Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SkyTrain

Reminder for students with GoCards

Students out and about

Students out and about

Are you a returning secondary student in Grade 9 to 12 aged 14 to 19? Then your GoCard from the 2013/14 school year is still valid until October 31, despite any labour disputes.

Your GoCard gets you concession fares on all TransLink services in Metro Vancouver, so you can travel for a reduced price.  Just make sure you have your GoCard with you when travelling on the system.

New GoCards will be issued to public school students once school is back in session.

For updates on GoCards for the 2014/15 school year, visit www.translink.ca/gocard.

Canada Line turns five years old today!

Canada Line

Happy birthday to the Canada Line!

It’s a special day for the Canada Line as it turns five years old today!

The Canada Line officially opened on August 17, 2009, connecting downtown Vancouver with Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Richmond city centre. Thousands of people lined up for hours to be one of the first few to take a ride on the newest addition to the SkyTrain network.

The first train carrying its first passengers departed at 1 p.m. from Waterfront Station and within the first five hours, the Canada Line had carried 54,000 people.

Today, at its fifth birthday, Canada Line is moving 122,000 people each day – getting them to work, school, and play!

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Canada Line! Happy birthday to you!! =)

Canada Line Quick Facts

  • The North Arm Bridge over the Fraser River is the first-ever extradosed bridge built in North America. What’s an extradosed bridge? It’s a specially designed bridge that is both a cantilevered and cable-stayed bridge.
  • During the 17 days of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, over 3.8 million passengers travelled on the Canada Line.
  • The two busiest days in the short five-year history of the Canada Line were during the Olympics and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. On February19, 2010, there were 297,000 boardings and on June 15, 2011, there were 183,000.
  • Sweet Leilani was the name of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) responsible for boring twin tunnels, from South False Creek all the way to Waterfront Station. In the process, it removed over 200,000 cubic metres of rock.
  • The Canada Line tunnels run side-by-side with the exception of between King Edward Avenue and Broadway, where they are stacked one on top of the other.
  • Over 2,000 pre-cast concrete segments were strung together using a Launching Girder (LG) between the Marine Drive tunnel portal, Richmond-Brighouse and YVR-Airport stations.
  • The Canada Line currently carries 6,100 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) and is designed for an ultimate capacity of 15,000 pphpd – more than double what it is now.
  • Canada Line’s busiest day of the week is Friday.

Baby pics!

Looking down the hall on the concourse level.

Inside the under construction Vancouver City Centre Station

The platform of Waterfront Station.

The platform of the under construction Waterfront Station.

The long hallway at the concourse level.

The long hallway at the concourse level of Vancouver City Centre Station

Premier Gordon Campbell, Minister Stockwell Day, and many other dignitaries cut the ribbon on the Canada Line at YVR-Airport Station, August 17, 2009.

With the cut of the ribbon and Canada Line’s open!

I want more Canada Line!

You can check out the Canada Line Photography blog, which has a large selection of photographs from the start of construction to opening day.

There’s so much more on the Canada Line on the Buzzer blog too! Click on one of the posts below:

Millennium Line Service Adjustment – August 9

SkyTrain

SkyTrain 

Hey buzzer readers,

Here’s a heads up on some Millennium Line service adjustments Saturday, August 9 while we work to integrate new track for the Evergreen Line into the SkyTrain network at Lougheed Station.

Trains between Lougheed Town Centre and Production Way-University stations will operate about every 13.5 minutes, half as often as normal.

Passengers travelling between Lougheed Town Centre and Vancouver may find it faster to travel via Columbia than to change trains at Commercial-Broadway.

Expo Line service between Waterfront and King George will operate normally, about every seven minutes. Combined with the Millennium Line trains, service between Waterfront and Columbia on Saturday will be about every 3.5 minutes.

We appreciate your patience as we complete this essential work!

What’s that green sign with the running person at Main Street-Science World SkyTrain station?

What's that green running thing?!

What’s that green sign with the running person?!

If you’ve been to Main Street-Science World since the east stationhouse upgrades were completed, you might have noticed some new signage.

A closer look at the new sign, courtesy of ISO!

A closer look at the new sign, courtesy of ISO!

There are green signs here and there throughout the station showing a person running out a doorway.

What are they?

Well, they are the new emergency exit signs!

Jeff Deby, Senior Wayfinding Specialist at TransLink, tells us these signs were adopted in the B.C. Building Code in 2012 and the National Building Code of Canada in 2010.

These will replace the text-based, red ‘EXIT’ signs as the standard emergency exit sign in all new building facilities in Canada.

“The new signs follow the ISO international standard and are commonly seen in Europe and Asia,” Jeff says. “It will be more familiar to international travellers, and the graphic method of communication is easier to understand for people who don’t read English.

Here's the old exit sign found at Sapperton and most SkyTrain stations

Here’s the old exit sign found at Sapperton Station and other TransLink facilities

It is also clearly separate from the wayfinding system (which helps people navigate the transit network) because it is so distinctive, making it clearer in cases when an exit is for emergency use.”

Since this sign is the new standard in B.C., it will start to appear in more facilities across the transit network in the coming years.

This includes all six new Evergreen stations and other SkyTrain stations that have been identified for major upgrades.

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.