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Translink Buzzer Blog

Ridership is on the rise: Q1 2017 reports continued growth

Q1 2017 Infographic

The annual trend of breaking ridership records continues through the first quarter of 2017. A 5.6% increase in individual Boardings, and a 5.1% increase in Journeys (number of start-to-finish trips taken on transit) shows transit ridership growing significantly compared to the same period last year.

Contributing to the growth is an increase in the number of average weekday Boardings for all modes with the exception of West Coast Express which saw a slight decrease.

  • Expo/Millennium Line – up 13.8%
  • Canada Line – up 7%
  • Bus – up 4.6%
  • SeaBus – up 3.6%
  • West Coast Express – down 5.8%

Explanation of growth

Various key factors play a role in ridership growth. We have identified some of the biggest players:

Transit Service Hours – Overall increased service hours in 2017 including the implementation of the Evergreen Extension.

Number of working days – There were 2 more working days in Q1 of 2017 over the previous year.

Weather – Metro Vancouver saw unseasonably cold and snowy conditions this winter. While the impact of weather on transit is not clear, data shows that commuters often substitute modes from walking/cycling to transit/driving during inclement weather.

Fuel Prices – Fuel prices in Q1 of 2017 averaged 15% higher than during the same time last year, and is a likely cause for commuters to park their vehicles and hop on transit.

Transit Fare Prices – With no change in transit fares over the past year, transit remains an attractive option.

Economic Growth & Activities – Various economic factors have contributed to growing ridership such as highest new housing starts, increased tourism, increased retail sales, and increased population and employment.

For more information check out our Accountability Centre.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

All BMO runners to their marks this Sunday!

Photo by Chris Morris

Photo by Chris Morris

The BMO Marathon will take place this Sunday, May 7, 2017.

Don’t worry if you’re not a marathon master because there is a time and pace for everyone with a half marathon, 8KM, relay, 2.5 KM walk and kids run, too!

Given the picturesque city, ocean and mountain views, this race is one of the most popular destination runs in the world and that means a lot-o-people will be funnelling into our fair region this weekend.

To help runners, volunteers and cheering sections alike get to the starting line, TransLink is increasing Canada Line service and providing shuttles to the race!

Canada Line will operate on its regular Sunday schedule while offering increased train frequency until 8:15 a.m. First trains depart Waterfront Station at 4:48 a.m. and Richmond Brighouse at 5:02 a.m.

Expo and Millennium Lines and SeaBus will operate normally. West Coast Express will not run.

Your easiest route to the prepping area of the race will be to head to Oakridge–41st Station and walk down to Queen Elizabeth Park on Midlothian Avenue near Hillcrest Community Centre.

Cycling to the race? TravelSmart is sponsoring BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer secure, temporary bike storage, free of charge. The valet is located at the finish line at Pender Street, west of Burrard Street, and is open from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m.  

Due to the race route, the following bus routes will be modified:

2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 17, 19, 22, 25, 33, 41, 49, 99, 160, 210, 211, 240, 246, C18, C20, and 23.

Happy running!!

For transit service information including bus re-routes during race,
sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca,
follow @TransLink or call 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink on the Move: Looking back on record ridership

TransLink on the Move Ridership

For TransLink on the Move this week, our five week series where we look at some of the many highlights from our 2016 Annual Report, we’re taking a look back on ridership from 2016 where we logged 384.83 million boardings! Our highest ever!

Last year saw an increase of 4.5% over 2015’s ridership levels, and we have YOU, our riders to thank for that! Thank you for helping us build and maintain momentum. We are proud of the work we do, and strive to continue improving with a commitment to focus on what matters to our customers.

Snapshot

In 2016, we launched our new Accountability Centre, a one-stop-shop in tracking performance of our regional transportation system, as well as customer satisfaction to ensure we’re meeting our goals and satisfying customer needs.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Links and Tidbits – April 28, 2017

Links and tidbits is our semi-regular roundup of interesting fodder about transportation from the last few weeks or so. If you have links to contribute, put them in the comments, or email us.

»   A peek into the past as Rome’s latest subway dig unearths ancient artifacts.

»   Check out some of these rents near busy NYC subway hubs. Can anyone say STICKER SHOCK?!

»   Public transit = the great equalizer, connecting people from all walks of life!

»  Major #TBT for the TTC when the Yonge Line opened in 1954!

»   Meet the innovative musician who makes every second count on NYC’s subway.

»   Toronto gets comic-fied with a special nod to the TTC!

»  Good samaritans to the rescue on transit.

»  Being nosy on the subway was no problem for James “Smelly” Kelly.

»   Need some tips to make your commute more enjoable? Here are 11 ways to boost your transit ride.

»   Naomi Watts just cruising around on New York’s transit system. Snapping pics people snapping pics of her!

»   A first (to my knowledge!) as Berlin declares subway stations as historic monuments!

»   The Weeknd is paying homage to his hometown of Toronto in a new video with his co-star, the TTC subway!

»  Suprise – Subway rave! Would this ^^ delight or deter you?

»  What does it mean to rely on public transit? Read these people’s stories.

»  Who owns transit data? Most transit agencies have open source data but Germany chooses not to do this. Where do you stand?

»  10-year-old goes from selling napkins in Cairo subway to launchin his own art exhibition.

Subway1-778x1024»  Subway seat urinal or urinal subway seat? Art. It’s subjective!

»  What beautiful Moscow subway car art. These are reproductions of 78 notable Russian artists’ works showcased on their public transit.

»  Finally, please enjoy these awesome “slow-tv” GIFS of NYC subway from 1905-1980s.

Author: Adrienne Coling

HandyDART booking window is being expanded May 1, 2017

handydart
We are so happy to announce that TransLink is implementing the first of a series of recommendations to improve HandyDART service.

Beginning May 1, 2017, the next-day booking window will be extended by four hours!

This means that our customers can request a next-day HandyDART trip until 4 p.m. creating more flexibility in our custom transit service.

Why the change?

In June 2016, the TransLink Board committed to review the policies and delivery model for HandyDART. This review involved extensive engagement with stakeholders, research on peer agencies in other Canadian cities and industry best practices.

Based on the findings from the Custom Transit Service Delivery Review, a number of recommendations designed to improve customer experience, the availability of trips and improve the service delivery model were presented to and accepted by the board in March 2017.

What’s next?

We are moving to implement these recommendations as soon as possible to deliver on our promises to HandyDART customers in 2017 and beyond.

Quick Facts

  • TransLink is adding 85,500 HandyDART trips in 2017 as part of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year Vision.
  • 171,000 HandyDART trips will be added over the next three years – a 15 per cent increase in service!

Click here to read the entire Customer Transit Service Delivery Review.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Capturing Art on Public Transit – 2017 Capture Photography Festival

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with British Mexican photographer Alinka EcheverrÍa, a featured artist in the 2017 Capture Photography Festival.

The Capture Photography Festival is an annual not-for-profit festival that strives to nurture emerging talent, engage community and spark public dialogue about photography as an art form and a vessel for communication.

This year, Capture has once again partnered with TransLink, this time on an art installation on the SkyTrain system.

This series titled Nicephora, is installed at Stadium–Chinatown Skytrain Station and can be viewed until 2018.

Alinka Echeverria
Precession of the Feminine
(2015), which is part of the larger series of works entitled Nicephora, was born during EcheverrÍa’s BMW Residency program at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in France, a museum named after Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography.

Capture Photography Festival
The Capture Photography Festival runs from April 1 – 28, 2017.

For more information, head to capturephotofest.com
Be sociable! Check out Capture’s Facebook and Instagram.

#MyTransLink – April 25, 2017

Ok transit shutterbugs, it’s that time again!

It’s time to feature some of the latest, awesome pics in our social photo series #MyTransLink!

#288 #🌈 #translink #skytrain #citylights #vancouver #scienceworld #nightphotography #mytranslink

A post shared by Linda & Christopher (@oneyearcanada) on

Sea Bus

A post shared by Philipp Postrehovsky (@philpostro) on

SkyTrain. #TheTraveller #Vancouver #TransLink #Canada #Sky #Train #mytranslink

A post shared by Channy Anand (@channyanand) on

Keep those Instagram #MyTransLink posts coming. Get snapping on your commute and you could be featured on our social channels, too!

Author: Adrienne Coling

From Rails to Rubber: A look back at the region’s transition from streetcars to buses

Print buzzer front page

April 20, 1955 Print Buzzer

Today marks the 62nd year since the last streetcar ride in Vancouver! We’re definitely a bus region nowadays whether they be conventional diesel, hybrids or trolleybuses, but it wasn’t always that way.

Metro Vancouver used to have interurban rail and urban streetcars connecting and moving the Lower Mainland until April 24, 1955 when we said goodbye to Vancouver streetcars with a fitting send-off at the PNE.

To know where you are, is to know where you’ve been. So, let’s take a quick look at the major milestones that transitioned our region from rails to rubber!

Transit Timeline

1889 – Laying Vancouver’s streetcar rails

laying tracks

Constructing streetcar tracks on Powell St.

1890 – First electric streetcar in Vancouver

The beginning of transit in Metro Vancouver

The beginning of transit in Metro Vancouver

First streetcars quick facts!

  • 4 wheeled
  • open sides and front
  • Bench seating
  • Ran at 6 m.p.h
  • Originally made to be horse-drawn

Two lines:

1. Down Westminster Avenue (now Main St) from 1st Ave to Powell.
2. Along Powell and Cordova from Campbell Ave to Granville St.

1891 – Interurban tram line opens connecting New Westminster and Vancouver
1905 – Construction of North Vancouver tracks
1922 – Rebuilding of doors on streetcars when the rule-of-the-road switch from left to right.
1923 – First BCER bus on Grandview Highway route

first bcer bus 1923
1927 – Two-car “trains” were introduced on major routes

Two-car streetcar "trains" ran on main Vancouver routes from 1927 to the late 1940s

Two-car streetcar “trains” ran on main Vancouver routes from 1927 to the late 1940s

1945 to 1955 – Streetcar rails removed

rail removal

Removing streetcar tracks on Broadway near Cambie

1946 – Streetcars start to be replaced with buses
April 22, 1955, 3:30 am – The last official revenue streetcar went out of service
April 22, 1955 – Last streetcar route replaced with trolley bus
April 24, 1955 –
Last streetcar (free!) ride and No. 53 display at the PNE
1958 – The end of interurban service

“If the next 65 years are anything like the last, there will be lots to keep us busy – whether it’s streetcars or helicopters!”

– The Buzzer, April 20, 1955

Although the vehicles have changed, the impact of public transit and transportation continue to mould our present and future!

Thanks for coming along for the ride down the tracks of our transit history.

Have a hankering to see a streetcar today? Just head to the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown to see the No. 53 or cruise by East Broadway at the Kingsway and….. tada a lovely little streetcar replica!

No 21 Mount Pleasant

A nod to transit years gone by

You can also view the special Rails to Rubber 1955 edition of the Buzzer and read more about our streetcar past here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink on the Move: Evergreen means Go!

TransLink on the Move Evergreen

Last week marked the start of our TransLink on the Move series where we’re breaking down some of the highlights of our 2016 Annual Report.

This week, we’re featuring the long awaited Evergreen Extension!

The opening of the Evergreen Extension was a milestone event for TransLink and for Metro Vancouver. This significant expansion of our integrated transit network brings us to 79 km of SkyTrain meaning that TransLink now operates the world’s longest fully-automated rapid transit system!

Included in the Evergreen Extension is a two-kilometre Tunnel (the longest in the SkyTrain network) connecting Coquitlam to Port Moody, a new SkyTrain operating pattern and six new stations connecting riders to more destinations in our region.

The Evergreen Extension boasts beautiful new open concept stations with plenty of glass allowing for natural light, picturesque views and beautiful public art.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the new stations, have a look at some of the shots captured by transit enthusiast Ivan Chan. Or better yet, become your very own #EvergreenExplorer by checking out some of the great java stops along the new route.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

The April 2017 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Front page borderedSproing! Spring has sprung (didn’t you hear it just now?) and I, for one, couldn’t be happier especially because we have another fantastic issue of the Buzzer!

Much of this issue is dedicated to our Spring Service Changes.

This Service Change has some added excitement this time around because we are adding 65,000 more bus service hours thanks to funding secured for the first phase of the 10-Year Vision!

And this is just the beginning! We will continue to roll out bus improvements across the region over the next three years.

Also in this edition we have information on your 2017 Compass GradPasses plus a lovely dedication to a retired operator who just turned 100. Stay tuned to the Buzzer blog for a more in-depth look at the Harlow Family bus dynasty coming soon!

As always, we have our old favourites – Coming Events, Contest Corner and Back Issues.

Same awesome Buzzer, new awesome (tree-free) paper! sugarsheet logo

As a TransLink rider, you’re already making a big difference in supporting the environment. TransLink is committed to sustainability and is always looking for innovative ways to protect the environment.

This edition of The Buzzer for example, is made from paper made with 100% agricultural fibre called Sugar Sheet.   Sugar Sheet paper looks and feels no different than traditional paper made from trees.   The big difference is that printing The Buzzer using Sugar Sheet paper saves 14 trees per edition!

Trees are a vital part of our forest eco-systems and support a variety of biodiversity, natural habitats and wildlife.  While trees can be replanted, it takes decades for trees to grow to full maturity. Agricultural fiber can be replaced every year with minimal to no impact to surrounding eco-systems.

Happy reading! Pick up the (100% tree-free) Buzzer today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or you can download it here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

First phase of construction at 29th Avenue Station complete

check and ex
The first phase of upgrade construction work at 29th Avenue Station bus exchange is done!

Starting April 24, 2017 route 016 will be able to return to inside the bus loop to stop #51056 and the current, temporary stop on 29th Ave will be closed.

The sidewalk along the East side of the bus loop will also open so that customers can use this to access the SkyTrain station.

The upgrades for this exchange will include:

  • A new bus bay to allow all buses to pick up and drop off within the bus loop.
  • Improved lighting, glass shelters and lower profile landscaping to make the bus loop more visible and safer.
  • Three new crosswalks to improve safety and access tot he bus loop and station.
  • New bus stop ID poles with braille and tactile strips to meet accessibility standards and better direct customers.

There are more bus stop changes to come before this work is completed and we will be updating you right here on the Buzzer blog!

The project is set to wrap up this summer.

For more information about upcoming bus stop changes at this station,
call Customer Information at 604.953.3333
or visit translink.ca/alerts and click the alerts tab.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Take the SkyTrain survey, April 24–May 21, 2017

cropped-CoMET-and-Nova-Banner-for-New-Website-v4

BCRTC (SkyTrain) has joined the Nova benchmarking group that is operated by the Imperial College in London.

This group is sister to the benchmarking bus group (IBBG) of which CMBC is a member. The purpose of these groups is to share experiences, compare performance, identify best practices and learn from one another in order to improve performance.

Much like the IBBG survey, this survey looks at overall customer satisfaction, service quality, performance and more!

Members of the Nova benchmarking group:

Your feedback is very important and this is a perfect opportunity to weigh in on the SkyTrain service.

The survey will be available from April 24 until May 21, 2017.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Get involved! Take the International Bus Benchmarking Group survey, April 24–May 21, 2017

cropped-IBBG-Logo-for-New-Website21
TransLink is a part of the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) that measures bus performance from larger transit agencies across the globe.

Each year, we ask our riders to participate in a survey through IBBG that helps us look at best practices, customer satisfaction, performance measurements. Your feedback is extremely important so that we can use to make our bus service better than ever!

Being a part of this group also gives members the unique opportunity to learn from other bus companies to improve performance.

Members of the International Bus Benchmarking:

The survey will be available from April 24 until May 21, 2017.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY!

Check out a short interview with IBBG!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus route changes start Monday!

Customer Alert generic busMonday is a busy day! In addition to Spring Service Changes going into effect on April 24, we also have a number of other bus changes that will affect your travel.

609 construction detour

Starting April 24, the 609 Tsawwassen First Nation/South Delta Exchange bus route will be temporarily detoured for water main replacement work.

As part of the new route, the 609 will travel via 56 Street to and from South Delta Exchange. The detour is expected to be in effect until October 2017.

What’s my new route?

  • Travelling from Tsawwassen Drive at Falcon Way? You’ll now travel via Tsawwassen Drive, Hwy 17 (temporarily until Blue Heron Drive is completed), Salish Sea Drive, Canoe Pass Way, 52 St, Hwy 17, 56 Street to the terminus at South Delta Exchange
  • Travelling from South Delta Exchange via 56 Street? You’ll now travel via 12 Ave, 53a St, 16 Ave, 56 St, Hwy 17, 52 St, Canoe Pass Way, Salish Sea Drive, Hwy 17 (temporarily until Blue Heron Drive is completed), Tsawwassen Drive to the terminus at Falcon Drive
609 map

609 detour

For more information about the water main project, visit the Metro Vancouver website.

New bus stop location for the 2 Macdonald/Downtown

Attention 2 Macdonald/Downtown bus users!

We are adding a new bus stop at Burrard and Dunsmuir streets (stop #58099) to help reduce crowding.

On April 24, the 2 Macdonald will pick up and drop off at this new stop. The 22 Downtown will provide drop offs only at this location.

The 2 Macdonald will no longer stop in front of Burrard SkyTrain Station (stop #50043).

Know before you go! Use Trip Planner to map your new route and head to translink.ca/servicechanges for the full list of Spring Service Changes.

new burrard bus stops

Burrard Station bus stop changes

Have questions?
Call Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet @TransLink.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade 2017

The Sikh communities in the region are gathering to celebrate Vaisakhi, marking of the birth of the Sikh faith, the creation of the Khalsa and celebrating the beginning of the spring Punjabi harvest.

Vancouver’s celebrations took place last weekend. Next up is Surrey with one of the largest Vaisakhi celebrations outside India boasting over 350,000 festival-goers in 2016!

This means from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on this coming Saturday, April 22 many buses in the area will need to be rerouted to allow for the parade route and crowds.

The parade will begin at Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar at 9 a.m. and finish around 6 p.m. at the same location.

parade route 2017Detours

323 Surrey Central: Regular route to 76 Ave at 132 St, then via 132 St, 78 Ave, King George, 88 Ave, 128 St, regular route.

323 Newton Exchange: Regular route to 128 St at 88 Ave, then via 88 Ave, King George, 78 Ave, 132 St, 76 Ave, regular route.

324 Surrey Central: Regular route to 132 St & 78 Ave, then via 78 Ave, King George, 88 Ave, 132 St, regular route.

324 Newton Exchange: Regular route to 132 St & 88 Ave, then via 88 Ave, King George, 78 Ave, 132 St, regular route.

329 Surrey Central: From Scottsdale Exchange via 74 Ave, Scott Rd, regular route.

329 Scottsdale: Regular route to Scott Rd & 84 Ave, then continue Scott Rd, 74 Ave, into Scottsdale Exchange.

All detours with maps can be found at translink.ca/alerts.
Find more information on the Vaisakhi parade and festivities here.

Happy Vaisakhi!

Author: Adrienne Coling