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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Something Neat

20 epic and FREE spray parks to beat the heat

Child playing in the spray park

Beat the heat with a trip to the spray parks with the whole family!

Looking to beat the heat and use transit? Read on, because The Buzzer blog’s got you covered!

As the sun continues to shine on us, the heat tags along, making it unbearable to be out in the sun for a long time. Summer is also the time when kids are home and what better way to entertain them in this scorching heat than a trip to the nearest spray park.

While the weather is a bit cooler now, looks like the temperature will soar again on the weekend and all of next week.

Our increased service to many popular summer attractions makes it easier for you to get out and about, while Tap to Pay provides you with an option to pay for your transit fare — just tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card and be on your way.

While spray parks provide an intermittent relief from the heat, it is imperative that you follow some summer tips to stay hydrated at all times, wear sunscreen, and dress according to the weather.

Spray parks are an easy and FREE way to keep kids occupied in this heat. Don’t know where the closest spray park in your neighborhood is? Worry not, because The Buzzer blog’s got your back. Oh, and we will also tell you how to get there by transit. You can use the TransLink trip planner to plan your route. Use our summer changes guide to know about increased service in your area.

All you have to do is lather on the sunscreen, and don’t forget to bring a towel and a change of clothes!  Read more »

SkyTrain and downtown New Westminster re-imagined as Lego

SkyTrain car 002 re-imagined as Lego!

The New Westminster Museum’s People Gotta Move project might just be the World Cup of Lego building, bringing together the very best builders in Metro Vancouver to recreate the city’s iconic downtown and waterfront.

This ambitious exhibit transcends time—showcasing the past, present and near future of transport in the city. Included is everything from the historic B.C. Electric Railway streetcar to the now-iconic “W” made from shipping containers on the waterfront, and of course—SkyTrain!

Completely rebuilt in Lego form by the Vancouver Lego Club for the exhibit is New Westminster Station along with a pair of Mark I trains, a Mark II train and a New Flyer Xcelsior bus!

William Fong tells us he built the Mark I trains after car 001 Spirit of Kelowna and car 002 Spirit of Peachland in their livery from around 1990–1992. They even got a fully lit interior, as well as headlights and taillights!

“I’ve tried to keep the graphic design as accurate as possible to the time period, but there’s not many photos to draw reference from,” he says.

The People Gotta Move exhibits runs until November 16 at the New Westminster Museum (Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC). The museum is open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

“Anyone who has kids, or loves Lego or transit should come check out the display,” William says. “I think everyone would derive some enjoyment from seeing how much detail the club has packed into it.”

The exhibit was a culmination of a year’s work for William and his colleagues at the Vancouver Lego Club, who were first approached by the New Westminster Museum to build this display back in spring 2017.

“This is one of the largest displays in terms of volume and detail that the Vancouver Lego Club has put on to date and has been an unprecedented undertaking for us,” William says.

It was a no brainer for William that he wanted to be part of this as he’s always been interested in Lego and transit growing up. He already had experience reimagining transit as Lego.

The first build he did was a Mark II SkyTrain car in April 2016 for Vancouver’s Lego convention, BrickCan. In December 2016, as part of the Vancouver Lego Club, he built the Lafarge Lake–Douglas Station display for the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension opening. He had also built a 1983 New Flyer E902 trolleybus.

Photos courtesy of William Fong

 

 

9 epic transit-friendly places for outdoor movies in Metro Vancouver

Summer Movie Nights on the Square

Ghostbusters at Summer Movie Nights on the Square! (Photo: Michael Kossey)

You’ve heard us say it—summer’s a time for exploring! We have increased service to many popular summer attractionsTap to Pay makes it easier than ever to pay for your transit fare—just tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card and be on your way.

Outdoor movies have quickly become a Vancouver summertime favourite. The Buzzer blog‘s got you with FREE places that are conveniently located near transit where you can catch a flick this summer.

All you have to do is bring something to sit on and stay warm! Movies begin at sunset. Spots are first come, first serve.

Note: movies and schedule are subject to change, so make sure you check their websites. Movies may also be cancelled due to inclement weather. 

1. Summer Movie Nights on the Square

Location: Vancouver Art Gallery plaza, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver
Transit: 
Expo Line to Granville Station, Canada Line to Vancouver City Centre Station

We’re a sponsor for Summer Movie Nights on the Square, presented by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association! The theme is “cities” so they’ll be showing blockbuster films that take place in cities both in and out of this world. Our TravelSmart team will be there to share tips and answer your questions about transit.

  • July 11: Ready Player One
  • July 18: Zootopia
  • July 25: Ocean’s Eleven
  • Aug. 1: Moulin Rouge
  • Aug. 8: Notting Hill
  • Aug. 15: Mrs. Doubtfire
  • Aug. 22: La La Land
  • Aug. 29: Avengers: Infinity War

Read more »

9 epic transit-friendly places to visit this summer

Stanley Park seawall

The seawall at Stanley Park is one of many places to explore this summer!

It’s no secret that Metro Vancouver—with our West Coast charm—is a global summertime destination.

From our beautiful beaches to awe-inspiring mountain ranges and pristine lakes, enjoying the great outdoors is a staple summer activity for locals and tourists alike. If outdoors-ing isn’t for you, take advantage of our world-class art, theatre, music and food scenes!

Before we get into our 9 epic transit friendly places to visit this summer…did you know it’s easier than ever to choose transit when exploring our region this summer?!

Pay for your transit fare using our Tap to Pay feature! Simply tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card, or mobile wallet at a fare gate or mobile validator—just like a Compass Card.

Not only that—we’ve expanded our partnership with Modo, bringing more car-sharing parking spots to our SkyTrain stations. There are now two stalls for Modo vehicles at Braid Station and three at King George Station. In New Westminster, access Evo car share at Braid and Columbia stations. Have your own vehicle? You can park it at one of our Park and Ride lots and connect with transit.

Don’t forget! Our Summer Service Changes went live on June 25, bringing extra trips to and from many popular summer attractions.  Read more »

9 epic things to do on Canada Day

Happy Canada Day

Canada celebrates its 151st birthday on July 1!

No Canada Day plans? No problem! The Buzzer blog‘s got you covered with 9 epic things to do on Canada Day. There’s something happening in communities throughout Metro Vancouver. Perhaps the best part is they’re all transit accessible!

So, dust off your Canada gear, and wear it loud and wear it proud on Canada Day! Hashtag your adventures with the hashtag #MyTransLink—we’d love to see them.

Holiday service

Canada Day – SkyTrain and bus will operate Sunday/holiday schedules with modified, extended and increased service, so everyone can celebrate Canada Day! SeaBus will provide extra and extended service.

July 2 – SkyTrain, SeaBus and bus will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule, and the West Coast Express will not operate.

Know before you go – visit translink.ca/holidayservice for all the details and plan your trip at translink.ca/tripplanner.

1. Surrey Canada Day

Location: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 17728 64 Ave, Surrey, BC V3S 1W8
Hours:
 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fireworks: 10:30 p.m.
Transit: 320

Canadian singer-songwriters Serena Ryder and Brett Kissel co-headline the City of Surrey’s annual Canada Day celebration. There will also be an amusement park, midway games and interactive activities for all ages! TransLink will be there with the community engagement bus until 10 p.m.

Take the 320 from Surrey Central Station to get there and we’ll be operating 12 shuttle buses post-event to get everyone home. Read more »

Have an innovative idea that will improve mobility in Metro Vancouver? Let’s hear it!

Do you have ideas on how to enable more seamless and efficient door-to-door mobility for people and goods? Does your mobility innovation make our communities safer, healthier and cleaner? Or does your idea help ensure affordable and equitable access for all?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, we want to hear from you!

TransLink is looking for the best and brightest new ideas for how we can improve mobility in Metro Vancouver. We are offering support to help further develop your idea, access to our assets to test or demo your idea, and an opportunity to pilot your idea on a larger scale in partnership with us.

  • Who can apply? Anyone!* (This includes individuals, companies, non-profit and non-governmental organizations and academic institutions)
  • What types of ideas are you looking for? We seek ideas that can be eventually implemented in our region, but they can be at any stage of development from early concept to already embodied in a commercialized product.
  • What is the theme? Bringing “seamless mobility” to Metro Vancouver.
  • What is the process? The initial submission is a 1-2 page idea brief, with an optional video. This is due Monday, July 16, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. From all the submissions received, selected participants will be invited to submit a more detailed project proposal and to present in front of an evaluation panel. If your idea is selected by the evaluation panel, it may be considered for further research and investment.

This marks the start of TransLink Tomorrow’s first Open Innovation Call, a chance for individuals, companies, non-profits, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions to partner with TransLink on new mobility initiatives. We expect this to be biannual open calls, each with a different theme.

For more information and to apply, visit www.translink.ca/opencall! The deadline is Monday, July 16, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

*You’ll have to be 19 years or older to apply and employees of TransLink, its subsidiaries and contractors are not eligible. Sorry!

 

9 epic transit-friendly places to get donuts in Metro Vancouver on National Doughnut Day

June 1 is National Doughnut Day. With so many options in Metro Vancouver, it can be tough to begin figuring out where to go to begin satisfy your sweet tooth—especially near transit.

Doughnut worry fam, we got you! Here are nine epic transit-friendly places to get doughnuts in Metro Vancouver:

1. Krispy Kreme

Location: 7153 120 St, Delta, BC V4E 2A9
Hours: 5:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Transit: 311, 312, 316, 319, 340, 364, 391 and C76

There’s no better way to celebrate National Doughnut Day than picking up one free (yes free!) doughnut of your choice. Offer is available from opening to close.

Read more »

LTE wireless connectivity arrives for Freedom Mobile customers in SkyTrain’s Dunsmuir Tunnel

Customers disembark the SkyTrain

Freedom Mobile customers now have access to fast LTE service at Waterfront, Burrard, Granville and Stadium–Chinatown stations, as well as in the Dunsmuir Tunnel that connects them!

We’re excited more customers will now be able to email, text, stream music and surf the web through one of the busiest sections of the SkyTrain network. It’s all part of our commitment to improve the customer experience.

TransLink and Freedom Mobile are working to expand wireless connectivity throughout the SkyTrain network so Freedom Mobile can have access throughout their commute.

“The tunnel between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown stations is one of the busiest SkyTrain sections, so we’re pleased to have partnered with Freedom Mobile to offer wireless connectivity to our mutual customers throughout their downtown ride. We know that uninterrupted connectivity is important to transit users and we’re pleased that these kinds of partnerships can improve our customers’ experience at no cost to transit customers or taxpayers.”

—Derrick Cheung, TransLink’s vice-president of strategic sourcing and real estate

This is the latest initiative TransLink and Shaw Communications, Freedom Mobile’s owner, has worked on together to improve the customer experience. We partnered to bring Shaw Go WiFi to the SeaBus terminals in 2015 before expanding it to include the SeaBus fleet in 2016.

Last December, Rogers completed installing cellular-network infrastructure, bringing LTE wireless connectivity to Rogers and Fido customers throughout the entire SkyTrain network.

[CLOSED] Listen and take this poll to choose the best Morgan Freeman Tap to Pay announcement on transit!

In light of information we’ve learned through news stories on May 24, 2018, of serious allegations against actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a VISA ad campaign on the transit system. We will be reaching out to VISA to discuss further.

– TransLink Media Relations

If you’re of the 35% of poll respondents who opt not to listen to anything while traveling on transit, you’ve likely heard a familiar voice during your commute. In celebration of Tap to Pay launching on May 22, 2018, you will now hear Morgan Freeman welcoming SkyTrain and bus riders into Vancouver by sharing some fun facts, etiquette reminders and a heads up that you can now Tap to Pay with your contactless Visa and Mastercard credit card or Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay at Compass Card readers across the system.

Read more »

9 epic transit-friendly hikes in Metro Vancouver

Burnaby Mountain

Metro Vancouver is regularly coined one of Canada’s most livable cities, with sprawling mountain ranges, picturesque views and a public transit system that’s leading the country when it comes to growth in proportion of ridership. Statistics Canada’s most recent report noted that Vancouver’s proportion of public transit commuters grew by 6.1% to 20.4% between 1996 and 2016. In contrast, during the same period, Toronto only saw a growth of 2.3% while Montreal experienced an uptick of 2.5%.

With many Metro Vancouverites living an active and outdoorsy lifestyle, we’re sharing 9 epic transit-friendly hikes in Metro Vancouver.

Read more »

Going for a world record: fastest time to travel to all SkyTrain stations

Stephen Quinlan

Stephen Quinlan will attempt to set a world record for the fastest time to travel to all 53 SkyTrain stations on May 4.

Ever since he was a young child, Stephen Quinlan has wanted to be a world-record holder.

Originally from the United Kingdom, he grew up watching the BBC show Record Breakers, a children’s show that followed contestants as they sought to break a myriad of Guinness World Records.

Now, he’s getting ready to fulfill that dream.

Read more »

TransLink recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018!

TransLink is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018! Pictured is a New Flyer battery-electric bus that the enterprise will be testing next year.

Each year, Earth Day (April 22) aims to encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly!

TransLink works diligently in our day-to-day operations to protect our planet, and this year—just time for Earth Day—our efforts have been recognized with a placement among Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2018!

The Canada’s Greenest Employers designation, selected by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, recognizes employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations. TransLink earned this distinction as an enterprise, which includes British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, Coast Mountain Bus Company and Metro Vancouver Transit Police. Read more »

A Conversation with Mia Pears, Manager, Transit Network Management

Photo of Mia Pears, Manager, Transit Network Management

Born and raised in coastal Vancouver, Mia Pears, Manager, Transit Network Management, had childhood aspirations of working with the ocean when she grew up… or becoming a hairdresser… or admittedly, hundreds of other prospective career paths. While deciding which path to take was a struggle for Mia, she’s learned over the years that very few actually have it figured out, and sometimes you just need to pick something, jump into it and it will most likely all work out.

Read more »

Giving thanks for Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Sunday, March 18, 2018 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day, or #TDAD for short, but we’re celebrating early on Friday, March 16, 2018 to give weekday commuters an extra chance to say “thanks” to their drivers.

Read more »

Not your parents’ garage – Microsoft Garage brings innovation to TransLink

Photo of participants of the Microsoft Garage Intern Program

TransLink is not just wheels, rails and propellers. Behind the scenes, we are teams of innovative creative thinkers constantly looking for cutting-edge ways to bring cool technology to our customers. To the hands of our customers in this case!

Read more »