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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: State of the System

All aboard! TransLink celebrates 400 million boardings

400 Million Boardings

Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has been consistently breaking records this year. Today is no different as our 400 millionth boarding took place in Metro Vancouver at the tail end of this morning’s rush hour commute!

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Special Holiday Schedule – December 2017

From December 18 to December 31, 2017, several bus routes will operate on a reduced service to reflect lower ridership to post-secondary schools.You’ll want to check the transit service changes page for the full details. Now that post-secondary schools are out for the holidays, some bus route schedules and frequencies will change to reflect the lower ridership. School and university trips will return to normal during the first week of January.

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Evergreen Extension Anniversary: Evergreen sparks tremendous growth in transit use

Pssst…have you heard?! The Evergreen Extension celebrates its first anniversary this Saturday, December. 2!

Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart joined TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond and BC Rapid Transit Company President and General Manager Vivienne King to mark this milestone at Moody Centre Station on Friday, Dec. 1.

The 11-kilometre, six-station Evergreen Extension opened to the public December 2, 2016.

It’s been a year that has seen tremendous growth in transit use in the Tri-Cities. Residents have embraced rapid transit as a fast, convenient way to travel within their communities and beyond to the rest of the region.

Transit use in the Northeast Sector (Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra) has taken off in a stunning way as Evergreen has become a central fixture in the lives of Tri-Cities residents.

Average weekday transit ridership in the Northeast Sector in September and October of this year is more than 25 per cent higher than the same months in 2016. On weekends, transit ridership in the Tri-Cities is up by more than 50 per cent!

Evergreen Stats

34,000 – Average weekday boardings (13 per cent increase from early 2017)

36,900 – Boardings on Saturday, July 1, 2017 (Busiest single day)

23,000 – Boardings on typical summer Saturday

8.6 million – Boardings Dec. 2, 2016 – Oct. 31, 2017

51 per cent – percentage of transit journeys in Tri-Cities that begin on Evergreen.

Ridership on Evergreen is expected to grow significantly in coming years, as development near the stations continues at a rapid pace.

Currently, there is $3.8 billion in development or under construction directly adjacent to the Evergreen Extension between Lougheed and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations, including 7.1 million square feet of residential comprising approximately 9,800 future units of housing.

Thanks to improvements coming as part of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, the reach of rapid transit will grow in the coming years when the Broadway Extension provides a one-seat ride along the Millennium Line between Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam and Arbutus Street in Vancouver.

Read Transit Police Constable Jenny Chung’s blog post on making friends on the Evergreen Extension. She’s the Neighbourhood Police Officer (NPO) for the area.

6 tips for travelling on transit this winter

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Earlier this month, we told you about what SkyTrain, bus and HandyDART are doing to prepare for winter. We’re back to share with our customers six helpful tips for travelling on transit this winter, including in snowy and icy conditions!

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How TransLink prepares for winter

CMBC Winter Weather

While the seasonal calendar says it’s fall, Mother Nature has a sneaky way of saying otherwise. Preparations are well underway to ensure that we’re doing our best to stay one step ahead of the inclement weather.

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More than 21,000 rail pads set to be replaced on SkyTrain in Surrey

Starting on October 23, we’ll begin replacing rail pads on the Expo Line between Scott Road and King George stations as part of the SkyTrain Rail Asset State of Good Repair Program.

On most Sundays through Thursdays, from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, the Expo Line will use one track in both directions, around the area where the work is happening.

Customers are encouraged to plan for an additional 5-10 minutes for travel between Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central and King George stations. Please watch destination displays and listen for announcements. Know before you go by visiting translink.ca/alerts.

The project will replace more than 21,000 rail pads, which are attached to the concrete guideway to support the rail that the trains run on. The original Expo Line has been in service since 1986 and the rail pads in many areas were installed in 1992. These rail pads are now reaching the end of their life spans.

The work schedule is subject to change, and is weather dependent (work cannot take place in the snow) and will be adjusted to accommodate major events. Changes to regular operating patterns may also occur.

Thank you for your patience while we continue to keep the SkyTrain network safe and reliable for years to come. Rail pad replacement work is scheduled to be complete by spring 2018.

9 and 99 bus stops at Commercial–Broadway Station temporarily relocated

Bus stop changes at Commercial–Broadway from February 29 until summer 2016

Bus stop changes at Commercial–Broadway starting on Monday, October 9 and until further notice

We’re installing a permanent queuing system and bus shelter for the 99 B-Line stop as part of the Commercial–Broadway Station Upgrades!

To accommodate construction, the bus stops for the 9 and 99 will temporarily relocate along Broadway. The stop for 9 UBC will move to the other side of Commercial Drive, near Scotiabank, and 99 B-Line (UBC) passengers will board in front of the station entrance.

We thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial–Broadway Station!

Construction update

Over the September 30 and October 1 weekend, crews successfully lifted into place the steel frame for the new overhead walkway at Commercial–Broadway Station. This is an important milestone in the station upgrade. Watch the time lapse:

More information about the Commercial–Broadway Station upgrades and project benefits can be found at translink.ca/commercialbroadway.

Modified Millennium Line service the next three weekends

During the affected dates, the Millennium Line will operate between VCC–Clark and Burquitlam stations. A Special SkyTrain Service will operate between Burquitlam and Lafarge Lake–Douglas stations.

Over the next three weekends, Millennium Line customers travelling beyond Burquitlam Station will see modified service while we install wireless infrastructure in the Burquitlam Tunnel, between Burquitlam and Moody Centre stations.

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Rail replacement work begins in the Royal Oak and Edmonds area on Oct. 2

During affected dates and times in the Royal Oak and Edmonds area, Expo Line trains will use one track in both directions at Royal Oak and Edmonds stations. Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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