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Category: State of the System

Track changes to SkyTrain’s Expo Line this weekend, Sept. 23–24

Crews install a 60-foot section of curved rail near Main Street–Science World Station back in May 2017.

Are you planning to take the SkyTrain’s Expo Line between 11:30 p.m.  10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 through 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 24? Please plan for an additional 15–20 minutes of travel time as service will be modified for rail replacement work.

During these times, trains will use a single track in both directions near Commercial–Broadway and Main Street–Science World stations. As well, all Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George. If you are travelling to Production Way–University, Lougheed Town Centre, Braid or Sapperton, you’ll need transfer to the Special SkyTrain Service (see map) at New Westminster, Columbia or Commercial–Broadway stations.

Please watch for destination displays and listen for announcements. The Millennium Line will operate at normal frequency and the Canada Line is unaffected by this work. Read more »

9 and 99 bus stops at Commercial–Broadway Station temporarily relocate, Sept. 15 – Oct. 1

Structural steel trusses will be installed at this location and across Broadway at Commercial–Broadway SkyTrain Station for the new pedestrian walkway.

An exciting milestone for the Commercial–Broadway Station Upgrades! Starting on September 15, construction begins for the new overhead pedestrian walkway across Broadway.

During the construction period, from September 15 through October 1, access to the station and platforms will not change. However, the 9 and 99 bus stops will be temporarily relocated along Broadway. 

Be on the lookout for signs like these telling you where to board your bus! Passengers may be required to cross the street to catch their bus.

Signs like these will help you find the 99 B-Line during the construction period for the Commercial–Broadway Station overhead walkway.

This phase of work includes using two, 270-tonne cranes to lift and place 30,000-pound steel trusses into place to support the new overhead walkway – whoa!

There will be periodic westbound lane closures on Broadway to position cranes and stage vehicles, equipment and materials, resulting in minor detours for 9 and 99 and delays for vehicles using Broadway. As well, SkyTrain passengers can expect trains to use one track in both directions around the area where work is happening during key times.

A full road closure on Broadway is planned for Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1. We encourage vehicle traffic to avoid this area as detours will be in effect and will result in delays.

We thank everyone for their patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial–Broadway Station.

An update on construction in photos

Want to learn more about the Commercial–Broadway Station Upgrades? Visit translink.ca/commercialbroadway.

Author: Allen Tung

Rail replacement work moves to Main Street–Science World area

During rail replacement on select days, all Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George, and will use one track in both directions at Main Street–Science World and Commercial–Broadway stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Replacement work is currently taking place in the Main Street–Science World area, resulting in modified evening SkyTrain service. Read more »

#AskDenisThePlanner your questions, September 8, on Twitter @TransLink!

#AskDenisThePlanner

Just under a year ago, one of Metro Vancouver’s favourite transit planners made his twitter debut responding to an unhappy customer’s video message about bus service in her area. A star was born – and ever since  #DenisThePlanner has been responding to your tweets, posting videos here and on Facebook and sharing information about Service Changes through lighthearted and fun informational videos.

Read more »

Look: Butterfly mural at Surrey Central SkyTrain station

Chrysalis is attached above the pedestrian walkway on City Parkway.

Have you been to Surrey Central SkyTrain station recently?

We’ve just unveiled a butterfly mural on the hoarding—or temporary fence—surrounding the Surrey Central Station Upgrades construction site.

Thomas Nelles, a Surrey artist, was the winner of an open call to artist to create a temporary mural. The theme chosen to inspire artists for their concepts was “Connecting People, Connecting Places.”

Nelles’ two-part artwork is titled Chrysalis and Butterfly Locomotion; Camouflaged.

Chrysalis, attached above the pedestrian walkway on City Parkway, is named for the stage that a caterpillar sheds its cocoon and transforms into a butterfly.

Butterflies have long been recognized as a metaphor for transformation. Nelles uses this imagery to symbolize the Surrey’s transformation from its agricultural past to its urban present and its goals for a sustainable future.

It also refers to SkyTrain’s history and its relationship to the city’s growth. SkyTrain arrived in Surrey with Scott Road Station in 1990 and Gateway, Surrey Central and King George stations opened in 1994.

Butterfly Locomotion; Camouflaged on the fencing surrounding the construction site.

The butterfly concept extends to Butterfly Locomotion; Camouflaged where a butterfly’s wings are designed as if seen through a kaleidoscope.

The mural, which is printed on mesh fabric and attached to the fencing surrounding the construction site, encourages viewers to see through it into the construction site. Its goal is to show change in a positive way, and its multiple variations of the butterfly speak to how every individual is part of Surrey’s growth.

To learn more about the Chrysalis and Nelles, click here.

Construction update

It’s full steam ahead at Surrey Central Station! Construction crews have installed site hoarding, poured the elevator and escalator foundation, relocated underground storm, sewer, irrigation and power utilities, and excavated the new stationhouse footings. Check out the photos:

When complete, a new north stationhouse with three additional escalators, new stairs and an additional elevator will make the station more accessible and convenient for our customers. It will also connect to a reconfigured bus exchange to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.

Stay tuned for more updates on the project! For more information about Surrey Central Station upgrades, visit translink.ca/surreycentral.

What the heat wave means for SkyTrain

Orange is the new… blue? Hazy, smokey morning views over Stadium-Chinatown Station! ^cj

A post shared by TransLink (@translinkbc) on

It’s been hot this week, and we’re all doing what we can to keep functioning and stay cool.

But what about the SkyTrain system? Will it hold up in this heat?

Some rail systems, like TriMet in Portland, reduce speeds during spells of extreme heat. This is because the long sections of rail expand and can push the rail ties out in the process, leading to a “kink” in the rail.

Portland’s is a conventional rail system known as “tie and ballast.” Our SkyTrain is a little different – the rails are on rail pads directly mounted to the concrete guideway, making them less likely to kink. While it’s unlikely any “kinks” will occur, we’ve increased the system-wide inspections our maintenance staff do from once to twice a day, just in case.

Also vulnerable when it gets hot are the electrical substations we have at various locations along the 79-kilometre SkyTrain system.

If it gets hot enough that the air-conditioning can’t keep up, a temperature alarm will go off and we’ll shut down the transformer until things cool off. The good thing is, we have redundancy in the system, meaning we can shut down a substation for maintenance or repairs without impacting service to our customers.

In the case of elevators and escalators, we don’t always have that luxury. If they start to overheat, they’ll shut themselves down to protect their systems. If that happens, we get our “elevating devices” staff out as quickly as possible to ensure we don’t inconvenience people for long.

Remember to check out our 10 heat wave survival tips on transit!

Author: Chris Bryan

10 heat wave survival tips for transit

It’s going to be HOT this week in Metro Vancouver with temperatures soaring upwards of 28 degrees Celsius—or 34 degrees Celsius if you factor in humidity!

We’re quite used to the temperate weather in Metro Vancouver, so it might get a little uncomfortable especially on crowded buses and SkyTrain cars.

Before you head out out the door, here are ten heat wave survival tips for traveling on transit!

1. Plan ahead

Summer season is also detour season. Construction, festivals, marathons and markets are taking place across Metro Vancouver, so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@TransLink), check the Transit Alerts page and plan your trip using our Trip Planner tool before you go.

If you think you’ll need time to recover from the heat, it might be a good idea to start your trip a little earlier too. This way you aren’t running after the train and it will give you time to recuperate between transfers such as spending some time in the shade or grabbing an ice-cold drink.

2. Ride beside others as you would have them ride beside you.

It’s at times like these we need to remember the golden rule of transit: “Ride beside others as you would have them ride beside you.”

Since heat and crowded conditions can make people very testy, we need to be all the more mindful at these times of what we do around others. If you can, try to observe basic hygiene and don’t go too far with the cologne, after-shave or perfume, since so many people are severely allergic.

3. Dress smart

It’s a good idea to wear white or light coloured, breathable clothing since black and other dark colours trap heat. Remember to wear sunscreen and sunglasses—being on transit doesn’t protect you from harmful UV rays!

For safety reasons, shirts and footwear are required on SkyTrain. If you’re coming back from the beach, make sure you have a shirt on and something on your feet. Remember to apply another golden rule—would you want to sit next to someone on a hot day without a layer of cloth between you?

4. Drink plenty of fluids

Generally, food and drink are not allowed on transit vehicles, but since it’s important to stay hydrated feel free to bring a bottle of water on transit – but absolutely no drinks with no lids! Be mindful that it is sometimes necessary for our transit vehicles to come to a sudden stop, so it’s probably not a good idea to drink while the vehicle is in motion.

5. Keep those windows open—or shut! 

The majority of TransLink vehicles are not air conditioned, but our newer vehicles are! Look for the signage on the window. It can take some time for the vehicle to become cool if it just entered service, so please be patient rather than opening the window.

If you want a window opened or closed, as a courtesy, it might be nice to ask around first in case somebody has a preference for the window to be opened or closed. They might have allergies!

6. Stretch the priority seating definition

Stretch your definition of who should have priority in seating. Our signage says seniors and people with disabilities have priority, but if you see someone on a hot day who looks like they need the seat more than you do, please be courteous and offer it to them.

7. Strategize

Figure out which seat will get you away from the sun and plan accordingly! It will make for a more comfortable and cooler ride. Consider waiting for an air-conditioned SkyTrain car or bus if you think you need it.

8. Adjust your travel times

Do you really need to hop on the bus at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon to do grocery shopping? Consider travelling earlier or later in the day when transit is less crowded and the weather outside is a little bit cooler. Remember, it’s a one-zone fare after 6:30 p.m on SkyTrain.

9. Move to the back of the bus

Moving all the way to the back of the bus means more people can get onto the bus and more room for you too in this weather. We promise there’s no black hole in the middle of the bus.

10. Make sure you’re visible to the transit operator

Look out for buses coming down the street and stand at the pole in plenty of time to let the operator know you’d like to board. It’s also not a bad idea to avoid wearing dark clothing (white or bright colours are best) in case the bus operator doesn’t see you. That way they can pull in safely into the stop to pick you up.

 

Above all—BREATHE! We all look forward to a warm summer and here it is.  Cut others some slack and enjoy the nice weather. Days like these don’t last long in this region.

Vancouver’s climate and transportation system are two factors that make it one of the most livable regions in the world. Observing these suggestions and maintaining your own “situational awareness” can make for a more pleasant experience all around.

Upcoming rail replacement work on the Expo Line

Running rail replacement will mean modified late evening service between Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Replacement work is currently taking place in the Stadium–Chinatown area, resulting in modified evening SkyTrain service in downtown Vancouver. The affected dates and times are:

  • Monday, July 17; Wednesday, July 19; Thursday, July 20 and Sunday, July 23 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Monday, July 24 through Thursday, July 27 (from 11:59 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, July 30; Monday, July 31 and Thursday, August 3 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Monday, August 7 through Thursday, August 10 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, August 13; Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, August 20 and Tuesday, August 22 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service); Wednesday, August 23 (from 10:30 p.m. until the end of service); and Thursday, August 24 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, August 27 through Thursday, August 31 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Monday, September 4 through Thursday, September 7 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday September 10 and Monday, September 11 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service) 

(Author’s Note: Due to the rescheduling of the J. Cole concert at Rogers Arena from Tuesday, July 18 to Wednesday, July 19, rail replacement work is cancelled on July 19.) 

Expo Line trains will terminate at Stadium-Chinatown Station, operating with a normal 5 minute frequency. A shuttle train will operate every 10 minutes between Waterfront, Burrard, Granville and Stadium-Chinatown stations. Expo Line passengers connecting at Stadium–Chinatown should allow for 5-10 minutes extra travel time.

Normal 10 minute service frequency is provided on the Millennium Line, and on the Expo Line to both King George and Production Way–University.  The Canada Line will also operate normally.

Customers are advised to watch destination displays and listen for train destination announcements. We thank you for your patience as we complete this essential work.

How does this affect your commute? Check out our Alerts Page for pattern changes and upcoming work.
Find more information on the entire project, visit translink.ca/railreplacement.

Rail grinding on the Millennium Line on July 14 and 15

Rail grinding on the Millennium Line, from 11 p.m. until the end of service on July 14 and 15, will result in modified late evening service between Renfrew and VCC–Clark stations.

Heads-up Millennium Line passengers! As part of our regular maintenance program, crews will be grinding rails this Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15, resulting in modified late evening service.

From 11 p.m. until the end of service, a shuttle train will operate on the Millennium Line between Renfrew, Commercial–Broadway and VCC–Clark stations in both directions. Passengers travelling through Renfrew Station, please allow 5-10 minutes extra travel time to switch between the trains.

Expo Line trains—Waterfront to King George Station and Waterfront to Production Way–University Station—will operate normally. Canada Line is unaffected by this work.

What is rail grinding?

Rail grinding is standard maintenance work that we do on a regular basis on the Expo and Millennium lines, to improve ride quality, reduce noise levels, and extend the rail’s life. A locomotive pulls two trailers that have grinding stones, removing a small amount of steel from the rail to remove surface imperfections and re-profile the rail to improve ride quality.

A short-term side effect of this work is increased noise from anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks while the freshly ground rail adjusts to the train’s wheels. We thank our neighbours and customers for their understanding while we complete this important maintenance work.

Want more information? Watch translink.ca/alerts for future updates on rail grinding locations.

Author: Allen Tung

SeaBus gets a makeover! An update on rehabilitation work

SeaBus Washrooms

Have you seen SeaBus’s new look? We’re happy to announce the washrooms at SeaBus are now open!

Last October the washrooms at the north and south SeaBus terminals closed to undergo renovations, including significant accessibility improvements. Last week, we celebrated a SeaBus birthday and opened up these brand new washrooms to the public.

Read more »

Running Rail Replacement work June 12-14, 2017

Modified service route 1 NW to VC_17x11-01
TransLink keeps chugging along with our Running Rail Replacement Project. Starting back in February, we’ve been replacing 7,000 aging rail pads and 5,000 linear metres of running rail on the Expo Line.

Here are the details: Read more »

Earth Day 2017 – Driving green across the region

April 22nd is Earth Day! A day observed globally with the aim of encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly. The TransLink enterprise takes sustainability seriously and works diligently in our daily operations to protect our Earth!

TransLink has taken part in a variety of environmentally-focused projects in 2016 – here are a snapshot of some of these initiatives:

apta platinum logo

Going platinum

In 2015, TransLink moved up from gold and became the first Canadian transit organization to gain platinum level status for sustainability from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Since 2010, 58 separate projects reduced waste by nine per cent, water use by 10 per cent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent in its facilities. The bus fleet alone has had a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. CMBC also reduced energy consumption by more than seven per cent.

Cutting back on washing to save water

In 2016, CMBC committed to reduce bus washing by at least 50% each summer between June and the end of September! In addition, anytime Metro Vancouver introduces Stage 2 water restrictions, CMBC voluntary stops all bus washing, except in special circumstances. These changes yield BIG water savings! At Burnaby Transit Centre alone, suspending bus washing translates to saving up to 35,000 litres of water each day! Additionally, all transit centres, use recycled or “wastewater” for the wash and fresh water is used only for the final rinse. These water recycling systems reduce the amount of water required to wash each bus by about 75 per cent!

Building with the environment in mind

TransLink’s newest building, Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond is our most energy-efficient facility yet! It boasts a LEED Silver certification thanks to features that include LED lighting, radiant in-floor heating, waste water treatment, and a heat-reflective roof. Many of these sustainable features help to reduce operating and maintenance costs in addition to being green in other ways.

Hybrid Artics

Driving the benefits of alternate fuels

TransLink is rolling out 26 new hybrid diesel-electric articulated buses, bringing our bus fleet to 252 hybrid, 116 compressed natural gas (CNG) and 262 Trolley buses. This means almost half of our CMBC bus fleet uses some form of cleaner technology – either CNG buses or hybrid electric buses. These hybrid buses use 17% less fuel than equivalent diesel-powered models. The quieter CNG buses – with reduced carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs – continue to replace diesel buses as they retire from operation at the end of their service life. We also have one of the largest electric trolley fleets in North America and continue to explore the possibility of adding electric-battery buses to our existing fleet.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

More snow is on the way! Check with TransLink and know before you go!

Old man winter is having a blast in Metro Vancouver and that has meant some interesting and sometimes frustrating commutes for our riders.

We are preparing for another storm this afternoon with anti-icing measures along trolley lines, SkyTrain and Canada Line as well as extra staff and buses standing by, if needed.

During inclement weather such as this, it’s more important than ever to know before you go!

Please check TransLink.ca/Alerts for any detours, reroutes, delays or disruptions and contact Customer Information on Twitter (@TransLink) or by phone at 604-953-3333 where you can ask questions about specific routes and areas. If driving is part of your travel plans, visit drivebc.ca for road conditions.

By doing this, you’ll be all set for whatever weather comes our way!

Check out our previous snow-related posts that give you some excellent transit tips to manage inclement weather, an in-depth look at 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather and explains what role Transit Supervisors play when the snow falls.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Thank you for your patience during recent Canada Line service disruptions

Canada Line North Arm Bridge

There is no denying that Mother Nature has not been kind to Metro Vancouver roads this winter season. Our Public Transit system has been no exception to this. Part of the TransLink mission is to provide a sustainable transportation network for our customers and this has proven challenging of late.

The past few days have been tough on commuters across Metro Vancouver, but for Canada Line passengers impacted by recent major delays, we know that a tough commute has been made even more difficult. We extend our sincere apologies to our customers for those service disruptions.

The unprecedented weather patterns and environmental conditions have presented us with many challenges, including in a particularly steep area over the Fraser River (the North Arm Bridge). Because of the steep grade, trains require full power when travelling through this section of the bridge, and Canada Line believes ice buildup on the power rail is the likely cause of the disruptions.

With more wintry weather in the forecast, we’re working diligently to reduce the likelihood of this issue repeating itself. Please be assured that we remain committed to dedicating the necessary resources in doing everything possible to prevent recurrence.

Once again, we apologize for the delays and appreciate your patience and support as our teams work to keep you moving through this weather.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

More snow is on the way for Metro Vancouver

When I was young, I thought these were the cat buses in Totoro ??

A photo posted by JASON YEH (@jsonyeh) on

Despite the fact that Wiarton Willie and Shubenacadie Sam both predicted an early spring this Groundhog Day, our local weather forecast is calling for snow Friday morning.

With the possibility of two to five centimeters of snow falling tomorrow and possibly into the weekend, here are some of the ways our operations team is preparing to keep you moving through snow and slushy wintry conditions:

  • We work closely with our municipal partners to have bus routes plowed first.
  • If a street is not plowed, operators may refrain from pulling into bus stops to avoid getting stuck. In these cases, operators will stop in an area that is safe and accessible for riders.
  • Trolley de-icer trucks will spray the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.
  • SkyTrain power rail and collector shoes on the trains will be de-iced, and de-icing stations set up in covered areas and tunnels.
  • Measures are also taken to ensure rail switches are protected from freezing.
  • During times of heavy overnight snow, SkyTrain will run throughout the night to keep tracks clear.
  • Where possible, articulated buses are replaced by traditional coaches as they’re more agile and better equipped to handle hills or streets with poor conditions.

Check out our posts from earlier this season with some excellent transit tips to manage inclement weather, an in depth look at 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather, and what role Transit Supervisors play when the snow falls.

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.

Step Carefully

Snowy floors can become slippery floors. Where possible, kick the snow from your shoes before getting on the your chosen mode of transit. Use handrails and please be courteous to other passengers and don’t put your feet up on open seats.

Dress Warmly

While your ride will be climate controlled, we can’t control the temperature outside of our vehicles. Make sure that you’re dressed warmly for your trip to and from your stop.

Be Courteous

Please remember that transit is a popular choice on snowy days, therefore you may see more people out than usual. Always use your common transit sense to ensure a comfortable ride for everyone.

Are you ready for spring, or excited for this wintry rewind?

Author: Sarah Kertcher