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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Managing the Transit Network

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

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

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

SeaBus terminals are getting a much needed upgrade

SeaBus terminals

Construction is expected to last until 2018

Some SeaBus facts:

The SeaBus terminals and administration buildings are 40 years old.

SeaBus trips carry about 16,000 passengers a day.

That equates to 43,290 crossings each year carrying over 6 million people!

Talk about wear and tear!

The envelopes of all three buildings – essentially the walls and roofs – including the roofs of the two terminals, are in poor condition and no longer working as designed.

So, naturally, these buildings need some upgrades and rehabilitation work to keep them safe and functioning for both riders and employees.

Don’t fret! SeaBus service will continue to operate as normal during construction and terminals will remain accessible, however customers can expect small detours when entering or exiting the terminals.

What work is being done

  • The exterior metal cladding, roof, and windows on the north and south terminals will be replaced.
  • Stucco siding and windows on the administration building in North Vancouver will also be replaced.

Work is expected to begin this spring and continue until mid-2018.

We thank you for their patience while we do this necessary maintenance work.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Communicating bus stop relocations and closures in a new way

Bus Stop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Adrienne Coling

Have your say and take the Southwest Area Transport Plan survey

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Have your say and take the SWATP survey today!

We all know our region is growing in leaps and bounds and the Southwest Area of Metro Vancouver is no exception so, now is the time to plan for the future!

From April 11 to May 6, 2016, take the Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) survey and share your priorities for transportation improvements in Richmond, Tsawwassen First Nation, South Delta and connections to North Delta.

The SWATP is a very comprehensive planning process that will run for about two years.

It began in 2015 and will focus on improving transit service and infrastructure as well as addressing aspects of cycling, walking, driving and goods movement throughout the area.

With your help, we will better understand the current challenges and opportunities you face as you travel to, within or from the Southwest sub-region every day.

For future notifications around the Southwest Area Transport Plan, sign up for our eNewsletter or head to the TransLink website for more information.

Author: Adrienne Coling

The Transit Network Review report

Thank you for participating in the Transit Network Consultation!

Thank you for participating in the Transit Network Consultation!

The 2015 Transit Network Consultation ran from October 13 through November 6, 2015.

You remember!

Did you know that this was the largest transit service consultation in TransLink history?

We received 12,017 completed surveys (plus hundreds of letters and emails) from riders like you!

Overall, 60 per cent of respondents supported or strongly supported the proposed changes.

Here are some of the highlights of the packages proposed:

Recommendation highlights

  • Create a B-Line along Hastings
  • Improve travel time and reliability along the 49
  • Implement a number of changes to provide new connections to the Evergreen Extension
  • Increase reliability and travel time for passengers travelling to and from ferry services
  • Introduce new service areas in South of Fraser on the 501 and 595
  • Improve the efficiency of NightBus services

There were 85 routes that were bundled into service change packages.

We will start to make the changes to 26 of the 30 route packages that were up for consultation this spring with our regular service changes.

The remaining 14 route packages will be modified to address concerns raised during the consultation process.

You can find all recommendations can be found on our website.

All spring service changes will go into effect on April 11, 2016.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink’s next Open Board Meeting is March 30, 2016

imageTransLink invites you to our third Open Board Meeting – the first of 2016!

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 Wednesday, March 30th at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at TransLink Head Office in New Westminster.

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

You can view the Open Board Meeting in its entirety below.

Author: Adrienne Coling

You are invited to our Pattullo Bridge information sessions!

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Come out to one of our Pattullo Bridge rehabilitation information sessions!

As we mentioned in February, the Pattullo Bridge is in need of repair!

ICYMI! Between April 29 and October 3, 2016, we’re repairing the Pattullo Bridge to keep it safe.

The bridge will remain open with one lane in each direction, with the exception of two nights a week and one weekend a month.

To avoid expected delays of up to 40 minutes, try using the alternatives like transit, carpooling, cycling or taking a different route.

For more information, including closure schedules and trip planning resources, visit translink.ca/pattullorehab.

You can also plan on attending one of our information sessions:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
SFU Surrey
WestStone Group Grand Hall
Messanine level
13450-102nd Avenue

Thursday, March 31, 2016
4 p.m.–8 p.m.
Douglas College
New Westminster
Concourse (atrium) level
700 Royal Avenue

You can find more information on our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink gets a new CEO!

Kevin Desmond

**Update – see videos below and at the bottom of the post**
We will be streaming live via Periscope with our new CEO Be sure to follow us at 11am. You can view the video now!

You can find the media release here

TransLink is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Desmond as our new Chief Executive Officer.

Kevin Desmond comes to us from King County Metro Transit where he is the General Manager.

That’s just a stone’s throw over the border!

Kevin has been with King County since 2004, overseeing a mix of transit modes, including buses, trains, vanpools and paratransit vans, as well as leading their almost 5,000 employees.

During his time at Metro Transit, they launched light rail and streetcar service, several bus rapid transit lines, grew transit ridership by 44 per cent and rolled out the ORCA Card — much like Metro Vancouver’s Compass Card!

Prior to Metro Transit, Kevin was Vice-President of Operations and Development at Pierce Transit in Lakewood, Washington, Chief of Operations Planning for New York City Transit and was a Deputy Director in Mayor Koch’s Transportation Office and Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

On top of all that, he is a member of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA Board of Directors and the first chair of APTA’s Sustainability Committee).

Talk about a transit-filled resume!

And how will he be getting to and from work, you ask?

Well, he plans to relocate his family to New Westminster where he will be able to walk, bike to work, or take a short SkyTrain ride to TransLink’s head office!

Please help us welcome our new CEO who will be joining us starting March 21, 2016.

Author: Adrienne Coling

You are invited to TransLink’s Next Open Board Meeting

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Want to know more about the ins and outs of TransLink beyond the road and rails?

Then you should plan on attending our next Open Board Meeting!

This is the second open meeting and final 2015 meeting of the Board of Directors.

It takes place on Wednesday, December 9th at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at TransLink Head Office in New Westminster.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to: media@translink.ca.

Agenda details can be found on our website.

There will be a brief press conference immediately following the meeting led by the Board of Directors Chair and acting TransLink CEO Cathy McLay.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the live Q & A
media event broadcast on Periscope.

Take a survey and have your say on proposed transit changes

Get involved today!

Get involved today!

Starting October 13, 2015 you’re invited to take part in an online survey and provide feedback on more than 85 proposed transit changes across Metro Vancouver. We’re asking for feedback now, so we can consider your input as we plan for the future. The survey is available until November 6, 2015.

The proposed changes aim to:

  • Integrate bus service to better connect customers to the Evergreen Extension
  • Decrease travel time on busy routes
  • Extend service to areas with high commuter demand
  • Take advantage of road and infrastructure changes
  • Make our system more efficient
  • Deliver on our plans

Check out all the details on specific proposals today!

For all our savvy followers who participated in previous consultations you might recognize some of these proposed changes from the Downtown Bus Service Review, Northeast Sector Area Transit Plan, North Shore Area Transit Plan or South of Fraser Area Transit Plan.

Author: Angela Salehi

Update on the Downtown Bus Service Review

TransLink and the City of Vancouver have partnered to develop a shared vision for the downtown bus network

TransLink and the City of Vancouver have partnered to develop a shared vision for the downtown bus network

Final recommendations resulting from the Downtown Bus Service Review are now live! How did we get here?

First, we identified a long-term vision:

The downtown bus network effectively and reliably connects downtown neighbourhoods and enables convenient transit connections to the broader city and region. The downtown transit network is consistent and easy to understand, with clear communication of temporary detours associated with road closures and special events.

Second, we listened to you and developed a list of priorities to guide how we achieve the network vision for the local bus network in downtown Vancouver. In the next one-to-five years we plan to do work in two focus areas:

Immediate: implement over the next one-to-two years

  • Extend the 6 Davie/Downtown to connect the West End, Yaletown and Gastown.
  • Consolidate the C23 Davie/Main and C21 Yaletown/Beach services.
  • Determine route for the 5 Robson/Downtown to improve consistency and reliability, based on an expected City of Vancouver decision regarding frequency and duration of road closures of the 800-block of Robson Street.

Near-term: complete once funding becomes available or in some cases conduct further analysis.

  • Simplify city-wide/regional transit services (3, 4, 7, 8, 200s) on eastern corridors.
  • Review design of the 17 Oak/Downtown following implementation of changes to the 5 Robson and 6 Davie.
  • Improve service reliability and customer experience.

Stay tuned for consultation opportunities in the future where you’ll have another chance to weigh-in on these recommendations!

Anyone who missed our earlier posts on this process can read more about it (1), (2) and (3). Thanks!

Author: Angela Salehi

Delegations from around the globe travel to Vancouver to meet with TransLink

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Left to Right: Guy Akester, Derrick Cheung, Ian Jarvis, Ibrahim Aleid, Saud Al-Saud, Ibrahim Alrajeh, Yosef Aljallal and Yosef AlBanumay.

 

Did you know that delegations from around the world, including Thailand, Sweden, Australia, Japan and Korea, visited TransLink in 2014 to learn about Metro Vancouver’s integrated transportation network?

Metro Vancouver’s transit system has an international reputation for excellence and TransLink’s ability to deliver transit-oriented development investment attracts interest near and far.

A delegation from Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, was in Vancouver this fall. Five delegates met with TransLink’s real estate group, planning and infrastructure management teams, and the Transit Police.

Ibrahim Aleid, Director of Metropolitan Planning and Urban Design at the Riyadh Development Authority says that TransLink is well regarded globally for delivering an efficient and integrated transportation network that is shaping world class transit oriented communities.

“We are developing a transit system in Riyadh and we hope to learn from the success of Metro Vancouver in creating the necessary conditions to foster and promote highly innovative transit-oriented communities and developments.”

 

What is a transit-oriented development?

Transit-oriented developments enable people to drive less, and walk, cycle and take transit more; and therefore maximize the value of transit investments. TransLink works in collaboration with public and private sector partners to enable the Metro Vancouver region to realize the benefits of transit-oriented communities and foster transit-oriented development.

Since 2011, development near transit has grown exponentially. There are now 35 development projects in construction or planning stages—significantly more than the handful of projects that existed from 1986-2011.

Author: Angela Salehi

Storify: Rethinking Transportation lecture #1

Hello Buzzer readers! I hope you had a chance to attend the first lecture yesterday in the series “Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas” that took place last night at SFU Woodwards. The lecture, Breaking the Political Gridlock to Address the Transportation Challenge: Lessons Learned from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, by Dr. Anne Golden, was streamed live and the video will be available shortly – I’ll keep you posted. The lecture generated great conversation about transportation and a great part of it is reflected in the tweets in this storify.

The next lecture is on Feb 25, 2014. Check this link for more info.

Breaking the Political Gridlock to Address the Transportation Challenge: Lessons Learned from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, by Dr. Anne Golden on January 28 was the first lecture in the new series of lectures on transportation. The next lecture is on Feb 25. Info: http://bit.ly/Khlbte.

http://storify.com/TransLink/rethinking-transportation-new-voices-new-ideas-lec

Author: Borjana Slipicevic