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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: State of the System

FREE TRANSIT

TransLink bus

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL MODES OF TRANSIT WILL BE FREE TODAY, MAY 22, DUE TO THE MAJOR DISRUPTION.

UDPATE: 12:14pm: Thank you all for your patience and understanding today. We understand the inconvenience and are happy to announce that full service has been restored to the Expo Line.

The SkyTrain disruption that was due to a fire destroying one metre communications cable is now over. Please allow time for the service to catch up to regular timings. Shuttles will continue to be used as needed to help with the flow of riders. ^ac

UPDATE: 10:43am: Follow us on Periscope at noon today (handle: TransLink BC) for a live update on the Expo Line SkyTrain disruption.

UPDATE: 10:36: For those of you who have already paid for transit today, please hold on to your tickets and/or receipts. We are working on a way to make sure you benefit from this.

UPDATE 9:29am: Trains are now able to get to and from (East and Westbound) Broadway-Commercial station. Shuttles will be in place to get people to and from downtown from this point. Please keep in mind it will take a while to get service back to regular timings.

We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work to fix the damaged communications cable caused by a fire.

We will continue to keep you updated on the Buzzer blog, Facebook, Instagram (@TransLinkBC) and Twitter (@TransLink) until the system is back to normal.

Five Ways TransLink Funds Road and Bike Infrastructure

Did you know, that in addition to transit, TransLink funds road and cycling infrastructure improvements? Each year we operate, maintain and rehabilitate 600km of our Major Road Network in Metro Vancouver!

Committing over $47 million in road and cycling projects, we’ve dedicated $41 million of this fund to 19 municipalities across the region. This helps to keep things moving smoothly, with pothole patching, snow removal and lighting being just some of the maintenance and operation work getting done thanks to this fund.

So what about the rest of the money? Well, that $6.3 million is dedicated to help fund specific road, bridge and cycling projects across Metro Vancouver. This year, 16 projects are happening across the region.

The Burrard Street Bridge improvements, the widening of the Fraser Highway and the construction of a multi-use path in Coquitlam along the Evergreen extension are just three of the awesome projects currently underway. For more information you can also check out our news release.

So there you have it! If you transit, drive or cycle in the region then there’s a good chance we’ve invested in the infrastructure that helps you get around!

 

Construction is starting at New Westminster Station!

Upgraded station entrance off Carnarvon Street

Upgraded station entrance off Carnarvon Street

New Westminster Station is integrated into the mixed-use development beside and around the station. As the neighbourhood around the station continues to grow and develop, the station requires updates to better meet the needs of SkyTrain customers. Construction is beginning at the station. Read on for important details about the project and what you can expect!

What’s happening?

The upgrades, which are expected to be complete by summer 2016, will improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at the station. The project includes:

  • Replacement elevator and escalators to improve access for customers.
  • Improved lighting and signage throughout the station.
  • Glass panels that replace the existing mesh screens to improve station visibility from street level.
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.

What can I expect?

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 and changes to station access.

Below is a summary of the key project phases and expected impacts. For ongoing information about construction impacts associated with the project, visit www.translink.ca/ontrack. Please note that timelines are subject to change based on construction activity.

Phase 1: East and West station access – spring 2015-summer 2015

Construction crews will focus on replacing the east escalator and upgrading the stairs, at the Eighth Street entrance, and the west escalator and stairs by the bus loop. Painting and the installation of new window glazing will also begin at platform level, and the emergency exits at the north and south sides of the platform will be painted.

Impacts:

  • Station access from Eighth Street will be closed. Passengers will be redirected to the Carnarvon Street entrance.
  • The escalator and stairs from the bus loop to the concourse level will be closed. Passengers will be redirected along McNeely Street to the Carnarvon Street entrance, or through the parkade to the existing moving walkway that provides access up to the concourse level.
  • Platform widths will be reduced in some areas to allow for painting, window installation, ceiling replacement and new lighting.
  • Hoarding in the concourse area to allow for new ceilings, lighting and painting.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating, is expected to begin in several weeks. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

Phase 2: Eastbound and westbound platform access – summer 2015-fall 2015

Construction crews will focus on replacing the escalators and upgrading stairs to the eastbound and westbound SkyTrain platforms from the concourse level. Replacement of the south elevator, which provides access to the eastbound platform, will also begin.

Painting and installation of new window glazing at the platform level is expected to be completed in this phase.

Impacts:

  • Passengers traveling eastbound and westbound can access the platforms via the Plaza 88 escalators and stairs.
  • Passengers requiring the use of an elevator to access the eastbound platform can use the Plaza 88 elevator, by the cinema from the parkade west of the bus loop at street level, or by the cinema at the concourse level.
  • The north elevator to the westbound platform will be in service.
  • Hoarding in the concourse area to allow for new ceilings, lighting and painting.
  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

Phase 3: Concourse area upgrades – fall 2015-summer 2016

Construction crews will complete the replacement of the south elevator and begin upgrades to the concourse area.

Impacts:

  • Hoarding in the concourse area to allow for new ceilings, lighting and painting.
  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

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Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to New Westminster Station! For more information, including FAQs and information boards, visit www.translink.ca/newwestminster.

BC Parkway – Find your way with new wayfinding signs!

The new look to wayfinding signs along the BC Parkway

The new look to wayfinding signs along the BC Parkway

See what I did there? So clever!

Old BC parkway wayfinding sign

One of the old BC Parkway signs

If you are curious as to what wayfinding actually is, well, so was I before I started at TransLink!

The basic process of wayfinding involves four steps: orientation, route decision, route monitoring and destination recognition.

It’s essentially a decision making process related to navigation. The decisions we make are influenced by what we sense, our experience and the information we can obtain. Like signage and maps.

If you’ve been a part of the region for more than a few years, you may have noticed some of these sign changes around the transit system.

TransLink is continually implementing wayfinding enhancements as part of existing capital projects, routine maintenance or as specific opportunities arise.

Speaking of opportunities, the BC Parkway is one!

The BC Parkway is a 26-kilometre, multi-use path that connects Surrey City Centre, New Westminster, South Burnaby and Vancouver.

178  new signs are currently being installed along this path. These signs are designed to help everyone better understand the route.

History lesson time!

The BC Parkway was introduced just ahead of the Expo ’86 celebrations.

A new sign out on the BC Parkway

A new sign out on the BC Parkway

The creation and maintenance was (and still is) a partnership between BC Transit (now TransLink) and the municipalities along the route.

TransLink is upgrading BC Parkway as we speak!

This includes some renovation and maintenance work like lighting, crossing safety improvements and accessibility improvements in different areas along the route.

Here are a few of the changes:

  • Realignment of the BC Parkway, away from darker areas and bushes and closer to the road at Nanaimo Station, and along Slocan and Rupert streets.
  • New lighting on parts of the parkway in Vancouver, New Westminster and Surrey for increased visibility for BC Parkway users.
  • A new designated route at Nanaimo and Patterson stations to separate cyclists from vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Widened and paved paths with new ramps replacing steps at Slocan and Rupert streets. This improves accessibility for parents with strollers, people in wheelchairs/scooters and cyclists.

Just because I love old flyers and the like, check out an excerpt from the brochure that was distributed in the region at the time with a shot of the very first signs on the path.

BC Parkway brochure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to take a look at our guidelines for bicycle wayfinding to stay up to date on our regional cycling strategy and keep your eyes peeled for the new signs as you’re cruising on your bike!

Construction is starting at Metrotown Station and Bus Exchange

Summary of station upgrades at Metrotown Station

Summary of station upgrades at Metrotown Station

Summary of bus exchange upgrades at Metrotown Station

Summary of bus exchange upgrades at Metrotown Station

Metrotown Station is one of the oldest and busiest stations on the Expo Line and has long been in need of upgrades to improve accessibility, capacity, safety, and security. Site preparation works have been underway since January 2015 and more construction activity is beginning this month. Below is some important information for you about the project and construction!

What’s happening?

The upgrades, which are expected to be complete by fall 2017, will  provide additional capacity that is required for our growing region. Improvements include:

  • New escalators, stairs and elevators to improve access for customers with disabilities.
  • More space on the platforms to enable the system to expand for future customers, particularly as the region grows.
  • Updated design features to improve safety and security for all our customers.
  • Better integration with the surrounding community and bus exchange to make it easier for people to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.
  • A 75-bike Secure Bike Parking facility similar to the one at Main Street – Science World

What can I expect?

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.

Below is a summary of the key project phases and expected impacts. Please note that timelines are subject to change based on construction activity.

Phase 1: Centre Stationhouse Construction – early 2015 – spring 2016

Construction crews will focus on building the new Centre Stationhouse, including new elevators and stairs.

Impacts:

  • As of February 26, 2015 and continuing until spring 2016, the elevator at Metrotown Station is out of service while we build three new elevators and the new Centre Stationhouse. See OnTrack for more details.
  • The emergency staircase will be removed and a temporary staircase will be provided as a replacement in a nearby location.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating, is expected to begin in several weeks. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.
  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.

Phase 2: West Stationhouse Construction – summer 2015 – summer 2016

Construction crews will focus on building the new West Stationhouse at ground level, extending the platform level at the west end to provide for the new escalators, and installing four new escalators.

Impacts:

  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.
  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.

Phase 3: East Stationhouse Construction – spring 2016 – fall 2017

The existing East Stationhouse will close spring 2016 to allow construction crews to rebuild the structure, extend the platform level at the east end to provide for the new escalators, and install the four new escalators and the new Bike Parkade.

  • Passengers will be re-directed to the new Centre Stationhouse or West Stationhouse once it is complete in summer 2016. There will also be minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • The passerelle to Metropolis at Metrotown will not be functional; passengers travelling to or from the mall and existing bus exchange will cross Central Boulevard at ground level.
  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.

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For more information, you’ll want to read the Metrotown Station & Exchange Upgrades FAQs and our latest information boards. Passengers can stay up-to-date throughout construction by visiting translink.ca/OnTrack.

Phase 2 upgrades construction is starting at Commercial-Broadway Station

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

Summary of Phase 2 upgrades at Commercial-Broadway Station

TransLink is upgrading several existing stations and exchanges along the Expo Line in order to accommodate increasing passenger volumes, meet accessibility commitments and improve the customer experience.

Commercial-Broadway, Joyce-Collingwood, Main Street-Science World (over 80 per cent complete), Metrotown, New Westminster, Scott Road (completed) and Surrey Central have all been identified as priorities for upgrades.

Construction is beginning at Commercial-Broadway Station and we’d though we share some important details with you!

Phase 1 upgrades – completed in 2009

In 2009, TransLink completed Phase 1 upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station identified in the Commercial–Broadway Transit Village Plan. These upgrades were aimed at improving the station, its immediate environment, and surrounding public areas.

A new entrance with new stairs and escalator was added at 10th Avenue, the north end elevator was relocated to the south end of the station, new glass walls, paving/tiling at the ground level and new retail spaces for future use were added.

This project was part of the Urban Transportation Showcase Project, a series of pilot projects completed in partnership with Transport Canada, TransLink, and local governments.

Phase 2 upgrades – starting now

Commercial-Broadway Station is the busiest station on the SkyTrain system and is a major transit hub for the region – serving 90,000 station trips and 60,000 bus trips per day.

The station currently lacks the capacity to accommodate current ridership, resulting in severe congestion, with long queues at key station “choke points” such as Platform 3, the pedestrian bridge over the Grandview Cut and the bottom of the Commercial Concourse stairs and escalators.

Construction for Phase 2 upgrades begins in the coming weeks and is expected to continue until spring 2017. Phase 2 upgrades will allow for increased capacity, and provide additional opportunities to make improvements to customer safety inside the station.

Project benefits:

  • 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.

What can I expect? 

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.

Below is a summary of the key project phases and expected impacts. Please note that timelines are subject to change based on construction activity.

Phase 2A: Grandview Cut Crossing – spring 2015-spring 2017

The first phase of construction will begin with two distinct project sites: the Broadway east stationhouse and within the Grandview Cut where construction crews will focus on building the new Grandview Cut crossing. Upgrades will also be underway to the west staircase, behind the elevator.

Impacts:

  • Existing pedestrian overpass over the Grandview cut will be narrowed.
  • The west staircase will be closed for a portion of the construction period.

Phase 2B: Broadway Platform – spring 2015-spring 2017

While Phase 1A works are underway, a new platform will be constructed to the east of the existing Broadway guideway. Construction work will focus on building the new platform, including hoop trusses and roof mesh. Access to all station entrances, stairs, escalators and elevators will remain open during construction.

Impacts:

  • Platform widths will be reduced in some areas to allow for construction hoarding.
  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain service adjustments.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating, is expected to begin in several weeks. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

Phase 2C: Broadway Passerelle – spring 2015-summer 2016

During the second phase of construction, crews will build and install the new Broadway passerelle. The passerelle will be constructed off-site then lifted onto newly constructed columns on Broadway.

Impacts:

  • Passengers can expect minor SkyTrain and bus service adjustments.
  • Bus stops for the 99 B-Line and #9 will be temporarily relocated.
  • Drivers and pedestrians can expect temporary traffic impacts, road and sidewalk detours.
  • Neighbours can expect noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating. Notifications will be sent in advance of particularly noisy work.

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For more information, you’ll want to read the Commercial-Broadway Station Upgrades FAQs and our latest information boards. Passengers can stay up-to-date throughout construction by visiting translink.ca/OnTrack.

The April 2015 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

The April 2015 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system!April-2015-Buzzer

Much of it is dedicated to the Spring Service changes that begin to take place on April 13.

There are seasonal and permanent changes to routes AND times so be sure to check out all the updates.

There is information on the Transportation and Transit plebiscite and station and elevator upgrades at Metrotown station.

We’ve also included a new series about TransLink and its operating companies called The Facts Matter.

As always, we have our favourites – Contest Corner, Back Issues and Coming Events!

Happy reading! Pick it up today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or you can download it here.

The next issue of the Buzzer will be out in June 2015.

***CORRECTION***
The URL found for The Facts Matter is incorrect. The full URL is: http://www.translink.ca/en/About-Us/The-Facts-Matter.aspx

We apologize for any confusion to our readers and riders!

All aboard the 66 FVX!

fvx_spider_map-blueBC Transit has a new express service travelling through Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley.

The 66 FVX (Fraser Valley Express) kicks off on Monday, April 6th, with free rides to celebrate this new service.

The 66 FVX will provide a limited stop express service across the Fraser Valley, and a connection to the TransLink transit system in Metro Vancouver.

Final stop for the 66 FVX is at Langley’s Carvolth Station, offering passengers the option to extend their travels by purchasing TransLink fare and boarding a TransLink bus.

The 66 FVX will operate 17 round trips on weekdays and four trips on Saturdays.

The route connects to local transit service in Chilliwack and Abbotsford, offering more options for commuting, getting around town, and improved access to the University of Fraser Valley Campuses in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

BC Transit is responsible for coordinating the delivery of public transportation in British Columbia outside of Metro Vancouver.

The 66 FVX has its own fare system, separate from TransLink and other BC Transit services in the Fraser Valley; transfers are not issued on the 66 FVX. The FVX service is not included in the UPASS program.

Get more information about BC Transit’s 66 FVX, including schedules and fares here.

April showers bring… spring service changes!

april_svc_change_fbWarming up to weekend getaways and fun around town? TransLink’s transit services are changing to get more people to more places!

Beginning April 13, you can expect increased trips heading out to White Pine Beach, SeaBus and Tsawwassen Ferry, and fewer trips to post-secondary schools. There are also NEW trips during peak hours on some popular routes!

Services changes can be found on our website. Even if you don’t see your route listed, service changes can affect many routes, so use TransLink’s trip planner to double check if your route has changed.

Highlights

  • Increased midday service to UBC on the 49. All trips will now travel all the way to and from UBC.
  • NEW trips on the 640 during PM peak period service to better serve Delta’s Tilbury Business Park community.
  • Marine Drive Station bus loop is back in service, returning the 3, 10 and 17 to their regular routes and providing direct connection to the Canada Line.
  • Seasonal service on the 150 to White Pine Beach from May 2 to Labour Day.
  • Increased service on SeaBus, with trips every 15 minutes on Sundays and holidays, and increased trips to two each hour, on the 620 to Tsawwassen Ferry.
  • NEW trips on the 351, 402 and 410 to reduce overcrowding during peak periods. These are made possible by shifting resources from routes that currently have low customer demand.

Learn about all the travel choices in your community by visiting TransLink’s TravelSmart program for information, resources and tips.

How else can you stay in touch? Sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

The February 2015 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

The first issue of the Buzzer in 2015 is now on the system!Feb-2015-Buzzer

Much of it is dedicated to the information regarding the Transportation and Transit Plebisicite taking place from March 16 through until May 29th of this year.

Transit Police are changing the way they patrol the system. Customers can expect to see more officers at major stations and they will be basing their patrols from the busiest stations and bus loops.

There’s also information about some things to keep an eye out for on the system. One is the new high visibility vests you’ll see our SkyTrain attendants sporting. Another is the prototype bus safety barrier that will be on select routes out of the Burnaby Transit Centre.

CelticFest and Cherry Blossom Festival will be in full swing this spring and you can find the all details in this issue.

TravelSmart encourages us all to make a change for good by choosing active and sustainable transportation more often. The great photo included in this section is by Steve Chou. You can see the full, colour version and what the TravelSmart booth looks like here.

As always, we have our favourites – Contest Corner, Back Issues and Coming Events!

Happy reading! Pick it up today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or  download it here. The next issue of the Buzzer will be out in April 2015.

SkyTrain Attendants are now wearing high-visibility vests!

Check out the new vests!

Check out the new vests!

Taking the SkyTrain this week? You’ll see SkyTrain staff sporting a new look. Starting today, SkyTrain Attendants, Supervisors and Duty Managers on the Expo and Millennium lines are wearing new, high-visibility vests!

These vests will help ensure our customers can immediately identify front-line SkyTrain staff if they require assistance or help during an emergency.

Making our front-line staff more visible was one of the recommendations in the independent review of SkyTrain service.

“It is also important that staff in the field be quickly recognized as SkyTrain employees even when there is normal operating service. All front-line staff should wear high visibility vests over their clothing. This will make them easily recognizable in times of minor or major crisis.”

Sky Train Attendants’ vests are a yellow/royal blue combination and made of Gore-Tex. They’re light and versatile, and most importantly, help them stand out amidst a sea of commuters. They say, “SkyTrain Customer Service” across the back and over the chest pocket.

Of note, Canada Line Attendants already have uniforms that are compliant with the independent review.

Independent Review

Gary McNeil presented TransLink with an independent review of the SkyTrain service disruptions that occurred in July, 2014. His recommendations addressed improvements in operations, maintenance and customer service delivery.

We accepted all 20 of his recommendations and many have already been implemented. The rest will be put in action over the course of the next few years.

What do you think?
Leave a comment below. We want to know!

Open House for New Westminster Station on January 28, 2015

Here's whats coming up at New Westminster Station!

Here’s whats coming up at New Westminster Station!

We’re inviting you to attend an open house to learn about the station design, construction plan and project timeline for the upgrades coming to New Westminster Station.

New Westminster Station Open House

Date: January 28, 2015
Time: 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: New Westminster Station, ticket vending level between CIBC and Tim Hortons

Get involved online

Can’t make it to one of the sessions? No problem! We will also have information and a feedback survey posted at translink.ca/newwestminster. Feedback will be accepted between January 28 and February 11.

We hope to hear from you soon! Oh, and we’ll be posting more info about upgrades at New Westminster Station soon.

Expo Line Power Rail Replacement work – late-night shuttle service begins Jan.6

SkyTrain in action!

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 returning 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.

From Jan. 6th to the 8th and the 11th to the 15th, passengers travelling through all stations between Waterfront and Stadium-Chinatown will commute using a shuttle train during late-night service.

  • Shuttle service will begin at 10:15 p.m. on January 6th and 8th, and 9 p.m. on all other days.
  • 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.

Take transit in Port Coquitlam? You might have spotted our new CNG buses!

Say ''hello" to one of the newest additions to the CMBC bus fleet!

Say ”hello” to one of the newest additions to the CMBC bus fleet!

If you take transit in Port Coquitlam and neighbouring cities, you might have spotted our new compressed natural gas buses in service! Coast Mountain Bus Company will be receiving 45 of these New Flyer Xcelsior buses in total.

The interior of the new CNG bus showing the courtesy screens

The interior of the new CNG bus showing the courtesy screens

Passengers will notice the roof of the bus is higher and the European-style windows outside, which are flush with the side of the bus. In the interior, courtesy screens have been added in front of the first forward sitting seats on both sides. There’s also a rear-facing wheelchair seat like our trolley buses and Nova Buses.

The rear roof hatch is now a sun roof and the bus has climate control set for 20.5°C, so you’ll want to keep the sun roof and windows closed. Having it open during the winter months can cause rain and snow to enter vehicles too!

Expect a smoother, more comfortable and powerful ride too. Transmission shifting is a lot smoother and comments from drivers and passengers are that the bus seems to glide. The bus also has more power, so it will be able to climb hills such as Gaglardi Way up to Simon Fraser University with a little more ease.

The buses will operate out of Port Coquitlam Transit Centre as it is currently the only centre equipped with CNG refueling stations until the Hamilton Transit Centre in east Richmond opens in 2016.

Renewing our bus fleet is part of our commitment to keep our system in a state of good repair. Most of our 40-foot and 60-foot buses have a 17-year replacement life as this life cycle has proven to have the lowest overall cost and practical life for our fleet. After 17 years, the costs to maintain vehicles increases and the safety decreases due to factors such as:

  • Component obsolescence – for example, the engines in our older buses have been out of production for 14 years.
  • Frame and body corrosion and fatigue – structural repairs can be very expensive or not safe to repair.
  • Overall maintenance costs escalate and reliability is lower as components reach the end of life and/or are rebuilt multiple times.
  • Safety inspections often take a bus out of service around the 17 year life.
  • Environmental and comfort factors – older buses have much more emissions, and are generally noisier, plus possible less comfort for passengers and drivers.

The 45 new CNG buses will replace the 45 older diesel buses that have reached the end of their life and will be retired from service.

Thanks to Eric W. for suggesting this Buzzer blog post! Have something you’d like us to blog about? Email it to thebuzzer@translink.ca or tweet us @TheBuzzer

Free transit on New Year’s Eve 2014 starting at 5 pm and New Year’s Day 2015 holiday service

Transit is free starting at 5 pm on New Year's Eve

Transit is free starting at 5 pm on New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve – Wednesday, December 31

As always, rides will be free of charge starting from 5:00 pm on New Year’s Eve until 5:00 am on New Year’s Day on all buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and HandyDART.

Bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus will all operate a normal weekday schedule with additional trips or extended service.

SkyTrain will operate more frequent evening trains and will extend service by approximately one hour.

The last Expo Line train to King George will leave Waterfront at 2:16 am. The last Canada Line train leaves Waterfront at 2:05 am to YVR-Airport and 2:15 am to Richmond-Brighouse.

SeaBus will extend service by about one hour with the last sailing from Lonsdale Quay at 2 am and Waterfront at 2:20 am.

West Coast Express afternoon trains depart from Waterfront at 1 pm, 3 pm, 4:20 pm, 5:30 pm and 6:20 pm. The 12:55 pm TrainBus will be replaced by the 1 pm train. All other TrainBus trips will depart at their regular times.

Regular fares apply on New Year’s Eve until 5 pm.

New Year’s Day – Thursday, January 1

Bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus will all be operating on a regular Sunday/holiday schedule. The West Coast Express and TrainBus will not be operating.

Remember, since New Year’s Day is a holiday, you only need a single-zone fare to travel in all zones all day.

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You’ll want to use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times. The information noted here is subject to change. For the latest and most up-to-date information, visit translink.ca/holidayservice, call Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

Service returns to regular weekday schedules for all modes on Friday, January 2, 2015.