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Translink Buzzer Blog

Everything Evergreen: This bus is coming to a community near you!

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Outreach Bus (2)
We are over the moon excited that the Evergreen Extension will be opening on December 2, 2016!

However, we do understand that this changes transit options for many of our customers.

To help prepare everyone for the opening, this community engagement bus will be touring the Tri-Cities and getting riders on board and informed about new or changed bus routes, trip planning and more!

Outreach teams will be on and around the bus to answer any questions you have about the SkyTrain extension, stations, bus route changes and other transit related queries for your specific community.

The first trip is this Saturday, November 26 in Coquitlam during the Lights at Lafarge festival.

Come for the food, face painting and fireworks. Stay for the transit tips and Evergreen Extension bus awesomeness.

Take a look inside!

TransLink is also sponsoring a shuttle bus to help get you to this event. You can view the shuttle schedule here.

Keep your eyes peeled for this bus at more community events in and around the Tri-Cities as we prepare for the opening of the Evergreen Extension.

Spot the bus? Let us know by snapping a pic with our team and tweet us @TransLink!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Moving Forward with Phase One of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision

Yesterday was a big day for Metro Vancouver!

It was a resounding, unanimous yes vote by the Mayors’ Council during their joint meeting with the TransLink Board as they officially approved Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation.

This major milestone will allow us to deliver the improved transit service for which our customers have been so eager.

These changes will help relieve overcrowding and pass-ups on our transit system and address the excessive gridlock our commuters face.

This plan includes $2 billion in transit and road improvements for the region.

Phase One improvements in 2017, 2018, and 2019 include:

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service
  • New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few or no transit options today
  • Safer walking and cycling routes
  • Reduced traffic congestion by fixing bottlenecks on major roads

We’re very excited about this milestone for the region and what it means for our customers!

Watch the Q&A period with Barry Forbes, Board Chair; Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Mayor; Linda Hepner, Surrey Mayor; and Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO.

Watch the replay of the joint TransLink and Mayors’ Council Board Meeting on Facebook or Periscope.

Full details are also available in the press release here.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Welcome to the Evergreen Extension! A sneak peek at Moody Centre Station (Photos)

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As you may have heard around town, a teensy bit of news that was shared recently… the Evergreen Extension is opening December 2, 2016!!

The announcement was made at Moody Centre Station and we couldn’t resist taking a little tour ourselves to see more of one of the brand new stations.

Of course we took a few photos to share with our lovely Buzzer blog readers.

Enjoy!!

And just for fun, check out a quick timelapse from Moody Centre Station into the tunnel towards Burquitlam Station!

Stay tuned!

We will continue to share fun videos and pictures of the Evergreen Extension across our social channels in preparation for its opening in December.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Author: Adrienne Coling

More connectivity for SkyTrain passengers!

SkyTrain at VCC-Clark Station
Today TransLink and Rogers announced the next phase in its partnership to enhance wireless connectivity and customer experience for SkyTrain passengers.

Rogers and Fido customers will now have access to Rogers LTE wireless coverage through the Edmonds Tunnel, helping commuters stay connected across Metro Vancouver!

This next phase expands on the LTE and voice access first made available to SkyTrain customers through the Dunsmuir Tunnel in July 2016 – a significant milestone that connects passengers along one of the busiest stretches in the SkyTrain network.

“This is just one way we are working to improve the transit experience by improving cellular coverage for our customers at no cost to taxpayers. We will continue to work with Rogers to build out wireless coverage along the SkyTrain, including Evergreen, Columbia and New Westminster.”

– Guy Akester, TransLink Director of Real Estate and Strategic Sourcing

Rogers and Fido wireless customers can now surf the Internet, make and receive calls, send and receive emails and text messages, stream video and music, and more on their mobile devices while travelling on the Expo Line between 22nd Street and Edmonds stations.

You can read the media release here.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

(Video) New Westminster Station upgrades are complete!

On Friday we announced the official completion of New Westminster Station upgrades taking the total completed stations from two to three. This was the latest of seven key SkyTrain stations and exchanges across the transit network that TransLink is currently in the process of upgrading.

The completed upgrades at New Westminster Station include:

  • A new elevator and escalators to improve access for customers with disabilities
  • Improved lighting throughout the station
  • Glass panels to replace the mesh screens and improve station visibility from street level
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system
  • New public art that improves the experience of riders

These upgrades mean improved passenger capacity, accessibility, safety and overall customer experience for our customers.

New Westminster Station Upgrades

Take the Transit Alerts survey today!

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Thousands of our riders look to Transit Alerts to learn about service issues, detours and more.

Whether you use our website or get SMS text notifications, these alerts help riders make important decisions about their transit trips.

Customers want to get timely, useful and accurate alerts that affect their commutes and to make our alerts service even better, we want to hear from you!

Until November 30, 2016, we’re collecting feedback about how our customers use and access transit alerts.

Your feedback will help us improve Transit Alerts to keep riders informed, allow riders to plan ahead more efficiently and help riders find alternative routes when necessary.

Take the survey at translink.ca/alertsurvey.

Looking to sign up for SMS text message or email Transit Alerts? Register here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Now you can tap, tap, tap your way into bike parkades with Compass

Compass is now integrated into our bike parkades!

This means you can easily use one card for transit travel and storing your bike with your Stored Value.

Using your Compass Card at the bike parkades is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

#1: Get a Compass Card.

#2: Register your card at compasscard.ca.

#3: Enroll in the Bike Parkade program.

Use of the parkades only costs $1 per day, up to $8 per month!

Here are some tips for using the bike parkade:

  • Make sure to remove your helmet and any or panniers from your bike
  • Lock your bike to the rack with a sturdy lock
  • Keep your Compass Card with a positive balance to use the parkades

For more information watch the video above and check out translink.ca/bikeparkade.

*Yes, that is our very own Buzzer blog contributor, Jessica! Autographs are available upon request*

Author: Adrienne Coling

Pattullo Bridge deck inspection takes place this Sunday, November 20, 2016

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The Pattullo Bridge received a necessary safety rehabilitation this summer.

As a part of the warranty for the work carried out on the bridge, the deck now needs to be inspected.

On Sunday, November 20, 2016, this inspection will take place.

Crews will extending the Saturday overnight safety lane closure to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

If you’re cruising over Pattullo, you can also expect a traffic pattern change that morning as crews inspect each lane of the bridge.

An similar inspection will also take place this spring.

Thank you for your patience while we continue rehabilitation work to the Pattullo Bridge to keep it safe and secure.

Want the latest Pattullo Bridge news? Head to translink.ca/pattullorehab or translink.ca/pattulloreplacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Evergreen means GO! Exploring the Evergreen Extension with your help

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Burquitlam Station

Burquitlam Station

Do you live, work or play around the new Evergreen Extension?

You do? That’s great!

Not only will you have more efficient options to connect with the rest of the Metro Vancouver transit network starting December 2, but you’ll also be able to help us out with a fun new Buzzer blog series!

We’re looking for suggestions from Tri-Cities residents and riders like you to help us explore the Evergreen Extension.

From favourite sushi joints to juice bars; coffee spots to the best parks and recreational activities.

We will feature your suggestions right here on the blog and share across our other social channels in preparation for the opening of Evergreen.

Comment below or email us with the subject line “Evergreen Explorer” to tell us where we should go along the Evergreen Extension to highlight these great communities!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Customer Alert! 232 routes detour due to watermain work

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Attention all 232 riders!

Staring on Monday November 14, 2016 in conjunction with Capilano watermain project and the closure of Edgemont Blvd at Capilano Rd, the 232 route will be detoured.

Detour routes:

**changes shown in bold**

232 Grouse Mountain: From Phibbs Exchange via Lonsdale Ave and then regular routing to Queens Rd (at Woodbine Dr), continue Queens Rd to Edgemont Blvd, then via Edgemont Blvd, Highland Blvd, Montroyal Blvd, Capilano Rd, then continue Nancy Greene Way to Grouse Mountain.

232 Phibbs Exchange: From Grouse Mountain to Phibbs Exchange via Nancy Greene Way, Capilano Rd, Montroyal Blvd, Highland Blvd, Edgemont Blvd, then via regular routing to Phibbs Exchange.

There will be two sets of northbound and southbound temporary 232 stops on Highland Blvd.

The first set at Highland (Stop #: 54493 and 54534) and the other set at Woodbine (Stop #: 54485 and 54359).

There will also a temporary stop at 60109 eastbound Montroyal Blvd after Capilano Rd for the 232 Phibbs Exchange bus.

This detour is anticipated to be in place until Spring 2017.

Have questions about the detour? Tweet us or call Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

First responders prepare for the opening of the Evergreen Extension

Training exercise for Coquitlam Fire at Lafarge Lake in June 2016

Training exercise for Coquitlam Fire Rescue at Lafarge Lake in June 2016

With the new extension to our SkyTrain network, there are many “behind the scenes” elements being tested and prepared.

A vital part of our preparation for the opening of Evergreen involves comprehensive emergency training with first responders.

Emergency preparedness training is conducted routinely throughout our transit system to ensure the highest safety standards are maintained and continuously improve responses.

Residents and riders in the Tri-Cities can expect to see some emergency training along the Evergreen Extension in the coming weeks.

On November 12, 19 and 26 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. emergency personnel in the Northeast sector will be running evacuation and rescue exercises with emergency vehicles, bus shuttle scenarios, testing equipment, smoke and fire alarms as well as ventilation fans at Inlet Centre and Moody Centre Stations and both the north and south portals of the tunnel.

The training will be a veritable who’s who of emergency response teams! Of course, we will have members of BCRTC, CMBC and Transit Police as well as Coquitlam Fire Rescue, Port Moody Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Port Moody Police.

Due to the training, some road closures around the stations will be required, but regular SkyTrain service will not be affected on these days.

Remember! This training will look real but these are not real incidents.

See what else is happening with the Evergreen Extension  at translink.ca/Evergreen.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Attention Metrotown SkyTrain riders!

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Some more changes are coming to Metrotown Station as we upgrade one of our busiest stations outside downtown Vancouver.

Beginning November 16, a portion of the centre stationhouse will open!

To allow for demolition to begin on the existing east entrance, the pedestrian walkway at Metrotown Station connecting the mall and bus loop will permanently close.

The station upgrades allow space for an overhead walkway to be built, however, TransLink does not own the property and it will be up to the discretion of the City of Burnaby.

We are currently working with the city to agree upon design, construction, funding and timing for the a new walkway.

Not to worry, the station is still accessible for riders! You can exit the platform via the brand new stairs in the centre stationhouse towards the east of the platform or the emergency staircase at the west end of the platform.

The future bus lane will be used for passengers to travel east or west along the south side of Central Boulevard. Concrete barricades will be installed to separate pedestrians from traffic in that area.

Compass Vending Machines and card readers will be located just outside the station, so remember to tap in and tap out to ensure you are paying the correct fare!

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To help direct riders during this construction, additional staff will be on hand, but you should still allow for an additional five to 10 minutes of travel time when using this station.

**Please note** There will be no escalator access into the station, only stairs. The HandyDART and Community Shuttles will continue to run between Metrotown and Patterson stations until the new elevators open this spring.

What’s all this construction for? Let me tell you! When fully complete, the upgraded station will include:

  • A rebuilt east stationhouse and the addition of new centre and west stationhouses
  • New stairs and escalators
  • A replacement of the original elevator with three new elevators accessible via a new central entry
  • An upgraded bus exchange on Central Boulevard
  • New secure bike parking

Looking for more station upgrades or Metrotown information?
Visit translink.ca/ontrack and translink.ca/Metrotown.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Derek Stewart speaks at CUTA about climate change and its impacts to transit

Courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

Courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

The 2016 CUTA Fall Conference and Transit Show is well underway!

One of speakers at this year’s conference is CMBC’s Derek Stewart; Director of Safety, Environment and Emergency Management.

You may remember him from this video!

We had the opportunity to pick Derek’s brain about his talk entitled Climate change impacts on transit and infrastructure and how that affects us here in Metro Vancouver.

How does climate change affect a transit network?

Climate change means that what we see as weather on a day to day basis is going to be different in the future. We don’t know exactly what nature has in store for us in the long term, but we expect more intense rainfall and wind events, along with more extreme heat and increased ocean levels.

As we saw with our recent wind and rain storms, this can mean fallen trees, power outages and local flooding, impacting our ability to reliably deliver customer service.

Why is it an important issue to address as Canadian transit agencies?

Transit is different than many other industries in two respects: we must deliver reliable service every day and our infrastructure tends to be around for a long time (good examples include our Oakridge and North Vancouver Transit Centres, both of which recently closed after decades of service).

Unlike a manufacturing plant or a warehouse that can relocate to areas less impacted by climate change, we operate where our customer live and work, regardless of the climate changes that happen.

What concerns does TransLink have regarding climate change?

Nearly every aspect of climate change will have some sort of impact on us. On the customer facing side of our business, we are already changing our bus and rail specifications to ensure that our vehicles are air conditioned. Our summers in recent years have included long, hot, dry spells creating comfort issues for our customers where our fleet is not air conditioned.

Should the frequency of intense rain and wind events increase, this will increase the likelihood of temporary service disruptions. In the longer term, rising ocean levels and increased rainfall could put several of our maintenance facilities at risk of flooding.

What can transit agencies do to prepare for the future?

In some respects, doing what we already do, just better, will help us to prepare.

Transit agencies are very good at responding to mini emergencies each day. Learning from our mistakes will make us better prepared for increased weather intensity. Planning, and running practice drills, for expected emergencies such as floods and earthquakes will also give us the skills and confidence to respond to emergencies.

In the longer term, we need to better understand what climate change means to us and how our infrastructure is vulnerable. Planning to mitigate these vulnerabilities will help us protect our assets and better enable us to reliably move people throughout the region.

What is TransLink doing to prepare for the future?

TransLink and its operating companies are continuously developing and revising plans for emergencies such as floods, which include elements such as protecting valuable assets and maintaining business continuity by relocating operations to alternate locations. By ensuring lines of communication both inside our organization and with our customers, we are able to adapt to conditions in the short term.

On the longer term horizon, we are working together with local and regional partners, engineers, and others to understand how and where we are vulnerable to climate change. By understanding our vulnerabilities, we can change the location, design and supporting infrastructure for delivery of transit services.

To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change TransLink is working to increase public transit mode share, while at the same time decreasing the carbon footprint of its fleet and facilities.

A big thank you to Derek for speaking with us and helping CMBC and all of TransLink’s operating companies prepare for our changing world.

Interested in what else is being discussed at CUTA? Check out the full program here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

(Video) Evergreen Extension is opening December 2, 2016

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Are you ready for this??

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Moody Centre Station

The Evergreen Extension to the Millennium Line is opening December 2, 2016!

That’s right!

We’re so excited that our riders across the Tri-Cities will soon have more frequent transit options and be able to seamlessly connect to the Metro Vancouver transit network!

It’s also an important milestone for the entire system because once Evergreen opens, SkyTrain will be the longest, fully automated, driverless rapid transit system in the world!

Now that construction has finished, TransLink will take control over the operation of everything Evergreen.

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Burquitlam Station art

Right now, we’re focused on ensuring a smooth transition for our customers and we continue to get ready behind the scenes. On the customer end, you will start seeing platform posters and ads, transit advertising, digital, newspaper and radio ads, plus a video that will play on the system and in the media.

To do that, we are testing the extension, planning the grand opening and preparing for the extensive bus integration that will take place after Evergreen opens.

We know you have tons of questions about bus service changes and we will have all that info for you later this month once the changes are finalized.

So, be sure to stay tuned to our social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and right here on the Buzzer blog!

Here are some resources for you leading up to, and after, the opening:

  • Starting on November 28, you can head to our Trip Planner to help you map out your route with new travel information.
  • If you want to use Trip Planner, be sure to choose the specific date on which you want to travel.
  • First train departs at 12p.m. on December 2 and a community celebration is planned at Coquitlam Centre – watch the blog for details soon!
  • Bus service changes will begin to take effect on December 19.
  • From November 21 to December 22, you’ll see our outreach teams all across the system. These wonderful people are virtual Evergreen encyclopedias and can answer your questions and help riders understand how the bus changes affect their transit trips.

You can learn more by visiting translink.ca/evergreen for more information.

 

For more information about bus travel once the Evergreen Extension opens, head to translink.ca/servicechanges on November 28.


TransLink @TransLink


 Author: Adrienne Coling

Fall back this weekend as Daylight Savings Time ends

Remember to set those clocks back!

Remember to set those clocks back!

Fun fact: Daylight saving time started in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to squeeze in an extra hour of daylight.

This Sunday, November 6, we’re rolling those clocks back one hour at 2 a.m.

Our transit services will finish their Saturday night service and the change to Pacific Standard Time will take effect for the start of Sunday service.

So, remember to set those clocks before bed on Saturday to seamlessly slip into Sunday morning transit travels.

Author: Adrienne Coling