December 30, 2016, 12:34 pm
Another trip around the sun. 2016 – what a year! It’s been a busy and productive 366 (leap year) days for TransLink.
Let’s take a look back at 2016 in the world of Metro Vancouver transit!
In the spring, we welcomed new CEO, Kevin Desmond. Kevin came to TransLink from King County Metro Transit that serves the Seattle area.
Kevin jumped in with both feet to lead the charge of a very full and important year while emphasizing our customers’ needs, transparency and excellent service.
We’re so happy to have him at the helm!
This word was on everyone’s lips this year!
After a roll out that started with Upass users then West Coast Express, the general public adopted Compass with Monthly Passes at the beginning of this year.
Then, on April 4, 2016, the fare gates closed requiring riders to tap in on buses and in and out at all gates to pay their fare.
With Compass, you can travel seamlessly across the TransLink transit network with one card! Compass also allows us to gather important data on peak periods, bus route ridership and more – helping us better plan and run the transit network.
May 2nd marked the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek.
This was North America’s largest World’s Fair and a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy – our SkyTrain system starting with none other than the Expo Line!
SkyTrain started regular service on January 3, 1986.
100 years of the Buzzer.
Happy birthday, Buzzer! The print Buzzer hit a major milestone anniversary of 100 years!
This free, on-transit publication began on June 2, 1916 without a name. That soon changed and it has been delivering informative, fun and interesting transit and community related tidbits to the riders of the transit system ever since.
You can pick yours up on your ride or download here.
PM Justin Trudeau made some lifelong transit friends when he announced more than $900 million will be invested – by the Government of Canada, British Columbia and municipalities – in public transit projects across the province.
This important funding promise allowed the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council to present Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for approval. But we’ll get to that soon enough!
Rogers and Fido customers were treated to not one but two connectivity projects allowing riders to use their mobile devices.
In July, the Dunsmuir tunnel downtown Vancouver was connected and in November, the Edmonds tunnel followed suit!
Up next? We will continue to work with Rogers to build out wireless coverage along the Evergreen Extension, Columbia Station and tunnel and in New Westminster.
This summer we hit one million active Compass Cards.
That means that a million riders across Metro Vancouver embraced the switch to Compass and were tap, tap, tapping their way to and from school, home, work and more!
With such great news, we had to celebrate with a fun contest to thank you for using Compass!
These beautiful new SkyTrain cars were the hit of the summer! Especially because the A/C is just oh, so cool!
These cars rode across country – on flatbeds – to reach out region.
Each 4-car set is fully articulated (you can walk from one end of the train to the other), has more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage plus, they are more environmentally efficient!
Transit riders and enthusiasts eagerly awaited the first trip on August 18th and our Mark III VIPs got a front seat for the journey!
Something old, something new, something borrowed something… transit? Hey, whatever floats your SeaBus!
Jeff and Nathaly met on Canada Line and it was their dream to get married on transit.
Enter a white (naturally) Mark II SkyTrain, a full band, wedding guests and one interloping Buzzer blog writer and you’ve got a SkyTrain wedding!
It was a distinct pleasure to document this lovely couple’s big day aboard our beloved SkyTrain at Stadium–Chinatown Station.
I Love Transit Week.
I love transit week is a time for enthusiasts of all ages can say loud and proud, “I LOVE TRANSIT!”
Poems, colouring contests, a special Buzzer, HTC opening tour, kids camp and more – we felt the transit love from riders of all ages at a variety of events.
Interested in participating in next year’s festivities? Keep your eyes peeled for rumblings on the Buzzer blog in spring!
Hamilton Transit Centre.
In one September weekend we said goodbye to North Vancouver Transit Centre and hello to the brand new HTC building in Richmond!
Did you notice? If not, that’s a good thing! CMBC made the seamless transition from one TC to the other and got your buses on the road from their no locale A.S.A.P.
Hamilton Transit Centre has capacity for 300 forty-foot buses, including up to 80 community shuttle buses and 150 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled buses.
HTC performs three functions: dispatch, fuel and wash service as well as maintenance for buses servicing the Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver areas.
Opened in 1937, this bridge is one of the busiest Fraser crossings in the region. So, it’s unsurprising that while we go ahead with plans to build a new bridge, this ol’ girl needs some safety upgrades in the interim.
We know the evening and weekend closures impacted a lot of drivers and we appreciate your patience as we rehabilitated the crossing to ensure its safety for all.
- milling off the asphalt surfacing from the deck
- removing all deck concrete down to the top layer of rebar
- repairing concrete delamination and cleaning or replacing rebar
- repaving the deck area with a concrete overlay
Crews managed to finish early allowing for goods and people to move freely over the Pattullo Bridge once again .
CUTA is the Canadian Urban Transit Association and this year’s Fall Conference and Transit Show happened right here in Metro Vancouver on November 5-9.
This year’s theme was Inspiring Sustainable Change with a variety of seminars and speakers discussing today’s demands, tomorrow’s challenges and the possibilities for transit in our country and around the world.
TransLink had many speakers engaging with experts and transit enthusiasts from around the globe. Including CMBC’s Derek Stewart who spoke about the impact of climate change to transit agencies.
New Westminster upgrades.
We are upgrading SkyTrain Stations across the rapid transit network.
New Westminster was one of them. I say was because the work is done! On November 21, we officially completed and opened the overhauled station for riders to use and enjoy!
The completed upgrades at New Westminster Station include:
- A new elevator and escalators to improve access for customers with disabilities
- Improved lighting throughout the station
- Glass panels to replace the mesh screens and improve station visibility from street level
- Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system
- New public art that improves the experience of riders
Our region is growing and along with that comes greater need for public transit.
The Mayors’ Council 10-year Vision Phase One was approved by the TransLink board and council on November 23.
Along with the federal and provincial funding promised in June, municipalities will pitch in their share with TransLink for some much needed transit upgrades and projects.
Phase One improvements in 2017, 2018, and 2019 include:
- 10% increase in bus service
- 15% increase in HandyDART service
- 20% increase in rail service
- New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few or no transit options today
- Safer walking and cycling routes
- Reduced traffic congestion by fixing bottlenecks on major roads
Metro Vancouver residents will start to see added service in the new year with much more to come in the coming months and years!
Sometimes, it IS easy being green!
On December 2, the Evergreen Extension to the Millennium Line opened to great excitement despite the rainy weather!
The community celebration at Coquitlam Central Station ran all day with riders eagerly awaiting the first official ride on Evergreen.
With this extension, TransLink has the longest, automated, driverless rapid transit system in the world!
If you’ve ever called 604-953-3333 or tweeted @TransLink, you’ve interacted with CI (Customer Information).
This crew works tirelessly to help keep riders informed on specific routes, transit timings, disruptions, detours and all things transit related!
Started in 2010 as a pilot project, to date our followers have reached over 135,000 people and CI has sent out 295,039 tweets!
A big thank you to these awesome people who keep us moving!
Well, that about wraps it up. We can’t wait for what 2017 will hold for our region and transit!
Author: Adrienne Coling