94.5 FM’s morning show

Kenneth Chan, Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator with Vancity Buzz.

Seven buskers licenses are awarded, and buzzer readers pick the winner of the eighth!

We’re changing things up this year! Our four judges will be scoring the buskers throughout the day tomorrow. After the event finishes around 4 p.m., they’ll huddle in a room determining who will win seven of the licenses.

Who wins the final license to busk? That will be up to readers of the blog! After the judges choose the seven license winners, they’ll identify four candidates to compete for the final license. We’ll be videotaping all the buskers during the auditions. On Thursday, December 5, we’ll post the auditions of the four final candidates on the blog so readers can cast their votes!

Check the blog on Thursday, and vote on who you think deserves to busk on the system! You’ll also want to watch the blog, The Buzzer Twitter channel and the TransLink Facebook page tomorrow because we’ll be posting audition updates throughout the day. Oh, and here’s the news release. This is going to be fun!

 

Information sessions for Commercial–Broadway Station begin December 5

2013-11-29 Commercial-Broadaway Buzzer(2)

Hear what’s happening at Commercial–Broadway station


Are you one of the 150,000 people who use Commercial–Broadway Station every day? Information sessions for the second phase of upgrades at the station will take place in early December and we want your input!

Visit us in the community

We’ll be out in the community to share information about the station upgrades with our neighbours and passengers who use the busiest station on the network. Join us at one of the three information sessions:

Information Session #1
Date: December 5, 2013
Time: 3 – 6 p.m.
Location: Commercial–Broadway Station, North Station House street level

Information Session #2
Date: December 10, 2013
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: University of British Columbia, Student Union Building

Information Session #3
Date: December 11, 2013
Time: 4 – 8 p.m.
Location: Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Drive

Get involved online

Can’t make it to one of the sessions? No problem! We will also have information and a feedback survey posted at translink.ca/commercialbroadway December 2 until December 16.

We hope to hear from you soon!