ALERT! More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: State of the System

Family Day holiday service, February 8, 2016

Transit can take you where you need to go this Family Day!

Transit can take you where you need to go this Family Day!

Monday February 8th is Family Day! Whatever you’re planning to do, why note take transit to do it!

Dont forget! Because Family Day is a holiday you’ll want to know about the change of service below.

Buses, SkyTrain and SeaBus – will operate on the Sunday/Holiday schedule on Family Day, Monday, February 8, 2015. Sunday/Holiday fares will be in effect.

West Coast Express will not operate on Family Day.

All services will be back on their regular weekday schedules, Tuesday, February. 9.

Know before you go!

Use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times prior to leaving. The information noted here is subject to change. For the latest and most up-to-date information, bookmark translink.ca on your mobile device so you can know on the go. Customer Information can be reached at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

 

Are you planning on taking transit to Family Day Event on Monday? Comment below and let us know where you’re headed!

Author: Robert Willis

Main Street-Science World Station upgrades are now complete!

The finishing touches are all done at Main Street-Science World Station! Much has changed. With a growing region and the introduction of Compass we needed to lengthen the stationhouse and install fare gates. While we were at it, we improved accessibility, visibility and safety and added the secure bike parkade. Check out all the details in the video, when we blogged about it last and on the TransLink website.

Main Street-Science World Station isn’t the only transit property getting a facelift. Upgrades are also underway at Joyce-Collingwood, Commercial-Broadway, Metrotown and New Westminster Station. It’s all part of the Expo Upgrade Strategy.

 

Have you seen or used the upgraded Main Street–Science World Station?
What do you think? Be sure to comment below and let us know!

 

Author: Robert Willis

Testing all gates closed at Sperling-Burnaby Lake Station today

All gates closed at Sperling today!

All gates closed at Sperling today!

Another day, another all gates closed test. Yesterday we were testing having all fare gates closed at Edmonds Station. Today is Sperling-Burnaby Lake Station’s turn.

Like yesterday, we’re testing out having all the gates closed at one station. Reports from the Edmonds test were great with many people using Compass fare products and others being exposed to it and learning how to use Compass tickets.

As noted previously, we’re planning more tests like today’s in the near future. We’ll keep you posted of those on the blog!

UPDATE: We’ll be testing all gates closed at Nanaimo Station tomorrow!

Have you been through fare gates that are all closed yet? If so, let us know your thoughts.

Testing all gates closed at Edmonds Station today

All is going well will all gates closed today!

All is going well with all gates closed today!

As we move along with phasing in the Compass Card system, we’re constantly testing all aspects of the cards, fare gates and readers. Today, we’re testing having all the fare gates closed at Edmonds Station. No worries – it’s just a one-day test! We will have SkyTrain Attendants, Customer Service Attendants and supervisors on both sides of the fare gates to make sure everyone is able to get through. If you show up to the fare gates using old fare media (FareSavers or bus tickets), staff will replace it with a Compass Ticket.

Besides seeing how closing all fare gates goes in general, part of the test is to track the amount of old media being exchanged for Compass products. We will use the information to develop additional plans and schedules to use when implementing full station gate closures throughout the system.

Since November of last year all stations have had a least one Compass fare gate closed to both incentivize using Compass and to allow for both fare media to be used on the SkyTrain system. After all, a closed fare gate is the best reminder to tap in and tap out.

As we move closer to full gate closures on the system you may see more tests like today’s. But don’t worry. We’ll give you all fair warning and will have staff on hand, like we are today, to make sure the transition goes smoothly.

 

Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain station is about to get a makeover!

Joyce

Artist rendering of Joyce-Collingwood station

We’re about to start our much needed upgrades to Joyce-Collingwood Station.

Once complete, the upgrades will improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at the fourth busiest Expo Line station outside of Downtown Vancouver.

Some of the changes you will see

  • New elevator and up and down escalators in the east stationhouse.
  • Improved station design with better lighting and visibility.
  • Better integration with the community for easier SkyTrain connections.

Project status

On site setup is expected to begin late this month.

During the first few weeks, equipment will be brought in and hoarding (fencing) will be installed around work areas. Construction is expected to continue until fall 2017.

What to expect as construction begins

Construction impacts include noise, traffic disruptions, and changes to SkyTrain service and station access. Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees, and contractors.

Work will be focused on the east stationhouse. Ongoing information about construction impacts can be found on the Joyce-Collingwood Station Upgrades page. Please note that timelines are subject to change based on construction activity.

  • Beginning in late-January, hoarding (fencing) will be installed on the platform and outside the east stationhouse, which will affect how you can enter and exit the stationhouse. Watch for entrance/exit signs to help you get around.
  • A temporary staircase will be built in the east stationhouse in February. Once complete, you’ll only be able to exit the east stationhouse until construction is complete fall 2017. Use the west stationhouse to enter the station, and watch for signs to help you get around.
  • Single tracking of SkyTrains in the area may be required.
  • Neighbours of the station can expect varying levels of nighttime noise while trains aren’t operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

Got questions? We’re here to help!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit: www.translink.ca/joyce or www.translink.ca/customerservice.

An update from Commercial-Broadway Station construction!

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

Construction is well underway at Commercial-Broadway Station!

Upgrades to the station will improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at one of the busiest stations in the SkyTrain system.

Some of the changes you will see

  • An additional platform for Expo Line trains, a widened crossing over the Grandview Cut and a new walkway over Broadway to enable the system to expand for future customers as our region grows.
  • New elevators, stairs and up and down escalators to improve access and passenger flow for customers.
  • Updated design features to improve safety and security for all our customers.
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.

Since construction work began in April, crews have been working on the Broadway east stationhouse and within the Grandview Cut constructing the new pedestrian crossing.

Work in the Grandview Cut includes the excavation for the columns to support the new pedestrian overpass. The clearing, shoring and piling works behind the Shoppers Drug Mart is also complete and the column footing in this area will follow shortly.

Below-grade work for the new Broadway platform is complete including the south column foundation for the Broadway pedestrian overpass. Current works include the forming, rebar and concrete for the new east wall of the station.

Steel fabrication work, including the new pedestrian overpass, is being completed offsite. Structural steel installation works will begin early in 2016 for the east platform of the Broadway station.

Here are a few pictures of station construction:

What to expect moving forward

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees, and contractors.

Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts, and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Here is a summary of the short-term work that passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • Construction of the new Grandview Cut crossing will continue and the existing overpass will be narrowed.
  • Construction of the new platform east of the existing Broadway guideway will continue. This work includes making cuts to the existing roof beam, erecting new support columns, and removing, reattaching, and in some places demolishing, overhead structures. Much of this work will happen at night due to the close proximity to the SkyTrain guideway.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.
  • Westbound 9/N9 and 99 bus stop relocations:
    • From Jan. 21 to March, the westbound 9/N9 and 99 bus stops will move temporarily while we build a new overhead walkway.
    • Bus stops will move several times with most changes happening during the day on weekends. Please follow signs to find your stop.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project!

Got questions? We’re here to help!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit: www.translink.ca/commercialbroadway or www.translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jennifer Morland

Here’s lookin’ at you, 2015!

2015 2
As 2015 comes to a close we thought an end of year wrap up was in order!

After all, the past 12 months had more than a handful of memorable transit moments.

From the plebiscite and transit anniversaries to the Compass Card roll-out and fare structure changes, this year had it all!

So, in no particular order, let’s take a look at some of what made 2015 a year to remember:

Transportation and Transit Plebiscite

plebiscite-vector- smMarch 16, 2015 marked the beginning of the Transportation and Transit plebiscite.

Voting packages were mailed out and voters were asked to decide if they supported the 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax (in the form of a provincial sales tax). The tax would support improvements for better transit and transportation in the region.

On July 2nd, the results were announced— Metro Vancouver voted against the 0.5% tax.

Compass Card roll-out

In 2015 more people started tapping their Compass Cards on the system than ever before.
Compass Vending Machines were installed at all SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations with U-Pass BC holders and West Coast Express customers kicking off the transition in June.
Since then, even more customers have made the switch to Compass!
Starting January 1, 2016 traditional Monthly Pass FareCards are no longer valid and Monthly Passes are on Compass only so there will be a surge of users in the New Year.
We’ve also been closing more and more faregates across the system in order to help remind riders to tap in and out on SkyTrain, SeaBus, Canada Line and West Coast Express.
To help this transition go as smoothly as possible, we produced many Compass 101 videos to help our riders learn the Compass basics!

Fare Structure Changes — Bus Anywhere with 1-Zone Fare

2015 also brought with it changes to our fare structure.afs_bus_anywhere_1200x628

As of October 5th, all travel by bus became a 1-zone fare.

With the new 1-zone bus fare riders can now bus across Metro Vancouver with just a one-zone bus fare.

In November, we asked in a Buzzer blog poll how the 1-zone bus fare has changed your travel — about half of you said your commute became less expensive!

I Love Transit Week 2015

And who could forget I Love Transit Week 2015?buzzer_header_ilovetransit

We took adult campers and kid campers to our transit facilities, held contests and had special blog content dedicated to transit love!

We even did a special I Love Transit print Buzzer!

If those brilliantly coloured print Buzzers aren’t a 2015 highlight, then I don’t know what is!

125 years of Transit, SkyTrain 30th Birthday and Transit Police 10th Anniversary

Davie streetcar, 1903

Davie streetcar, 1903

What a year for transit anniversaries!

First we celebrated 125 years of transit in June with vintage trolley rides, old photos of our system and special interviews with transit historians like Angus McIntyre.

The celebration continued on December 4 when Transit Police celebrated 10 years as a police service and 30 years serving the transit system!

Finally, in honour of the SkyTrain’s 30th Birthday, we threw back to more than a few hilarious 80’s videos and photos of SkyTrain’s early years.

All in all it’s been a busy year! Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments section!

Author: Laura Tennant

SkyTrain turns 30 today!… (Whaaaaaat?)


Flashback Friday: a SkyTrain promo video from 1984 

Today, on a sunny winter day 30 years ago, Premier Bill Bennett proudly announced the opening of SkyTrain – forever changing the face of transit for Metro Vancouver – crazy, huh?

1985skytrainbanner

SkyTrain bursts through a banner on its very first day in service: Dec 11, 1985!

The inauguration of SkyTrain was huge – so huge in fact, that there were three events in one day (lucky!).

Following the opening ceremony at Waterfront Station, the first SkyTrain car was radioed to the platform, broke through a ceremonious ribbon and then continued its maiden voyage – attending two more celebrations – one at Metrotown Station and the other at New Westminster Station.

The original line – named Expo Line – was a legacy project of Expo ’86 and connected downtown Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster. Passengers then had the ability to travel from Waterfront Station to New Westminster Station in just 25 minutes – half the time it would have taken to travel by bus!

Following the December 11, 1985 inauguration, SkyTrain entered free service—the system was launched with huge fanfare and eight days of free rides, before officially going into paid service on January 3, 1986.

Over the coming decades, Metro-Vancouver’s rapid transit system would see exponential growth with extensions to the Expo Line, the creation of the Millennium Line, the addition of the Canada Line and our soon to be Evergreen Extension (an extension of the Millennium Line).

Let’s look at some of our major milestones in the last 30 years:

  • 1986 SkyTrain opens for regular revenue service
  • 1989 – 1994 – three Expo Line expansion projects built – adding service to Surrey with King George Station as the terminus station.
  • 2002 – Millennium Line officially opens – operating along the Expo Line to New Westminster Station and adding new service between Columbia Station and Commercial-Broadway.
  • 2006 – Millennium Line service is extended to its current terminus station, VCC-Clark.
  • 2009 – Canada Line opens connecting downtown Vancouver with Richmond and YVR airport.
  • 2017 – The Evergreen extension of the Millennium Line, connecting Coquitlam and Port Moody, through Burnaby, to Vancouver with a one seat ride, is scheduled to open.

From a modest 22 kilometres track carrying roughly 50,000 passengers a day to 15 stations, SkyTrain has grown to a mammoth rapid transit system. We now operate 68 kilometres of track with 47 stations and transport roughly 250, 000 passengers per day, AND when the Evergreen Extension opens, we will have the longest fully automated rapid transit network in the world – with 79  kilometres of track and 53 stations.

Were you at SkyTrain’s inauguration or at any other of the milestone events or have a favourite memory of SkyTrain? We would love to hear from you – comment below!


Going to Town – 1985 SkyTrain project documentary 

 

Author: Jordan Keim 

More BC Parkway renovations are complete!

new wayfinding sign 1 crop

New wayfinding signs along BC Parkway show the distance to your destination!

It’s update time!

More BC Parkway renovations have been completed!

Here’s a quick look at what’s been improved:

  • Wayfinding signs along the whole 26 kilometre length that include destinations and distances
  • Lighting, crossing safety and accessibility improvements in key areas
  • Pavement rehabilitation of approximately 2.6 kilometres in particularly rough segments

BC Parkway is an important facility for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users in the region.

The path connects Surrey City Centre, New Westminster, South Burnaby and Vancouver and provides a facility for walking and wheeling around the area.

Continual improvements to the facility help keep the parkway in good condition and increase the safety and accessibility of the path while allowing users to get around with greater ease.

Make sure to read our past BC Parkway posts to see the progress with these improvements. See you on the parkway!

Author: Laura Tennant

New signs make taking the bus a breeze

A wayfinding expert’s rendering of a new bus stop sign and scheduling panel

A wayfinding expert’s rendering of a new bus stop sign and scheduling panel

Starting this month and continuing through the week, bus stop signs in Surrey City Centre are getting a new look!

The design of the new signs, courtesy of TransLink’s Wayfinding experts, display more information and are easier to read.

You’ll also notice something strangely familiar — the new look is consistent with other transit facilities across the system such as SkyTrain stations. The large “T” is for transit (of course!) and will make spotting a bus stop a breeze.

Digital rendering of a new bus stop sign

Digital rendering of a new bus stop sign

Rolling out the new bus stop signs will be a gradual process. To be cost effective, signage and schedules “infotubes” will only be changed out when the existing pieces reach end-of-life or are damaged or require updated route information. The full replacement of all bus stop signs and infotubes will take place over the next few years.

New bus stop signs

New bus stop signs will make it easier for customers to locate bus stops from a distance.

The “T” for transit, route numbers, Next Bus information and the bay number are placed in prominent locations. To differentiate from regular bus service, B-Line information will be highlighted in orange and NightBus in navy blue.

Schedule panels replace infotubes

Many bus stops currently have infotubes on the pole with schedule information, and riders generally give us good feedback about them. Sometimes, however, riders tell us the text is too small. We’re making improvements in this area by replacing the infotubes with schedule panels. The schedule panels are flat, contain larger text and have the same look and feel as the bus stop signs.

Existing infotube (left) and new scheduling panel (right)

Existing infotube (left) and new scheduling panel (right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep your eyes open!

If you’re in Surrey City Centre over the next few days, make sure to check out the new signs. There are also a few new ones dotting other areas of the region, so keep your eyes open for them too!

 

 

Author: Jordan Keim 

Evergreen project tunnel boring is complete!

Tunnel boring from Coquitlam to Port Moody was completed today, marking an important milestone in the Evergreen Line project.

The completion the two-kilometre tunnel means TransLink is one step closer to operating an expanded transit system that will give the people who live here a new and fast option for getting around.

The Evergreen extension is a significant expansion of our integrated transit network. In fact, the full 79 km of SkyTrain means that TransLink will soon operate the world’s longest fully-automated rapid transit system.

We’re hard at work readying our system to ensure that customers have an easy transition when we integrate the Evergreen extension into the SkyTrain network. We’re:

  • Determining how to integrate bus services with the expanded SkyTrain network;
  • Testing train control software and new tracks;
  • Readying staff to support our customers when Evergreen opens; and
  • Developing operating plans, schedules and information for customers.

The Evergreen project is an example of all levels of government coming together to invest in much needed transportation infrastructure to support and shape growth in the region.

We applaud the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia for all the hard work that has been put into this project to date.

Thank you to our passengers and neighbours for their continued patience and support throughout the construction of the Evergreen extension.

We look forward to having you ride with us in the near future!

Author: Laura Tennant

 

 

November 24, 2015 SkyTrain disruption

Hi all! Here’s a bit of info about yesterday’s SkyTrain disruption which affected service between Broadway-Commercial and Waterfront stations. The power-rail-collector shoe on a train was damaged and subsequently caused a power outage on that portion of the system. See image below.

Damaged power-rail-collector shoe

Damaged power-rail-collector shoe

A SkyTrain Attendant was at the problem train within minutes of the problem occurring and all passengers on the affected train were safely evacuated within an hour. The area was powered down, brakes applied, and a second train was pulled up alongside the train to evacuate and move the passengers to a station.

Up to 69 extra shuttle buses were put in place between Commercial-Broadway and Waterfront stations. Extra staff were deployed to stations to assist customers and provide information. Additional Canada Line trains were added to assist with greater volumes as people sought alternate routes out of the downtown core. Additional Transit Security and Transit Police were at stations to ensure passenger safety and crowd control.

We know this was a huge inconvenience for our riders. We thank our riders for their patience and the media for their help in disseminating information to our customers during this incident.

I’m off to the SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre shortly and will be updating this post will more info later today.

 

Running rail replacement continues this Sunday, November 15 2015

This next and final round of rail replacement is a continuation of the work we did this summer.

The final phase of running rail replacement work will begin this Sunday, November 15 and continue until early 2016.

Work has been underway since August to replace 4,550 linear metres of 30-year-old SkyTrain track on the Expo Line.

This work is critical to keeping the system safe and reliable for our riders now and in the years to come.

After months of work, the last 1,450 linear metres of track are set to be completed.

To make this rail replacement less of a headache for our riders we are keeping trains and tracks in service while crews work during non-peak hours.

However, beginning Sunday, November 15 and continuing for several months, customers should expect delays on the Millennium and Expo lines from Sunday through Thursday starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until end of service.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Where is the rail being replaced?

  • In-bound Commercial-Broadway curve

When?

  • Nov.15 to early 2016 – Sunday to Thursday, 9 p.m. to end of service

How will service be impacted?

  • Expo Line service will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations while crews replace rail west of Commercial-Broadway Station.
  • Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only
  • Customers travelling with bicycles should try to travel before 9 p.m. or after 10 p.m. when trains are busiest.
  • Customers should plan for at least 20 minutes of extra travel time while crews are working.
  • Crews will not be working between Dec. 12 and Jan. 2.

Author: Laura Tennant

New poll: How has the one-zone bus fare changed the way you travel?

afs_bus_anywhere_1200x628
TransLink’s one-zone fare structure for buses and HandyDART vehicles has been up and running for a month.

This means that no matter the distance or time of day, you travel anywhere in our region by bus for a single zone fare.

So, we want to know, how has this change affected your transit travel?

Weigh in with our latest poll that will be open until November 22.

Choose from the given answers, leave us a comment with your thoughts below or email us.

How has the one-zone bus fare changed the way you travel?

  • It has saved me money reducing the amount of zones per trip. (42%, 62 Votes)
  • Not at all. I only use the SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus. (40%, 58 Votes)
  • My bus is much busier than before so I try to avoid it. (12%, 18 Votes)
  • I'm still confused as to what it all means! (5%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 146

 

 

 

Yesterday’s Expo Line service disruption

The Expo Line had a disruption in service yesterday

The Expo Line had a disruption in service yesterday

There was a disruption in service on the Expo SkyTrain Line yesterday night shortly after 6 pm. The cause of the disruption is still being investigated. Extra personnel were on the scene quickly to fix the issue and get people moving between stations with added buses. Expo Line service was fully resumed before 9pm last night.

For more info, please see the Oct 24, 2015 Expo Line Service Disruption media advisory.