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Category: Something Neat

A heartwarming transit story

HUGS Random Acts of Kindness

If you’ve lost faith in the kindness of strangers, this story is for you!

One of our riders, Kajal, shared with us a heartwarming story of an elderly lady sharing kindness and “hugs” on a recent transit trip.

I was on the 4 bus on Tuesday around 1pm when a lovely old lady with a walker came and sat beside me. She struck up a conversation with a gentleman sitting across from him who was offering his seat up for her so she could be more comfortable. Refusing, she in turn responded that she wanted to give him something.  

Seeing his confused look, she pulled out a stack of these little cards with “hug” expressed in bold red letters. Laughing, she began distributing cards to everyone on the bus. Soon, everyone on the bus had received a hug save for me. 

When she saw me sitting beside her laughing, she exclaimed “did you get a hug? You didn’t! You have to holler at me, I’m 92 years old so I don’t hear very well!” and with a beautiful smile, she passed a card to me.  

As I exited the bus, I could hear her spreading joy among strangers who felt like familiar friends. Days like these I appreciate Vancouver more and more. 

After sharing this story on our Instagram Channel, we quickly realized that Kajal’s story is not unique! Azalea also met our lovely “hugs” lady, and knows her by the name of Anne, a 90 something transit rider who loves the bus and a good pizza from Main & Hastings!

“Anne” has been spotted riding the number 004 – POWELL/DOWNTOWN/UBC, 020 – VICTORIA/DOWNTOWN, and at the SeaBus.

Have you seen Anne the hugs lady? We want to catch up with her!

If you’ve seen Anne, or received a “hug” of your own, please share the details below in the comments section!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Evergreen Explorer: Caffeinate your Commute

Evergreen Explorer

Coffee and commuting go hand in hand, no? If you’re anything like me, your go-to travel companion is your to-go coffee mug. Whether you’re making your daily commute, or just looking for a transit friendly stop for coffee with a friend, here’s a list of locations along the Evergreen Extension to get your daily grind.

Production Way–University Station – Looking for coffee at this stop? Look no further than Mac’s Convenient Store. It’s no gourmet coffee shop, but if you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up, this location is just a few steps outside the station!

Lougheed Station – For an extra special latte, look no further than Coffee Monster. Their latte’s are amazing, but their latte art puts them over the top — you wont be disappointed. Located on North Road, just down the street from Lougheed Station this is the perfect stop to perk you up! Bonus! If you have a 2017 Entertainment Book, check it out for valuable coupons! Lougheed Mall is home to Starbucks Coffee, Tim Horton’s, and a David’s Tea.

Coffee bar at Connected Minds Cafe & Roastery

Burquitlam StationConnected Minds Cafe & Roastery boasts fresh coffee as unique as you. Get your custom roasted coffee, roasted right before your eyes in 20 minutes! Delicious pastries and other treats can also be found here.

Evergreen Explorer

Moody Centre – Try something different by visiting the Lazy Den Tea House for a bubble tea to go. Known for their amazing pies, Gabi & Jules does more than one thing right! Visit this cafe on Clarke Street in Port Moody and enjoy you java with a slice — or the whole pie! Gabi & Jules gives back with a portion of all pie proceeds to two not-for-profit, volunteer organizations have been advocating for support services for families dealing with Autism.

Inlet CentreGallagher’s Coffee Bar and Starbucks are a short jaunt down the way into Newport Village. A unique village with quaint shops and a variety of watering holes.

Coquitlam Central – If you’re in a rush, Creekside Coffee Factory is unlikely the place to go. Not for a lack of service or timeliness, but like a good cuppa-joe, you’re going to want to sit and enjoy this place. There is almost always a rush and buzz of people at Creekside Coffee Factory, and while it could be for their delicious beverages and treats, I personally think it’s for their well known stuffy mascot Bearicano!

Caffe Divano

Lincoln Station – This is the most convenient station to Coquitlam Centre Mall, home to Starbucks, David’s Tea, and Tim Horton’s. Also just down the street from Lincoln Station is Him & I Cafe. This quaint location has ample seating and big bright windows perfect for nestling in with a good book, catching up on your studying, or people watching! Their homemade pastries and cakes are to die for. Try the Black Forrest Cake!

Lafarge Lake–Douglas – A short walk from the terminus station you can find one of three Caffé Divano locations (also located in Burnaby and Port Moody). Fun Fact: Owners Patrick and Lisa Beecroft also own Gabi & Jules located near Moody Centre! Bonus! If you collect Belly rewards, Caffé Divano is a participating member. If you’re craving a Canadian Coffee & doughnut fix, Douglas College just up the street is home to a small Tim Horton’s.

Where is your favourite place to caffeinate along the Evergreen Extension?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

2017 Transit resolutions

2017 Transit Resolutions

With 2016 in the rear view mirror, your 2017 New Years resolutions should be in full swing. If by chance you’re still humming and hawing for a resolution that resonates with you, consider making your way through 2017 with some of these goals.

    1. 1. Get Active
      Metro Vancouver is a beautiful region full of near endless areas to explore. Just steps from TransLink’s Metrotown station is Burnaby’s Central Park, home to scenic walking/running paths, an outdoor fitness circuit, and playground. And for when the snow melts, enjoy tennis courts, horseshoe pits, golf, lawn bowling and more.

 

    1. 2. Try Something New
      Whether your interest lies in learning a new language, hobby, sport or otherwise, transit connects you with a host of enriching opportunities. The Evergreen Cultural Centre, now easily accessible from the Evergreen Extension, offers improv classes, art direction, or even tickets to a show! If food is your jam, try some new eats at one of Daily Hive’s 45 places to eat along the Evergreen Extension.Metro Vancouver, and our local ski hills, have been inundated with snow this season. Now’s a great time to get out and enjoy some Nordic or Alpine skiing or riding, snowshoeing, tubing or tobogganing — with daily trips to Grouse Mountain, there’s no reason not to!

 

    1. 3. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
      At TransLink, we care about the environment! Did you know that CMBC operates many CNG buses in order to reduce carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs? Consider parking your car and taking transit and be a little greener this year. If parking your car indefinitely isn’t an option for you, consider a multi-modal option like riding your bike part way! Every bus in the CMBC fleet is equipped with bus bike racks to help facilitate your multi-modal journey. Various car sharing and bike sharing options are also available within a close proximity to most SkyTrain stations.

 

  1. 4. Save Money
    Did you know that Stored Value on a Compass Card never expires? If you’ve been travelling with single use, or paper fare media, now’s the time to make the switch to Compass. Not only does your stored value never expire, you have access to other great features and benefits such as Auto Load and Balance Protection. Additionally, travelling with a Compass Card gives you a discounted per trip price as well as full transferability across all modes of travel!

     

  2. 5. Unplug
    We know that many Buzzer Blog readers use their time on transit to listen to music, read, play games, and even “zone out”, but what if you put down the smartphone for any, or all of your commute and took the time look up and be present! You never know, you might just even find love!

Do you have a New Years Resolution for 2017?Let us know in the comments section!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink 2016: A year in review

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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!

New CEO.

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!

Compass.

This word was on everyone’s lips this year!

Compass Card tap outAfter 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.

Expo ’86.

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.

Federal funding.

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!

LTE connectivity.

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.

#Compass1Million.

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!

Mark IIIs.

These beautiful new SkyTrain cars were the hit of the summer! Especially because the A/C is just oh, so cool!

Press tourThese 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!

SkyTrain Wedding.

Something old, something new, something borrowed something… transit? Hey, whatever floats your SeaBus!Congratulations Nathaly and Jeff!

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! HTC

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.

Pattullo.

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.

Repairs included:

  • 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.

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

10-year vision.

Our region is growing and along with that comes greater need for public transit.640x194_buzzer_blog-01

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!

Evergreen.

Sometimes, it IS easy being green! EmeansGo

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!

Twitter Heroes.

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

An important service reminder plus the Buzzer blog wishes you happy holidays!

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Yet again I have roped my colleagues into a group photo – this time, to spread some Christmas cheer to you, all of our amazing Buzzer blog readers.

We strive to bring you informative, fun and interesting transit happenings from our agency and from across the globe.

Thank you for being a part of our online community!

Just as a reminder, with Christmas drawing nigh, transit will operating slightly differently over the next few days.

Christmas Day – Sunday, December 25, 2016

  • Buses will run on a modified Sunday/holiday schedule; some routes will be adjusted from their normal schedule to reflect ridership levels. Use the Trip Planner (with the date of Dec. 25) to check your route and bus times, or read the Christmas Day Schedules below.
  • SeaBus and SkyTrain will operate with a modified Sunday/holiday schedule.
  • West Coast Express and TrainBus service will not operate.

Boxing Day – Monday, December 26, 2016

  • Buses will run on a modified Sunday/holiday schedule; some routes will be adjusted from their normal schedule to reflect ridership levels. Use the Trip Planner (with the date of Dec. 26) to check your route and bus times, or read the Boxing Day Schedules below.
  • SeaBus will operate regular Sunday/holiday service with extended evening trips.
  • SkyTrain will run Saturday service with extra trains running midday to accommodate shoppers.
  • West Coast Express and TrainBus service will not operate.

**Please check the website as timings are subject to change.

Bonus! On Sunday/holiday schedules you only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones on all modes!

Remember, if you’re enjoying some libations during your merry merriment, please plan ahead for a safe ride home.

The social team will be off on December 24 and back December 28.
If you have questions please tweet @TransLink or call 604.953.3333.

Happy holidays!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Santa is ready to tap his way across the region – just in case!

Santa-01

Don’t make Santa’s naughty list – Be sure to tap in and out at all Compass gates!

We all know the Santa flies around the world on Christmas Eve in his sleigh with some help from Dasher, Dancer and the rest of the reindeer crew.

But what happens if the sleigh malfunctions or the reindeer catch a cold and can’t fly?

How ever will Santa get around Metro Vancouver?!?

Well, we’ve got you covered, Nick!

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to report that I have spoken with Santa who confirmed that his Compass Card is loaded and ready to use on Christmas Eve.

“Santa informed me that in the event of an unfortunate sleigh malfunction, or in case Rudolph or any of the other reindeer need a quick rest during present-delivery duties, he will be depending on TransLink’s convenient public transit network to efficiently deliver presents to children across Metro Vancouver.

“Compass Cards facilitate travel on the region’s buses, SkyTrains and SeaBuses as well as the West Coast Express, which is why it is on Santa’s list of “recommended” stocking stuffers. The cards are already popular with Metro Vancouver residents – over one million Compass Cards are in active use by more than one in three people in TransLink’s service area.

“I also had the pleasure of speaking with Mrs. Claus who told me that while Santa and his elves have been hard at work this past month making lists and checking them twice, she did hear about the historic opening of the Evergreen extension and has packed a SkyTrain map alongside Santa’s Compass Card to ensure that he can easily navigate the longest, fully automated rapid transit system in the world.

“Both Santa and Mrs. Claus wish Metro Vancouver transit users a safe and Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing them on transit in the New Year!”

Author: Adrienne Coling

The Burrard Beaver splashes back into service as the original Otter sails its final voyage

Burrard Beaver Dec 2016

    The Burrard Beaver

What do beavers and otters have in common?

Well, besides being furry little water creatures, they are also the names of a couple of our SeaBuses!

The Burrard Beaver recently underwent a nifty little face lift to extend its life for another six years.

The Beaver renovations include:

  • New paint job
  • New carpets
  • New lighting
  • Repairs to the hull
  • New panels added to the Bridge

As we welcome back the Beaver, we say goodbye to a great vessel that has served our region well since the beginning of SeaBus service; the Burrard Otter.

The Burrard Otter went into service in 1977 alongside the Burrard Beaver after being built in the Victoria Shipyards.

With the first Otter being retired, the Beaver will now be used as our spare vessel for sailings.

Did you know??

  • Each of our SeaBus vessels is operated with a crew of four – The Master, one Mate and two Attendants.
  • SeaBus cruises at a speed of 11.5 knots
  • The crossing is 1.75 nautical miles
  • It takes approximately 12 minutes per sailing
  • There are 45,000 annual scheduled sailings

Take a look at the spiffed up SeaBus!

In mid-January, as part of Phase One of the recently approved 10 year vision, we’ll introduce some increases to SeaBus service!

Author: Adrienne Coling

The season of giving continues with thousands of donations for Toys for Tots

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Delivering our promissory note of 3,000 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau!

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Lots’o’toys!

It was a unseasonably chilly morning when Sparky the Elf promised 3,000 new, unwrapped toys on behalf of TransLink and its operating companies to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau (LMCB), but the air was filled with warm, holiday cheer!

Toys for Tots in our region was developed by a group of BC Transit operators back in 1985.

Each year since, the employees of the TransLink enterprise have donated to the less fortunate during the holiday season.

Donations have been made at all eight transit centres, TransLink Lost Property as well as HQs for TransLink, CMBC, BCRTC and Transit Police.

How do we deliver these packages of Christmas joy to the LMCB? By reindeer bus and shuttle, of course!

Santa, Mrs Claus, Sparky, Prancer (that’s me) and some plucky helpers collected 6,111 toys and items from across the Enterprise! That is on top of over $500 of cash donations!

This year is record-breaking and it wouldn’t have been possible without the immense generosity from all of our staff to make this season a little brighter for those in need.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Buzzer blog reader submission: Winter poem

Poetry mosaic
Regular transit user and Buzzer blog reader Carrie Tomiye sent us this lovely poem she wrote about travelling on transit during the winter months.

Enjoy!

For my daily trip planner.    Snow snow, melt away.  Snow snow,

Not even for another day..     Please let go of freezing snow…  Let the sun shine,

Beyond us.    And the warmth of coziness.

Rain, sleet, go away,   just want a blizzard ice cream!

Really  just to eat .  Wish for the hard weather to go away.

Do you have interesting stories, fun photos or other transit tidbits to share?
Email us at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Ivan Chan Photography explores the Evergreen Extension

Thanks to Ivan Chan Photography for all the great photos in this post!

Thanks to Ivan Chan Photography for all the great photos in this post!

The Buzzer blog gladly receives emails from readers and transit riders regarding everything from blog suggestions to cool transit stories; operator kudos to poetry and photography!

Ivan Chan is a self employed photographer and videographer who often works in real estate photography. He’s also a transit fan who recently took some awesome photographs of the newly opened Evergreen Extension!

In these photos, Ivan focuses on architecture, depicting the form and function incorporated in the beauty of these brand new SkyTrain stations.

Ivan agreed to a little one-on-one so we could learn a little more about this transit shutterbug.

What made you get interested in taking photographs?

To me, I feel taking photos conveys a story or message in itself, which is why people tend to say photos are worth a thousand words. Photos are a way of conveying meanings and memories in time. In the future, when I look back at an older photo, it reminds me of this event or that feeling.

What kind of images do you like to capture?

I like to take photos of random things like signage, buildings, interior and exterior architectural design, transportation related shots, scenery and landscape.

What made you document the new Evergreen Extension and its stations?

Being focused on real estate photography and my interest in transportation projects, I decided to bring this concept and photo taking technique and showcasing architectural features of the new Evergreen Line stations.

What’s your favourite part of the Evergreen Extension?

My favourite part is the stunning view of the landscape and scenery from Burquitlam Station and the view from the line running between Burquitlam Station and Lougheed Town Centre Station. One can look far away into the Metrotown direction, New Westminster city area and the SFU area.

How do you hope people will react to your transit photos?

In a way, I hope to educate the public and first time transit users, including tourists, on how transit stations look like, how to navigate or use the photos as a wayfinding tool around the stations and what to expect of in terms of layout so they are better prepared in their own route planning.

Are you a transit fan?

Ironically, although I drive most of the time, I am still a transit fan. I am inspired by the technology that runs behind the Skytrain system and I like using train systems. When I went to school many years ago at UBC, taking the bus was my favourite thing! My favourite mode of transit transportation would be the rapid rail transit/SkyTrain because it is dedicated and separated from traffic. There will never be slow downs or congestion to deal with and fewer stops making the ride much, much less stressful and more efficient, fast and reliable.

Enjoy just a few of Ivan’s Evergreen shots:

Thank you to Ivan and Ivan Chan Photography for reaching out and sharing these great images with us all!

Do you have fun stories, photos or other interesting transit tidbits to share with the Buzzer blog team?
Have at it! Email us at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Join TRAMS for their annual holiday lights tours around Metro Vancouver

Courtesy of TRAMS

Courtesy of TRAMS

Do you love outdoor holiday decorations AND old transit vehicles and memorabilia?

Well then, you’re in luck! Because TRAMS (The Transit Museum Society of Vancouver) is hosting their yearly holiday lights tours!

bus

Let Rudolph lead the way to festive fun!

Hop aboard the Rudolph-themed bus and explore the region’s best decorated homes and buildings.

Tours are taking place December 16, 17, 18, 21, 23 and 30.

This two (and a bit) hour tour leaves from 22nd Street SkyTrain Station at 7 p.m.

Fares:

  • Adults – $25
  • Senior/Student –$15
  • Children – $5
  • Children under 2 years of age ride free!
  • Family rate – Bring four children for the price of two
  • Members of TRAMS receive $2 discount for each member of their travel party

Reserve your spot online today! You can pay online ahead of time or with cash or credit on the bus. If you are paying cash, please have exact change.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Santa Claus is rolling into town on the West Coast Express!

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Alllllllllllll aboard the West Coast Express Santa Train!

For its 21st year, the West Coast Express Santa Train is back spreading holiday cheer and bringing smiles to children’s faces on the train trips and on Christmas morning.

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Hi Santa!

This annual toy drive makes the beautiful 65 km trek from Mission to Vancouver for two Saturdays of festive frivolity before Christmas arrives!

The toys are collected on behalf of the Northeast sector Christmas Bureau – including SHARE Society in the Tri-Cities, the Maple Ridge/ & Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society and the Christmas Bureau in Mission.

Last year, we had nearly 3,000 riders on the Santa Trains who generously donated 3,272 toys!

Here’s how it works:

On December 10 and December 17, you will receive a return ticket for the special Santa Train in return for a new, unwrapped toy. You can donate the toys at any of the West Coast Express Stations in exchange for the one, same day return ticket.

Carolers

There they are a’wassailing on WCE!

The Santa Train departs Mission City at 10 a.m. and stops at all WCE stations along the way. Once in Vancouver, you can enjoy a day of holiday fun before returning home from Waterfront Station at 4 p.m.

Santa will be available for pictures at The West Coast Express North Pole Station (aka Waterfront Station) at 2:45 p.m. so be sure to bring your camera!

This year is especially cool because if you can’t stay downtown for the whole day, you can take the SkyTrain out to the Tri-Cities now with the newly opened Evergreen Extension!

**Please note that if you choose to take SkyTrain home, regular fares will apply.

The full schedule and more details can be found here.

All ages are welcome! Bring your friends, family and neighbours out for this great event that helps make Christmas brighter for those in your communities.

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

TransLink’s Cathy McLay named one of Canada’s most powerful women of 2016!

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Growing up as the only girl among four brothers and working in traditionally male dominated sectors hasn’t stopped TransLink’s CFO Cathy McLay from reaching top jobs and being recognized as an inspiring leader.

“I remember when I was working in forestry and I was at an executive dinner. One of my colleagues leaned over and asked me if I was ever uncomfortable working with all these males. That’s when I realized that I was the only female at the table,” says McLay who is one of 100 women from across Canada from various disciplines to be named 2016’s Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Exchange Network (WXN).

Cathy’s refusal to let her gender dictate her career is something she attributes to the strong work ethic she learned from her mother and grandfather. When McLay was living in Prince George and a mother of two small children she completed her Accounting designation by correspondence without any outside help. Her tenacity lead to her quickly rising the ranks during her 15 years in forestry and later in transit.

This latest award is one of many McLay has won over the years. One of them being a BC CFO of the Year award for her efforts in corporate growth, strategic decision making, solid business principles and overall performance excellence and financial reporting.

When asked if she had any advice for women who want to follow in her footsteps McLay replied with some words of wisdom,

“Women need to take calculated risks. When we [women] look at taking on new responsibilities we sometimes look at the things we have deficiencies in, rather than the strengths we can bring to the job. I would encourage women to value the contributions that we bring and know that we need to allow ourselves the luxury of learning along the way.”

I hope you can join TransLink in congratulating Cathy in another well deserved honour!

Author: Robert Willis

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