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TransLink wins 2017 APTA AdWheel Award

APTA Adwheel Award 2017

Congrats are in order as TransLink once again wins an APTA AdWheel award in the category of Best Marketing and Communications to Increase Ridership or Sales for our 2016 Evergreen Means GO Campaign!

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Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

Buses all settled and snuggled in for the night!

Our transit vehicles spend their days moving many people around Metro Vancouver, but have you ever wondered what happens to them after a long day of work? Each night, our SkyTrain vehicles, SeaBus vessels, buses and West Coast Express trains return to their homes for a well-deserved rest before they gear up for another busy day.

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Once upon a chime

Have you ever wondered where the iconic SkyTrain chime came from? Well, today is your lucky day because we’ve got an answer for you!

Once upon a chime…

Our story dates back to 1984, a few years before SkyTrain was operational. As a driverless automated system with no train operator on-board to remind passengers that doors were about to close and the train was ready to depart, we realized the need for some kind of automated on-board message.

FYI: SkyTrain opened in January 1986, on schedule and on budget ($854 million) with an initial 21.4 kms (13.3 miles) of guideway, 15 stations and 114 SkyTrain cars!

Once the decision was made to create an automated message, the next step was to determine what the message would sound like. We tested out many different ideas and even experimented with real bells, but nothing seemed to sound just right.  Since SkyTrain is an automated, high-tech system, the feeling was that a reasonably conventional sounding chime was needed.

Fun fact! The SkyTrain chime isn’t just for SkyTrain! The same chime can also be heard on-board our buses!

We decided to test out some different versions of the chime using a digital synthesizer at Little Mountain Sound Studio. It took some time to come up with a tone that would be usable and would catch people’s attention. After many trials and errors, we decided that the chime would have three tones going up and would serve it’s purpose to draw passengers attention to the train departing and the doors closing.

Did you know that the SkyTrain chime was recorded in the same studio that AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith and many other talented musicians recorded in?!

Listen to the SkyTrain chime

This post originally appeared as a podcast on The Buzzer Blog on December 1, 2008.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Fun poll! What’s your favourite summer spot to visit with transit?

#DenisthePlanner talks about White Pine Beach and other fun places you can get to on transit.

The birds are singin’, the sun is shinin’ and it’s summertime!  Here in Metro Vancouver, that means getting out and enjoying all that the city has to offer – from a relaxing day at the beach to a summertime hike.

How lucky are we to have so many fun, beautiful places to pick from that are ALL accessible by transit!

Vote below and let us know what your favourite summertime destination! If you don’t see your favourite summer hot spot, leave us a comment and tell us where you love to go.

What is your favorite summer spot to visit on transit?

  • Stanley Park (29%, 22 Votes)
  • Other (19%, 15 Votes)
  • Granville Island (13%, 10 Votes)
  • New Westminster River Market (13%, 10 Votes)
  • White Pine Beach (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Lonsdale Quay (8%, 6 Votes)
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Queen Elizabeth Park (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Kitsilano Beach (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Crescent Beach (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 77

We did this poll last year with a few different summer destinations. Take a look here for more transit accessible summer fun spots!

Did you know? TransLink has seasonal service from Coquitlam Central Station to Buntzen Lake and White Pine Beach! Use our Trip Planner to plan your route.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Gearing up for a fun and safe Celebration of Light 2017 – Everything you need to know!

Each summer locals and tourists alike make their way to English Bay, the West End and Kits Point to be treated to the spectacular Honda Celebration of Light fireworks.

This year, starting at 10 p.m. each evening, the Celebration of Light will take place on:

  • Saturday, July 29 – Japan
  • Wednesday, August 2 – UK
  • Saturday, August 5 – Canada

More than 20,000 people take transit to and from the event each night, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Keep reading to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know to have a fun and safe evening at the Celebration of Light!

Increased Service

To get you to the fireworks in the safest and most convenient fashion, we have added additional bus and train service. For more information, take a look here.

TransLink Ambassadors

Do you have a question? Wondering which bus will get you to your destination or where the nearest SkyTrain station is? TransLink’s Ambassadors are here to help you! They have oodles of information to answer any questions that you have about the transit system. Word on the street is that they also come equipped with maps of the transit network.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our TransLink Ambassadors, dressed in blue TravelSmart golf shirts! They will be out and about, at the Community Engagement Bus and at SkyTrain stations such as Burrard, Waterfront and Granville from 3:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Community Engagement Bus

You’ll also want to take in TransLink’s community engagement bus – it’s bright, playful and definitely hard to miss! Outreach teams will be on and around the bus to answer any transit related questions you may have! You can find the community engagement bus at Second Beach from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. each night of the celebrations.

Transit Police

There will be additional Transit Police out and about to ensure everyone gets to and from their destinations safely! Our Transit Police have a mobile-friendly website to make it easy for you to say something, when you see something.

By visiting transitpolice.ca you are able to discreetly report a non-emergency police issue, contact us, download the SeeSay app or text 87-77-77.

 To stay up to date, you can follow along with a couple of our Transit Police for live tweets:

FYI: Since there will be an increase in riders on transit, take a look at our safety tips section to help keep yourself and your belongings safe while on transit.

Stay in the loop!

For more details, visit hondacelebrationoflight.com. For day-of information about the event, check Twitter at: @TransLink, @CityofVancouver, @VancouverPD, @VanFireRescue, @CelebOfLight. You can also follow along by using or searching the hashtag #CelebofLight.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Five tips and tricks to staying safe on the SkyTrain!

One of our top priorities is to make sure you get to and from your destination safely! Watch the video above to learn all of the best ways to stay safe while using the SkyTrain.

Here are our top five tips and tricks to a smooth journey:

Slow and steady

Don’t run for the train. Trains come quite frequently and there will be another one along in just a few minutes!

On the platform

Always stand behind the yellow line on platforms and wait at the Designated Waiting Areas as they are designed to provide added safety and security. Safety features you can find at Designated Waiting Areas are: enhanced lighting, a red emergency telephone that will connect you directly to the SkyTrain Control Centre, a bench and they are monitored by closed-circuit television.

Hold on!

SkyTrains are moving vehicles!  Make sure you hold on to a yellow marked handrail or bar to keep yourself steady.

Know where to find help

In the case of an emergency, you can contact the SkyTrain Control Centre by pressing on the silent passenger alarm. This is a yellow strip located on every window on board the SkyTrain. Triggering this alarm means that help will be on board as soon as possible. You can also use the on board speakerphone that is located on each car near the doors. By pressing the red button you can speak directly to SkyTrain control operators.

FYI: when in doubt, don`t be scared to ask a SkyTrain attendant for help!

Stay onboard!

Trains will stop between stations if something falls onto the track so make sure to stay on board the train and do not exit between stations. The safest place to be in the case of a stoppage is on the train!

Take a look here for more information on the cool safety features that you can find on board the SkyTrain!

Author: Christina Jakopin

Burnaby Village Museum Interurban Anniversary

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B.C. Electric’s interurban train 1223 circa 1930. Image 204-375 courtesy of the City of Burnaby Archives.

Repost: Written by Jhenifer Pabillano and originally published September 18, 2012.

We’re very pleased to welcome Lisa Codd back to the blog. Lisa is the fantastic curator at the Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel. Readers of the blog will remember Lisa from her great help with the past posts on women in transit, interurbans and the history of the Pattullo Bridge.

A Century of Service: Four Metro Vancouver transit artifacts celebrate 100 years – by Lisa Codd

A century ago, in 1912, the B.C. Electric Railway Company placed an order with the St. Louis Car Company in St. Louis, Missouri to purchase 28 passenger cars for use in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions.

The BCER had been operating in this region since 1897, when it bought out a group of investors who owned streetcar lines in Vancouver and New Westminster, and an interurban line built in 1891 that connected the two cities. The BCER invested in expansion of the system, and by 1912, this region’s street railway was by far the largest in the country, with over 200 miles of track (Winnipeg was a distant second with 80 miles).

Up until 1912, the BCER had built their cars locally in a shop in New Westminster. But in 1912, they decided to purchase the cars rather than build them themselves, probably because their shop was not set up to build steel-framed cars, which provided more safety to passengers in the event of an accident.

The St. Louis Car Company was a major manufacturer of streetcars and interurban trams from 1887 to 1973. They built vehicles for some of the major transit systems in North America, including New York City and Chicago.

The cars entered service in 1913, and ran throughout the Lower Mainland for 45 years. In the 1950s, electric railway service was replaced by buses. The 1223 was retired from service in 1958. It was one of only ten B.C. Electric Railway cars that were saved from destruction. The 1223 became the property of the Burnaby Historical Society, who put it on display at Edmonds Loop. Today, the restored tram car is housed at the Burnaby Village Museum.

Sister cars to the 1223 include the 1225 owned by the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, the 1231 operated by the Transit Museum Society in Vancouver, and the 1220 are currently being restored by the Richmond Museum.

Looking back at Metro Vancouver’s Transit History with Angus McIntyre!

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Angus back in the day

Angus back in the day

June 27th marked 125 years of transit in the region. To honour this special occasion we have been mining old photos, stories and even brought a 1954 trolley bus out of retirement to celebrate!

If buses could talk, we’d probably ask the old Brill trolley how things have changed since it first hit the streets in 1954.

Seeing as talking is not yet a feature of buses, I thought it best to catch up with someone who has not only seen our system evolve over the decades, but is also able to share their experiences!

1954 Brill Trolley

1957 Brill Diesel

So, last week I visited TRAMS BC and chatted with retired bus operator, Angus McIntyre. Having spent 41 years driving buses in Vancouver, Angus knows the transit system well and was nice enough to gives us an overview of transit history and his time behind the wheel.

According to Angus, he started as an operator when he was 21, back when BC Hydro was the transit authority.

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Driver’s seat of the 1954 trolley bus!

Initially covering the evening shift route along Nanaimo, Powell St. to Stanley Park, he says, that back then, being an operator was both physically and mentally challenging.

He explained  “there wasn’t any power steering or right hand mirrors and drivers also had to handle money.” “You’d be steering with your left hand and filling the [money] changer with the other!”

Staying on similar routes for years at a time, Angus  says he loved getting to know his passengers. He even tallied the number of people that boarded his bus and bought his one millionth passenger a book of faresaver tickets!

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

During our chat, Angus also gave me a quick rundown of the history of transit in the region.

As Angus tells it,  Metro Vancouver’s transportation network has changed hands more than a couple of times since the first streetcars rumbled through Vancouver in 1890.

Citing transit history like a pro, Angus  led me down the path of changing transit authorities over time from its start with independent companies in 1890 to BC Electric company in 1897, BC Hydro in 1962, Metro Transit Operating Company in 1973, BC Transit in 1983 and then TransLink in 1999.

Angus McIntyre

Here’s Angus holding a license plate perfect for celebrating 125 years of transit!

Looking at this timeline, Angus said during his career he had “four employers, three different unions and four major labour disputes”!

Despite these many changes he insists that although “bus schemes [liveries] changed and uniforms changed, the transit service still remained the same”.

When I asked Angus what crosses his mind when he thinks about 125 years of transit in the region, he said he thinks of “The early pictures showing the first streetcar running within the tiny city limits, and how the transit system is now so huge.”

According to Angus, the system was once so small that when he started as an operator, private commuter clubs were chartering buses to Tsawwassen and White Rock to supplement the non existent transit service in these areas.

He explains “the transit system had no money and couldn’t expand [so] people were doing a do-it-yourself transit system without the internet or anything. I don’t know how these people found each other, but you’d go down to Howe and Robson in the afternoon and there would be all these people waiting, but not at a bus stop. Then a school bus would pull up and all these people would get on and head somewhere out of the city”.

To say the least, talking to Angus about Metro Vancouver’s early transportation network was an eye-opener.

It’s hard to fathom getting around today without our current infrastructure — I’m pretty thankful I’m not chartering a bus everyday to get to work!

Author: Laura Tennant

A day in the life of Metro Vancouver transit

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A streetcar in North Vancouver sets out for its first ride, 1906

A streetcar sets out for its first ride, 1906

A lot has changed over the last 125 years in this region and transit has changed right along with it!

Take a look at some of the Buzzer’s posts about our history.

Say hello to The Conductorettes! A group of 180 women from 1943 to 1975 blazing the trail in the industry as the first female operators.

Hop on the SkyTrain to the past for some memorabilia and collectables.

See how the interurban trams mapped transit for the entire region! (Psst. An interurban is like a street car only bigger and more powerful.)

And where are we now? Let’s find out! Watch a day in the life of our operating companies and some of the great staff that keep us moving year after year.

Stay tuned for more awesome 125 celebration posts on the Buzzer blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have something you want to share? Comment below, email us or join in the celebration on social media with the hashtag #transit125

Author: Adrienne Coling

Today marks 125 years of transit in the region!

buzzer_banner_125_yearsWhen you think about what can happen in 125 years, it boggles the mind!

Now, think about how far transit and transportation has come since its humble, yet forward-thinking beginning.

We can’t truly understand where we are or where we’re going without taking a look at where we’ve been! So, let’s do that!

Streetcar on Columbia St ca. 1900

The interuban streetcar on Columbia St. circa 1900

New Westminster, the oldest municipality in the province, started construction on a streetcar in 1890.

It was then called an interurban and used electric rails above ground to connect residents from city to city.

BCE bus with school children 1948

A BCE bus in 1948 waits for school children to cross the road

For 60 years, this mode of transit dominated the region until buses came around!

Diesel and trolleybuses were used and allowed residents to venture around their neighbourhoods and even further out.

Times changed again when we saw our SeaBus come into action and eventually our elevated rapid transit system, the SkyTrain.

Public transit has really shaped the way this region has grown and will continue to grow!

Take a look at some of these great photos throughout our transit journey.

In 1990, there was a special edition of the print Buzzer released documenting the centennial of transit in the region.

Check out some of the excerpts:

Buzz100 - 6Buzz100 - 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buzz100 - 7

Keep your eyes open on the Buzzer along with our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages throughout the summer for lots of fun events celebrating our transit history! Also, make sure you don’t miss the free vintage bus ride on Sunday!

Author: Adrienne Coling

 

A celebration of 125 years of transit… with a vintage trolley bus!

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vintage trolley bus

This summer, you’re invited to join our celebration of 125 years of public transit in BC!

And wow, do we ever have a lot to to celebrate!

Transit in the region has come a long way since the first streetcars rumbled through Vancouver’s core in 1890.

Just look at how our system has expanded over the years to meet the growing population.

Following our initial trolley bus and rubber-tired bus fleets of early days, when the SeaBus hit the scene in 1977 our system began carrying more passengers to the North Shore.

Then the SkyTrain cruised in a few years later for EXPO 86 with The Millennium Line following hot on its heels in 2002.

And then the Canada Line infrastructure further grew our system for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Now, the Evergreen Line is set to expand our transportation network even further to the east.

So, all in all, it has been a busy 125 years!

In honour of this special anniversary we have a few things up our sleeves to mark the occasion…including free rides on a vintage trolley bus!

This Sunday, an old 1954 Canadian Car-Brill  trolley bus (originally acquired by BC Electric Railway
Company) will be brought out of retirement to give passengers a free ride to designated downtown stops.

Sunday’s vintage trolley bus route! The bus is running from 11am to 3pm, picking up and dropping off at stops marked on the map.

Running from 11am to 3pm, the old trolley will tour on a 30 minute schedule from these stops:

  • Southbound from Victory Square –
    Cambie St at Hastings St, stop #50410
  • Burrard Station – Burrard St at Melville St, stop #50043
  • Burrard St at Robson St, stop #50045
  • Davie St at Howe St, stop #50011
  • Seymour St at Pender St, stop #61519
  • Waterfront Station – Cordova St at Richards St

A couple of TRAMS BC volunteers will also be on board, so if you have questions about the trolley or just want to chat about transit history, these guys got you covered.

Please note, the trolley is not accessible for passengers with disabilities.

Over the upcoming weeks we will continue to celebrate 125 years of transit, so stay tuned for special interviews, archival photos and more!

Author: Laura Tennant

Information sessions for Joyce-Collingwood Station Dec. 1

Hear what’s coming up at Joyce-Collingwood station

Hear what’s coming up at Joyce-Collingwood station

Joyce–Collingwood Station serves a high-density, mixed-use neighbourhood and is an important bus transfer location. As the number of passengers using the station grows, the station will need upgrades that increase passenger capacity and improve accessibility.

An information session for the upgrades is being held on Dec. 1. Drop by the open house to learn about the upcoming station upgrades and provide input into the long-term vision for Joyce–Collingwood Station and Exchange.

Date: Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Time: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location: Joyce-Collingwood Station, tents west of East Station House 

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/joyce beginning Dec.1. 

We hope to hear from you soon!

Author: Jennifer Morland

Psst….psst…do you use the BC Parkway?

BC PArkway

Accessibility and safety improvements are coming to the BC Parkway.

 

I’ve got good news if you cycle or walk along this 26-kilometre, multi-use path. We are making safety and accessibility improvements along the BC Parkway which connects Surrey, New Westminster, South Burnaby and Vancouver.

These improvements include:

  • 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 SkyTrain 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 and scooters, and cyclists.

Minor detours will be in place at specific sections of the BC Parkway during construction. Cyclists should watch for signs along the corridor.

For more details on the BC Parkway, check out our previous posts here and here or visit our website.

Author: Angela Salehi

Changes at the UBC Loop

 

UBC Loop

Have you seen this sign?

 

TransLink is modifying the UBC Loop to allow for the redevelopment of the campus Aquatics Centre by the University of British Columbia. The 99 bus route will be relocated within the existing loop. Bus stops for the 48,84, 258 and 480 routes will move out of the loop and onto Wesbrook Mall. There are no changes to the trolley or community shuttle service locations.

Look for signs in the Loop with directions and check your route before you go! Thank you for your cooperation.

Author: Angela Salehi

Heading back to your regular routine? Fall service changes begin Sept 1.

Owl Aboard Contest photos

Find the Owl and enter to win each day of the contest.

 

Whoo…whoo is heading back to their regular school or work schedule in September? TransLink’s transit services are adjusting with you!

Beginning September 1, you can expect new services and increased trips, services that better matches customer demand during non-peak periods and the return of frequency to routes travelling to post-secondary institutions.

Highlights

  • To reduce overcrowding on the 135, 143, 319 and C92, NEW trips will be introduced to the schedule – this is made possible through the shifting of service hours from routes with low customer demand.
  • Services with low customer demand in non-peak periods will also be adjusted to better reflect ridership. Routes include, but are not limited to: 209, 214, 236, C9, C43, C44, C50, C51, C52, C70 and C93. The service hours in the balance make adding NEW trips on overcrowded routes possible.
  • Service on the 4 and 7 trolley bus routes returns to Powell Street.
  • Buses to post-secondary schools and summer-only services return to regular routes.

Buzzer readers, to help ring in the fall, we are hosting a contest* with three transit prizes! Visit our Facebook page each weekday morning from August 18 until September 15 after 9 am for a clue to where the Owl icon is hiding on the service change page. Once you solve the clue, click on the Owl to enter the contest. Happy Owl hunting!

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

Seasonal service changes occur four times each year in April, June, September and December to bring more service to more people with the resources available.

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

 

* Contest terms and conditions

Author: Angela Salehi