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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: West Coast Express

Get your GradPass today!

Grad Pass

Get your GradPass from your school today!

Another year has come and gone and so another group of high school students are about to get their diplomas, heading out into the real world!

Every graduating Grade 12 student attending school in the TransLink transportation service region can enjoy two free days of unlimited travel by bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express with a Compass GradPass. GradPass Compass ticket

In the past, the GradPass flash pass was valid for two days of unlimited travel. This year, each student will be issued two GradPass Compass Tickets — each the equivalent of a DayPass Compass Ticket.

The tickets will be valid on our system from Sunday, May 15 to Thursday, June 30, inclusive.

Your GradPass is available at schools around the region, either in homerooms or main offices.

Tips for using your 2016 GradPass:

  • Your Compass Ticket is activated at first tap and can be used throughout the day. The activated ticket will expire at the end of that particular service day.
  • Tickets are valid for unlimited travel on bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain (including Canada Line) and West Coast Express
  • Tickets are valid for unlimited travel across all zones
  • You are required to tap in and tap out at all fare gates and mobile validators

Remember! GradPass Compass Ticket must be used together with a valid GoCard.

For more information, visit our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Free transit on NYE for the 40th year!

This New Year’s Eve, don’t worry about driving or grabbing a pricey taxi because we’ve got your ride (and your fare) covered for the 40th year!

That’s right! We’ve been offering you a safe and free NYE ride since 1975 – the year of Monty Python and The Holy Grail, the very first season of Saturday Night Live and the first year of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve!

On December 31, you can ride free from 5 p.m. to end-of-service on all buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and HandyDART!

All modes will run on their usual weekday schedule plus some extensions to evening service:

  • Bus — Some routes will offer additional evening/late-night trips. You can check out the New Year’s Eve schedules here.
  • SkyTrain — Service will be extended by one hour and include more frequent trains throughout the evening.
    Last trains:
    – Canada Line to YVR-Airport — 2:05 a.m.
    – Canada Line to Richmond-Brighouse — 2:15 a.m.
    – Millennium Line to VCC-Clark — 1:35 a.m. Customers can also take the last Expo Line train to Commercial-Broadway to transfer to the last Millennium Line train departing at 2:36 a.m. to Lougheed only.
    – Expo Line to King George — 2:20 a.m.
  • SeaBus — Service will be extended by one hour. The last sailing from Lonsdale Quay will be at 2 a.m. and the last from Waterfront will be at 2:20 a.m.
  • West Coast Express —The offer of free transit applies to the 5:30 and 6:20 p.m. trains. The 12:55 TrainBus will be replaced by a 1 p.m. train. All other TrainBuses will depart at their regular times.

On January 1, all transit services will run on a Sunday/holiday schedule.

West Coast Express service will not be in operation on New Year’s Day.

Why not plan your trip now?
Use Trip Planner or call Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Note: If you need service after midnight, the time must be entered as x-time. For example, put in “1:00x” instead of “1:00am”. This is because we include trips after midnight as a continuation of the previous service day, even though they fall on the next calendar day.

We wish you a very happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Author: Adrienne Coling

All aboard the 20th anniversary West Coast Express Santa Train!

WCE Santa Train 1
Back for another year of holiday fun for a great cause is the West Coast Express Santa Train!

This annual toy drive is a great day for the whole family!

To ride the Santa Train, all you need to do is bring along a new, unwrapped toy as a donation.

Trade your toy for a ticket to ride and make the holidays a little brighter for families in need.

Last year over 3,760 Santa Train riders donated a record-setting 4,219 toys!

There are two rides on December 5th and December 12th.

WCE Santa Train 2
The ride begins in Mission City at 10 am. It will then stop at all WCE stations along the way picking up excited holiday riders.

Pssssst… Santa will be there too!

Once in Vancouver, you have the day to explore and have fun downtown.

Don’t forget to bring your camera because Santa will be at Waterfront Station (aka The North Pole) for photo ops at 3 pm before boarding the train home.

The train leaves Waterfront at 4 pm.WCE Santa Train 3
Author: Adrienne Coling

1-zone bus fares means a new look for Trip Planner!

afs_bus_anywhere_1200x628
Today is the day! All buses and HandyDART vehicles are officially operating on a one-zone fare structure.

Because of this, if you hop on TransLink’s Trip Planner today, you may notice a bit of a makeover.

Trip Planner has been adjusted to include the new one-zone bus fares.

If you are using a Compass product, you can use Stored Value on your Compass Card to get exactly the same discount as the current FareSaver tickets.

If you are viewing on your desktop computer, you will now see four fare options now instead of two.
Trip Planner The difference on mobile is fairly minimal.

The Trip Planner will show two fares: cash and Stored Trip Planner mobileValue. This is instead of the single cash fare we show now.

These prices reflect fares that are valid during the transition to the Compass system.

Please note! These prices reflect Compass and cash fares in a “fare gates closed” scenario.

This means that, until that time, your current fare MAY be different from what Trip Planner lists for you.

Single cash fare prices remain the same.

You can see this on the regular fare tables.

You can use Stored Value on your Compass Card to get the same discount as the current FareSaver tickets.

Reminder!

Currently, you can use tradition fare media (transfers, FareCards, monthly passes, etc.) to travel from the bus to SkyTrain/SeaBus without having to buy another fare.

Once all Compass fare gates are closed, tickets purchased on a bus won’t be valid for transfer to rail or SeaBus.

In the future, customers paying cash on the bus will need to purchase another fare if transferring from bus to rail or SeaBus.

This is because the traditional faremedia are magnetic strips while Compass faregates use an RFID antenna allowing you to tap your way on and off the system.

Compass customers will only pay one fare, if travelling within the 90-minute transfer window.

You can find more information at translink.ca/onezone
to help you transition to the 1-zone bus fare.

For convenient, one-stop source for customer questions and answers about the new Compass system, visit: AskCompass.ca.

 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

West Coast Express gets Compass!

Compass: our new electronic fare card

West Coast Express will start tapping June 8

You may have noticed on our some of our social channels and in the news yesterday that there was an announcement about Compass.

West Coast Express riders will be the next group of customers to receive the Compass card and start tap, tap, tapping on June 8!

Just a few benefits of using Compass include being able to load money at home, balance checking and protecting your balance if your card is lost of stolen.

By the end of the summer, we will see over 200,000 people using this system!

For more information, check out the video below or take a look at our media release.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Ride the West Coast Express 2014 Santa Trains on Dec 6 and 13, 2014

Meet Santa and have egg nog at the North Pole Station!

Meet Santa and have egg nog at the North Pole Station!

Ride the Santa Train on December 6 and 13! It’s an annual tradition and a great kick-off to the holiday season. What makes the Santa Trains special is in exchange for a new unwrapped toy, you get a ticket to ride the train!

All donations support the Northeast sector Christmas Bureau – including SHARE in the Tri-Cities, the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society and the Christmas Bureau in Mission.

The train departs Mission at 10 am and stops at all WCE stations before arriving at Waterfront Station at approximately 11:15 am. Santa will be at Waterfront Station between 3 pm and 4 pm for pictures and egg nog! The train makes its return trip from Waterfront at 4 pm.

In 2013, there were over 3,000 riders on the Santa Train and together they generously donated nearly 3,500 toys!

Station Westbound
Arrival Time
Eastbound
Arrival Time
Mission 10:00 am 5:15 pm
Port Haney 10:19 am 4:54 pm
Maple Meadows 10:25 am 4:48 pm
Pitt Meadows 10:29 am 4:44 pm
Port Coquitlam 10:39 am 4:34 pm
Coquitlam 10:45 am 4:29 pm
Port Moody 10:50 am 4:24 pm
Waterfront 11:15 am 4:00 pm

Author: Allen Tung

West Coast Express wants you to stand as far back as you would from a guy with garlic breath

"Stand Back from the Yellow Line as Far Back as You Would Stand From That guy with the Garlic Breath"

West Coast Express’s Yellow Line Campaign poster

Over the years, more and more people have been turning to West Coast Express to get around in Metro Vancouver. In fact, average ridership has doubled since its launch in 1995 and its growth doesn’t appear to be stopping!

For West Coast Express that means finding new and creative ways to let riders, who may not be used to commuting via train or familiar with station and platform protocol,  know about the dangers of not following safety warnings.

The challenge, though, is that most safety messages lack the ability to engage and often simply blend into the woodwork.  As a result, they don’t have the desired effect for changing people’s perceptions or habits.

That’s why West Coast Express has developed new experimental materials for its annual Yellow Line Campaign to raise awareness about standing too close to the platform edge!

A series of posters were rolled out in 2013 at the station’s platforms asking people to stand as far back from the Yellow Line as you would stand from a guy with garlic breath.

The campaign returned and was kicked up a notch earlier this month!

Rather than using traditional print signage, a series of “About as far back as…” pay-off lines were chalk-sprayed underneath existing  ‘Stand Back From The Yellow Line’ messaging on the platforms.

These pay-off lines were crowdsourced from West Coast Express riders and were updated on a weekly basis – creating a level of anticipation amongst the riders since some of the lines were created by them.

The real key is that in order for the people on the platform to be able to read the pay-off lines (printed on the pavement), they’d have to stand back so that they aren’t stepping on the printed lines. As a result, they’d actually be standing further back from the Yellow Line!

The messaging at work forcing people to stand back from the yellow line!

The messaging at work forcing people to stand even further back from the yellow line!

This five-week campaign started on July 7 and was developed with five different lines to be used. Each week, a new line appears at a station and will culminate with a final line that isn’t a joke, but a sobering reminder of the realistic dangers from standing too close to the platform edge.

So far, the pay-off lines that have been released are:

  • As far back as you’d stand from the guy doing the robot with no music playing.
  • As far back as you’d stand from the guy wearing a speedo.
  • As far back as you’d stand from the boss before their morning coffee.

There are still two more lines to be released, so keep an eye out for them at West Coast Express stations!

What are your suggestions for a pay-off line? Let us know in the comments section below! No promises, but we might even feature some of the best ones!

Author: Allen Tung

TransLink offers passengers more service on race day

Sun Run photo

More than 50,000 people expected at 30th annual Vancouver Sun Run.

 

Ready, set, GOOOOO!!!! TransLink will extend transit services to help runners and their fans get where they need to go before and following the Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, April 27.

To plan your trips to and from the race, you can visit here, here and here.

The quick facts:

  • Expo and Millennium Lines will leave King George Station at 6:38 a.m. & Lougheed Station at 6:45 a.m.
  • Canada Line will begin service at 4:48 a.m.
  • Coast Mountain Bus will provide regular Sunday service, with detours in effect in the West End and along Georgia Street.
  • The SeaBus will leave Lonsdale Quay at 7 a.m. and every 15 minutes from Waterfront until 2:45 p.m.
  • West Coast Express will depart Mission at 7 a.m. and arrive downtown at 8:15 a.m. The return trip will leave Waterfront at 1 p.m.
  • West Vancouver Blue Bus will provide regular Sunday service, with increased frequency on the 250 in the morning and after the run.
  • BEST’s Bicycle Valet, will once again offer cyclists temporary and free storage at Gate F on the second level of BC Place.

 

To prevent long line-ups after the Sun Run, SkyTrain customers can pre-purchase return tickets prior to the race. Portable fareboxes will be set up at Bridgeport, Burrard, Granville, King George, and Vancouver City Centre stations. They will also be set up at Stadium-Chinatown and Yaletown-Roundhouse stations  for up to one hour after the race. Exact cash fare is required and tickets will be valid until late afternoon.

Due to crowding and safety concerns, cyclists may need to wait to take their bikes on SkyTrain until the crowds clear.

 

For more service information follow TransLink on Twitter @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Angela Salehi

Evergreen Line extension station names announced

Evergreen Line map

Have you been wondering what the new station names along the Evergreen Line extension project are going to be called? Well, we’re excited to tell you the names were just released this weekend and they are:

  • Lougheed Town Centre Station
  • Burquitlam Station
  • Moody Centre Station
  • Inlet Centre Station
  • Coquitlam Central Station
  • Lincoln Station
  • Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station

The line will provide a valuable transit link for Metro Vancouver residents when it opens in summer 2016. As TransLink’s CEO, Ian Jarvis said, “The Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension is a much needed link in the region’s transportation network and will be part of our communities for generations.”

To find out more, including a construction schedule for the next twelve months, check out the full news release, the Province’s Evergreen Line site or TransLink’s Evergreen Line page. There’s also a photo gallery from the announcement on Facebook!

Funding for the project is a partnership between the Government of Canada, the government of British Columbia and TransLink. TransLink will be responsible for operation and asset management of the Evergreen extension when it opens.

TransLink 101: Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

TransLink 101 blog feature series banner

For February 2013, we’re going back to basics with TransLink 101—explaining TransLink and its work!

Buses settled in for the night.

Buses settled in for the night, in a photo from about 2006.

You ride our buses and trains during the day, but what happens when they go home at night?

Well, just like the rest of us, our vehicles need some downtime and TLC at the end of a long day of work. Each night, our SkyTrains, buses, SeaBuses and West Coast Express trains retire to their own resting places for a well-deserved break. Read on to find out just what happens!

SkyTrain

From 2009: two generations of SkyTrain car inside our operations and maintenance centre near Edmonds.

From 2009: two generations of SkyTrain car inside our operations and maintenance centre near Edmonds.

For most of our SkyTrains, the end of the day means heading over to our Maintenance and Storage Facility near Edmonds SkyTrain station (15 stay on the line overnight, some along the Millennium Line and near King George Station).

George Booth, vehicle supervisor, says trains start coming off the line in the evening reduced service times so cleaning can start at 7:30 p.m. and finish by 4 a.m. Crews work through the night cleaning, changing light bulbs, replacing seat covers and doing other maintenance as needed.

And, depending on the temperatures outside, some of the SkyTrains might even head over to our automated train wash (how fun is that?!?). It’s just like a car wash, but for SkyTrains!

Read more »

West Coast Express Santa Trains 2012

Santa on the WCE!

If I learned anything from A Charlie Brown Christmas, it’s that the holiday season is about goodwill towards men. This year, we’re continuing our annual tradition of goodwill and giving with our West Coast Express Santa Train! That’s right, Santa Claus is coming to town early this year and taking the WCE to pick up some X-Mas cheer!

Here’s what you need to know:

Between December 8 & 15, 2012, customers will receive a return WCE ticket for the day in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy. All donations (including cash) support the Christmas Bureau in Mission, the MRPM Hamper Society and the Share Society of the Tri-Cities. In 2011, West Coast Express collected more than 3900 toys and $1260 in cash donations.

The train departs Mission at 10 a.m. and stops at all WCE stations before arriving at Waterfront Station at approximately 11:15 a.m.

Santa will be onboard the westbound trip and  available for pictures at Waterfront Station between 3-4 p.m. before the train departs Waterfront Station. Here’s the train schedule:

 

 

 

Westbound in the A.M.   –   Eastbound in the P.M.

Departure times Mission Port Haney Maple Meadows Pitt Meadows Port Coquitlam Coquitlam Central Port Moody Waterfront
Westbound 10:00 am 10:19 10:25 10:29 10:39 10:45 10:50 11:15







Departure times  Waterfront  Port Moody  Coquitlam Central  Port Coquitlam  Pitt Meadows  Maple Meadows  Port Haney  Mission
Eastbound 4:00 pm 4:24 4:29 4:34 4:44 4:48 4:54 5:15

 

If you’re not taking the train and you want to donate, West Coast Express is also supporting a Food Drive in the northeast sector by collecting non-perishable food donations at any of its stations from December 8 to December 15, 2012. If you have any questions about the train, donations or our partners, please contact West Coast Express Customer Service at 604-488-8906.

We’re excited to be able to make this happen again this year as it’s a fun initiative. Thanks in advance for making the holiday season a little brighter for kids this year!

The West Coast Express website is moving to TransLink.ca!

The old homepage for WestCoastExpress.com!

In our efforts to better serve our customers and make transit a one-stop shop on the web, we’re integrating the information found at westcoastexpress.com into translink.ca. The URL for West Coast Express will still exist, but will redirect to the TransLink website starting today.

This process has been in the works for a little while. Information found on our the WCE website will be found on our website, with a dedicated WCE page within TransLink’s website.

And there’s also a plan to expand the content related to these two services on our website. Having WCE content managed by one team helps us update all of our information faster and more consistently.

Our website is constantly evolving and growing with new content. We hope you like the added info!

The West Coast Express coffee bar is back in action

The new West Coast Express coffee bar!

Donald sent a note along to announce that the West Coast Express coffee bar is back! I hadn’t realized it was gone for a while, but am happy to hear it has returned :)

Anyway, the Station Express Café has taken over the new coffee bar as of March 14, 2011, and they also operate a physical café at Waterfront Station. I’m told they have the usual coffee, chocolate bars, chips, cold beverages, and muffins. As well, they have new goodies such as breakfast rolls, omelette-filled pastries for mornings on the go, and instant noodle cups if you can’t wait to get home for dinner. Bon appetit!