ALERT! More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SeaBus

Extra Transit Service to Get You to the Celebration of Light!

 

Celebration of Light fireworks

Celebration of Light fireworks!

Heading to the Honda Celebration of Light this Saturday? There’s extra transit service scheduled for this weekend’s event as well as for the fireworks on July 29 and August 1st!

To get you to the fireworks at English Bay in the safest and most convenient fashion, the following additional bus and train service has been added:

Bus service will be extended to accommodate increased customer demand. Transit supervisors will monitor service and deploy additional buses as needed. Some buses will be detoured, including, but not limited to, the C21, C23, 5, 6, and 22 routes. The 250, 250A and 257 buses will also see additional service before and after the events.

SkyTrain Expo/Millennium/Canada Lines will run additional trains beginning mid-afternoon, lasting well past the event end. The last train on the Expo/Millennium Line will leave Waterfront for King George at 1:16 a.m. The last Canada Line train will leave Waterfront for Richmond-Brighouse at 1:15 a.m.

To avoid lineups at ticket vending machines after the events, SkyTrain customers can pre-purchase return tickets at King George, Scott Road, Granville, Burrard, Bridgeport, Yaletown-Roundhouse and Vancouver City Centre stations. These fareboxes only accept exact cash and tickets are valid until the close of service.

SeaBus will provide extra and extended service for each of the Celebration of Light events.

  • July 25: service every 10 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.; every 15 minutes until 11:30 p.m.; and every 30 minutes after 11:30 p.m. until the last sailing at 1:22 a.m. from the South Terminal.
  • July 29 and August 1: service every 15 minutes until 11:30 p.m. and then every 30 minutes until the last departure from the South Terminal at 1:22 a.m.

West Coast Express will offer a special train on August 1 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m., arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15 p.m. The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City approximately 1:15 a.m.

Before, during and after the events SkyTrain stations will remain open, but some will have modified access to ensure customer comfort and safety. Passengers will not be permitted to board SkyTrain with bikes after the events until crowds are clear.

  • Waterfront Station: After 10:30 p.m., all Canada Line and SeaBus customers, and Expo and Millennium line customers who need an elevator, can access the Waterfront Station through the Cordova Street entrance. Expo and Millennium line customers who do not require an elevator may only access the station from the Howe Street entrance, north of Cordova. The Granville and Hastings entrance will remain fully accessible for Canada Line customers.
  • Granville Station: Customers can enter the station from Dunsmuir Street only, after 10:30 p.m. Also, there will be no access to Expo and Millennium trains heading towards Waterfront Station after this time.
  • Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance from 9:00 p.m. onwards, until the expected crowds have cleared. There will be no customer access to Expo and Millennium trains towards Waterfront Station after 10:30 p.m.

TravelSmart continues to sponsor BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer cyclists free, secure temporary bike storage at all three Celebration of Light events. If you plan on enjoying the festivities, you can valet your bike at Sunset Beach on the grass next to the roller sports rink from 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Make sure to keep these service changes in mind when planning your route to the fireworks!

Service adjustments for other summertime events can be viewed here.

For transit service information including bus re-routes during the Celebration of Light, sign up for Transit Alerts, follow us @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

 

 

A day of transit activity visualized through video!

buzzer_banner_125_years

Static transit maps are great, but dynamic ones are better!

You don’t have to tell that to Andrew Walker, Vice President of development at Sumus Technology.

Andrew is all about bringing life to data using a GTFS video creator, something he has done for around 100 cities’ transit schedules from around the globe.

Each visualization map traces one day of transit service schedules during a 24 hour period. Colour coded and set to music, these maps allow us to see the size of the system in a way that static maps cannot.

Metro Vancouver’s routes have been mapped a few times by Andrew.  You can check out his video from 2012 and view his other maps of transit across the globe on his YouTube channel

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our 125 Years of Transit posts on the blog and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for the #Transit125 hashtag.

Happy 148th, Canada!

We hope you all enjoy Canada Day!

We hope you all enjoy Canada Day!

Ohhhhhhhhhhh Canada we stand on guard for theeeeeeeeeeeee!!

I do love a good anthem.

Canada Day is this Wednesday, July 1st and there will be tons of activities happening all over the region.

Know before you go! Check out the holiday service schedule for detours and extended service.

Heading downtown Vancouver to see the fireworks at Canada Place?

Avoid those crazy long lines and pre-purchase return tickets for the SkyTrain!

Customers can buy tickets at Vancouver City Centre, Granville, Burrard and Waterfront stations.

Portable fareboxes only accept exact cash fare and tickets are valid until the end of service.

Perhaps you’re more of a Granville Island Canada Day celebrator. If you’re planning to ride your bike there, prepare to feel pampered!

BEST’S Bicycle Valet will be providing cyclists FREE, secure temporary bike storage from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

You can check out more details here.

Wherever you celebrate this great land of ours, let us help you get there!

Plan your route with our Trip Planner or call Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Remember! On holidays you only need a one-zone fare for the entire system!

New policy for electric and folding bikes on transit

Fashion Electric BicycleElectric and folding bikes are now being allowed on board the system!

BCRTC and CMBC are updating their operational policies to allow different types of cyclists access.

Electric bikes will now be permitted on SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus.

UPDATE Folding bikes will be allowed on all modes buses, when folded.

Riders of folding bikes are asked to use a slipcover or carrying pack while on buses.

All the existing rules for bikes on transit still apply. Here’s a refresher:

  • Bikes are not allowed at Metrotown Station at anytime.
  • There is a maximum of two bikes per SkyTrain car and one per Canada line car.
  • No e-scooters allowed on the system
  • Morning and afternoon rush hour restrictions are still in place — Canada Line: Peak times in all directions. Expo & Millennium Lines: Peak times except for the allowances listed below.

Westbound:
7am – 9am Monday-Friday travelling from Columbia Station to VCC-Clark Station; and from Columbia and King George Stations towards Waterfront Station.

Eastbound:
4pm-6pm Monday-Friday travelling from VCC-Clark Station to Columbia Station; and from Waterfront Station towards Columbia and King George Station.

You can read more about our bike policy here.

FREE TRANSIT

TransLink bus

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL MODES OF TRANSIT WILL BE FREE TODAY, MAY 22, DUE TO THE MAJOR DISRUPTION.

UDPATE: 12:14pm: Thank you all for your patience and understanding today. We understand the inconvenience and are happy to announce that full service has been restored to the Expo Line.

The SkyTrain disruption that was due to a fire destroying one metre communications cable is now over. Please allow time for the service to catch up to regular timings. Shuttles will continue to be used as needed to help with the flow of riders. ^ac

UPDATE: 10:43am: Follow us on Periscope at noon today (handle: TransLink BC) for a live update on the Expo Line SkyTrain disruption.

UPDATE: 10:36: For those of you who have already paid for transit today, please hold on to your tickets and/or receipts. We are working on a way to make sure you benefit from this.

UPDATE 9:29am: Trains are now able to get to and from (East and Westbound) Broadway-Commercial station. Shuttles will be in place to get people to and from downtown from this point. Please keep in mind it will take a while to get service back to regular timings.

We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work to fix the damaged communications cable caused by a fire.

We will continue to keep you updated on the Buzzer blog, Facebook, Instagram (@TransLinkBC) and Twitter (@TransLink) until the system is back to normal.

Vancouver Sun Run 2015

 

Sun Run photo

More than 50,000 people expected at 31st annual Vancouver Sun Run.

The Vancouver Sun Run is upon us. This Sunday, in fact!

This is Canada’s largest 10K road race and has been such since it started in 1985.

Considering its size, lots of routes will be affected to clear the way for all the participants.

This may affect your transit trip on Sunday so make sure you know before you go!

Our alerts page has the full list detours and changes.

For runners and cheering sections, the Expo and Millennium Lines will start service half an hour earlier.

SeaBus will begin at 7 am running on a 15 minute schedule until 3 pm when it will return to a regular Sunday schedule.

To prevent long line-ups after the Sun Run, SkyTrain riders can pre-purchase return tickets prior to the race.

Portable fareboxes will be set up at Bridgeport, Burrard, Granville, King George, and Vancouver City Centre stations.

They will also be set up at Stadium-Chinatown Station, Granville Station, Vancouver City Centre Station and Yaletown-Roundhouse Station after the race.

For more information and a map of the affected area, take a look at the event posting on the TransLink’s website.

Looking for some inspiration to get ready for next year’s race?
Check out this training blog from the Vancouver Sun.

The Burrard Otter II SeaBus makes a splash in Burrard Inlet!

The new, efficient Burrard Otter II SeaBus makes maiden voyage!

The new, efficient Burrard Otter II SeaBus makes maiden voyage!

TransLink’s new SeaBus, the Burrard Otter II, set out today for its maiden voyage after a special event and ribbon cutting at Lonsdale Quay. The event was attended by TransLink Board Chair Marcella Szel as well as members of the media and representatives from government, including:

Special guests at the maiden voyage!

Special guests at the maiden voyage!

  • Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver
  • Jordan Sturdy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Richard Walton, Mayor of North Vancouver District and Mayors’ Council Chair
  • Greg Moore, Mayor of Port Coquitlam and Metro Vancouver Regional District Board Chair

After a ribbon cutting, the Burrard Otter II left the Lonsdale Quay docks shortly after 10:45 am for Waterfront Station to enter service. At Waterfront, eager customers met the Burrard Otter II for its first revenue sailing at 11 am.

Ribbon cutting for the Burrard Otter II

Ribbon cutting for the Burrard Otter II

One of the noticeable passenger improvements onboard the Burrard Otter II are the seats and windows. Both proved to be a hit among the first passengers. Jem Rodriguez was heading to North Vancouver for work at Save-On-Foods. She tells me the new seats on the vessel are “comfy” and she looks forward to a more enjoyable commute. “It’s pretty nice, it’s calm and I really like the big windows,” Jem adds.

One of the first passengers onboard the Burrard Otter II

Dennis

Elfren Ordanza and Dennis Tsang were also there for the 11 am sailing. Neither of them take the SeaBus on their regular commute, but couldn’t resist being one of the first passengers!

“I really like the big windows at each end, so children don’t have to stand on the seats [to get a view of the Inlet]. I also like the aisle down the middle, the nicer looking seats and the ride is pretty smooth. I enjoy the ride,” Elfren says.

Elfren was one of the first passengers onboard the Burrard Otter II

Elfren

“It’s really big. It’s really quiet compared to old ones and the seats are nice,” Dennis says. “It’s great to see TransLink renewing the SeaBus and that it is going to be around the next while.”

The SeaBus departs from Lonsdale Quay and Waterfront every 15 minutes during the day. Go on – take your first ride on the Burrard Otter II today!

Share your pictures of the vessel with us by tweeting them to @TheBuzzer, posting them on Instagram and mentioning @TransLinkBC or emailing them to thebuzzer@translink.ca. What do you think of the ride? Let us know in the comments section!

Photo Gallery

The Burrard Otter II SeaBus set for its maiden voyage on Mon, Dec 1!

Burrard Otter II SeaBus

The Burrard Otter II SeaBus will be making its maiden voyage on Monday, December 1!

After a long journey from Singapore and and undergoing sea trials and crew training all fall, the Burrard Otter II is ready to set out on the open seas on Monday, December 1 for its maiden voyage!

Want to be one of the first customers to ride the Burrard Otter II? It will make its first sailing from Waterfront Station at 11 am on Monday! Regular fares apply.

Burrard Otter II first passenger sailing

Date: Monday, December 1 at 11 am
Location: Waterfront Station

The Burrard Otter II replaces the original Otter and will share duties with the Burrard Pacific Breeze, which made its maiden voyage on December 23, 2009.

How well do you know your SeaBus? Check out this infographic!

How well do you know your SeaBus? Check out this infographic!

The original Otter, which went into service nearly forty years ago when SeaBus operations began, will head off into retirement once the other SeaBus – the Burrard Beaver – is retrofitted to be used as a spare vessel.

The updated design of the Burrard Otter II makes the vessel more efficient and easier on the environment. The new SeaBus uses less fuel and produces 20 per cent less carbon dioxide than older vessels. The Burrard Otter II also surpasses marine standards and reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 90 per cent, hydro carbons by 70 per cent and visual smoke by 25 per cent.

The Burrard Otter II cost approximately $21 million to build, of which $19 million was provided by the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund allocated by the Union of BC Municipalities. TransLink contributed the remaining $2 million.

SeaBus has provided safe, reliable and efficient service between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore since 1977. Over six million passengers cross the Burrard Inlet on SeaBus every year, or 16,600 people per day.

Planning to ride the Burrard Otter II on Monday? Be sure to tweet @TheBuzzer your pictures or post them onto Instagram and mention @TransLinkBC!

Burrard Otter II Facts

  • Passenger capacity: 395 + 4 crew
  • Size:
    • Length: 34.29 m (112’ 6”)
    • Width: 12.65 m (41’ 6”)
    • Depth: 3.57 m (11’ 8”)
    • Weight: Lightship weight is 164 tonnes (net), 453 (gross)
  • Type of engine:  4 x MTU/Detroit Diesel Series 60
  • Horsepower (300 kilowatts each x 4):  400 hp x 4 = 1600 hp
  • SeaBus officially went into service : June 17, 1977
  • Distance per trip: 3.24 km (1.75 naut. mi.)

Join SeaBus Captain Marvin Warnock onboard the Burrard Otter II

See the Burrard Inlet from the point of view of Captain Marvin Warnock as he operates the Burrard Otter II from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay and back! He also tells us why he joined SeaBus in 1997 and what he enjoys most about his job of 17 years.

Burrard Otter II arrives in B.C. waters

Hey Buzzer readers,

As you know, the Burrard Otter II SeaBus arrived a couple of weeks ago after its long journey! Once it arrived, the next step was to unload the vessel off the BBC Vesuvius cargo ship and into B.C. waters.

The BBC Vesuvius docked at the Lynnterm Terminal in North Vancouver on July 31. The team at Western Stevedoring rigged the Burrard Otter II up that afternoon, and the unload began on August 1 around 8 a.m. Four hours later, Burrard Otter II was in B.C. waters and tugboats escorted the vessel to the shipyards where it will stay for the next bit during commissioning.

It’s not everyday you get to see a ship unloaded off of another ship, and it was a pretty neat process to watch. Check out the time lapse below to see a sped up version of the four-hour unload!

The Burrard Otter II will take over for the original Burrard Otter, which was built in 1976 and will be retired from active service once the Burrard Beaver is retrofitted. You can expect to see Burrard Otter II out in service once additional commissioning work and staff training is complete. It’s a great looking vessel, and we can’t wait for you to see it firsthand!

The Burrard Otter II is here!

Hey Buzzer readers!

The Burrard Otter II in the otter-filled Burrard Inlet

The Burrard Otter II in the Burrard Inlet

If you were out and about on the waters yesterday, there’s a good chance you saw the new SeaBus arrive! It made it in yesterday around 5:30 p.m. after it’s long journey and is currently waiting to be offloaded. We’ll update you once it’s in B.C. waters!

The Burrard Otter II is on its way!

UPDATE: The Burrard Otter II is getting closer! To track the cargo ship that it’s on, click here.

Hi Buzzer readers,

As you may remember, the new SeaBus, the Burrard Otter II, is on its way and it will arrive in the Burrard Inlet very soon. The vessel goes into service this fall and we’re excited to welcome it to our fleet!

How do you ship a ship? 

The Burrard Otter II finished sea trials in Singapore this past June and the next step was getting the vessel ready for its journey here. As powerful and tough as our SeaBuses are a trip from Singapore to Vancouver is a bit more than they are designed for so the Burrard Otter II was loaded onto a heavylift carrier. It’s been on a cargo ship making its way here since July 7.

Here are some photos to show you what’s involved in getting a SeaBus onto a cargo ship:

First, the vessel is hoisted out of the water

First, the vessel is hoisted out of the water

Then, she gets lowered onto the cargo ship

Then she gets lowered onto the cargo ship

Now she's all ready to begin her voyage from Singapore to Vancouver

Now she’s all ready to begin her voyage from Singapore to Vancouver

What happens once the Burrard Otter II arrives? 

The reverse process will happen once the Burrard Otter II arrives in Vancouver.

After the vessel is in local waters, it will go through some additional sea trials, and SeaBus employees will be trained on it. You can expect to see the Burrard Otter II out and about during August and September, and it will be ready for regular SeaBus operations later this fall.

Stay tuned for updates! 

We’ll be sure to update you once the vessel has arrived, so stay tuned for more pictures!

Introducing TransLink’s new SeaBus: the Burrard Otter II!

The new Burrard Otter II SeaBus! - Photo Courtesy of Henry Reeve, P. Eng of Robert Allan Ltd.

The new Burrard Otter II SeaBus! – Photo Courtesy of Henry Reeve, P. Eng of Robert Allan Ltd.

Introducing: Burrard Otter II, our new SeaBus, which is scheduled to go into service this fall.

The Burrard Otter II is the first SeaBus to be built to a Classification Society Standard (Lloyd’s Register), and it was designed by noted Vancouver, BC-based Naval Architectural firm Robert Allan Ltd.

The vessel has just completed sea trials in Singapore, and soon will be prepared for shipment to Vancouver.

Photo Courtesy of BBC Chartering

Photo Courtesy of BBC Chartering

How will it get here?

The Burrard Otter II will be loaded onto a heavylift carrier similar to this one.

The cargo ship will make a few stops at other ports before delivering the new SeaBus to the Port of Metro Vancouver by late July.

What’s next?

Once it arrives, the Burrard Otter II will go through more sea trials to make sure it’s running properly after such a long journey.

SeaBus employees then will be trained on operations and maintenance of the new vessel.

Following an inspection by Transport Canada, the Burrard Otter II will go into regular service, currently scheduled for fall.

Burrard Otter - Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Burrard Otter – Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

What about the other SeaBuses?

The Burrard Otter II will share duties with the Burrard Pacific Breeze, which made its maiden voyage on December 23, 2009.

The original Burrard Otter will be retired from active service, and the Burrard Beaver will be retrofitted ($1 million) and used as a spare vessel.

How much did the Burrard Otter II cost?

The Burrard Otter II will cost just over $22 million. This includes the cost of design and construction, as well as import duties.

Ninety percent of the cost or about $20 million was funded through a Federal government contribution (Gas Tax), and TransLink funded the remaining 10% (or about $2 million).

Burrard Otter II by the numbers

Passenger capacity: 395 + 4 crew

Size:

  • Length: 34.29 m (112’ 6”)
  • Width: 12.65 m (41’ 6”)
  • Depth: 3.57 m (11’ 8”)
  • Tonnage: Lightship weight is 164 tonnes (net), 453 (gross)

Engine:

  • Type of engine:  4 x MTU/Detroit Diesel Series 60
  • Horsepower (300 kilowatts each x 4):  400 hp x 4 = 1600 hp

SeaBus Fast Facts

  • Average daily ridership (2013): 16,600
  • Total boarded passengers in 2013: 6,044,955.
  • Operating cost (2013): $10.3 million
  • Sailings/Crossings a year (2013): 43,920
  • SeaBus officially went into service : June 17, 1977.
  • Distance per trip: 3.24 km (1.75 naut. mi.)

TransLink offers passengers more service on race day

Sun Run photo

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

 

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

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

The quick facts:

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

 

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

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

 

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

TransLink 101: Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

TransLink 101 blog feature series banner

For February 2013, we’re going back to basics with TransLink 101—explaining TransLink and its work!

Buses settled in for the night.

Buses settled in for the night, in a photo from about 2006.

You ride our buses and trains during the day, but what happens when they go home at night?

Well, just like the rest of us, our vehicles need some downtime and TLC at the end of a long day of work. Each night, our SkyTrains, buses, SeaBuses and West Coast Express trains retire to their own resting places for a well-deserved break. Read on to find out just what happens!

SkyTrain

From 2009: two generations of SkyTrain car inside our operations and maintenance centre near Edmonds.

From 2009: two generations of SkyTrain car inside our operations and maintenance centre near Edmonds.

For most of our SkyTrains, the end of the day means heading over to our Maintenance and Storage Facility near Edmonds SkyTrain station (15 stay on the line overnight, some along the Millennium Line and near King George Station).

George Booth, vehicle supervisor, says trains start coming off the line in the evening reduced service times so cleaning can start at 7:30 p.m. and finish by 4 a.m. Crews work through the night cleaning, changing light bulbs, replacing seat covers and doing other maintenance as needed.

And, depending on the temperatures outside, some of the SkyTrains might even head over to our automated train wash (how fun is that?!?). It’s just like a car wash, but for SkyTrains!

Read more »

We’re building a new SeaBus!

The newest SeaBus will look a lot like the Burrard Pacific Breeze - Photo by Charlotte Boychuk.

It’s official. We’ve awarded a contract to have a second replacement SeaBus built!

Why we need a new SeaBus

The Burrard Beaver and Burrard Otter are now both over 35 years old and nearing the end of their lifespans. Back in 2010, the Burrard Pacific Breeze was put in service as our very first replacement SeaBus since we started serving the North Shore from Vancouver via the Burrard Inlet in 1977! Over these past two years, the Burrard Pacific Breeze has helped relieve some of the pressure on our two older SeaBus work horses. Both the Burrard Beaver and Otter are safe and certified by Transport Canada. However, they don’t comply with all current marine standards. Instead of retrofitting these vessels, it was determined back in 2009 that the best course of action was to have a second SeaBus built in order to keep the fleet in good working condition.

Info about the new vessel

The new vessel will be built by Damen Shipyards Group. Damen was awarded the bid as a result of a process that looked a number of factors including cost and experience. The new SeaBus will be based on the design of the Burrard Breeze, but it will be updated to improve efficiency and operations. Part of those improvements are in air quality emissions

Roll out of the new SeaBus

Fall 2014 is when we expect the new SeaBus to be in service. At that time, the plan is to retire the Burrard Otter. The Burrard Beaver will remain in service as a spare vessel since it is in better shape than the Otter and underwent a retrofit in 2011.

For more info, you’ll want to check the press release. We’re very excited about this new vessel, and I’ll be updating all of you on any major developments as we get closer to seeing the new vessel completed!