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Translink Buzzer Blog

Fun Poll: Do you have a secret transit friend?

human bondI am conducting yet another social experiment here on the Buzzer blog! Well, we did it seven years ago, but that was a lifetime ago.

The poll is about the people we meet continuously on transit. Do we all have secret transit friends? How do you interact with them? These are the questions that keep me up at night!

I actually have three secret transit friends!

The first, we say good morning or hi, another we nod and the third we just make reaction faces to weird things that happen on the bus.

What’s your deal? Vote today!

Do you have a secret transit friend?

  • No - I like keeping to myself on transit (36%, 54 Votes)
  • No - but I'd like one! (23%, 34 Votes)
  • Yes - but no conscious interaction (15%, 23 Votes)
  • Yes - we never speak but acknowledge each other (13%, 20 Votes)
  • Yes - we talk occasionally (9%, 13 Votes)
  • Yes - we chat daily (4%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 150

Have a funny secret transit friend story? Comment below!

Author: Adrienne Coling

CMBC to the rescue — literally!

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A Transit bus, a Shelter bus, an Ambulance? Oh My!

There’s never a dull moment when it comes to operating a transit bus, and last night was no exception. Late last night, CMBC was contacted by BC Ambulance Service requesting assistance with the transportation of patients from a British Airways flight that had made an emergency landing at YVR. The flight was en route to London from San Francisco when the cabin was overcome by fumes.

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CMBC staff jumped in to action providing vehicles and support staff to oversee our side of the operation. Three coaches were directed to the aircraft (two were used and one was on standby) where 25 non-critical patients were loaded aboard and transported to Vancouver General, Richmond, and Delta hospitals.

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Ten CMBC employees were directly involved with this incident and have been commended for their professionalism and dedication in this time of need.

CMBC scrambles bus a number of times a year for those in need and our staff takes great pride in being able to help.

Author: Sarah Kercher

Introducing TransLink’s Transit Hacks!

Life hacks
have been a big part of the Internet for the past few years.

Across the world wide web you can find tricks for cooking, laundry, DIY projects, make up and more – all meant to make your life easier.

With that in mind, we are kicking off a new series on the blog; TransLink’s transit hacks!

Each month we will feature a different insider tip, how-to video or live stream conversation to make your life on transit, easier.

Some broad topics we’re considering are: Compass and fare gates, transfers, etiquette/courtesy on transit, bus door boarding and exiting – the possibilities are endless!

We will kick this awesome new series off next month, but we want YOUR input!

Comment below and let us know what you want to get some insider knowledge on to help you on your transit trips.

Do you have a transit hack? Email If we use your idea for a future video, you’ll win a prize  from the social team!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fun Poll wrap up: Most riders spend their time on transit listening to music

pie chartA few weeks ago we asked how you spent your transit time. A noble quest to find out if you were more of an old school bibliophile or more of a modern day mobile game master.

The votes are in and the riders have spoken!

There were a total of 246 votes and the winner is Listening to music with 65 votes with a huge lead over the runner up, Reading with 46 votes.

Following behind our leaders with 45 votes is Zoning out in third and Playing games or browsing the internet with 44 votes is fourth.

The Other category garnered 27 votes, Sleeping got 10 votes, only a lonely five votes for Meeting/chatting with other riders and finally four votes for doing the Crosswords and Sudoku puzzles.

So… looking at those results what I want to know is, for those 27 votes for the other category, what DO you do on transit??

*Please say magic tricks. Please say magic tricks.*

Stay tuned for our new poll coming at you next week!

Author: Adrienne Coling

SkyTrain Change is a comin’! Are you ready for October 22nd?

Change can be hard, but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be! We’ve got everything you need to help you on your way on October 22nd, and beyond!

If you haven’t yet heard, on October 22nd, 2016 the way you ride SkyTrain may be changing. In advance of the Evergreen Extension opening later this year, the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will be different than what you’ve become accustomed to. Arguably, the biggest change in the operating pattern will take place at Lougheed Town Centre Station and Production Way – University Station.

Is Lougheed Town Centre Station part of your commute? Our friends in wayfinding have created this visual to help you understand what to expect come October 22nd.

October 22nd SkyTrain Pattern Changes

Are you a Production Way – University Station regular? Here’s how the upcoming October 22nd change may affect your SkyTrain commute.

October 22nd SkyTrain Pattern Changes

Still have questions? Check out our Facebook Livestream with Ian Fisher, outlining all of the changes.

For more information on the operating pattern,

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

And one more time — the key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern – October 22nd:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Graham Construction and Engineering LP wins award for Main Street Station Renovations

By now, you must have seen the gorgeous (and necessary!) upgrades at Main Street–Science World Station.

Big, beautiful windows that also aid in safety because of the higher visibility. Better lighting, benches, painting, escalators, elevators… the list goes on and on.

This is one of our busiest stations in downtown Vancouver and we couldn’t be happier with the results of this upgrade work for customers who use this station daily.

More good news! On October 5, the renovations for this station received the 2016 Awards of Excellence GOLD in the General Trade Award category – won by Graham Construction and Engineering LP – at the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) annual awards of excellence.

“Through these awards we shine a light on the dedication and professionalism that our
members bring to their projects – the complex, state-of-the-art infrastructure that we citizens use every day.”

– Fiona Famulak, President of the VRCA.

The judge’s comments highlighted the Skytrain moving 20,000 passengers a day in the middle of the construction site, appeasing neighbours, the City and traffic control was a continual challenge for the contractor, suppliers and trades.

As a part of our continued goal of excellent customer service, Graham Construction staff was trained to be able to handle customer queries on the job site.

Congratulations to Graham Construction and Engineering LP and all the TransLink staff that worked on this project!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fall for Bike to Work Week October 24 – 30, 2016

Bike to Work Week is Oct 27 to Nov 2!

Bike to Work Week is October 24-30th

“The bikes are back in town (The bikes are back in town again)…”

Because Bike to Work week starts October 24th!

Don’t worry. I won’t make any cycling puns… those can get wheely tyred. *wait for applause and uncontrollable laughter*

This is a great initiative put on by HUB to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes and win prizes!

Here’s how it works.

  • You register for the week (you can do that here) as either a team or a solo rider.
  • Next, you brag about how much fun it’s going to be and how it’s great exercise to all your friends and colleagues.
  • Log your trips during the official Bike to Work Week — this enters you to win some AMAZING prizes – including a trip for two to Amsterdam! You can log trips by mapping or entering your total KMs cycled.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Celebration Station Map to find one along your route. At these pit stops you can wheel on by for free treats, mechanical services and more prize draws.

There will also be a free outdoor Halloween Party on Friday, October 28th from 4pm-6pm at the corner of Union and Gore in Vancouver!

Some tips for the week from the experts at HUB:

1. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time. Take bike routes, whenever possible.

2. Use a U-Lock or Folding Lock, not a Cable Lock. Watch our ‘No More Bike Theft Video’ for more bike locking tips.

3. Use a Basket, Pannier or Backpack to carry your stuff

4. Always use lights.  Even in the daylight, lights can help increase your visibility.

5. Wear Your Regular Clothes if possible. Ride at a leisurely pace and you will still look great upon arrival.

Join Bike to Work Week conversations and connect with the cycling community online!

Facebook: @WeAreHUB
Twitter: @WeAreHUB
Hashtag: #BTWW #BikeYVR

Author: Adrienne Coling

Say hello to the world’s first long-range battery E-bus!

BYD (Build your Dreams) is an all-electric bus manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia.

They loaned CMBC a beautiful, brand new 40’ LFS electric bus to demo at a number of our depots and office locations this week.

Today, it was right here at Sapperton – TransLink’s HQ!

So, I took it upon myself to wonder down and have a look.

Some features of these buses:

  • Environmentally friendly, non-toxic, BYD Iron-Phosphate Battery powered. In fact, this battery at full charge will allow for about 250 km of driving and the battery lasts for 4000 charges meaning one battery can last a bus 1,000,000 kms!
  • Because it is 100% electric, there are zero emissions
  • Energy recovery and battery recharging through optimal regenerative braking which reduces brake component wear
  • Highly efficient and powerful AC in-wheel hub motors provide instant torque to perform in all driving conditions
  • Bi-directional AC charging allows full charging from 0-100% within four hours and the bus can be used as a mobile generator

Take a look at this beauty!

For more specs and information on this bus, check out this brochure.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink prepares for stormy weather

Storms, they are a-brewin’!

As always, TransLink’s top priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. So, in preparation for the inclement weather set to hit our region over the next few days, we are taking a number of steps.

Our Emergency Management group is participating in Emergency Management BC and Environment Canada conference calls to stay apprised of the forecast and expected outcomes as well as communicating within the organization to ensure necessary preparations are made.


Tree branches falling into our trolley overhead wires can be an issue during high-wind conditions, so we are checking known risk locations to prepare.

We also sometimes face road debris, which can result in detours for our bus service. Transit Supervisors and other support staff out on the road, such as Transit Security, in order to proactively identify such problem areas and communicate them out. Once identified, we can react quickly by contacting the municipality responsible for clearing the trees or debris.


In case of high winds, SkyTrain service over the SkyBridge between New Westminster and Surrey may operate at reduced speeds.

If wind speeds exceed 100 kph, service could be temporarily suspended.

We’ve also proactively reached out to construction projects adjacent to SkyTrain to ensure items are properly secured, to prevent anything being blown onto the tracks.

Here’s what you can do to prepare yourself:

  • Sign up for Transit Alerts so we can let you know if there are any service issues or changes
  • Follow our fabulous Customer Information team @TransLink on Twitter or phone 604-953-3333.
  • Plan ahead with our Trip Planner and give yourself extra time on your commute
  • Be aware! More people than usual tend to take transit during nasty weather – common transit courtesy applies even more on days like these!
  • Be visible! A bus operator has a lot to be aware of in AND outside of the bus. Make yourself visible to them! Wear bright, reflective clothing and stand close to the bus stop poll.
  • Be patient! Traffic lights may not be working properly that could cause detours for buses, same goes for debris on routes.

We will continue to monitor the weather and get the word out to all customers if there are any service impacts. Until then, stay safe, stay dry and happy transiting!

Author: Adrienne Coling

A first look at the Evergreen Extension of the Millennium SkyTrain Line

Burquitlam Station

Burquitlam Station

The extension to the Millennium SkyTrain Line is going to connect the Metro Vancouver region like never before.

That was my biggest takeaway from tagging along on a quick tour for elected officials of a couple of soon-to-be-opened new stations on the SkyTrain system yesterday morning.

Amidst construction crews still busily buildings the six new stations and (along with Lougheed Town Centre) that make up the Evergreen Extension of the M-Line, I was able to take the odd photo and ask those along for the ride what they thought of it all.

The stations have a similar feel to some of the SkyTrain stations that have either recently been renovated or are in the midst of a facelift like Main Street-Science World and Metrotown respectively. They’re open in terms of their layout, have a lot of glass and include some beautiful public art that gives each stop on the line its own feel.

The Millennium Line will have a lot more bends than it does today and the longest tunnel in our system when it opens before Christmas this year!

“We’ve been waiting a long time. This will change our community,” Richard Stewart, Mayor of the City of Coquitlam told me. What the extension will do to improve livability, not only for the Tri-Cities, but for the region itself, is what many of the officials told me.

What struck me the most about the extension is how much more of the region this extension will give riders access to. Having lived in Vancouver for a number of years, I’ve only had glimpses of Coquitlam and the surrounding areas as I’ve driven to specific locations. With this extension, I know I’ll be exploring all that this section of the region has to offer since it’s simply a SkyTrain trip away.

As the final touches are put on the extension and we gear up for the SkyTrain pattern change (happening Oct 22nd) in advance of the opening, you’ll want to get yourself acquainted with how you too may make the trip to the Coquitlam area and beyond. With this new addition to the SkyTrain line, it’s not so far away.

Author: Robert Willis

Consultation begins for Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation

TransLink and the Mayors’ Council are looking to the future to meet the challenges of growth and congestion in our region.

Last month, the council agreed upon a proposed plan and presented Phase One of their 10-Year Vision to the public.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in!

From October 11 to 31, 2016, TransLink is inviting Metro Vancouver residents to provide feedback on the approximately $2 billion plan that would increase transit services and improve roads, cycling, and walking infrastructure across the entire region.

Phase One details

  • Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
  • Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
  • Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
  • Improve the region’s major road network
  • Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
  • Improve access to transit stations and stops
  • Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
  • Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.

The Phase One Plan would be paid for through a fair and balanced funding formula – leveraging an initial federal contribution of $370 Million, a provincial government contribution of $246 Million and a regional contribution of $1.3 Billion.

The regional funding would be raised through a number of existing and new sources including modest increases to transit fares and Metro Vancouver residential and business property taxes.

There are a number of ways for you to get involved including online at or by attending one of five scheduled Open Houses.

Open House schedule

  • Saturday, October 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    (North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th St W, North Vancouver)
  • Tuesday, October 18, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Act Art Centre Lobby, 11944 Haney Pl, Maple Ridge )
  • Wednesday, October 19, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce St, Vancouver)
  • Thursday, October 20, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Ave, Surrey)
  • Monday, October 24, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond)

You can also send an email with your thoughts and suggestions to

After the public consultation period and consideration by TransLink’s Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council in November 2016, if the Phase One Plan is approved, region-wide transit system improvements will begin in early 2017.

Author: Jennifer Morland

Holiday service for Thanksgiving


Gobble, gobble, friends!

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and that means holiday service for the transit network on October 10, 2016.

Thanksgiving Monday transit:

  • BusSkyTrain, and SeaBus services will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule.
  • West Coast Express and TrainBus service will not operate.
  • Holiday fares are in effect meaning you only need a one-zone fare to travel across the region!

Please note that the Compass Customer Service Centre and Lost Property Office will be closed.

Regular weekday schedules for all modes return on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

Plot your transit course with our handy dandy Trip Planner,
tweet your questions to @TransLink on Twitter
and always know before you go with Transit Alerts!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Stay safe on SkyTrain!

Beyond getting you from Point A to Point B, our job is to make sure that you’re safe on the system.

In the video above, BCRTC President Vivienne King and TransLink spokesperson Jennifer Morland discuss some safety tips and tools you can use while on SkyTrain.

Here are Vivienne’s top tips for staying safe while riding the rails:

  • Please don’t run for your train! There will be another one along in just a few minutes.
  • Hold on! The SkyTrain is a moving vehicle. If standing, hold on to the stanchions to avoid injury.
  • Press the yellow strip under the window – it’s a silent alarm that will alert staff. The red button with the speaker by the door will put you in touch with SkyTrain control.
  • At stations, seek out the Designated Waiting Area on the platform – CCTV, brighter lighting and an emergency phone are located in these areas.
  • DO NOT EXIT a stopped train between stations. You are putting yourself in danger of electrocution.
  • Always stay behind the yellow line on platforms. Even if you drop something!
  • Remember! SkyTrain attendants are at each station and are there to help you.

For more information on safety and security across the TransLink network,
visit our Rider Guide.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink hosts Iceland, Shanghai and more delegations from around the world!


TransLink’s Chris Chan speaking with delegates from the Shanghai Transportation Commission

Every year many delegations from around the globe visit TransLink because of our international reputation for delivering quality transit services and transit-oriented communities.

What’s a transit-oriented community? I’m so glad you asked!

Basically, the term refers to creating communities within a region that, because of their design, opens up opportunities for people to drive less and therefore bike, walk and take transit more.

These communities mean utilizing higher-density, mixed-use and pedestrian friendly development within walking distance of frequent transit stops and stations.

Just two weeks ago we had the Shanghai Transportation Commission Delegation visiting as they studied multi-modal integration and transit-oriented communities.

Last week mayors from around Reykjavik in Iceland were on a worldwide trip, with a stop here in Metro Vancouver, to visit transit agencies and see what they could take back home to their own cities – including rapid transit like our dear SkyTrain.

These visitors are nothing new for TransLink. In fact, we host many delegations from around the globe each year.


In 2015 alone, we had 16 delegations from eight different countries!

  • Peoples Republic of China: China Southern Railway; Huangzhou Metro; Shenyang Metro and China Development Research Foundation
  • Canada: Senior Funding Partners; City of Calgary and Western Canada Engineering Competition
  • New Zealand: Council on Infrastructure Development; Auckland Transport
  • USA: UCLA Transportation Planning School, Stanford University
  • Netherlands: Academy for Urban Development, NHTV Breda – University of Applied Sciences
  • Australia; New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight
  • Finland; Tekes – the Finish Funding Agency for Innovation
  • Norway: Oslo Traffic Management Centre

TransLink continues to open its bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express doors to visitors who want to learn more about how we plan and run our system.

Plus, we get to meet some pretty amazing people from some pretty amazing places!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Get your shopping shoes on! Hop on the 609 to the new Tsawwassen Mills mall

Want to check out the new outlet mall in Tsawwassen? We’ve made changes to the 609 to get you there!

Starting Monday, October 3, the 609 Tsawwassen First Nation/South Delta Exchange will now reroute via Canoe Pass Way, Salish Sea Drive, and continue on Highway 17 to Tsawwassen Drive to provide direct access to Tsawwassen Mills.

Be sure to visit ahead of the mall opening to plan your trip. There are a number of stops to get you close to the mall, with a short walk to the mall entrance.

Travel tip: Travelling to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal? Continue to take the 620 – an express route for ferry passengers.

Know before you go!
Find your next two buses by texting the bus stop number and bus route to 33333,
Tweet us or visit Trip Planner.

Author: Jessica Hewitt