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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SeaBus

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

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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

(Video) TransLink launches Phase One of the 10-year Vision with more SkyTrain and SeaBus service

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Today is a great day because it marks the beginning of more transit for our region!

More transit means expanded region-wide bus and HandyDART services, improvements to major roads to reduce congestion and address bottlenecks plus more SkyTrain and SeaBus to reduce wait times and overcrowding.

These services will be rolled out this year as part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.

“Metro Vancouver’s public transportation system is finally turning a corner after nearly a decade without significant region-wide investment in transit services,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “With completion of the Evergreen Extension in December, and this week’s launch of the first transit enhancements included in the 10-Year Vision, Metro Vancouver is starting to see the long-overdue transportation improvements that will get our region moving again.”

What’s new

  • SkyTrain
    • On weekdays – peak service will end 15 minutes later in the morning and last one hour longer in the afternoon and evening rush.
    • On weekends – trains will increase to match weekday off-peak frequency meaning trains will run every 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Canada Line
    • More frequent service during weekday peak hours.
    • 11 per cent increase in passenger capacity during the busiest periods – that means an extra 3,700 passengers in each direction every weekday.
  • Bus and HandyDART
    • 10 per cent increase in bus service.
    • 15 per cent increase for HandyDART meaning 85,000 more available trips annually.
  • SeaBus
    • Doubling SeaBus Service on Sundays and holidays to sailings every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What’s next

In the coming weeks and months, more improvements of Phase One will be rolled out, including:

  • New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few – or no – transit options today;
  • Safer walking and cycling routes; and
  • Improvements to the Major Road Network.

Keep reading the Buzzer blog for how you can get involved in public consultation for some upcoming Phase Two projects including Surrey-Newton-Guilford LRT and Broadway Subway.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and Instagram to be notified and watch our live stream broadcasts of future events.

A complete list of all the changes taking place this week and the full 10-year Vision is available at tenyearvision.translink.ca.

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Author: Adrienne Coling

The Burrard Beaver splashes back into service as the original Otter sails its final voyage

Burrard Beaver Dec 2016

    The Burrard Beaver

What do beavers and otters have in common?

Well, besides being furry little water creatures, they are also the names of a couple of our SeaBuses!

The Burrard Beaver recently underwent a nifty little face lift to extend its life for another six years.

The Beaver renovations include:

  • New paint job
  • New carpets
  • New lighting
  • Repairs to the hull
  • New panels added to the Bridge

As we welcome back the Beaver, we say goodbye to a great vessel that has served our region well since the beginning of SeaBus service; the Burrard Otter.

The Burrard Otter went into service in 1977 alongside the Burrard Beaver after being built in the Victoria Shipyards.

With the first Otter being retired, the Beaver will now be used as our spare vessel for sailings.

Did you know??

  • Each of our SeaBus vessels is operated with a crew of four – The Master, one Mate and two Attendants.
  • SeaBus cruises at a speed of 11.5 knots
  • The crossing is 1.75 nautical miles
  • It takes approximately 12 minutes per sailing
  • There are 45,000 annual scheduled sailings

Take a look at the spiffed up SeaBus!

In mid-January, as part of Phase One of the recently approved 10 year vision, we’ll introduce some increases to SeaBus service!

Author: Adrienne Coling

VIDEO – 28 new SkyTrain cars ordered to improve rapid transit service in Metro Vancouver

Today is a historic day as pen was set to paper in a deal that will improve transit in our region!

A $93 million order for 28 new SkyTrain Mark III cars from Bombardier Transportation was made by TransLink and the provincial government.

This is part of the $2 billion Phase One of the 10-year vision that is funded 50 per cent by the federal government, 33 per cent by the province and the rest from our region and TransLink.

The new SkyTrain cars will provide additional service and capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines increasing the rapid transit fleet to 314 cars.

With these new cars coming into service, more people will be able to rely on public transit, helping to reduce road congestion, greenhouse gases and improve efficient movement of people and goods across the region.

“With the critical support of our federal, provincial and regional partnerships, TransLink is ready and eager to start implementing service and infrastructure improvements outlined in Phase One of the 10-Year Vision. Today’s announcement is just one in a series of steps we’re taking to expand service for our customers and reduce wait times and crowding.”

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

The new train cars are scheduled to start arriving in 2018 and after extensive testing, enter into service by early 2019.

Starting in January 2017, TransLink will begin service improvements using the existing fleet for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines and SeaBus, with additional bus and HandyDart service improvements beginning in April 2017.

Transit and transportation improvements in Phase One

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express)
  • Pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail
  • New funding for improvements to the Major Road Network
  • Expansion and improvements to cycling and pedestrian networks

Want more information on the Mayors’ Council 10-year vision?
Head to tenyearvision.translink.ca.


Author: Adrienne Coling

(Video) 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather


Despite our best West Coast efforts, a snowy winter has arrived in Metro Vancouver.

And it looks like this is just the beginning because there is another dumping of the white stuff forecasted to hit the region.

That means lots of extra safety and operational procedures to keep the transit system running smoothly and safely.

Remember! Buses can only go as the traffic allows. Be sure to check your municipality’s website for snow removal schedules and give yourself some extra time for your transit trip.

Here are six things that TransLink is doing to prepare for the winter weather:

  • Trolley anti-icing trucks will deploy spraying the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.
  • SkyTrain De-icing – De-icer spray trains are used to keep the power rail free of ice. De-icing stations will be set up in covered areas and tunnels to prevent ice and snow compacts on the trains.  During times of overnight snow, some SkyTrain cars will run throughout the night to keep tracks clear.
  • Additional bus tire traction – Operators have a snow/ice switch which gives the bus tires better traction in the snow.
  • Bus switch outs –  If needed, we’ll switch out articulated buses for traditional buses. Although articulated buses are great for turning and maneuvering throughout our streets in Metro Vancouver and allow for quick movement of large numbers of passengers, when travelling up hills or on streets that have poor conditions, the back halves are heavy which can create some traction problems.
  • Canada Line Anti-icing and sanding – ensures the power rail and tracks are clear of ice. Canada Line cars have a braking system similar to ABS brakes on your vehicle which helps avoid slippage in this weather.
  • Extra staff on transit – Extra staff including SkyTrain Attendants and Transit Police will assist customers in getting where they need to go. HandyDART will send two staff out in each vehicle to ensure customers get safely to their door, and assist in digging out the bus if required.

Watch the replay of our Facebook live stream, or catch it on Periscope below!


Know before you go!

If there’s snow or ice ensure you plan ahead with Trip Planner or m.translink.ca on your mobile device, and make sure to allow yourself extra commuting time.

Sign up for transit alerts so you’ll be the first to know if there are changes in the transit schedule.

Follow our customer information team on Twitter (@TransLink) and save their number (604) 953-3333 on your mobile device.

Don’t forget to take a look at our tips for dealing with inclement weather on transit!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Transit for Remembrance Day

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

Once again, TransLink and its operating companies will provide free transit to veterans and members of the Armed Forces and Coast Guard this Remembrance Day, Friday November 11, 2016.

“Providing free transit service is one small way we can honour and thank the brave men and women who protect freedom for not only every Canadian, but our neighbours around the globe.” – TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

Here’s how it will work:

One accessible fare gate will remain open at all SeaBus, SkyTrain and Canada Line stations from the start of service to 6:00 p.m. and transit will be free all day on buses.

Ordinary and Life Members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans, Korean Veterans Association, Armed Forces and Coast Guard are invited to ride free on all conventional TransLink services, HandyDART and Canada Line YVR Add-Fare.

*Please note* the West Coast Express will not operate on Remembrance Day.

Veterans and eligible members are not required to tap their Compass Cards but please have your membership card ready to display or appear in uniform when boarding buses or entering a fare-paid zone.

For the rest of the public, transit is operating on a holiday schedule and you will only need a one-zone fare for travel across the network.

We will also be observing a moment of silence at 11:00 am, with all SkyTrain, SeaBus, and buses observing this moment at the stop reached closest to the hour.

All TransLink and operating company properties will fly their flags at half-mast.

Service returns to regular weekday schedules for all modes on Monday, November 14.

You can find more information on our Holiday Service page.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

TransLink prepares for stormy weather

skytrain3
Storms, they are a-brewin’!

As always, TransLink’s top priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. So, in preparation for the inclement weather set to hit our region over the next few days, we are taking a number of steps.

Our Emergency Management group is participating in Emergency Management BC and Environment Canada conference calls to stay apprised of the forecast and expected outcomes as well as communicating within the organization to ensure necessary preparations are made.

Bus

Tree branches falling into our trolley overhead wires can be an issue during high-wind conditions, so we are checking known risk locations to prepare.

We also sometimes face road debris, which can result in detours for our bus service. Transit Supervisors and other support staff out on the road, such as Transit Security, in order to proactively identify such problem areas and communicate them out. Once identified, we can react quickly by contacting the municipality responsible for clearing the trees or debris.

SkyTrain

In case of high winds, SkyTrain service over the SkyBridge between New Westminster and Surrey may operate at reduced speeds.

If wind speeds exceed 100 kph, service could be temporarily suspended.

We’ve also proactively reached out to construction projects adjacent to SkyTrain to ensure items are properly secured, to prevent anything being blown onto the tracks.

Here’s what you can do to prepare yourself:

  • Sign up for Transit Alerts so we can let you know if there are any service issues or changes
  • Follow our fabulous Customer Information team @TransLink on Twitter or phone 604-953-3333.
  • Plan ahead with our Trip Planner and give yourself extra time on your commute
  • Be aware! More people than usual tend to take transit during nasty weather – common transit courtesy applies even more on days like these!
  • Be visible! A bus operator has a lot to be aware of in AND outside of the bus. Make yourself visible to them! Wear bright, reflective clothing and stand close to the bus stop poll.
  • Be patient! Traffic lights may not be working properly that could cause detours for buses, same goes for debris on routes.

We will continue to monitor the weather and get the word out to all customers if there are any service impacts. Until then, stay safe, stay dry and happy transiting!

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

Holiday service for Thanksgiving

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Gobble, gobble, friends!

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and that means holiday service for the transit network on October 10, 2016.

Thanksgiving Monday transit:

  • BusSkyTrain, and SeaBus services will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule.
  • West Coast Express and TrainBus service will not operate.
  • Holiday fares are in effect meaning you only need a one-zone fare to travel across the region!

Please note that the Compass Customer Service Centre and Lost Property Office will be closed.

Regular weekday schedules for all modes return on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

Plot your transit course with our handy dandy Trip Planner,
tweet your questions to @TransLink on Twitter
and always know before you go with Transit Alerts!

Author: Adrienne Coling