ALERT! More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: On the system

My day with Mika: Understanding accessible transit

DSC_0037

Mika waiting for the bus on Main St.

This past spring I had the immense pleasure of tagging along on a filming request on our system and spent the afternoon with Kaz and Mika who wanted to showcase the accessibility of our system for a Japanese audience.

Kaz owns Motion Pla-net Productions that often produces work for NHK, Japan’s National public broadcasting organization.

Mika is a lovely woman who lives in downtown Vancouver and takes transit all the time in her fabulous pink wheelchair.

We spent the afternoon riding the bus and SkyTrain while Mika explained in Japanese to the camera all of the fittings and equipment TransLink offers on the system for those who need it.

Part of the filming also included speaking with TransLink’s Access Transit Coordinator, Sarah Chung about why TransLink has been so proactive in promoting the accessibility of transit services for people with disabilities.

“Public transit should be a safe and convenient way to travel, which means our infrastructure, policy and customer service are all impacted by accessibility. There are a number of different needs among our customers that we try to balance so we have to make sure the solutions we provide are sustainable and won’t hinder other people.

One of our key challenges is finding solutions that strike a balance between the diverse range of needs. We need to be financially responsible to the taxpayer as well, and have to prioritize our initiatives. Other challenges happen with the nature of the region, such as the geography making it difficult to make all bus stops wheelchair accessible.”

Mika says that the greatest strength of the system is that people with disabilities have choice.

“I know I can travel on bus, on SkyTrain, on the water on SeaBus and I will be able to get on there myself and be safe. Also being able to get to the airport without calling a taxi is great!”

I learned a lot travelling through the eyes of someone who faces accessibility challenges in her daily life.

On each part of our transit trip, I thought about space on buses, location of elevators, fare box heights, even something as simple as getting on and off a transit vehicle while others are trying to do the same.

These are things as an able-bodied person, I admit, I sometimes take for granted. Perhaps we all do. But it’s important to see through the eyes of others to really understand the world beyond ourselves.

As for the future, Sarah Chung says as an organization, TransLink is constantly growing and adapting our system to meet the needs of our customers.

“We are always looking at improvements to make the system as inclusive as possible. For example, we have a high percentage of wheelchair accessible bus stops, and have introduced a pilot project to make bus stops more accessible for people who are blind or partially sighted. The pilot includes tactile information panels and tactile walking surfaces to help people identify stop information and locations. As a region, we have recently transitioned to a contactless smart card payment system and are continue to work with partners to develop solutions for customers who have limited or no arm mobility.”

Have a look at some pictures from our day together.

Author: Adrienne Coling

The Transit Service Performance Review results are in!

Report cover - graphic

Today, we released the findings of the 2015 Transit System Performance Review (TSPR), a comprehensive review of ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

FYI: This is the first year the review has expanded beyond bus!

The TSPR gives us valuable information on boardings, ridership, transit trends and more. By monitoring services and ridership, we can respond to changing demands with available resources.

“The Transit Service Performance Review demonstrates how we are actively monitoring the transit system across Metro Vancouver to improve our performance. We know where we need to reduce overcrowding, improve travel speed and respond to changing customer demands,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The 2014 Mayors’ Council Vision sets out a blue print to tackle these needs and with sustainable investment, we can take action.” 

Increasing Ridership

We had record ridership across the system in 2015 with 364 million boardings – that’s our highest ever!

Boardings remained high despite decreased per-capita service hours and slower bus speeds.

The annual review shows that ridership across the system continues to grow:

  • Total system-wide boardings increased 2.1 per cent and total bus boardings increased 2.8 per cent, year-over-year. SkyTrain passenger volumes at Canada, Expo and Millennium line stations have also increased by up to 28 per cent.
  • West Coast Express and SeaBus ridership remains steady. In 2015 there were 6.1 million recorded boardings on SeaBus; if it were a bus route, it would rank tenth highest in annual boardings!

Other trends identified during the 2015 Transit Service Performance Review include:

  • Bus boardings in all sub-regions continue to grow or remain stable
  • Some bus routes have consecutive years of growth in boardings, contrary to system-wide trend
  • Almost half of bus revenue hours with chronic overcrowding occur outside weekday peak periods
  • SkyTrain passenger volumes continue to increase
  • Weekend passenger volumes on SkyTrain are similar to weekday volumes outside of peak periods

What happens next?

Knowing how our transit system performs helps to ensure that we are responding to changing customer demand with available resources and lays the foundation for future investment. The data from the TSPR shows us the need for transit investment in our region is high.

Transit ridership across the system continues to grow despite decreased service hours and service speed. The 2014 Mayors’ Council Vision sets out a blue print to tackle these needs and with sustainable investment we can take action. We are currently developing the 10-year Investment Plan which supports the 2014 Mayors’ Council Vision.

Based on the findings from the review, we’ve strategically allocated available resources to improve the experience for our customers:

  • 15,000 revenue service hours were reallocated from bus routes with low demand to routes where customers need them most
  • Service frequencies were increased to reduce overcrowding on a number of routes, including the 49, 100 and C23 in Vancouver; C28 in the Northeast Sector; 335 and 351 in the South of Fraser; and 403 and 410 in Richmond.
  • Improvements were also made to the NightBus network to provide extended service hours and increased frequency.

Did you know?

Thirty per cent of trips on the system involve a multi-modal transfer (almost all are bus to SkyTrain transfers).

SkyTrain ridership at individual stations has grown by up to 28 per cent. The stations where ridership is growing the fastest are Canada Line stations that have experienced significant redevelopment, including:

  • Olympic Village (driven by new, mixed-used development)
  • Templeton (driven by new, McArthur Glen outlet mall)
  • Marine Gateway (driven by new, mixed-use development adjacent to the station)

Want to learn more? You can read the full report here.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

The I Love Transit 2016 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

buzzer_header_template

I Love Transit is back and so is the annual special print Buzzer edition!Bordered

In this issue you will find the Fall Service Changes – for more detailed  information and up-to-date changes visit translink.ca/servicechanges.

Don’t miss the fantastic colouring contest!

Colour the I Love Transit illustration and you will be entered for a chance to win a Monthly Pass!

We will have two draws; one for children under 15 years old and one for adults.

The next issue of the Buzzer, out on September 22, will be a special one as well as we celebrate 20 years of Poetry in Transit!

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

Author: Adrienne Coling

The June 2016 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Much of this issue is dedicated to summer service changes. Print Buzzer front

Which means more service for popular summer destination routes! Woot!

Also in this issue, we invite you to attend Pattullo Bridge Replacement consultation events in person and online.

There is a reminder to take the Fare Review Survey before June 30 as well as a call out for YOU to become part of the team as a bus operator!

Of course, we still 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.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign… New bus stop signs, that is!

Say hello to your new bus stop signs!

Say hello to your new bus stop signs!

Late last year we mentioned how some bus stop signs around Surrey Central were getting a new look.

Now, you may have noticed that these new signs are popping up at bus stops across the region!

That’s because they will become the new bus stop standard for TransLink.

TIPs

Transit Information Panel

As current signs come to the end of their lives, we will be switching all of our bus stop signage across the region to mirror the new look.

The new signs include 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. Plus, they are reflective and easily seen at night!

The best part is really the fact each new sign will list EVERY route at that stop. No more wondering if you’re waiting in the right place, just check the sign!

Another change you may start to see is the end of infotubes at bus stops where they exist and the installation of Transit Information Panels (TIPs).

The new TIPs bump up the font of the scheduled times, include the stop number as well as the recognizable “T” for transit.

The hardware used is much more durable than the old infotubes, which makes them longer lasting and more cost effective.

Thirty-six stops in downtown Vancouver have been updated with these awesome TIPs!

Next up is Surrey City Centre starting mid-May. The rest of the infotube stops will be updated throughout this year.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink in the Media: TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond, speaks with the media

Kevin Desmond has only been at the CEO of TransLink job for six weeks, but he’s already done a host of media interviews and events.

Last week he addressed media after speaking at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Transportation Summit (audio below).


Next up was the Lynda Steele Show on CKNW (Video above) follow by On the Coast on CBC Radio One for a ride on the 99 B-Line and more with Stephen Quinn yesterday (Skip to 2:06:30 to hear Kevin and Stephen).

 

UPDATE: Kevin was also on Global News! (May 5, 2016)

We’re sure Kevin will be doing more media in the future and we’ll keep sharing them with you.

The April 2016 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Much of this issue is dedicated to spring service changes.

There’s also an update about full fare gate closures starting on April 4.

imageedit_5_4412239644Transit Network Review consultation last fall and news about the Pattullo Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

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.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Be a SkyTrain VIP!

velvet rope

See what lies behind the velvet rope with SkyTrain VIP

******FYI: THIS WAS AN APRIL FOOLS DAY JOKE.
THERE IS NO SKYTRAIN VIP PROGRAM******

We are so happy to introduce our brand new SkyTrain VIP service.

Up until now, SkyTrain seats have been first come, first serve.

But starting today, April 1st, you can reserve a spot in the first train car and experience the luxury of pre-warmed seats, personalized neck pillows and complimentary on-board spa treatments.

Be the first to enjoy the view while riding in style.

The cost? Only $18.99 a ride!

Proceeds will go to transforming the Vancouver Transit Centre into a crow sanctuary for Canuck.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Spring forward this weekend!

image

Set your clocks forward one hour this Saturday night

It’s that time again for daffodils and early season flowers to pop up out of the ground and welcome spring.

Another spring behaviour that is slightly less appealing is springing forward to Pacific Daylight Time where we lose and hour in the day.

Ok, we don’t really lose it but it can feel like it in those first few days!

This year, the time change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

However, our transit services will finish their Saturday night service on standard time and the time change will take effect for the start of Sunday service.

So, remember to change those clocks before you head to bed on Saturday!

Author: Adrienne Coling

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

 

 

 

Rider Alert: Expo Line single tracking on October 17, 2015

Vehicle-on-track
This weekend on October 17, SkyTrain service on the Expo Line will be reduced from 9 p.m. to end of service between Nanaimo and Stadium-Chinatown stations as we replace fibre optic cables.

During this time, Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only.

This particular evening was chosen because there are no scheduled events at BC Place or Rogers Arena.

However, significant delays up to 20 minutes are expected so please plan accordingly!

Thank you for your patience while we perform maintenance to keep our system safe and reliable.

Keep up to date on service with our Twitter team @TransLink
and visit our alerts page.

 

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

Buzzer-June-2015

Much of it is dedicated to summer service changes that begin June 22.

You can also find an update from Transit Police about the one year anniversary of their OnDuty app and text line.

Don’t forget to TravelSmart to all the great summer events this region has to offer.

Finally, a thank you from us to you. Because you keep us moving!

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 regular issue of the Buzzer will be out in August 2015 but keep your eyes peeled for a special edition this summer!

Author: Adrienne Coling

The sun is shining and summer service changes are in the air!

june_svc_change_buzzer

Are you ready for the summer? TransLink’s transit services are changing to get more people to more places during these beautiful summer months!

Beginning June 22, you can expect increased trips heading out to Seaside and Buntzen Lake 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.

Take a look at some of the highlights of these service changes:

  • Increased connections for customers travelling between Carvolth Exchange in Langley and Lougheed Town Centre Station. The 555 will now end at Lougheed Station and directly link customers to a regional city centre with connections to key destinations. Late evening service is also being added on this route.
  • Extended route on the 395, which provides customers with more travel options between King George Station and Langley Centre.
  • More frequent trips to Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Buntzen Lake and White Rock Beach.
  • Late-night service increases between downtown Vancouver and SFU.
  • NEW trips on the 100 and 335 to reduce overcrowding just before/after 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.

Author: Adrienne Coling

New policy for electric and folding bikes on transit

Fashion Electric BicycleElectric and folding bikes are now being allowed on board the system!

BCRTC and CMBC are updating their operational policies to allow different types of cyclists access.

Electric bikes will now be permitted on SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus.

UPDATE Folding bikes will be allowed on all modes buses, when folded.

Riders of folding bikes are asked to use a slipcover or carrying pack while on buses.

All the existing rules for bikes on transit still apply. Here’s a refresher:

  • Bikes are not allowed at Metrotown Station at anytime.
  • There is a maximum of two bikes per SkyTrain car and one per Canada line car.
  • No e-scooters allowed on the system
  • Morning and afternoon rush hour restrictions are still in place — Canada Line: Peak times in all directions. Expo & Millennium Lines: Peak times except for the allowances listed below.

Westbound:
7am – 9am Monday-Friday travelling from Columbia Station to VCC-Clark Station; and from Columbia and King George Stations towards Waterfront Station.

Eastbound:
4pm-6pm Monday-Friday travelling from VCC-Clark Station to Columbia Station; and from Waterfront Station towards Columbia and King George Station.

You can read more about our bike policy here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

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.

Author: Adrienne Coling