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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SkyTrain

(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 before the week is out.

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 SkyTrian 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.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink receives Outstanding Employer Award for Take Your Kids to Work Day

2016 Outstanding EmployerEvery year, TransLink participates in Take your Kids to Work Day.

Kids aged 14 are invited to job shadow their parents or come along on a guided tour at BCRTC, CMBC and Transit Police to explore future workplace opportunities.

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Some of the grade nine students on the job for Take Your Kids to Work Day

This year we had 52 grade nine students take part in this event and it was a big success and not just the day!

The Canada’s Outstanding Employer Award recognizes employers for their outstanding performance and contribution to Take Our Kids to Work day activities.

Criteria for the award includes:

  • Promoting the importance of staying in school
  • Promoting pursuing post-secondary studies
  • Demonstrating creativity and innovation through engaging and exciting activities for visiting students
  • Supporting and explaining career choices and benefits of early career exploration

It was a very competitive process, but TransLink, along with 14 other outstanding organizations, stood out to the selections committee.

TransLink and its operating companies were chosen “For providing students with engaging and interactive opportunities to explore career options and learn about TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, BCRTC and Transit Police as a future workplace. Students were given a tour of TransLink’s new Mark III train and received an in-depth look at technology that powers TransLink trains. They even got the opportunity to work with a K9 unit in Transit Police and the Fire Prevention Technicians that oversees fire prevention across the transit network.”

TransLink is honoured as an Enterprise to accept Canada’s Outstanding Employer 2016 Award for our participation in this annual event of fun, learning and exploring transit jobs.

We can’t wait until next year to host more eager students looking to get behind-the-scenes job experience in the world of public transit!

Author: Adrienne Coling

You are invited to Everything Evergreen on December 2 at Coquitlam Central Station!

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Evergreen means go on December 2 and that is cause for some major celebrating!

Come out to Coquitlam Central Station on the Evergreen Extension this Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. for a huge community celebration!

TransLink, along with our partners and local community groups are hosting a day of family-friendly fun.

I am immensely proud of the project team, our partners and all our staff across the enterprise who have worked tirelessly to see this project through. We now have the longest, driverless, automated rapid-transit system in the world. I am looking forward to seeing everyone on opening day. Come experience the new Evergreen Extension first-hand.”

– Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

There will be lots activities including: a LEGO-building station, ukulele lessons and kids’ craft as well as a stage at Coquitlam Central Station hosting a variety of talented community music groups to entertain all ages.

There are even whispers that the big guy in red might stop by in the early evening at Coquitlam Central Station!

We’re so thankful for the community partners who will be there supporting this great day. Look out for these organizations during the celebrations:

Coquitlam Centre

Coquitlam Express Junior Hockey Club

The Coquitlam Heritage Society

Coquitlam Public Library

Coquitlam Ukulele Tiny Instruments Enthusiasts Circle

Evergreen Cultural Centre

HUB Cycling

ICBC

Lougheed Town Centre

Save on Foods – Pinetree Store and Cameron Store

Port Moody Heritage Society

SHARE Family & Community Services

The Transit Museum Society of Vancouver

Bricks 4 Kidz

The first train rides on the Evergreen Extension start at 12 p.m. 

Even more entertainment will begin at the other Evergreen stations starting at 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

You can find out more information of the day’s events this week right here on the Buzzer blog, our social channels and at translink.ca/evergreen.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Welcome to the Evergreen Extension! A sneak peek at Moody Centre Station (Photos)

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As you may have heard around town, a teensy bit of news that was shared recently… the Evergreen Extension is opening December 2, 2016!!

The announcement was made at Moody Centre Station and we couldn’t resist taking a little tour ourselves to see more of one of the brand new stations.

Of course we took a few photos to share with our lovely Buzzer blog readers.

Enjoy!!

And just for fun, check out a quick timelapse from Moody Centre Station into the tunnel towards Burquitlam Station!

Stay tuned!

We will continue to share fun videos and pictures of the Evergreen Extension across our social channels in preparation for its opening in December.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Author: Adrienne Coling

More connectivity for SkyTrain passengers!

SkyTrain at VCC-Clark Station
Today TransLink and Rogers announced the next phase in its partnership to enhance wireless connectivity and customer experience for SkyTrain passengers.

Rogers and Fido customers will now have access to Rogers LTE wireless coverage through the Edmonds Tunnel, helping commuters stay connected across Metro Vancouver!

This next phase expands on the LTE and voice access first made available to SkyTrain customers through the Dunsmuir Tunnel in July 2016 – a significant milestone that connects passengers along one of the busiest stretches in the SkyTrain network.

“This is just one way we are working to improve the transit experience by improving cellular coverage for our customers at no cost to taxpayers. We will continue to work with Rogers to build out wireless coverage along the SkyTrain, including Evergreen, Columbia and New Westminster.”

– Guy Akester, TransLink Director of Real Estate and Strategic Sourcing

Rogers and Fido wireless customers can now surf the Internet, make and receive calls, send and receive emails and text messages, stream video and music, and more on their mobile devices while travelling on the Expo Line between 22nd Street and Edmonds stations.

You can read the media release here.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

(Video) New Westminster Station upgrades are complete!

On Friday we announced the official completion of New Westminster Station upgrades taking the total completed stations from two to three. This was the latest of seven key SkyTrain stations and exchanges across the transit network that TransLink is currently in the process of upgrading.

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

These upgrades mean improved passenger capacity, accessibility, safety and overall customer experience for our customers.

New Westminster Station Upgrades

First responders prepare for the opening of the Evergreen Extension

Training exercise for Coquitlam Fire at Lafarge Lake in June 2016

Training exercise for Coquitlam Fire Rescue at Lafarge Lake in June 2016

With the new extension to our SkyTrain network, there are many “behind the scenes” elements being tested and prepared.

A vital part of our preparation for the opening of Evergreen involves comprehensive emergency training with first responders.

Emergency preparedness training is conducted routinely throughout our transit system to ensure the highest safety standards are maintained and continuously improve responses.

Residents and riders in the Tri-Cities can expect to see some emergency training along the Evergreen Extension in the coming weeks.

On November 12, 19 and 26 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. emergency personnel in the Northeast sector will be running evacuation and rescue exercises with emergency vehicles, bus shuttle scenarios, testing equipment, smoke and fire alarms as well as ventilation fans at Inlet Centre and Moody Centre Stations and both the north and south portals of the tunnel.

The training will be a veritable who’s who of emergency response teams! Of course, we will have members of BCRTC, CMBC and Transit Police as well as Coquitlam Fire Rescue, Port Moody Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Port Moody Police.

Due to the training, some road closures around the stations will be required, but regular SkyTrain service will not be affected on these days.

Remember! This training will look real but these are not real incidents.

See what else is happening with the Evergreen Extension  at translink.ca/Evergreen.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Attention Metrotown SkyTrain riders!

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Some more changes are coming to Metrotown Station as we upgrade one of our busiest stations outside downtown Vancouver.

Beginning November 16, a portion of the centre stationhouse will open!

To allow for demolition to begin on the existing east entrance, the pedestrian walkway at Metrotown Station connecting the mall and bus loop will permanently close.

The station upgrades allow space for an overhead walkway to be built, however, TransLink does not own the property and it will be up to the discretion of the City of Burnaby.

We are currently working with the city to agree upon design, construction, funding and timing for the a new walkway.

Not to worry, the station is still accessible for riders! You can exit the platform via the brand new stairs in the centre stationhouse towards the east of the platform or the emergency staircase at the west end of the platform.

The future bus lane will be used for passengers to travel east or west along the south side of Central Boulevard. Concrete barricades will be installed to separate pedestrians from traffic in that area.

Compass Vending Machines and card readers will be located just outside the station, so remember to tap in and tap out to ensure you are paying the correct fare!

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To help direct riders during this construction, additional staff will be on hand, but you should still allow for an additional five to 10 minutes of travel time when using this station.

**Please note** There will be no escalator access into the station, only stairs. The HandyDART and Community Shuttles will continue to run between Metrotown and Patterson stations until the new elevators open this spring.

What’s all this construction for? Let me tell you! When fully complete, the upgraded station will include:

  • A rebuilt east stationhouse and the addition of new centre and west stationhouses
  • New stairs and escalators
  • A replacement of the original elevator with three new elevators accessible via a new central entry
  • An upgraded bus exchange on Central Boulevard
  • New secure bike parking

Looking for more station upgrades or Metrotown information?
Visit translink.ca/ontrack and translink.ca/Metrotown.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

(Video) Evergreen Extension is opening December 2, 2016

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Are you ready for this??

MoodyCentreStation1

Moody Centre Station

The Evergreen Extension to the Millennium Line is opening December 2, 2016!

That’s right!

We’re so excited that our riders across the Tri-Cities will soon have more frequent transit options and be able to seamlessly connect to the Metro Vancouver transit network!

It’s also an important milestone for the entire system because once Evergreen opens, SkyTrain will be the longest, fully automated, driverless rapid transit system in the world!

Now that construction has finished, TransLink will take control over the operation of everything Evergreen.

BurquitlamStation3

Burquitlam Station art

Right now, we’re focused on ensuring a smooth transition for our customers and we continue to get ready behind the scenes. On the customer end, you will start seeing platform posters and ads, transit advertising, digital, newspaper and radio ads, plus a video that will play on the system and in the media.

To do that, we are testing the extension, planning the grand opening and preparing for the extensive bus integration that will take place after Evergreen opens.

We know you have tons of questions about bus service changes and we will have all that info for you later this month once the changes are finalized.

So, be sure to stay tuned to our social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and right here on the Buzzer blog!

Here are some resources for you leading up to, and after, the opening:

  • Starting on November 28, you can head to our Trip Planner to help you map out your route with new travel information.
  • If you want to use Trip Planner, be sure to choose the specific date on which you want to travel.
  • First train departs at 12p.m. on December 2 and a community celebration is planned at Coquitlam Centre – watch the blog for details soon!
  • Bus service changes will begin to take effect on December 19.
  • From November 21 to December 22, you’ll see our outreach teams all across the system. These wonderful people are virtual Evergreen encyclopedias and can answer your questions and help riders understand how the bus changes affect their transit trips.

You can learn more by visiting translink.ca/evergreen for more information.

 

For more information about bus travel once the Evergreen Extension opens, head to translink.ca/servicechanges on November 28.


TransLink @TransLink


 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

Transit Trick-or-Treat

Transit Trick or Treat

Halloween is fast approaching! The weather looks like it should clear by this evening, but you never know!

If you or your costumed comrades are fair weather trick-or-treaters, we have a list of Metro Vancouver malls conveniently located on or near  SkyTrain routes that participate in indoor trick-or-treating.

Central City Mall – Located on the corner of 102nd Avenue and King George Boulevard in Surrey, BC.

Trick or Treating will take place on Monday, October 31, from 4pm to 6pm. Stop by Customer Service for a treat before making your way to any store displaying participating signage.

Coquitlam Centre – Located at the intersection of the Barnet Highway (7A) and the Lougheed Highway (7). The address is 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam, BC.

Want to keep your kiddies indoors this Halloween? Coquitlam Centre invites you to celebrate Halloween on October 31st, from 4pm to 5pm by trick or treating at the mall. All kids 12 and under in a costume are welcome to participate!
Brentwood Town Centre – Located at 4567 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, BC.

Join the annual Halloween fun on Monday, October 31st from 4pm to 5pm. Fun for the whole family including a live DJ, Stilt Walkers, Balloon Artists, Interactive Pumpkin Patch, and of course, candy galore!

Willowbrook Shopping Centre – Located at #150 – 19705 Fraser Highway, Langley, BC

For $2 cash per child up to age 12, you can join in this popular and lively Halloween event and Trick or Treat Parade on Monday, October 31st from 5pm to 6pm. Registration starts at 4:30pm at any of the following Willowbrook Shopping Centre entrances: Sport ChekSwimco, Tim Hortons,  Sashimi Sushi, and Sears.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Langley School District Foundation to support innovative and essential school programs for Langley students.

Lougheed Town Centre – Located at 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby

Trick or treat (mostly treats!) at Lougheed Town Centre on October 31 from 4pm to 5pm. Free treats for kids under 12, with a little something for parents too! Check out the Halloween photo booth open from 4pm to 6pm to capture your perfect costume (and then submit your #TLtrickortreat selfie).

Trick or treating at Lougheed Town Centre is in support of Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. Suggested donation of $1 per child.

Metropolis at Metrotown – Located at 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC

Come in costume and trick-or-treat your way around Vancouver’s biggest shopping centre on October 31st from 4pm to 6pm. Not all stores are participating, however there will be more than enough candy at the various shops throughout the mall.

Landsdowne Centre – Located at 5300 No.3 Road, Richmond, BC

Grab your costume and your silly face on October 31st from 12pm to 5pm for the Halloween photo booth at Lansdowne Centre. Celebrate Halloween with trick or treating from 3pm to 5pm.

 

*****Don’t forget to snap a #TLtrickortreat selfie of you in costume on transit for a chance to win!*****

Author: Sarah Kertcher

SkyTrain Change is a comin’! Are you ready for October 22nd?

Change can be hard, but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be! We’ve got everything you need to help you on your way on October 22nd, and beyond!

If you haven’t yet heard, on October 22nd, 2016 the way you ride SkyTrain may be changing. In advance of the Evergreen Extension opening later this year, the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will be different than what you’ve become accustomed to. Arguably, the biggest change in the operating pattern will take place at Lougheed Town Centre Station and Production Way – University Station.

Is Lougheed Town Centre Station part of your commute? Our friends in wayfinding have created this visual to help you understand what to expect come October 22nd.

October 22nd SkyTrain Pattern Changes

Are you a Production Way – University Station regular? Here’s how the upcoming October 22nd change may affect your SkyTrain commute.

October 22nd SkyTrain Pattern Changes

Still have questions? Check out our Facebook Livestream with Ian Fisher, outlining all of the changes.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

And one more time — the key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern – October 22nd:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink prepares for stormy weather

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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