Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SkyTrain

More bus and train service to get YOU to the Celebration of Light!

Fireworks photos

See fireworks performances by teams from the United States, France and Japan.

 

How are you getting to the fireworks? There will be additional bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express service on July 26, July 30 and August 2 to help you get to the Honda Celebration of Light performances safely and conveniently.

Full details on all the service changes can be found by visiting our Calendar of Events.

Just a couple of reminders:

  • To avoid lineups at ticket vending machines after the events, you 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.
  • Before, during and after the events transit stations will remain open, but Waterfront, Burrard and Granville stations will have modified access to ensure your comfort and safety.
  • TravelSmart continues to sponsor BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer cyclists free, secure temporary bike storage at Sunset Beach from 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Due to crowding and safety concerns, please wait to take your bikes on SkyTrain until the crowds clear.
  • The Train2Main will be in operation for those travelling to or from the Main Street-Science World Station. See OnTrack for more details.
  • In anticipation of an increased volume of passengers, Transit Police will deploy additional officers to ensure that everyone is able to travel to and from the event safely. You can text all non-emergency reports to Transit Police at 87-77-77 or call 604.515.8300. In case of an emergency, always call 9-1-1.

Service adjustments for other summertime events can also be seen here and here.

For transit service information throughout the summer, sign up for Transit Alerts, visit m.translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

 

 

Update on cause of SkyTrain disruptions

An update on SkyTrain

An update on SkyTrain

UPDATE: Besides apologizing for the recent SkyTrain disruptions, TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis says TransLink will be bringing in an outside adviser to help TransLink better prepare for future disruptions. 

Hello Buzzer readers. Below is an update about the SkyTrain disruption yesterday. We’ll try our best to answer your questions. We’re still reviewing the disruptions yesterday and last Thursday, so bear with us!

Human error led to yesterday’s Millennium and Expo Line disruptions.

An experienced electrician was installing a new circuit breaker for the Evergreen Line at a power distribution panel when he accidently tripped the main breaker feeding the critical systems at SkyTrain’s operations centre, causing a system-wide shut down of train controls.

TransLink is still reviewing the details of the incident.

The power outage halted trains and impacted TransLink’s ability to communicate with customers over SkyTrain’s PA systems.

Additional resources were quickly mobilized to ensure continued customer safety and to help people get to their destinations.

Every available bus was used, and employees from all areas were called in to help or stayed well beyond their shifts for several hours.  TransLink also relied on the news media, social media, television screens in the stations, and its website to communicate with customers.

Bus-shuttle hubs were set up at the busiest locations, with 42 buses running to keep people moving.

“Our trains are reliable 95% of the time, but we know that is little consolation for customers who are delayed for hours when we do have a significant breakdown,” said Doug Kelsey, TransLink Chief Operating Officer.

“Two major disruptions in one week is unprecedented, and the two incidents are completely unrelated.”

To show appreciation for customers, TransLink will offer a free day of transit on BC Day with details to be later announced.

Expo Line Maintenance Work

 

SkyTrain in action

SkyTrain in action

Hey buzzer readers,

Here’s a heads up on some maintenance work that we’ll be doing.

Beginning June 13, SkyTrain will single track between Gateway and King George stations on Friday evenings from 11 p.m. until end of service to allow crews to replace the rail clips and pads on that section of the guideway. Customers can expect delays of approximately five minutes during this time.

The work is expected to continue until the end of 2014, but it will be cancelled for major events like the Celebration of Lights and large concerts.

Expo Line passengers may experience minor delays throughout the system and Millennium Line operations will not be affected.

We appreciate your patience as we complete this essential maintenance work!

 

Information sessions for Commercial–Broadway Station begin June 3

2014-06-02 Commercial Broadway invitation

Hear what’s happening at Commercial–Broadway station

Are you one of the 150,000 people who use Commercial–Broadway Station every day? The next round of information sessions for the second phase of upgrades at the station will take place in June and we want your input!

Visit us in the community

We’ll be out in the community to share information about the station upgrades with our neighbours and passengers who use the busiest station on the network. Join us at one of the three information sessions:

Information Session #1
Date: June 3, 2014
Time: 3 – 7 p.m.
Location: Commercial–Broadway Station, North Station House street level (Fare Paid Zone)

Information Session #2
Date: June 10, 2014
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: University of British Columbia, Student Union Building

Information Session #3
Date: June 12, 2014
Time: 4 – 7 p.m.
Location: Croatian Cultural Centre – Room C, 3250 Commercial Drive

Get involved online

Can’t make it to one of the sessions? No problem! We will also have information and a feedback survey posted at translink.ca/commercialbroadway until June 16.

We hope to hear from you soon!

New cycling infrastructure opens at Main Street-Science World Station

1406307

Check out the inside of the Secure Bike Parking area!

Are you one of the many cyclists in Metro Vancouver that’s participating in Bike to Work Week? Then read on because we’ve got some exciting news for you.

The brand new Secure Bike Parking area at Main Street-Science World has opened, and we’re very excited to introduce this new cycling infrastructure to the system!

Wondering what a Secure Bike Parking area really is? Well, it’s an indoor facility at Main Street-Science World Station where registered customers can store their bikes for the day and connect directly to SkyTrain. The facility has over 80 racks, increasing bike storage four times more than the lockers that were there before.

Parking your bike in the Secure Bike Parking area costs just $1/day up to a maximum of $8/month. After parking your bike eight days in a single calendar month, you won’t be charged again until the following month. The more you ride your bike, the more you save!

To use the Secure Bike Parking area at Main Street-Science World Station, all you need to do is register for an account! Registration officially launched today and there are limited spaces, so don’t put it off.

How do I register?

Registering for an account is quick and easy. Call C-Media at 604-924-1076 and provide your account information and initial payment. Your access card will be mailed to you within five business days, then all you need to do is bring your card, bike and lock to Main Street-Science World Station and you’re ready to go! Online registration will be available very soon.

Like the sounds of this new facility, but don’t use Main Street-Science World Station very much? We’ll open additional facilities in the coming years as we replace bike lockers at some of our busiest locations – a Secure Bike Parking area could be coming to a neighbourhood near you!

To learn more about Secure Bike Parking areas, visit www.translink.ca/bikeparking

Single track weekend evening service on SkyTrain Expo and Millennium Lines

252_-_SkyTrain_near_Science_World_2

SkyTrain at Main Street-Science World Station

 

Hey buzzer readers,

Expo and Millennium line customers can expect service adjustments over two weekend evenings, starting this Friday, May 23. Trains will single track between Stadium-Chinatown and Nanaimo stations while construction progresses on the platform at Main Street-Science World Station. To minimize waits, customers are encouraged to consider alternate bus routes to reach their destinations.

On Friday May 23, Saturday May 24, Friday June 6 and Saturday June 7, customers should allow up to 20 minutes of extra travel time on Expo and Millennium lines after 9 p.m.

The following service changes will be in effect during this time:

  • Customers travelling to and from all stations between Waterfront and Nanaimo stations can expect waits of up to 20 minutes.
  • Customers travelling between Nanaimo and King George stations can expect waits of up to 15 minutes.
  • The Millennium Line will operate between VCC-Clark and Columbia stations about every 10 minutes. To connect to the Millennium Line, passengers can take the Expo Line and change trains at Commercial-Broadway or Columbia stations.

Passengers boarding the Train2Main at Main Street-Science World Station that plan to take the Expo Line east of Commercial-Broadway Station can reduce their travel time by travelling west one stop to Stadium-Chinatown station and boarding a train headed for King George Station.

SkyTrain attendants will be on hand to answer questions at Stadium-Chinatown, Main Street-Science World and Commercial-Broadway stations. There will be signs on all station platforms, and announcements will be made on trains and at stations.

TransLink thanks customers for their patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Main Street-Science World Station.

Scott Road Station Upgrades Complete

Hi buzzer readers,

As you may know, Scott Road has been in the process of getting upgraded to improve safety and accessibility at the station. Today, we celebrated the completion of construction with the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue, B.C.’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone, TransLink’s own Marcella Szel, board chair, and Ian Jarvis, CEO with an event at the station.

2014-05-21 Scott Road completion

Minister Stone, Minister Findlay, Marcella Szel and Ian Jarvis outside the new elevator

Thanks to the recent upgrades to the bus exchange and parking lot completed over the last year, station access is safer and easier for customers who travel by car and bus. Accessibility has also been markedly improved following the installation of the elevator at the west-side of the station in the spring of 2012.

Scott Road Station is the first of seven stations on the Expo Line to be upgraded by TransLink with funding from the federal and provincial governments. These upgrades will ensure the rapid transit system meets the needs of passengers and the region for years to come.

The full press release is available here.

Thanks for your patience during construction!

Entrance

Entrance

Bus Shelters

Bus Shelters

Main Street-Science World’s new east stationhouse opens today

A rendering if the upgraded Main Street-Science World Station

A rendering of the upgraded Main Street-Science World Station

The new east stationhouse at Main Street-Science World opens today and the west stationhouse will close for construction.

This means customers that plan to take the Train2Main from Main Street-Science World Station will now have to access the station from the east stationhouse. The west stationhouse will remain closed until construction at the station is complete in early 2015.

The new east stationhouse will include new stairs, an up-escalator and a new elevator.

This is an exciting time as we make much-needed improvements at one of the busiest stations to improve your experience onboard the SkyTrain system. To learn more, visit www.translink.ca/ontrack.

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.

Train2Main Begins in 2 Days!

2014-03-12 Train2Main line diagram

Train2Main service

Hey buzzer readers!

This is a reminder that from March 30 (two days from now) until fall 2014, anyone travelling to or from Main Street-Science World Station will hop on the Train2Main, a special two-car SkyTrain – trains are normally four or six cars long.

Here’s a refresher on the details:

  • Train2Main will provide service to and from Main Street-Science World from Waterfront, Burrard, Granville, Stadium-Chinatown and Commercial-Broadway Stations.
  • Regular four and six car trains on the Expo Line and Millenium Line will operate as normal during this time, except they will not stop at Main Street–Science World Station.
  • Passengers travelling to Main Street-Science World from the east will transfer to Train2Main at Commercial-Braodway station.
  • Passengers travelling to Main Street-Science World from downtown Vancouver will use the Train2Main.
  • Passengers using Train2Main should plan 10 minutes of extra travel time.

Train2Main is necessary to keep Main Street-Science World open during construction as much needed upgrades are made to the station. To learn more, visit www.translink.ca/ontrack. Thanks for your patience!

Choosing the Happy City: People

Living in the #happycity means hopping on the train for an impromptu sunset seawall stroll after dinner.  Photo by Chris Bruntlett (@cbruntlett)

Living in the #happycity means hopping on the train for an impromptu sunset seawall stroll after dinner.
Photo by Chris Bruntlett (@cbruntlett)

 

 

The lecture Choosing the Happy City is just around the corner and it’s a good time to explore different perspectives on the connection between neighbourhoods and the happiness of people who reside in them. A few days ago, I posted the interview with Charles Montgomery – I hope you enjoyed it.

Today, I had a pleasure to speak with Chris  Bruntlett, a residential designer, writer, photographer, and bike enthusiast. During the day, Chris works as a residential designer, designing single family homes, duplexes and laneway houses in the City of Vancouver.

Outside of the office, he spends a great deal of his evenings and weekends encouraging people to get on a bicycle through writing, photography, public speaking, and filmmaking. If you read posts about city cycling in the Spacing, Vancouver Is Awesome, Vancity Buzz, Hush, or Momentum Magazine, the chances are that you came across Chris’ work.

 

What city in the Lower Mainland do you live in?

Our family of four lives in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood of Vancouver, just a couple of blocks from the Commercial-Broadway Skytrain station, and have done so for five years now.

What makes you happy about where you live?

We love having the freedom to choose how we’re getting somewhere, dependent on the nature of the trip we’re taking. Sometimes it’s walking. Sometimes it’s cycling. Other times it’s by bus or Skytrain. And once in a while, we’ll borrow a car from Modo or Car2Go.

How do you usually travel around your neighbourhood?

More often than not, we get around Grandview-Woodlands by foot or bicycle. We are fortunate enough to have the traffic-calmed 10th Avenue, Lakewood, and Mosaic Bikeways at our disposal, although running errands along Commercial Drive can be problematic. We’re certainly hoping the long-term plan to create safe, comfortable space for cycling on The Drive happens sooner rather than later.

What’s your favourite thing about how you get around your neighbourhood?

Moving at a slower pace allows us to have an intimate, unfiltered, first-hand connection to our neighbourhood, its shopfronts, merchants, houses, parks, and neighbours we may run into along the way. Our kids know the people and places in their community like the backs of their hands.

How do you usually travel around your city?

When it comes to longer distances, we’ll usually take a combination of Skytrain and/or bus, although our kids have been known to amaze us with their ability to ride their bikes long distances. We absolutely love cycling on the seawall as a family, with its stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and glass towers; and can sometimes ride over 20 kilometres in a single day!

What do you like about travelling around your city?

Getting around without a car transforms all of our travel time into family time. Walking, cycling, or riding the bus provides ample opportunity to relax, hold hands, make eye contact, and chat about any number of topics, big or small.

You’re often involved in projects that focus on city cycling as part of everyday life. What are you currently working on?

I recently produced a series of six short films which intimately profile a number of Vancouverites who use a bicycle to get around. We just wrapped up the first series (http://www.youtube.com/vancyclechic), which were incredibly well received and publicized; and have started pre-production on a second series, to be shot and released in 2014.

You recently wrote a review of the book “Happy City” for Vancouver is Awesome. Anything you want to mention from the book?

As Charles Montgomery points out, the greener, happier and resilient city all occupy the same place. In my opinion, Vancouver should be aiming to be the “World’s Happiest City”, and framing the (sometimes heated) discussions around what we have to gain – rather than give up – in order to live sustainably.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter the Happy City contest to win some great prizes.  Apart from the Buzzer, this contest is run by the Vancity Buzz, The Thirties Grind and Surrey604.  The lecture Choosing Happy City is sold out but you can watch it live via webcast; simply click on the webcast link here at 7 pm on March 26.

 

Going to Main Street-Science World? Look for the Train2Main

Train2Main

Train2Main service starts March 30

You’ve probably noticed that Main Street–Science World Stations is getting some much needed upgrades. Work is moving along at the east side of the station, and the second phase of construction is about to start.

To keep the station open during this phase of construction, SkyTrain will operate a special two-car train, Train2Main, to get customers to and from the station.

Do you travel to/from Main Street-Science World Station?

Train2Main service will start March 30 and operate for approximately six months. Here’s some helpful information:

  • Train2Main will provide service to and from Main Street-Science World from Waterfront, Burrard, Granville, Stadium-Chinatown and Commercial-Broadway Stations.
  • Regular four and six car trains on the Expo Line and Millenium Line will operate as normal during this time, except they will not stop at Main Street–Science World Station.
  • Passengers travelling to Main Street-Science World from the east will transfer to Train2Main at Commercial-Braodway station.
  • Passengers travelling to Main Street-Science World from downtown Vancouver will use the Train2Main.
  • Passengers using Train2Main should plan 10 minutes of extra travel time.

Thanks for your patience as we make these much-needed improvements at Main Street-Science World Station. When complete in winter 2014/15, the upgraded station will improve the overall customer experience at one of the busiest stations in the SkyTrain system. To learn more, visit www.translink.ca/ontrack.

Expo Line Power Rail Replacement work – late-night shuttle service begins Feb.16

SkyTrain in action!

Hey buzzer readers!

As you may already know, we’re replacing 34 km of original power rail on the Expo Line. The power rail supplies SkyTrain vehicles with power, approximately 650 volts DC.

Work is moving to the area between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown and there will be service impacts for people travelling to or from those stations during late-night service.

Beginning Feb. 16, passengers travelling through all stations between Waterfront and Stadium-Chinatown will commute using a shuttle train Sundays through Thursdays after 8 p.m.

  • Passengers travelling west of Stadium-Chinatown must hop off and transfer to a shuttle train. Service east of Stadium-Chinatown will operate normally.
  • Passengers are encouraged to plan for an extra 10 minutes of travel time.
  • SkyTrain services will run as normal during the day, peak times and major downtown events.

SkyTrain staff will be on hand at affected stations to provide directions and assistance. We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we keep our system in good repair for your overall service.

A few words from Fred Cummings about last week’s SkyTrain service disruption

If you were on the Expo SkyTrain Line last Wednesday afternoon (February 5) like I was, you might have experienced some delay in service.

Although my trip was only a few minutes longer than normal, for two and a half hours, the disruption of regular service caused varying levels of delays to our riders’ estimated trip times.

Disruptions in service are something TransLink and our operating companies actively try to avoid and we are sorry it happened.

“I want to apologize to our SkyTrain customers who were affected by this unusual incident,” says Fred Cummings, President and General Manager of BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).

Details about the disruption

Starting at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, an eastbound train encountered a mechanical issue and stopped outside Main Street-Science World Station. BCRTC investigated the incident and found that a part used to connect the problem train to the power supply in the SkyTrain guideway (the tracks), failed, broke off and got lodged between the two power rails that supply the Skytrain with 650 volts DC of power. This prevented the train from continuing on its normal route. A failure such as this can occur if a train encounters a stray object in the guideway, but this particular incident was determined to be the result of a part that was defective or fatigued.

“The recovery from this event was complicated by the equipment that failed being lodged in-between the power rails. I want to assure everyone that the personnel deployed worked extremely hard and as fast as they could to get service back before the evening peak service,” says Fred.

To help alleviate the situation, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) supplemented service with a bus bridge, and SkyTrain Staff and Transit Police were deployed to help manage the crowds forming at SkyTrain stations.

Despite our best efforts, many of our riders were left frustrated and late for appointments by the delay.

Upgrading SkyTrain

As regular readers of the Buzzer know, SkyTrain is over 25 years old! A number of upgrades to the Expo Line are being carried out as part of OnTrack to keep the system in good repair.

We are always looking for ways to improve our service and making sure our SkyTrain system runs smoothly and on time is a priority.

Passenger queuing study at Commercial–Broadway Station

99 B-Line stop at Commercial–Broadway Station

99 B-Line stop at Commercial–Broadway Station

If you ride the 99 B-Line you’ve probably spent time in one of the big and muddled lineups at Commercial–Broadway Station. They’re long, disorganized and take up space from pedestrians trying to use the sidewalk.

With a million more people coming to the region over the next 30 years and the addition of the Evergreen Line in 2016, this stop is going to get even busier. That’s why we’re designing a new shelter and queuing system for the 99 B-Line stop at Commercial–Broadway Station. The shelter will be built as part of Phase 2 Upgrades at Commercial–Broadway Station (to be complete in summer 2016).

To make sure the design of the shelter and the queuing system meets the needs of passengers, we’re doing a passenger queuing study. It’s happening January 27-30 for the westbound 99 B-Line at Commercial–Broadway Station during peak morning hours.

Are you a 99 B-Line rider?

You can expect temporary changes to the queuing system for the westbound 99 B-Line bus stop at Commercial–Broadway Station during the study.

  • Lightweight barriers and pavement markings will be used to test different queuing systems
  • Queues for the 99 B-Line will be different each morning and there will be minor changes made during peak hours

Thanks for your patience over the next few days! A new queuing system is on its way!