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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Planning for the Future

Moving Forward with Phase One of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision

Yesterday was a big day for Metro Vancouver!

It was a resounding, unanimous yes vote by the Mayors’ Council during their joint meeting with the TransLink Board as they officially approved Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation.

This major milestone will allow us to deliver the improved transit service for which our customers have been so eager.

These changes will help relieve overcrowding and pass-ups on our transit system and address the excessive gridlock our commuters face.

This plan includes $2 billion in transit and road improvements for the region.

Phase One improvements in 2017, 2018, and 2019 include:

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service
  • New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few or no transit options today
  • Safer walking and cycling routes
  • Reduced traffic congestion by fixing bottlenecks on major roads

We’re very excited about this milestone for the region and what it means for our customers!

Watch the Q&A period with Barry Forbes, Board Chair; Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Mayor; Linda Hepner, Surrey Mayor; and Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO.

Watch the replay of the joint TransLink and Mayors’ Council Board Meeting on Facebook or Periscope.

Full details are also available in the press release here.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

(Video) New Westminster Station upgrades are complete!

On Friday we announced the official completion of New Westminster Station upgrades taking the total completed stations from two to three. This was the latest of seven key SkyTrain stations and exchanges across the transit network that TransLink is currently in the process of upgrading.

The completed upgrades at New Westminster Station include:

  • A new elevator and escalators to improve access for customers with disabilities
  • Improved lighting throughout the station
  • Glass panels to replace the mesh screens and improve station visibility from street level
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system
  • New public art that improves the experience of riders

These upgrades mean improved passenger capacity, accessibility, safety and overall customer experience for our customers.

New Westminster Station Upgrades

Pattullo Bridge deck inspection takes place this Sunday, November 20, 2016

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The Pattullo Bridge received a necessary safety rehabilitation this summer.

As a part of the warranty for the work carried out on the bridge, the deck now needs to be inspected.

On Sunday, November 20, 2016, this inspection will take place.

Crews will extending the Saturday overnight safety lane closure to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

If you’re cruising over Pattullo, you can also expect a traffic pattern change that morning as crews inspect each lane of the bridge.

An similar inspection will also take place this spring.

Thank you for your patience while we continue rehabilitation work to the Pattullo Bridge to keep it safe and secure.

Want the latest Pattullo Bridge news? Head to translink.ca/pattullorehab or translink.ca/pattulloreplacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

First responders prepare for the opening of the Evergreen Extension

Training exercise for Coquitlam Fire at Lafarge Lake in June 2016

Training exercise for Coquitlam Fire Rescue at Lafarge Lake in June 2016

With the new extension to our SkyTrain network, there are many “behind the scenes” elements being tested and prepared.

A vital part of our preparation for the opening of Evergreen involves comprehensive emergency training with first responders.

Emergency preparedness training is conducted routinely throughout our transit system to ensure the highest safety standards are maintained and continuously improve responses.

Residents and riders in the Tri-Cities can expect to see some emergency training along the Evergreen Extension in the coming weeks.

On November 12, 19 and 26 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. emergency personnel in the Northeast sector will be running evacuation and rescue exercises with emergency vehicles, bus shuttle scenarios, testing equipment, smoke and fire alarms as well as ventilation fans at Inlet Centre and Moody Centre Stations and both the north and south portals of the tunnel.

The training will be a veritable who’s who of emergency response teams! Of course, we will have members of BCRTC, CMBC and Transit Police as well as Coquitlam Fire Rescue, Port Moody Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Port Moody Police.

Due to the training, some road closures around the stations will be required, but regular SkyTrain service will not be affected on these days.

Remember! This training will look real but these are not real incidents.

See what else is happening with the Evergreen Extension  at translink.ca/Evergreen.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Attention Metrotown SkyTrain riders!

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Some more changes are coming to Metrotown Station as we upgrade one of our busiest stations outside downtown Vancouver.

Beginning November 16, a portion of the centre stationhouse will open!

To allow for demolition to begin on the existing east entrance, the pedestrian walkway at Metrotown Station connecting the mall and bus loop will permanently close.

The station upgrades allow space for an overhead walkway to be built, however, TransLink does not own the property and it will be up to the discretion of the City of Burnaby.

We are currently working with the city to agree upon design, construction, funding and timing for the a new walkway.

Not to worry, the station is still accessible for riders! You can exit the platform via the brand new stairs in the centre stationhouse towards the east of the platform or the emergency staircase at the west end of the platform.

The future bus lane will be used for passengers to travel east or west along the south side of Central Boulevard. Concrete barricades will be installed to separate pedestrians from traffic in that area.

Compass Vending Machines and card readers will be located just outside the station, so remember to tap in and tap out to ensure you are paying the correct fare!

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To help direct riders during this construction, additional staff will be on hand, but you should still allow for an additional five to 10 minutes of travel time when using this station.

**Please note** There will be no escalator access into the station, only stairs. The HandyDART and Community Shuttles will continue to run between Metrotown and Patterson stations until the new elevators open this spring.

What’s all this construction for? Let me tell you! When fully complete, the upgraded station will include:

  • A rebuilt east stationhouse and the addition of new centre and west stationhouses
  • New stairs and escalators
  • A replacement of the original elevator with three new elevators accessible via a new central entry
  • An upgraded bus exchange on Central Boulevard
  • New secure bike parking

Looking for more station upgrades or Metrotown information?
Visit translink.ca/ontrack and translink.ca/Metrotown.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Derek Stewart speaks at CUTA about climate change and its impacts to transit

Courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

Courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

The 2016 CUTA Fall Conference and Transit Show is well underway!

One of speakers at this year’s conference is CMBC’s Derek Stewart; Director of Safety, Environment and Emergency Management.

You may remember him from this video!

We had the opportunity to pick Derek’s brain about his talk entitled Climate change impacts on transit and infrastructure and how that affects us here in Metro Vancouver.

How does climate change affect a transit network?

Climate change means that what we see as weather on a day to day basis is going to be different in the future. We don’t know exactly what nature has in store for us in the long term, but we expect more intense rainfall and wind events, along with more extreme heat and increased ocean levels.

As we saw with our recent wind and rain storms, this can mean fallen trees, power outages and local flooding, impacting our ability to reliably deliver customer service.

Why is it an important issue to address as Canadian transit agencies?

Transit is different than many other industries in two respects: we must deliver reliable service every day and our infrastructure tends to be around for a long time (good examples include our Oakridge and North Vancouver Transit Centres, both of which recently closed after decades of service).

Unlike a manufacturing plant or a warehouse that can relocate to areas less impacted by climate change, we operate where our customer live and work, regardless of the climate changes that happen.

What concerns does TransLink have regarding climate change?

Nearly every aspect of climate change will have some sort of impact on us. On the customer facing side of our business, we are already changing our bus and rail specifications to ensure that our vehicles are air conditioned. Our summers in recent years have included long, hot, dry spells creating comfort issues for our customers where our fleet is not air conditioned.

Should the frequency of intense rain and wind events increase, this will increase the likelihood of temporary service disruptions. In the longer term, rising ocean levels and increased rainfall could put several of our maintenance facilities at risk of flooding.

What can transit agencies do to prepare for the future?

In some respects, doing what we already do, just better, will help us to prepare.

Transit agencies are very good at responding to mini emergencies each day. Learning from our mistakes will make us better prepared for increased weather intensity. Planning, and running practice drills, for expected emergencies such as floods and earthquakes will also give us the skills and confidence to respond to emergencies.

In the longer term, we need to better understand what climate change means to us and how our infrastructure is vulnerable. Planning to mitigate these vulnerabilities will help us protect our assets and better enable us to reliably move people throughout the region.

What is TransLink doing to prepare for the future?

TransLink and its operating companies are continuously developing and revising plans for emergencies such as floods, which include elements such as protecting valuable assets and maintaining business continuity by relocating operations to alternate locations. By ensuring lines of communication both inside our organization and with our customers, we are able to adapt to conditions in the short term.

On the longer term horizon, we are working together with local and regional partners, engineers, and others to understand how and where we are vulnerable to climate change. By understanding our vulnerabilities, we can change the location, design and supporting infrastructure for delivery of transit services.

To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change TransLink is working to increase public transit mode share, while at the same time decreasing the carbon footprint of its fleet and facilities.

A big thank you to Derek for speaking with us and helping CMBC and all of TransLink’s operating companies prepare for our changing world.

Interested in what else is being discussed at CUTA? Check out the full program here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Graham Construction and Engineering LP wins award for Main Street Station Renovations

station
By now, you must have seen the gorgeous (and necessary!) upgrades at Main Street–Science World Station.

Big, beautiful windows that also aid in safety because of the higher visibility. Better lighting, benches, painting, escalators, elevators… the list goes on and on.

This is one of our busiest stations in downtown Vancouver and we couldn’t be happier with the results of this upgrade work for customers who use this station daily.

More good news! On October 5, the renovations for this station received the 2016 Awards of Excellence GOLD in the General Trade Award category – won by Graham Construction and Engineering LP – at the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) annual awards of excellence.

“Through these awards we shine a light on the dedication and professionalism that our
members bring to their projects – the complex, state-of-the-art infrastructure that we citizens use every day.”

– Fiona Famulak, President of the VRCA.

The judge’s comments highlighted the Skytrain moving 20,000 passengers a day in the middle of the construction site, appeasing neighbours, the City and traffic control was a continual challenge for the contractor, suppliers and trades.

As a part of our continued goal of excellent customer service, Graham Construction staff was trained to be able to handle customer queries on the job site.

Congratulations to Graham Construction and Engineering LP and all the TransLink staff that worked on this project!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Consultation begins for Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation

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TransLink and the Mayors’ Council are looking to the future to meet the challenges of growth and congestion in our region.

Last month, the council agreed upon a proposed plan and presented Phase One of their 10-Year Vision to the public.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in!

From October 11 to 31, 2016, TransLink is inviting Metro Vancouver residents to provide feedback on the approximately $2 billion plan that would increase transit services and improve roads, cycling, and walking infrastructure across the entire region.

Phase One details

  • Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
  • Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
  • Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
  • Improve the region’s major road network
  • Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
  • Improve access to transit stations and stops
  • Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
  • Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.

The Phase One Plan would be paid for through a fair and balanced funding formula – leveraging an initial federal contribution of $370 Million, a provincial government contribution of $246 Million and a regional contribution of $1.3 Billion.

The regional funding would be raised through a number of existing and new sources including modest increases to transit fares and Metro Vancouver residential and business property taxes.

There are a number of ways for you to get involved including online at tenyearvision.translink.ca or by attending one of five scheduled Open Houses.

Open House schedule

  • Saturday, October 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    (North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th St W, North Vancouver)
  • Tuesday, October 18, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Act Art Centre Lobby, 11944 Haney Pl, Maple Ridge )
  • Wednesday, October 19, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce St, Vancouver)
  • Thursday, October 20, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Ave, Surrey)
  • Monday, October 24, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond)

You can also send an email with your thoughts and suggestions to mayorscouncil@translink.ca.

After the public consultation period and consideration by TransLink’s Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council in November 2016, if the Phase One Plan is approved, region-wide transit system improvements will begin in early 2017.

Author: Jennifer Morland

New Pattullo Bridge consultations run October 3–31, 2016

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The Pattullo Bridge…she’s recently had a safety facelift, but this near 80-year-old bridge is in need of replacement.

In June 2016, we started the consultation process with the public and now we’re back for round two!

From October 3–31, 2016 we’re looking for your input again.

There are many ways for you to get involved in this process and make your voice heard including reading the discussion guide and providing feedback online or attending a public open house or small group meeting.

Public open houses

Attend one of our public open houses to learn more and provide feedback. These are drop-in sessions; no RSVP is required.

Community Date Time Location
New Westminster Wednesday, October 12 5 – 8 p.m. Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
Surrey Saturday, October 15 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Bridgeview Elementary School
12834 115A Avenue, Surrey
Delta Wednesday, October 19 5 – 8 p.m. North Delta Recreation Centre
11415 84 Ave., Delta
Surrey Thursday, October 20 5 – 8 p.m. Surrey City Hall
13450 104 Ave., Surrey
New Westminster Saturday, October 22 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sapperton Pensioners’ Hall
318 Keary Street, New Westminster

Small group meetings

If you’d like to attend one of our small group meetings, please register by emailing pattulloreplacement@translink.ca as space is limited.

Community Date Time Location
New Westminster Tuesday, October 18 6 – 8 p.m. Inn at the Quay
900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
Surrey Wednesday, October 19 1 – 3 p.m. Surrey City Hall
13450 104 Avenue, Surrey
Surrey Tuesday, October 25 6 – 8 p.m. Surrey City Centre Library
10350 University Drive, Surrey
New Westminster Wednesday, October 26 1 – 3 p.m. TransLink Head Office
400-287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster

For more information, visit translink.ca/pattulloreplacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Come out to TransLink’s Open Board Meeting on September 23, 2016

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You are invited to TransLink’s next Open Board Meeting!

Attending this meeting gives the general public a chance to see behind-the-scenes on matters relating to TransLink’s mandate and responsibilities

The meeting takes place on Friday, September 23 at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at TransLink Head Office in New Westminster.

Click here for more information. You can apply to speak at the meeting and find the agenda on our website.

UPDATE: Here’s a recording of the board meeting!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Investing in Metro Vancouver’s transit future: The 10-Year Vision

10 Year Vision

In Metro Vancouver today there is overcrowding on the transit network, increased traffic congestion and another one million people moving here over the next 25 years.

It’s pretty clear that our transportation network needs new investment and we need it now.

That is why our local mayors created a 10-year Vision and today, the Mayor’s Council released some more information about Phase One of this vision.

This plan sets out the new services and infrastructure needs of our region now and down the road.

Phase One of the 10-Year Vision is funded through regional funding sources to match investments by the provincial and federal governments.

Phase One details:

  • Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
  • Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
  • Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
  • Improve the region’s major road network
  • Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
  • Improve access to transit stations and stops
  • Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
  • Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.

The Phase One plan includes regional funding sources so that, if approved, we can begin rolling out new services and projects in the Vision starting in January 2017.

The goal is to reduce traffic and make transit commutes faster and more comfortable for all riders in communities across the region.

The public will get a chance to weigh in on the plan during public consultation that will take place in October.

Next Steps:

September 2016: 10-Year Vision: Phase One plan introduced

October 11–31, 2016: Public consultation on the Phase One plan

November 2016: Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board approve final plan

January 2017: Transit system improvements begin

Watch our FB LIVE stream of the press conference with Vancouver Mayor Robertson, Surrey Mayor Hepner and TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond.

Want more information?
More details can be found in the 10-Year Vision and the press release.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Metrotown loop truss is going up!

As part of the ongoing work at Metrotown Station, construction crews will lift the second half of a massive 120 ton overhead steel structure overnight on September 10 – that’s this Saturday!

To give crews the time and space they need to safely install the loop truss, SkyTrain will not run between Patterson and Royal Oak stations after midnight on Saturday, September 10. Scheduled construction for September 9 has been cancelled.

Frequent shuttle buses will run between Patterson, Metrotown and Royal Oak stations for customers who want to travel to or from Metrotown Station, eastbound beyond Patterson Station, or westbound beyond Royal Oak Station.

Eastbound train service from Royal Oak Station will also be extended to allow connections from the last train and shuttle bus.

Customers should plan for an additional 15 to 20 minutes of travel time while the work is underway. Customers may find it faster to take the Millennium Line from Commercial-Broadway.

The loop truss is the roof of the new west stationhouse. In order to lift the 120 ton structure into place, two cranes will be used – a 250 ton crane and a 500 ton crane – yowza!

The first half of the lift was completed on August 25.

Want the latest on Metrotown Station Upgrades?
Click here or check OnTrack!

Author: Jennifer Morland

Hamilton Transit Centre opens in Richmond!

I Love Transit 2016

Today is an exciting day for TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company and transit users across the region!

The brand new Hamilton Transit Centre (HTC) is open and will start operations on September 5, 2016.

Transit centres are the hubs of transit systems. They keep buses on the roads to get passengers where they need to go.

Hamilton Transit Centre has capacity for 300 forty-foot buses, including up to 80 community shuttle buses and 150 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled buses.

HTC will perform three functions: dispatch, fuel and wash service as well as maintenance for buses servicing the Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver areas.

Watch the video above where Joe Peschisolido, Member of Parliament for StevestonRichmond East, the Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink, Al Richmond, UBCM president, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond, and Councillor Harold Steves, Acting Mayor of Richmond celebrated the opening in Richmond today.

Author: Adrienne Coling

99 bus stop at Commercial–Broadway returns to its original home

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Good news, 99 users!

The bus stop for the 99 B-Line at Commercial–Broadway Station will move back to its original location, outside of Shoppers Drug Mart, on Friday, September 2.

Earlier this year, we moved the 99 stop location so construction crews could use the area to relocate utilities and build support columns for the new walkway over Broadway.

We are happy to report that this work is now complete!

Queueing lines will also be repainted, making it easier for passengers to board buses and keep sidewalk space available for pedestrians.

We recognize that bus stop moves have an impact on our customers and we thank everyone for their patience while we improve Commercial–Broadway Station.

**Please note** The 9/N9 stop will remain in its current location on the other side of Commercial Drive.

What will the upgraded station look like?

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

Upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station which are expected to be complete by summer 2017 include:

  • An additional platform for Expo Line trains, a widened crossing over the Grandview Cut and a new walkway over Broadway to enable the system to expand for future customers, particularly as our region grows.
  • New elevators and up and down escalators to improve access for customers with disabilities.
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system

Want more information?

More information about the Commercial–Broadway Station upgrades and project benefits can be found at translink.ca/commercialbroadway.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Pattullo Bridge set to reopen one month ahead of schedule!

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The Pattullo Rehabilitation Project began in May 2016.

Now, a month early, we are ready to open the bridge fully to four lanes on August 29, 2016.

For safety reasons, the bridge will still have the regular schedule of overnight lane closures that occurred before the rehab work began with one lane open in each direction.

To prepare the bridge for the full, four lane opening, the following closures are necessary:

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 24 to 5 a.m. Thursday, August 25
  • 8 p.m. Thursday August 25 to 5 a.m. Friday, August 26
  • 8 p.m. Friday, August 26 to 5 a.m. Monday August 29 (full weekend closure)

Crews will continue working below the deck into the fall. However, this work does not require immediate lane or bridge closures.

If closures are needed, the public will be notified well in advance.

The closure originally scheduled for September 30 to October 3, 2016 will not be occurring.

We realize the impact of the Pattullo construction work on commuters, goods movers and local residents and businesses.

Thank you for your patience during this necessary construction period.

Completed work

Despite some rainy West Coast weather in June, crews were able to get more done in a shorter period of time by scheduling additional weekend and overnight closures and reducing the number of concrete pours.

In total, crews repaired 1,180 square metres of bridge deck with 67 full-depth repairs.

Repairs included:

  • milling off the asphalt surfacing from the deck
  • removing all deck concrete down to the top layer of rebar
  • repairing concrete delamination and cleaning or replacing rebar
  • repaving the deck area with a concrete overlay

The focus of the work was on these essential deck repairs to address the concrete delamination on parts of the 79-year-old bridge.

These repairs are designed to extend the life of the bridge with minimum maintenance and keep the Pattullo operational while a replacement bridge is designed and built.

TransLink will continually inspect the bridge and make any needed repairs in the future to maintain safety and functionality.

Interested in what’s happening with the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project?
Visit translink.ca/pattulloreplacement.

Author: Jennifer Morland