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Category: West Coast Express

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

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!

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.

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!

Happy 15th birthday, West Coast Express!

It’s the 15th anniversary of West Coast Express today: November 1, 2010!

Yep: it was November 1, 1995 when West Coast Express set off on its maiden journey, connecting commuters along a 69 km stretch from the northeast sector to downtown Vancouver. (Here’s the Feb and Oct 1995 Buzzers announcing WCE!)

Since then, the average ridership for WCE has doubled! That’s an amazing 10,500 people per day now riding the trains, from a start of just 5,000 a day—and the service even carried its 30 millionth rider last Monday.

Small wonder, though: since 1995, West Coast Express has been much beloved by customers, and they’ve added more service over the years to try to keep up with demand. There’s TrainBus, a bus service that takes customers along the West Coast Express route, a service boost that started in April 2008, extra Olympic trains in February 2010, and seven new rail cars this year.

Celebrate with West Coast Express, 3 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.!

As I’ve mentioned, throughout October, West Coast Express has been celebrating with contests and giveaways on its very own blog. But today, November 1, 2010, you can join them in person for a special party to celebrate and win prizes!

Join the West Coast Express team at Waterfront Station from 3-6:20 p.m. today, and you’ll be able to spin a wheel and enter a raffle for some anniversary prizes. As well, the 30 millionth rider, chosen last Monday, will be awarded with a year-long pass for West Coast Express and the rest of the TransLink system… congrats!

If you join in and snap some photos, I’d love to share them on the blog: feel free to e-mail them to thebuzzer@translink.ca. Unfortunately I’m sick and working from home today, so I won’t be able to get out there myself—but many happy returns to West Coast Express! Here’s to 15 more years!

Two new West Coast Express train cars are here!

Our two new West Coast Express train cars!

Two of our new West Coast Express (WCE) train cars are now here!

We have seven of these train cars on order for 2010, thanks to investment from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, as well as our own funding. The two new cars are the first to arrive, and were unveiled to the media today at the VIA Rail station near Main Street. (WCE cars are maintained at VIA Rail—we’re also currently investing in upgrades to their maintenance facilities.)

The new arrivals bump the West Coast Express fleet to 44 passenger cars, up from the current 37. That’s room for 2,000 riders a day, which translates into a 20 per cent increase in capacity—West Coast Express currently carries a daily average of 10,500 today, more than double its initial ridership of 5,000 a day.

The two cars here are currently undergoing testing, and we expect to put them into service in early September. The rest of the cars are still being made by Bombardier in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and are slated to arrive by the end of October and start service by the end of the year.

The new cars have some new improvements, including a new paint scheme (it’s blue instead of purple now), a revised bike area that provides more seating, and automatic doors to let you pass between train cars!

Check out this press release for more information, and see the rest of this post for more photos and video!

Read more »

All aboard the West Coast Express (there’s extra trips for the Olympics)!

The 6 a.m. West Coast Express train parked at Mission City Station.

The 6 a.m. West Coast Express train parked at Mission City Station.

I got up in the wee hours of Monday morning to ride the West Coast Express (WCE) into downtown Vancouver from Mission, B.C.!

For those who don’t know, the West Coast Express is our commuter rail service, linking the northeast area of the Lower Mainland with downtown Vancouver. (It takes 1 hour and 13 minutes and runs through Mission, Port Haney, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody on the way to Vancouver.)

WCE customers just love the service—it’s a cushy, two-level train with incredibly friendly staff and terrific amenities (a cappuccino car, and bathrooms!) It costs a bit more to ride, but you should certainly give it a try: just be aware that it only goes one direction in the morning, and one direction in the afternoon. It’s not constantly running on its route like the SkyTrain!

Anyway, for the Games period, WCE is running an unprecedented number of extra trips to accommodate extra crowds. On top of its existing five morning and five afternoon trips, they’ve added six new trips on weekdays, nine new trips on Saturdays and seven new trips on Sundays—they’ve essentially doubled their service. 

Let’s take a look at what WCE is like, visit a few stations, and see what staff are doing to bring you the extra Games trips.

Read more »

Help raise funds for wildfire victims with SkyTrain, WestCoast Express, and Telus

Here’s a release that just came out from the BC Rapid Transit Company, who operates SkyTrain and WestCoast Express:

Help SkyTrain raise funds for wildfire victims on Wednesday.

Help SkyTrain raise funds for wildfire victims on Wednesday.

Lost homes, water and smoke damage, and destroyed food supplies are just a few of the hardships our neighbours in the Interior are facing as a result of the current wildfires. Now, you have a chance to help ease the pain, as the BC Rapid Transit Company (SkyTrain & West Coast Express), Global TV and Telus are joining forces to raise emergency funds.

Beginning Wednesday morning, July 22, BCRTC will set up portable fare boxes to receive donations to be sent to the Telus Community Ambassadors, which is collecting the funds on behalf of the Telus Global Fire Aid Campaign. The fare boxes will be located at Waterfront Station, in the Atrium area where passages to and from SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express converge.

Customers may deposit their cash or cheques in these fareboxes between 6:30 & 9am.

In the afternoon, the fareboxes will be set up between 4:30 & 10:30pm at Stadium Station (Ticket Vending Machine level), Granville Station (to the right of the doors leading to the Hudson Bay Company corridor), and Burrard Station (against the south wall near the escalators to the street level). This will allow customers to make donations as they arrive for the HSBC Celebration of Light.

Cheques should be made payable to Telus Community Ambassadors.

Anyone who remembers the wildfires of 2003 remembers the deep and prolonged need of the people in the area. By teaming up to raise these funds, we can all make a big difference.