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Translink Buzzer Blog

Road Services Division fixes buses on the go

One of our Road Services Division vans!

One of our Road Services Division vans!

Our buses have a type of “first aid” help on the road now!

It’s the role of the new Road Services Division from the Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) — high-tech mobile units that fix minor bus issues out in the field.

Broken mirrors, light problems, farebox issues, destination sign problems, and more — now nine teams of Road Services mechanics are able to help, working out of fully-equipped Sprinter vans at major transfer points throughout the region. The ultimate goal is to provide efficient continuous service for our customers.

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Remember: major bus changes are coming on Mon Sept 7!

Riders take note: your bus service may see changes on Monday, September 7.

Riders take note: your bus service may see changes on Monday, September 7.

Just another reminder to everyone that major bus changes are coming on Monday September 7. Make sure you know if your journey is affected!

We always adjust bus service in September to match higher passenger volumes, but this year our changes are much bigger, since we’re integrating bus routes with the Canada Line and making other improvements.

Street teams are out to help spread the word, and you can also find out about these changes online:

And here’s a recap of the major changes expected on Monday:

  • The 3 and the 8 will trade downtown Vancouver routes (this post tells why)
  • The 98 B-Line, 424, 488, 490, 491, 492, 496, and C95 will be discontinued, as Canada Line now provides rapid transit service between Vancouver, Richmond and YVR.
  • The 160 won’t pick up WB or drop off EB at five stops along Hastings Street in Burnaby: Sperling, Holdom, Willingdon, Gilmore, Kootenay. (It will still pick-up EB and drop-off WB at those stops.) The 135 route provides full local service at these stops and will be improved starting September 7. (See this post for more info.)
  • Three bus loops will see bus bay changes: Burrard Station, Richmond-Brighouse (formerly Richmond Centre) and Marpole Loop.
  • Commercial Drive Station and Broadway Station will be merged and renamed Commercial-Broadway Station. Go here for more info.

Again, if you don’t know, we actually make seasonal adjustments to bus service just four times a year, reflecting major passenger ebbs and flows in April, June, September, and December. Look out for the next set of changes in December!

The Vancouver Sun talks to late-night transit staff

Brentwood Station at night.

Brentwood Station at night.

The Vancouver Sun is running a series about the night shift this week, and first up today is a look at our late night transit staff.

It’s a great article: check it out and you’ll learn all about one of our night-shift transit operators, and see what SkyTrain staff do when the system is down at night!

Digital screens show animated ads on the side of your bus

Have you seen big TV screens showing moving ads on the sides of some buses?

You’re not seeing things. Ten buses are currently roaming Vancouver with these new LED ad screens! And since more people are noticing them lately, I thought I’d do a post explaining them.

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Canada Line bike lockers now available

Store your bike in a locker at a Canada Line station, and you won't need to take it on the train.

Store your bike in a locker at a Canada Line station, and you won't need to take it on the train.

Bike lockers at most Canada Line stations are now available!

A locker is $30 for a three-month period, plus a refundable key deposit. Check out the bike lockers page on the main TransLink website to see the locker locations and sign up to get one.

Transit on film: Blade Trinity

Vampires at Waterfront? Well, just for a few days in 2004.

Blade Trinity, the third movie in the vampire/Marvel Comics/action series, filmed a vampire fight scene on the West Coast Express platform at Waterfront.

Watch the clip above to see Jessica Biel battle it out with the bloodsuckers! (WARNING: There’s a very clear swear word in the clip, if that bothers you!)

You’ll notice that the West Coast Express signage isn’t hidden at all in the scene—there’s a clear shot of the Waterfront station sign, and the train itself even shows up.

Kyla, the West Coast Express staffer who supervised the filming, said the whole thing was great fun. The shoot extended over several days, and the scenes were done many times.

“Of course they do things in bits and pieces,” she said, “so it wasn’t until the movie came out that we understood that the little piles of ashes burning on the platform were actually people she had incinerated.” Movie magic, I guess!

Friday fun post: how many times have you been on the Canada Line now?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to take the Canada Line rides poll!

Last week’s poll: favourite Canada Line stations

Last week I asked what your favourite Canada Line station was.

I’m not crazy enough to try to write the percentages on that tiny little pie chart (it’s auto-generated by the poll service), so here’s the summary in words :)

Out of 196 votes, YVR-Airport came out on top with 44 votes (22%), Broadway-City Hall was a close second with 43 votes (22%), and Waterfront Station was third with 31 votes (16%). The rest of the stations got a small handful of votes — see the exact percentages here.

In the comments, there wasn’t a lot of elaboration on why YVR-Airport was best, except for Shane here:

I like YVR with the artwork that was just installed this week. I also like how it is lit up at night.

Broadway-City Hall got some mad props though: Dennis and Shane both commented on the overhead walkway that lets you look down to the trains, and Rvie pointed out that he liked the double-height ceilings.

As for the other stations, Cree had a nice description of why he liked Yaletown-Roundhouse:

I like Yaletown-Roundhouse on the basis of the simplicity of the exterior of the station (not too extravagant), and how it’s nicely nestled in the heart of Yaletown itself so seamlessly.

And Josh talked a bit about Templeton:

I like Templeton the most because it’s so quiet there. It’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing stations on the line. It’s also a great place for shooting pictures of planes landing :)

However, I have to say the thread did have a feeling of muted positivity, and I think Stefan‘s comments sum up the mood well:

I have to say that while all the stations are nice, none of them (that I’ve seen from up close) really stands out as terribly impressive. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by the lavish, expensive-looking Millennium Line stations, which were a departure from the much more utilitarian Expo Line stations.

This week: how many times have you been on the Canada Line now?

Thought I’d ask since many of you are transit enthusiasts!

Let’s say “as of” means “including Friday Aug 28.” And did you ride the line just to ride it, or to actually go somewhere? Tell us in the comments!

SeaBus running one boat service on Sunday, August 30

SeaBus riders, take note: there will only one boat service on Sunday August 30, with half-hour service starting at 8:00 a.m. The MV Burrard Otter is off for its annual required Transport Canada Safety Inspection! It’s the MV Burrard Beaver’s turn next Sunday, September 6.

Buzzer blogger has two days off: back Tuesday!

Just a note to say I’m off on Friday August 28 and Monday August 31.

There will be a couple of scheduled posts going up today and Monday, but don’t be alarmed if you don’t get any correspondence from me over those days. I’ll be back on Tuesday and will answer everything then!

Two SkyTrain stations get one new name

Well, as some have already guessed, Broadway Station and Commercial Drive Station are getting a new name on Monday, September 7.

On the same day as the major bus service changes, Commercial Drive Station and Broadway Station will be merged into one and renamed Commercial-Broadway Station.

The name change is spurred by the launch of the Canada Line.

Since one Canada Line station is located on Broadway, emergency dispatchers have raised concerns about confusion between Broadway/City Hall and Broadway/Commercial station.

A diagram showing the new platform numbering at Commercial-Broadway Station. Click for a larger version.

A diagram showing the new platform numbering at Commercial-Broadway Station. Click for a larger version.

The platforms at the new Commercial-Broadway Station will be numbered to distinguish the four passenger boarding points, and will be used in our Trip Planner so you can plan journeys:

1Former Commercial Drive Station
Trains to VCC-Clark

2Former Commercial Drive Station
Trains to Waterfront via Millennium Line stations

3Former Broadway Station
Trains to Waterfront

4Former Broadway Station
Expo Line trains to King George;
Millennium Line trains to VCC-Clark

Bear in mind that none of this affects any actual train service. If you take the train at these stations, keep going as you normally do — nothing will change but the platform and station names.

Connecting bus services will now just refer to “Commercial-Broadway Station” instead of “Commercial Drive Station” or “Broadway Station.” Automated voice announcements on SkyTrain will also be changed to reflect the new names.

And if you’re not familiar with the platforms, numbered signs will be on each platform and signage will be outside the stations, directing you to the correct platforms in case there’s confusion. Station diagrams will be also available at the station itself and online. Here’s a handy pamphlet that will be on the system soon!

Sungsu’s five (free!) spots to visit along the Canada Line

We’re highlighting spots to visit along the Canada Line, if you needed some reasons to explore! Check out my first post in this series and if you have spots to share e-mail me along with a couple of photos and I’ll put them up. (Fewer spots are fine too, and they can all be at one station or spread out.)

The series continues: here’s Sungsu‘s five spots to visit along the Canada Line without spending any money!

1. Richmond Cultural Centre and Richmond Public Library (Richmond-Brighouse Station)

Main branch of the Richmond Library! Photo by <a href=>selihpxe8</a>.

Main branch of the Richmond Library! Photo by selihpxe8.

The Richmond Cultural Centre contains an art gallery, a museum, archives and an art centre. Many of the exhibits or events are free or by donation. Next door is the main branch of the Richmond Public Library.

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Podcast: Angus McIntyre celebrates 40 years as a driver

Angus McIntyre celebrated 40 years as a bus driver on Tuesday, August 25, 2009.

Angus McIntyre celebrated 40 years as a bus driver on Tuesday, August 25, 2009.

Transit operator Angus McIntyre celebrated 40 years of driving Vancouver buses on Tuesday, August 25!

Keith Daubenspeck (Seattle Transit driver), Angus McIntyre and Brian Kelly about to head out for a fan trip with Brill trolleybus 2031 at Oakridge Transit Centre. (Photo by Wally Young circa 1970.)

Keith Daubenspeck (Seattle Transit driver), Angus McIntyre and Brian Kelly about to head out for a fan trip with Brill trolleybus 2031 at Oakridge Transit Centre. (Photo by Wally Young circa 1970.)

On that very day, Angus started with B.C. Hydro in 1969. To mark the occasion, he pulled out his 1969 B.C. Hydro driver’s uniform (it still fits!) and the classic coin changer that all drivers used back then.

Several media outlets came out to capture Angus’s moment (here’s a story from the Province), and a few friends and longtime riders also came out to cheer Angus on. He’s a great guy and a longtime member of the Transit Museum Society (TRAMS) so lots of people were happy to see him reach this milestone!

I did a short podcast with Angus to talk about his 40th anniversary as a driver.


To listen to the podcast, press play on the player above, or download the mp3 here. You can also subscribe to our podcast via RSS, so this and all future podcasts will download straight into iTunes or your RSS reader.

Angus also sent along an article he wrote for the CAW local 111 newsletter Frontline, which I’ve reprinted with his permission below. It talks about his experience as an operator in 1969, and how coin changers worked!

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Take transit to the Fair at the PNE

The Fair at the PNE opened this weekend and runs until Labour Day, so here’s a friendly reminder of the bus services we offer to the fair.

Regular bus service to the PNE includes:

  • #10 Granville/Hastings
  • #16 Arbutus/29th Ave. Station
  • #135 Waterfront/SFU
  • #4 Powell/Downtown

Customers along the Millennium Line and SkyTrain line can catch the #16 Arbutus or the #16 PNE Special from Renfrew or 29th Avenue Stations respectively. (You can transfer from Canada Line to the Expo or Millennium Line at Waterfront Station, and travel on to Renfrew or 29th Avenue Stations.)

We also offer several Special bus services to the fair:

Within Vancouver
#16 PNE Special
Leaves 29th Ave. Station every 15 minutes from 9:34am-11:49pm
Leaves PNE every 15 minutes from 9:55am-12:10am

From North Shore
#210 PNE Special leaves Phibbs Exchange (North Vancouver) every half-hour from 9:47am – 11:47pm
#210 Phibbs Exch leaves Pacific Coliseum every half-hour from 10am-Midnight

#250 PNE Special from West Vancouver leaves at certain times from Horseshoe Bay, Marine & 25th, Marine & 15th and Park Royal.

For exact times of West Vancouver Transit services, or more info on these services please give TransLink Customer Information a call at (604) 953-3333.

Regular fares apply, and remember that TransLink also offers day passes, good for unlimited three-zone travel throughout the entire service day, for $9 ($7 for children, Students with a GoCard, seniors over 65)!

Transit on film: Defying Gravity

A TransLink articulated bus, all dolled up for its scene in Defying Gravity.

A TransLink articulated bus, all dolled up for its scene in Defying Gravity.

So it turns out TransLink buses have two scenes in the third episode of Defying Gravity, CTV/ABC/BBC’s new space drama! Thanks to Brandon for pointing this out.

Another view of our bus on set.

Another view of our bus on set.

I can’t embed the clips here, but I can direct you to CTV’s online player.

Click here to open the player loaded with episode three, “Threshold.” It will start up with clip 1 of 5: go to the 6:14 mark to catch the first bus scene.

There, Laura Harris and Ron Livingston have a talk about their relationship on one of our new articulated buses with the fuzzy seats! Also, it seems the green screen above was just to show extremely fast scenery going by.

For the second scene, go to clip 4 of 5 and you’ll see a TransLink bus pick up Laura Harris at around 1:52. You can watch the first two minutes for the full context of the scene if you like. But it’s very important to note that you can see the Buzzer box in the bus for like half a second! Woo!

Broadway Station upgrade progress from June-August 2009

The elevator has been completely removed at the platform level of Broadway Station!

The elevator has been completely removed at the platform level of Broadway Station in July!

Here’s the latest update on the Broadway Station upgrade project, for June-August 2009! (If you hadn’t heard, we are upgrading Broadway Station to better handle customer traffic and improve security: see this post for the full details.)

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