Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: State of the System

2014 Easter weekend holiday service

It’s Easter weekend everyone!

Friday, April 18, 2014, is Good Friday. That means transit runs on Sunday/Holiday service for bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus. West Coast will not be running. And don’t forget, Friday is a statutory holiday so you only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!

Monday, April 21, 2014, is Easter Monday. That means a return to the regular weekend schedule and regular fares. However, there’s reduced AM and PM peak period service for SkyTrain. West Coast Express will be running trains W1, W3 and W5 westbound and E1, E3 and E5 eastbound. TrainBus will operate its regular weekday schedule.

Have a happy and safe weekend everyone!

TransLink turns 15: Preparing for Y2K

BCRTC Control Room Circa 1999

BCRTC Control Room Circa 1999

Let’s go back in time. The year is 1999. Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” was a global smash hit, the Blackberry 850 was blowing peoples minds by putting emails in the palms of your hands, and last, but definitely not least, TransLink was created!

Those of you who remember the transition to this new millennium will remember the tension that was building as the 90s wound down. Not only did we not know what to call the next decade (I don’t think we ever did land on a good term to define 2000-2009 or our current decade either), there was widespread panic over what our computers would do once the “99″ in 1999 rolled over to “00″ of 2000 (Wikipedia explains this and more better than I can).

The fear for many was palpable. Whether or not you believed that we were heading for digital/analogue/world armageddon, the newly formed TransLink didn’t take things for granted. Someone needed to be on standby in case the world’s worst estimates came true. For the SkyTrain system, that person was Michael Carmichael, IT Network Supervisor for BCRTC.

Michael was a Network Administrator working at SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre (OMC) in 1999. He looked after the IT side of the Y2K bug at SkyTrain. That included desktop computers, servers, networks, and office software. The computers that run the trains were handled by SkyTrain Control.

In the months leading up to Y2K, management at BCRTC were not too concerned that it was going to be a major problem that would cripple SkyTrain. Mike took some precautions, and some computers and software were updated and replaced prior to the “big event”.  All computers were tested three to five months in advance for potential issues by setting the clock forward to see what happened. Three months ahead of Y2K, it was evident that everything was going to be fine.

Mike came to the office on New Year’s eve as a precautionary measure to ensure all the computers and software were up and running when people came back to work. Computers that run SkyTrain are rebooted at 2 or 3:30 a.m., so the plan was for them to check for problems at that time, but the system had already been tested with no issue. If there had been an issue, SkyTrain attendants and Control Operators would have been there to take care of it.

What happened?

“It was just me alone from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. It was actually quite boring, but I did hear some celebrating and screaming in the control room at midnight. I didn’t go up there, though,” says Michael. What was happening was an impromptu New Year’s celebration that broke out in SkyTrain Control at midnight.

Michael reflects on that time, “We actually have more issues with Daylight Savings Time than we ever did with Y2K. Y2K was basically a non-event.”

Yes is was Michael, but I, for one, am glad he was there, just in case.

A shot of what things looked like around 1999 in SkyTrain control

A shot of what things looked like around 1999 in SkyTrain control

 

TransLink turns 15!

Happy birthday TransLink!

Happy birthday TransLink!

It’s birthday time here at TransLink. Yup, it was 15 years ago this month that TransLink was formed as a  multi-tiered governance structure responsible for a fully integrated transportation system across land, rail and sea!

At lot has happened over these 15 years and below are 15 interesting facts you may not know about your transit authority of Greater Vancouver.

15 fun facts about TransLink

1) At its founding, TransLink was unique among North American transportation agencies by being responsible for a fully integrated transportation system across land, rail and sea.

As the first North American transportation authority responsible for both roads and transit, TransLink is responsible for 2,400 lane kilometres of the major road network and five bridges (Pattullo, Knight, Westham Island, Golden Ears, and the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge).

 

2) Since 1999, the numbers of people using our transit network has grown dramatically – annual passenger trips have increased by 127 million. In context, the population of Metro Vancouver grew by 15 per cent while passenger trips increased by 56 per cent during the same period.

 

3) People board our buses, trains and ferries about 1.2 million times each weekday, making a total of 970,000 trips each day.

 

4) Geographically, we cover the huge region that is Metro Vancouver – there are over 2,800 square kilometers  in TransLink’s service region! Our transit network includes more than 8,200 bus stops, 200 bus routes, 57 SkyTrain Stations and eight West Coast Express Stations.

 

5) Our buses, trains and ferries stay busy moving our customers – to work, school, medical centres, friends and family. Our transit fleet provides approximately seven million service hours in a year, and our vehicles travel about 167 million service kilometres per year.

 

6) Our rapid transit system was the first fully automated, driverless and unattended rail system in the world. When the Expo Line was completed in 1986, it became the longest automated driverless system globally, a title only recently surpassed by Dubai in 2011.


7) Our bridges help move goods and people across the region. Over 300,000 crossings of trucks, cars and buses cross the Fraser River on TransLink bridges each day. 

 

8) Since 1999, TransLink has added 1,168 new conventional buses, 148 new SkyTrain vehicles, 17 West Coast Express trains and one SeaBus to make space for our growing numbers of riders. Our current fleet consists of 1,900 buses, 300 SkyTrain cars, 50 West Coast Express trains and 3 SeaBuses.

 

9) Since TransLink’s inception, we have expanded all modes in our transportation network. To name just a few, we have added the Millennium and Canada rapid transit lines, built the Golden Ears Bridge, launched the 24-kilometre Central Valley Greenway, and funded construction of the Coast Meridian Overpass in Port Coquitlam.  

 

10) The TransLink logo landed at its current form in 2007, reflecting TransLink’s evolution. At inception, the logo included a reference to the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, TransLink’s original name, but was simplified when TransLink officially became the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority in 2007.

 

11) We manage a complex transportation network, with assets worth more than $11 billion – including roads, bridges, tracks, guideways, trolley wires, stations, vehicles and bus depots.

 

12) Our AA credit rating has enabled TransLink to raise $900 million from longer-term investors. These funds allow us to invest in the assets and infrastructure of the transportation system we operate. This includes buses, SkyTrain vehicles, road and bridge improvements, and many more physical assets and system upgrades which help us provide a safe and reliable transportation system for Metro Vancouver.

 

13) We introduced the U-Pass BC program in 2003 to 58,000 students. The popularity of the program grew from there and today 125,000 students are enrolled in the U-Pass BC Program.

 

14) The Buzzer blog was one of North America’s first transit agency blogs. Every month there are an average of between 15 – 35 000 page views!

 

15) On the social side, TransLink has over 43,000 Twitter followers, and nearly 10,000 Facebook followers. We work hard to deliver a world-class customer experience throughout our entire system, and our Customer Service Charter is our promise of quality service. We’re committed to giving our customers a service that is efficient, safe, reliable and comfortable.

Wanna know more about the last 15 years of transit and goods movement in Greater Vancouver? Take a read of our press release and follow the link to The Road Less Traveled, a look at TransLink’s journey from 1999 to 2008. We also included a short look back at the last 15 years in the March 2014 print Buzzer.

TransLink in the media: Don’t Touch the Operator

Constable Goodmurphy

Constable Goodmurphy

The safety of our riders and our employees is a top priority for TransLink. This is why today the Metro Vancouver Transit Police launched, Don’t Touch the Operator. This awareness campaign is aimed at those who use our system, but may not have the best intentions for our operators in mind.

With 1800 buses operating in Metro Vancouver and 233 million passenger boardings a year, there’s a lot of activity on our transit system. Although most of the interactions between riders and operators are positive ones, unfortunately, some aren’t and have been in the news of late.

Everyday our operators safely help to deliver this huge volume of people to where they need. But as Constable Kevin Goodmurphy said in the Transit Police media event today, “Violence on transit affects operators and customers” and it needs to stop.

Constable Goodmurphy also mentioned that riders can also help keep the system safe by reporting unacceptable behaviour. This can can be done by calling 911 in an emergency or texting 87-77-77 for non-emergencies. The above video also shows what other measures are being used to make sure our buses are as safe as possible.

I’m curious to know if any of you have called 911 or used the Transit Police texting service to report a transit related situation? Let’s share our experiences so we all can work to make the system as safe as possible!

Safety decals on buses

Safety decals on buses

TransLink in the media: The expanded lot at the South Surrey Park and Ride

News hounds like myself might be reading some of the chatter today regarding the expansion lot at the South Surrey Park and Ride. The Province and Georgia Straight have both written about it.

We would like to correct some facts regarding who funded this $4.5 million project.

To respond to overcrowding at the previous lot, the expanded Park and Ride was developed as a partnership between the Province and TransLink. The Province funded the project’s capital costs and contributed to the land purchase. That is, the Province of British Columbia funded the $4.5 million expansion project. TransLink is responsible for operating and maintaining the lot.

This expanded lot supports improved transit and transportation for local communities, transit users and the travelling public. It makes it easier for people to connect to the existing transit network, which in turn makes transit a more viable choice.

UPDATE: Letter sent from TransLink to CTF

Transportation Commissioner approves changes to YVR AddFare

Ticket vending machines at YVR.

Ticket vending machines at YVR.

I have some news for riders who buy single fare tickets from Canada Line Stations on Sea Island (YVR-Airport, Sea Island Centre, Templeton).

The Regional Transportation Commissioner has approved a fare change that means riders starting trips from Sea Island traveling to Bridgeport Station and beyond using single fares purchased with Compass Card Stored Value and DayPasses sold on Sea Island will also pay the five dollar AddFare, just like customers who pay cash today.

For monthly pass holders and other product passes like BC Bus Pass, there is no change. These riders will continue to enjoy the AddFare exemption that they have today, as will Sea Island employees and Burkeville residents. Additionally, like today, all customers traveling within Sea Island, including those who pay cash will not pay an additional fare.

For specific on this, you’ll want to read the official release. For info on stored value and more about Compass Card, AskCompass.ca is a great resource.

This change will come into effect later this year as customers transition to Compass. It is designed to ensure we continue to meet our funding obligations and provide a viable transit system for all our riders and users of TransLink assets.

As many of you know, FareSavers will be phased out once Compass has fully transitioned for all customers. However, with Compass, many people who currently use cash will switch to Compass Stored Value, which offers a 14 per cent savings. Monthly passes, stored value or a DayPass can all be kept on your Compass Card.

Why the change?

In 2009, as part of TransLink’s 10-year funding stabilization plan, the Mayors’ Council approved the YVR AddFare to close a gap in funding the capital costs of the Canada Line. Customers paying with cash to travel from the airport and other Sea Island stations to points East have been paying the $5 AddFare ever since.

The AddFare was meant to apply to all short-term trips (excluding Monthly or DayPasses) to and from Sea Island; however, at the time, the Regional Transportation Commissioner approved the fare increase only for cash fares. With the ongoing transition to Compass, many customers will shift from cash to the convenience of Compass. With this change, we’ll begin applying the AddFare to all short-term trips as originally planned.

 

 

Expo Line Power Rail Replacement work – late-night shuttle service begins Feb.16

SkyTrain in action!

Hey buzzer readers!

As you may already know, we’re replacing 34 km of original power rail on the Expo Line. The power rail supplies SkyTrain vehicles with power, approximately 650 volts DC.

Work is moving to the area between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown and there will be service impacts for people travelling to or from those stations during late-night service.

Beginning Feb. 16, passengers travelling through all stations between Waterfront and Stadium-Chinatown will commute using a shuttle train Sundays through Thursdays after 8 p.m.

  • Passengers travelling west of Stadium-Chinatown must hop off and transfer to a shuttle train. Service east of Stadium-Chinatown will operate normally.
  • Passengers are encouraged to plan for an extra 10 minutes of travel time.
  • SkyTrain services will run as normal during the day, peak times and major downtown events.

SkyTrain staff will be on hand at affected stations to provide directions and assistance. We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we keep our system in good repair for your overall service.

A few words from Fred Cummings about last week’s SkyTrain service disruption

If you were on the Expo SkyTrain Line last Wednesday afternoon (February 5) like I was, you might have experienced some delay in service.

Although my trip was only a few minutes longer than normal, for two and a half hours, the disruption of regular service caused varying levels of delays to our riders’ estimated trip times.

Disruptions in service are something TransLink and our operating companies actively try to avoid and we are sorry it happened.

“I want to apologize to our SkyTrain customers who were affected by this unusual incident,” says Fred Cummings, President and General Manager of BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).

Details about the disruption

Starting at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, an eastbound train encountered a mechanical issue and stopped outside Main Street-Science World Station. BCRTC investigated the incident and found that a part used to connect the problem train to the power supply in the SkyTrain guideway (the tracks), failed, broke off and got lodged between the two power rails that supply the Skytrain with 650 volts DC of power. This prevented the train from continuing on its normal route. A failure such as this can occur if a train encounters a stray object in the guideway, but this particular incident was determined to be the result of a part that was defective or fatigued.

“The recovery from this event was complicated by the equipment that failed being lodged in-between the power rails. I want to assure everyone that the personnel deployed worked extremely hard and as fast as they could to get service back before the evening peak service,” says Fred.

To help alleviate the situation, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) supplemented service with a bus bridge, and SkyTrain Staff and Transit Police were deployed to help manage the crowds forming at SkyTrain stations.

Despite our best efforts, many of our riders were left frustrated and late for appointments by the delay.

Upgrading SkyTrain

As regular readers of the Buzzer know, SkyTrain is over 25 years old! A number of upgrades to the Expo Line are being carried out as part of OnTrack to keep the system in good repair.

We are always looking for ways to improve our service and making sure our SkyTrain system runs smoothly and on time is a priority.

Introducing the new Chair of the TransLink Board for 2014 – Marcella Szel

I sat down with Marcella Szel, the new Chair of the TransLink Board recently and found out some interesting info about her background. Marcella was great to speak with and as you’ll learn from watching this video, Marcella has been involved with moving goods and people for a number of years. For more info about Marcella, you’ll want to read her bio in the Board of Directors section of the TransLink website.

Marcella is a busy person who’s involved with a number of boards and initiatives. But that doesn’t mean she’s too busy to answer your pertinent questions about her work and the Board. So, fire away, and I’ll do my best to have comments answered in a day or two.

Poll: How can we best communicate with you in 2014?

Tell us how you want us to communicate with you.

Tell us how you want us to communicate with you

It’s a new year and time to start fresh. When I look ahead to what’s on TransLink’s to do list this year, saying it’s a busy year is an understatement.

For one thing, Compass Card integration to the entire system will be in full swing in 2014. If fundamentally changing how people use transit in Metro Vancouver wasn’t enough, we’re also continuing to upgrade our Expo Line stations, rolling out more service optimization to best use the resources we have and change some schedules during our four annual service changes. Those are just a few items that TransLink needs to tackle this year and communicate to you our customers.

In an effort to make sure we’re doing all we can to inform you the customer about the above items as well as service disruptions and other factors that affect the movement of people and goods in Metro Vancouver, we’d like to know how you would like TransLink to communicate with you so that you feel informed.

There are 1.2 million transit trips on our system every day. We know you rely on our transit system to get to work, school, medical centers, friends and family. So, we want to make sure you have the information you need to get to where you need to go quickly, efficiently and safely.

Below is poll we’d love for you to take, share with your family, friends, colleagues and whomever else you think would benefit from hearing from us. We’ll use these poll results and any comments you leave to help us administer our communications resources more effectively.

When considering the options, think of your typical commuting day. Where are you and what are you doing if there is a service delay on a bus, SkyTrain or TransLink operated road or bridge? How do you usually find out about TransLink and the services we provide? We’re excited to read you answers!

How can we best communicate with you in 2014? (note: you can select up to three answers)

  • Through posts and tweets (69%, 100 Votes)
  • Posters, ads on the system (48%, 69 Votes)
  • In person help at stations and stops (43%, 62 Votes)
  • Through journalists and media reports (37%, 53 Votes)
  • Other (9%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 145

Some of the bigger projects in 2014 we want to communicate to our users

Some of the bigger projects in 2014 we want to communicate to our users

 

2013 Holiday Service Adjustments: New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day

 

happy-new-year

Wishing all Buzzer readers a safe and happy 2014!

Happy holidays!

We hope you’ve had a chance to relax and spend some time with family and friends, perhaps enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (or two).

As always, rides will be free of charge on New Year’s Eve (Dec 31) from 5:00 pm until 5:00 am on New Year’s Day. All services (Bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express) on New Year’s Eve will operate a normal weekday schedule with additional trips or extended service.

New Year’s Day (Jan 1) will offer a normal Sunday/holiday schedule for Buses, SeaBus and SkyTrain. The West Coast Express and TrainBus will not be in operation.

Regular services resume on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Details can be found on the Winter Holiday Service Schedule page. Please see below for some resources to request current updates in regards to transit service conditions:

 

 

 

2013 Holiday Transit Service: Christmas & Boxing Day

Sparky the Elf and Santa!

Sparky the Elf and Santa!

Hello Buzzer readers!

With the winter holiday season soon approaching, the holiday service schedule will begin on Christmas Eve (Tues, Dec 24).

On Christmas Day (Dec 25), buses, SeaBus, and SkyTrain will be running on Sunday/holiday schedules. Some routes will be adjusted to reflect customer demand. The West Coast Express and TrainBus service will not operate.

Boxing Day (Dec 26) will have an enhanced holiday schedule for buses, SeaBus and SkyTrain, especially on routes to popular shopping destinations!

Services returns to their normal schedules on Friday, December 27.

You can find all the details on the Winter Holiday Service Schedule page. For the very latest news on transit service conditions or for more details, visit or call:

 

Please Note: The Buzzer blog is on holiday until at least Thursday, December 27, 2012. Tina and Stefanie will be checking in, but brand new content (we have scheduled some content over the holidays) won’t be online until the new year.

We wish all of our Buzzer friends a safe and happy holiday season!

Gearing up transit for snowy commutes

Have a happy holidays on transit everyone!

It’s cold out there, make sure you’re prepared before you leave home!

Snow is in the forecast for tonight and we’re busy making sure our customers have a safe trip to work, school or even local mountains!

Here’s what you can do to prepare for a potentially snowy commute.

  • Sign up for transit alerts so we can let you know if there are changes in the transit schedule.
  • Follow our customer information team @translink or phone (604) 953-3333.
  • Plan ahead with m.translink.ca and Trip Planner and give yourself extra time on your commute.
  • Be aware that more people than usual take transit on the days when it’s snowing – common transit courtesy applies even more on these days!
  • Dress warmly on those cold and snowy days when you’re heading out to get on transit!

Here’s what we’re doing to ensure our service runs efficiently in the snowy weather:

We’re always monitoring. Winter weather forecast monitoring means more staff can be quickly deployed and more trains can be added to service so riders can get on their way.

Buses

  • Three trolley de-icer trucks will spray the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.
  • If needed, we’ll switch out articulated buses for traditional buses. Although articulated buses are great for turning and maneuvering throughout our streets in Metro Vancouver and allow for quick movement of large numbers of passengers, when traveling up hills or on streets that have poor conditions, the back halves are heavy which can create some traction problems.

SkyTrain

  • The power rail is de-iced in the winter as well as the collector shoes on the trains. If it snows overnight, SkyTrain will run trains throughout the night to keep tracks clear.
  • De-icing stations will be set up in covered areas and tunnels to prevent ice and snow compacts on the trains. Measures are also taken to make sure switches are protected from freezing.
  •  Staff will monitor the guideway for any large snow fall or drop-offs from the SkyTrain cars in order to keep the tracks clear.

SkyTrain (Canada Line)

  • Anti-icing and sanding measures are used to ensure the power rail and tracks are clears of ice. In fact, three vehicles have modifications to provide ice-slicing, de-icing and sanding.
  • New breaking modes for train cars – kind of like ABS on vehicles – to provide traction.
  • There are special trains that can keep running on the system which further prevents ice-build up.

Do you have any tips for commuting in the snowy weather from a rider’s perspective?

Santa to keep steering the sleigh…er, bus

Santa, Mrs Clause, Sparky the elf and the Reindeer bus!

Santa, Mrs Claus, Sparky the elf and the Reindeer Bus!

It’s that time of the year for candy canes, ginger bread houses and Santa Claus. Speaking of the jolly old elf, he’s been the subject of some media attention of late. Santa shows up on a number of routes including the #27 Kootenay Loop/Joyce Station run which sparked media coverage.

Just to be clear, we love Santa, we love the holidays and we love our riders! We’ve heard about your love of seeing Santa on this route and we would like to let our riders and the public know that we will continue to allow our bus operator to wear his Santa suit while on duty. We recognize that we underestimated how much our riders valued his holiday spirit and it was certainly never our intent to offend the public.

Where can you see holiday cheer on the transit system?

The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle (November 2013 – January 2014)

The Reindeer Bus, Sparky the bus operating elf and Jiana from TransLink

The Reindeer Bus, Sparky the bus operating elf and Jiana from TransLink

The Reindeer Bus has been driving various routes across Metro Vancouver since November. Recently, the bus made a public appearance at the Christmas Wish Breakfast, hosted by the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau at the Pan Pacific Hotel on December 11. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf Sparky have also periodically been visiting mystery stops this week throughout Metro Vancouver. Here’s some fun facts about the program:

  • Since 1985, Coast Mountain Bus Company annually decorates one bus and one Community Shuttle to resemble a reindeer. This year it will operate from November 12 to January 1.
  • The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle visit a number of holiday celebrations including local agencies likethe Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House (December 9-12).

Toys for Tots

The Reindeer Bus and shuttle are a part of the Toys for Tots campaign. Here’s some info about the program:

  • Created in 1985 by a group of BC Transit bus drivers, Toys for Tots allows TransLink employees to donate newly unwrapped toys or money to the less fortunate.
  • Last year, Toys for Tots delivered 2,709 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau with the grand total of 57,968 since the launch of the program.
  • In addition, $300 cash was contributed to the donations, totaling $42, 822.86 since 1985.
  • The entire supply of donations to be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies from Monday, December 9 to Thursday, December 19.

Canada Line Blanket Drive (November 22 – November 23)

We were part of the fifth annual Drive on the Line campaign -partnership between Blanket BC Society and the Canada Line – that took place along the Canada Line on November 22 – November 23.

  • This year, the two-day blanket drive collected 8500 blankets, exceeding the last year’s record of 6200 blankets.
  • All donated items are distributed evenly to shelter programs and organizations that work directly with most vulnerable individuals and families throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and this year, Vancouver Island.

West Coast Express Santa Train (December 7 and December 14)

Now in its 17th year, this is an annual toy-drive that collects toys on behalf of the Christmas bureau, serving communities in the Northeast sector including SHARE in the Tri-Cities, the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, and the Christmas Bureau in Mission.

This year on Saturday, December 7 and December 14, riders will be able to ride the special train in return for a newly unwrapped toy.

Want more seasonal cheer? Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle contest coming soon!

Keep watching the blog for a fun contest you can take part of if you see the Reindeer Bus or Community Shuttle!

Preparing transit for winter conditions

I doubt we’ll get this much snow, but you never know!

I doubt we’ll get this much snow, but you never know!

We’ve had a mild Fall in Metro Vancouver and so far the Winter has been the same. However, according to Environment Canada, as of Friday, November 29, Monday could see rain and flurries and Tuesday could bring temperatures as low as minus six.

In anticipation of these adverse weather conditions, TransLink and its operating companies have plans to maintain service as best as possible for the residents of Metro Vancouver.

Employees will be working to maintain expeditious service wherever possible – snow or shine.

As everyone knows,  despite our best efforts snowy weather in Metro Vancouver can create traffic snarls resulting in delays that could spread across the region.

Here are just a few of the efforts we’re taking to help people get to where they are going:

Buses

  • Switching out articulated buses for traditional buses. Although articulated buses are great for turning and maneuvering throughout our streets in Metro Vancouver and allow for quick movement of large numbers of passengers, when traveling up hills or on streets that have poor conditions, the back havles are heavy which can create some traction problems. Potential Jack knifing may occur.

 

  • In the evening, three Trolley deicer trucks will spray the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.

 

SkyTrain 

  • The power rail is de-iced in the winter as well as the collector shoes on the trains. If it snows overnight, Skytrain will run trains throughout the night to keep tracks clear

 

  • De-icing stations will be set up in covered areas and tunnels to prevent ice and snow compacts on the trains. Measures are also taken to make sure switches are protected from freezing

 

  •  Staff will be monitoring the guideway for any large snow fall or drop-offs from the Skytrain cars in order to keep the tracks clear.

SkyTrain (Canada Line)

  • Winter weather forecast monitoring means more staff can be quickly deployed and more trains can be added to service so riders can get on their way.

 

  • Anti-icing and sanding measures are used to ensure the power rail and tracks are clears of ice. In fact, three vehicles have modifications to provide ice-slicing, de-icing and sanding. And there are special trains that can keep running on the system which further prevents ice-build up.

 

  •  New breaking modes for train cars – kind of like ABS on vehicles – to provide traction.

What should customers consider when challenging weather hits the transit system?:

  • Riders need to ensure that they give themselves extra time when heading out on the transit system when weather is nasty. Adverse weather means the entire transit system will be much slower as staff will use extra caution.

 

  • Buses endure the same road conditions as other vehicles. As a result, they too are not immune to the accompanying perils caused by bad weather.

 

  • Please be patient with our Operators: they are trying hard to provide efficient and timely service. Schedules will be affected when it snows despite our best efforts.

 

  • TransLink’s operating companies work closely with each municipality and city to help ensure streets or areas are addressed with snow clearing, salting or sanding.

 

  • We live in a region with several micro climates which makes it difficult to clear all areas simultaneously. It is possible that some bus routes will have gaps in service – but it could also mean that some areas are aokay.

 

Together we can help each other get ready for this possible winter wallop! And if you need help navigating your winter commute, remember our Customer Information team is at the ready through @translink and (604) 953-3333. Sign up for transit alerts, plan ahead with m.translink.ca and Trip Planner and give yourself extra time on your commute.