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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SeaBus

Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

Buses all settled and snuggled in for the night!

Our transit vehicles spend their days moving many people around Metro Vancouver, but have you ever wondered what happens to them after a long day of work? Each night, our SkyTrain vehicles, SeaBus vessels, buses and West Coast Express trains return to their homes for a well-deserved rest before they gear up for another busy day.

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Fun poll results: Your favourite summer spots to visit with transit

The results are in! We asked you what your favourite summer spot is to visit with transit and with 27 per cent of votes, Stanley Park is your favourite summer spot!

Coming in second and not too far behind with 20 per cent of votes is “Other”. Granville Island and New Westminster River Market both tied for third place with 14 per cent of votes each.

If you answered other, where do you love to go with transit in the summer? Summer isn’t over yet so comment below and let us know!

Following the top three summer destinations are White Pine Beach and Lonsdale Quay, each with eight per cent of votes, Queen Elizabeth Park with four per cent of votes, and Kitsilano Beach and Capilano Suspension Bridge coming in with three per cent of votes.

Thanks to everyone for voting!

If you have an idea for a poll, comment below or email thebuzzer@translink.ca!

Author: Christina Jakopin

I Love Transit week 2017 is coming!!

Our favourite week of the year is quickly approaching! I Love Transit Week! Since 2009, we have shared interesting stories celebrating our riders, transit enthusiasts and all the things we love about transit over the course of a special week dedicated to just that, our love of transit!

In the past, we’ve celebrated I Love Transit with a vintage bus, a marriage and so much more! This year, we have a bus load of more fun transit love, appreciation and stories to share with you.

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Your Guide to B.C. Day Holiday Service, Pride, Celebration of Light and more!

B.C. day is August 7 and that means a long weekend packed with events and of course, holiday transit service!

What’s happening this BC Day long weekend?

Honda Celebration of Light

The Honda Celebration of Light is one of Vancouver’s largest and most well-known festivals, and is recognized as the longest-running offshore fireworks competitions in the world. You can watch Canada put on a magical display of light on Saturday, August 5. For everything you need to know about the Celebration of Light, take a look here and here.

Vancouver Pride Festival

Vancouver Pride Week is on to paint the city in rainbows and celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community.

The Davie Street Block Party takes place on Friday, August 4 from 6 p.m. until midnight along Davie Street, between Burrard Street and Jervis Street.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Sunset Beach Festival happens on Sunday, August 6 at Sunset Beach.

One of Vancouver’s most impressive parades, the Pride Parade, takes place on Sunday, August 6 at noon at the corner of Robson Street and Thurlow Street. It proceeds west along Robson Street, then south down Denman Street and finally along Beach Avenue before finishing at Sunset Beach.

Look out for us in this historical, 1937 Hayes Anderson in the Pride Parade!

Harmony Arts Festival

The Harmony Arts Festival is a ten day long arts festival that begins this August long weekend on Friday, August 4. The festival is free and takes place in West Vancouver, along the water between Ambleside and John Lawson Park. The festival features live music, free nightly movies and art displays. To learn more, check out the Harmony Arts Festival website.

White Rock Sea Festival

Complete with live music, a torchlight parade, beachside yoga and fireworks, White Rock’s free Sea Festival takes place from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6. For a complete list of activities and more information, go to White Rock Sea Festival.

Service Information

Celebration of Light Service

There will be added service for the finale of the Celebration of Light on Saturday, August 5. For more information on service changes, take a look here and be sure to check out our Buzzer blog post here for everything you need to know to have a fun and safe time at the Celebration of Light!

Vancouver Pride Parade

On Sunday, August 6 SkyTrain will have increased midday service from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. and will then move to the Sunday/Holiday schedule.

The Seabus and the Canada Line will operate regular Sunday hours and service.

Busses will operate regular Sunday hours and service, however there will be route changes to the 5 Robson and the 6 Davie to accommodate the parade route.

B.C. Day 

On Monday, August 7, Bus, SkyTrain, Canada Line and SeaBus services will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. The West Coast Express will not operate.

Transit Tip: Holiday fares will be in effect. You only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!

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: Christina Jakopin

2016 Transit Service Performance Review: what are the top five routes in your area?

Last week, TransLink released the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review, a comprehensive look at ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

We know there’s tons of information in there to wade through so we’re back this week to share with you a couple more tidbits about boardings from the report!

What is a boarding?  A boarding is considered each time a passenger enters a fare paid zone using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment.

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Gearing up for a fun and safe Celebration of Light 2017 – Everything you need to know!

Each summer locals and tourists alike make their way to English Bay, the West End and Kits Point to be treated to the spectacular Honda Celebration of Light fireworks.

This year, starting at 10 p.m. each evening, the Celebration of Light will take place on:

  • Saturday, July 29 – Japan
  • Wednesday, August 2 – UK
  • Saturday, August 5 – Canada

More than 20,000 people take transit to and from the event each night, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Keep reading to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know to have a fun and safe evening at the Celebration of Light!

Increased Service

To get you to the fireworks in the safest and most convenient fashion, we have added additional bus and train service. For more information, take a look here.

TransLink Ambassadors

Do you have a question? Wondering which bus will get you to your destination or where the nearest SkyTrain station is? TransLink’s Ambassadors are here to help you! They have oodles of information to answer any questions that you have about the transit system. Word on the street is that they also come equipped with maps of the transit network.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our TransLink Ambassadors, dressed in blue TravelSmart golf shirts! They will be out and about, at the Community Engagement Bus and at SkyTrain stations such as Burrard, Waterfront and Granville from 3:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Community Engagement Bus

You’ll also want to take in TransLink’s community engagement bus – it’s bright, playful and definitely hard to miss! Outreach teams will be on and around the bus to answer any transit related questions you may have! You can find the community engagement bus at Second Beach from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. each night of the celebrations.

Transit Police

There will be additional Transit Police out and about to ensure everyone gets to and from their destinations safely! Our Transit Police have a mobile-friendly website to make it easy for you to say something, when you see something.

By visiting transitpolice.ca you are able to discreetly report a non-emergency police issue, contact us, download the SeeSay app or text 87-77-77.

 To stay up to date, you can follow along with a couple of our Transit Police for live tweets:

FYI: Since there will be an increase in riders on transit, take a look at our safety tips section to help keep yourself and your belongings safe while on transit.

Stay in the loop!

For more details, visit hondacelebrationoflight.com. For day-of information about the event, check Twitter at: @TransLink, @CityofVancouver, @VancouverPD, @VanFireRescue, @CelebOfLight. You can also follow along by using or searching the hashtag #CelebofLight.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Record numbers for the first half of 2017 puts TransLink on track for a record-breaking year!

With over 200 million boardings across the region for the first half of 2017 and more than 1.26 million average weekday boardings in the first three months of this year, it’s no surprise that TransLink is on track for record-breaking ridership!

We saw a 5.7 per cent increase this half of the year compared to the same period last year!

Ridership numbers from January 1 to June 30, 2017

  • SkyTrain: 74 million boardings (+ 11.9 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • Bus: 122.5 million boardings (+ 2.5 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • SeaBus: 2.7 million boardings (+ 5.7 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • West Coast Express: 1.2 million boardings (- 6.1 per cent compared to same period in 2016)

“This increase in ridership is great news, and builds on the growth we saw in 2016. It’s great to see people taking advantage of new service we started putting on the road in January,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “I’m thrilled we’re in a position to continue adding even more transit service in coming months, including in September one of our largest single increases to bus service since the run-up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

10-Year Vision

The addition of new transit service in 2017 as part of delivering on the 10-Year Vision is one of the driving attributes in this year’s boost in ridership. Since the beginning of 2017, we have added 89,000 bus service hours, focusing on the region’s most congested areas. Fall service changes coming this September will include the addition of new bus routes and will be the largest expansion since 2010 when we hosted the Olympic Winter Games! The Transit Service Performance Review is one of the tools that we use to direct change.

Transit Service Performance Review (TSPR)

Today, we released the findings of the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review (TSPR), a comprehensive review of ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

Have a read of the full 2016 Transit Service Performance Review yourself!

The data collected from the TSPR gives us valuable insights on boardings, ridership, transit trends and more. This data helps us identify opportunities to reduce overcrowding, improve performance and reliability and meet the needs of our customers as the region continues to grow.

Did you know? We gather data from multiple sources such as fare gates at SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals, automated passenger counter units on buses and Compass Card validators.

Increasing Ridership

We had record ridership in 2016, with 384.8 million boardings. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year!

Ridership growth in 2016 was the largest since 2010, when the region hosted the Olympic Winter Games. This growth was likely due to strong economic activity, an increase in transit service hours and the launch of Compass Card.

The annual review shows that ridership across the system continues to grow:

  • Bus ridership continued to increase throughout the day, particularly during evenings and on Saturdays
  • Bus boardings increased 4.6 per cent to 239.6 million
  • All three SkyTrain lines experienced ridership growth. Canada Line boardings grew by 5.5 per cent, while boardings on the Expo and Millennium Lines grew by 4.1 per cent
  • Evergreen Extension stations saw steady ridership over their first four weeks of service, despite record snowfall

Did you know? System-wide ridership is measured in boardings and journeys. A boarding is considered each time a passenger enters a fare paid zone using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment. A journey is a complete transit trip using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment, regardless of the number of transfers.

Other trends identified during the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review include:

  • South of Fraser led all Metro Vancouver sub-regions in ridership growth – seeing a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased ridership of the 96 B-Line
  • With its 4.3 million annual boardings, up 15 per cent over 2015, the 96 B-Line had the largest increase in annual boardings of any route in the system
  • SeaBus boardings declined by 2.8 per cent in 2016, due to lower summer ridership. However, if SeaBus were a bus route, it would still rank as having the 11th highest boardings in all of Metro Vancouver

Want to learn more and keep up with how we’re meeting our goals? Check out the Accountability Centre.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Canada Day service—by the numbers


Photo mosaic by: translinkbc @ Mosaically

By land or by sea, Metro Vancouver residents flocked to the various public transit options to get to, from and around downtown Vancouver this past Canada Day. Compass Card data tells us that passengers tapped in and out approximately 182,000 times at Waterfront Station! That’s a nearly 190 per cent increase in the number of passengers travelling through on Saturday, July 1 compared to an average Saturday of the previous month.

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SeaBus gets a makeover! An update on rehabilitation work

SeaBus Washrooms

Have you seen SeaBus’s new look? We’re happy to announce the washrooms at SeaBus are now open!

Last October the washrooms at the north and south SeaBus terminals closed to undergo renovations, including significant accessibility improvements. Last week, we celebrated a SeaBus birthday and opened up these brand new washrooms to the public.

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Happy 40th birthday SeaBus! #SeaBus40

The SeaBus on a sunny day during the Olympic period!

Fit and fabulous at 40!

Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40!!

On June 17, 1977 the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was known then) sailed into the Burrard inlet connecting downtown Vancouver and the North Shore. Retro SeaBus

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#SeaBus40: Celebrating four decades with a contest! Share your memories and you could win!!!!!

Burrard Otter - Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Burrard Otter – Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Look at that beauty. All the style and swagger one would expect from a sea-faring vessel that ferries more than 17,000 passengers between downtown and the North Shore each and every weekday. Not to mention the 11-15,000 daily riders on weekends!

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SeaBus 40th Birthday Kick off

Some celebrate their birthday over the course of a day, or even a week but here on The Buzzer Blog, we’re kicking off June with the start of a month long celebration for the SeaBus’ upcoming birthday. On June 17th, the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was first named) turns the big Four-O! That’s right, four decades of SeaBus service through the Burrard Inlet between North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver.

To celebrate fabulous fourty, let’s throw it back to this amazing retro rarely before seen video from the archives!

Or take a more recent trip on the Burrard Otter II with SeaBus Captain Marvin Warnock!

Whether you rode the SeaBus way back then, or ride it today, we want to hear from you! Help us celebrate the berth of SeaBus by sharing your memories, new and old!

Share your SeaBus photos or stories, write a poem, draw a picture, or sing a song! It’s up to you, but if you share it on social media make sure to tag TransLink and use the hashtag #SeaBus40.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

(Video) SeaBus extends 15 minute sailings until 9 p.m. every day!

The SeaBus is coming up on its 40th birthday in June but riders have an early reason to celebrate!

Starting May 19, taking the SeaBus to and from the North Shore is going to be even easier.

We are increasing service as part of the continued roll out of Phase One of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.

The added service means 15 minute sailings will start earlier on weekends and run every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. every day!

“The SeaBus is a fast and convenient service to and from the North Shore and we’re excited to announce it will be even more convenient with 15-minute service throughout the day and into the evening. At most times of the day, passengers won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for the next sailing. This is just one of the ways we continue to deliver on Phase One of the 10-Year Vision to reduce wait times and offer customers more flexibility.”

– Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

SeaBus service increases include:

  • 15-minute sailings starting at 6 a.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. on Sundays and most holidays.
  • 15-minute service will also extend later into the evening. Enjoy peak-hour service for departures until 9:02 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay and 9:16 p.m. from Waterfront Station every day.

What is the Frequent Transit Network?

The Frequent Transit Network (FTN) refers to convenient, reliable and easy to use transit services that are frequent enough that they do not need to refer to a schedule. Other TransLink services that are part of the FTN include the Expo, Millennium and Canada lines and B-Line bus service.

SeaBus fast facts!

  • In 2016, there were 5.9 million boardings
    • Average boardings from Monday – Friday: 17,600
    • Average boardings on Saturdays: 15,000
    • Average boardings on Sundays and holidays: 11,400
  • 100 million boardings since TransLink came into being in 1999
  • SeaBus opened for service in 1977
  • Another SeaBus will be put into service in 2019 as part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision

Over the next two years, TransLink will continue rolling out Phase One of the 10-Year Vision with a region-wide expansion of transit services and road, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Want to learn more?
Visit tenyearvision.translink.ca and read the media release here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

2017 Vancouver Sun Run

sun run colour graphic
3, 2, 1, GOOOOOOO!!!!!!

On Sunday, April 23, over 40,000 people will lace up their runners to take part in Canada’s largest 10k road race, the Vancouver Sun Run.

Considering the size and scope of this race, lots of bus routes will be affected to clear the way for runners. This may affect your transit trip on Sunday, so make sure you know before you go!

Our alerts page has the full list of detours and route changes.

For runners and cheering squads, the Expo and Millennium lines will start service a half an hour earlier. Canada Line will run at its usual time at 5:02 a.m.

West Coast Express will run a special Sun Run train arriving at Waterfront Station at approximately 8:15 a.m. This train is expected to be quite busy, so please arrive at your station at least 20 minutes before your departure time. After the race, the train will leave Vancouver at 2:30 p.m.

SeaBus will begin running at 7 am running every 15 minutes until 6:30 pm, when it will return to a regular Sunday schedule.

2017 Sun Run course

2017 Sun Run course

To prevent long line ups afterwards, be sure to pre-purchase return Compass Tickets at a CVM prior to the race, or load up your Compass Card and tap away!

For more information on the race head to the Sun Run event page.
For a map of affected routes, check out the TransLink events calendar.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

SeaBus terminal construction continues with south terminal work

SeaBus terminal rendering
In spring 2016, we started construction work on the north SeaBus terminal and administration building.

Work continues on the north terminal and crews will start work in early March on the south terminal.

Why are we repairing the SeaBus terminals?

Both the SeaBus terminals and administration buildings are now over 40 years old and it’s time for some necessary maintenance and rehab work.

The envelopes of all three buildings – essentially the walls and roofs – are in poor condition and are no longer working as designed. So, naturally, they need some upgrades and rehab work to keep them safe and functioning for both riders and employees.

During construction, SeaBus service will continue as normal and terminals will remain accessible. Customers can expect small detours when entering or exiting the terminals.

What’s being done?

Work is expected to begin shortly on the South Terminal and will include replacing the exterior metal cladding, roof, and windows on the south terminal.

We expect work to finish in mid-2018.

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

Author: Jessica Hewitt