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Translink Buzzer Blog

The Burrard Otter II SeaBus makes a splash in Burrard Inlet!

The new, efficient Burrard Otter II SeaBus makes maiden voyage!

The new, efficient Burrard Otter II SeaBus makes maiden voyage!

TransLink’s new SeaBus, the Burrard Otter II, set out today for its maiden voyage after a special event and ribbon cutting at Lonsdale Quay. The event was attended by TransLink Board Chair Marcella Szel as well as members of the media and representatives from government, including:

Special guests at the maiden voyage!

Special guests at the maiden voyage!

  • Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver
  • Jordan Sturdy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Richard Walton, Mayor of North Vancouver District and Mayors’ Council Chair
  • Greg Moore, Mayor of Port Coquitlam and Metro Vancouver Regional District Board Chair

After a ribbon cutting, the Burrard Otter II left the Lonsdale Quay docks shortly after 10:45 am for Waterfront Station to enter service. At Waterfront, eager customers met the Burrard Otter II for its first revenue sailing at 11 am.

Ribbon cutting for the Burrard Otter II

Ribbon cutting for the Burrard Otter II

One of the noticeable passenger improvements onboard the Burrard Otter II are the seats and windows. Both proved to be a hit among the first passengers. Jem Rodriguez was heading to North Vancouver for work at Save-On-Foods. She tells me the new seats on the vessel are “comfy” and she looks forward to a more enjoyable commute. “It’s pretty nice, it’s calm and I really like the big windows,” Jem adds.

One of the first passengers onboard the Burrard Otter II

Dennis

Elfren Ordanza and Dennis Tsang were also there for the 11 am sailing. Neither of them take the SeaBus on their regular commute, but couldn’t resist being one of the first passengers!

“I really like the big windows at each end, so children don’t have to stand on the seats [to get a view of the Inlet]. I also like the aisle down the middle, the nicer looking seats and the ride is pretty smooth. I enjoy the ride,” Elfren says.

Elfren was one of the first passengers onboard the Burrard Otter II

Elfren

“It’s really big. It’s really quiet compared to old ones and the seats are nice,” Dennis says. “It’s great to see TransLink renewing the SeaBus and that it is going to be around the next while.”

The SeaBus departs from Lonsdale Quay and Waterfront every 15 minutes during the day. Go on – take your first ride on the Burrard Otter II today!

Share your pictures of the vessel with us by tweeting them to @TheBuzzer, posting them on Instagram and mentioning @TransLinkBC or emailing them to thebuzzer@translink.ca. What do you think of the ride? Let us know in the comments section!

Photo Gallery

Look for the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle this holiday season starting on Mon, Dec 1, 2014!

We spotted the bus today!

We spotted the bus today!

Photo by David Lam

Photo by David Lam

What’s a sure sign of the holiday season in the Lower Mainland? Sightings of our Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle!

The reindeer bus and shuttle will be out and about starting on Monday, December 1, spreading the holiday cheer and surprising passengers with a unique ride throughout Metro Vancouver. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf will also be on the bus periodically and stopping at mystery stops!

Keep an eye out to see if they’re in your neighbourhood. But if you do want more specific locations, the TransLink Twitter account will be tweeting the location of the reindeer bus and shuttle when they know where they are.

And just to clarify, the reindeer bus does NOT offer free rides, but there may be some tinsel and holiday treats presented by your friendly transit operator!

Staff from Coast Mountain Bus Company have been dressing up one bus and one community shuttle as a reindeer for over 25 years, starting just after the very first Toys for Tots charity drive done in 1987. Toys for Tots collects newly unwrapped toys or money for the less fortunate and the entire supply of donations to is delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies by the Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle.

Keep your eyes peeled for the bus and send us your pictures of it! Tweet them to @TheBuzzer using the hashtag #ReindeerBus, post them onto Instagram mentioning @TransLinkBC and hashtagging #ReindeerBus, or email thebuzzer@translink.ca. We’ll be sharing some of our favourites!

Photo by Laura Wilby

Photo by Laura Wilby

Come find a snowman and celebrate winter service changes 2014

Find the Snowman for the chance to win 1 of 3 great prizes!

Find the Snowman for the chance to win 1 of 3 great prizes!

Swapping out your sunglasses for a scarf and mittens? TransLink’s transit services are making some changes too!

Beginning December 15, you can expect new travel options, increased trips and service to better match customer demand. Translation…there are 10 NEW stops and improved service on 8 routes this winter!

Service changes can affect many routes, so “know before you go” and use TransLink’s trip planner to check if your route’s changed.

Highlights

  • NEW trips on the 49, 410, 555 and C28 to reduce overcrowding. This is made possible by shifting service hours from routes with low customer demand.
  • Bigger vehicles on the 188 and C98 serve more customers; conventional buses replace community shuttles on these growing routes.
  • 10 NEW stops for the 116 to better serve Burnaby’s growing Big Bend industrial area.
  • The 404 now ends at Riverport Recreation Complex; passengers travelling to or from the Ladner Exchange can access multiple travel options for various destinations.

Buzzer readers, to help thaw the winter chill, we are hosting a contest with three transit prizes (make sure to check out the terms and conditions)! Visit our Facebook page weekday mornings, from December 1 until December 22, every day after 9 am for a clue to where the Snowman icon is hiding on the service changes page. Once you solve the clue, click on the Snowman to enter the contest. Happy Snowman spotting!

Learn about all the travel choices in your community by visiting TransLink’s TravelSmart program for information, resources and tips.

How else can you stay in touch? Sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

 

Information sessions for Joyce-Collingwood Station Dec. 1

Hear what’s coming up at  Joyce-Collingwood station

Hear what’s coming up at Joyce-Collingwood station

Joyce–Collingwood Station serves a high-density, mixed-use neighbourhood and is an important bus transfer location. As the number of passengers using the station grows, the station will need upgrades that increase passenger capacity and improve accessibility.

An information session for the upgrades is being held on Dec. 1. Drop by the open house to learn about the upcoming station upgrades and provide input into the long-term vision for Joyce–Collingwood Station and Exchange.

Date: Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Time: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location: Joyce-Collingwood Station, tents west of East Station House 

Get involved online

Can’t make it to one of the sessions No problem! We will also have information and a feedback survey posted at translink.ca/joyce beginning Dec.1. 

We hope to hear from you soon!

The Burrard Otter II SeaBus set for its maiden voyage on Mon, Dec 1!

Burrard Otter II SeaBus

The Burrard Otter II SeaBus will be making its maiden voyage on Monday, December 1!

After a long journey from Singapore and and undergoing sea trials and crew training all fall, the Burrard Otter II is ready to set out on the open seas on Monday, December 1 for its maiden voyage!

Want to be one of the first customers to ride the Burrard Otter II? It will make its first sailing from Waterfront Station at 11 am on Monday! Regular fares apply.

Burrard Otter II first passenger sailing

Date: Monday, December 1 at 11 am
Location: Waterfront Station

The Burrard Otter II replaces the original Otter and will share duties with the Burrard Pacific Breeze, which made its maiden voyage on December 23, 2009.

How well do you know your SeaBus? Check out this infographic!

How well do you know your SeaBus? Check out this infographic!

The original Otter, which went into service nearly forty years ago when SeaBus operations began, will head off into retirement once the other SeaBus – the Burrard Beaver – is retrofitted to be used as a spare vessel.

The updated design of the Burrard Otter II makes the vessel more efficient and easier on the environment. The new SeaBus uses less fuel and produces 20 per cent less carbon dioxide than older vessels. The Burrard Otter II also surpasses marine standards and reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 90 per cent, hydro carbons by 70 per cent and visual smoke by 25 per cent.

The Burrard Otter II cost approximately $21 million to build, of which $19 million was provided by the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund allocated by the Union of BC Municipalities. TransLink contributed the remaining $2 million.

SeaBus has provided safe, reliable and efficient service between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore since 1977. Over six million passengers cross the Burrard Inlet on SeaBus every year, or 16,600 people per day.

Planning to ride the Burrard Otter II on Monday? Be sure to tweet @TheBuzzer your pictures or post them onto Instagram and mention @TransLinkBC!

Burrard Otter II Facts

  • Passenger capacity: 395 + 4 crew
  • Size:
    • Length: 34.29 m (112’ 6”)
    • Width: 12.65 m (41’ 6”)
    • Depth: 3.57 m (11’ 8”)
    • Weight: Lightship weight is 164 tonnes (net), 453 (gross)
  • Type of engine:  4 x MTU/Detroit Diesel Series 60
  • Horsepower (300 kilowatts each x 4):  400 hp x 4 = 1600 hp
  • SeaBus officially went into service : June 17, 1977
  • Distance per trip: 3.24 km (1.75 naut. mi.)

Join SeaBus Captain Marvin Warnock onboard the Burrard Otter II

See the Burrard Inlet from the point of view of Captain Marvin Warnock as he operates the Burrard Otter II from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay and back! He also tells us why he joined SeaBus in 1997 and what he enjoys most about his job of 17 years.

TransLink’s Secret Santa: Three chances to win a FareCard and more!

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Say ‘hi’ to Santa!

He’s making a list and checking it twice! Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town!

Do you know somebody who’s on Santa’s Nice List? In the spirit of giving, TransLink wants you to nominate someone in your life who deserves a gift from our Secret Santa (valued at $170)!

Is that person a frequent transit rider who has contributed to the community, made a difference in your life, and inspired you to be better?

Then nominate this person by Wednesday, December 10 at 11:59 pm!

Santa’s elves will be reviewing all the entries on Thursday, December 11 and will be reporting back to Santa on the same day. Three lucky winners will receive a three-zone January FareCard plus a TravelSmart travel pack below!

The best part is – TransLink’s Santa may be able to surprise the winners on their regular transit route!

Play Santa and you could give a 3-Zone FareCard plus this TravelSmart travel pack to that lucky and deserving someone!

Play Santa and you could give a 3-Zone FareCard plus this TravelSmart travel pack to that lucky and deserving someone!

 

Nomination Form

Nominations have now closed.

_

Contest closes at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, December 10 and winners will be selected on Thursday, December 11. Nominators (you) may be contacted for additional information about the submission and the nominee. Both the Nominator and selected winner must be 19 years old or older and may be recorded and photographed for video production and Buzzer blog purposes. You’ll want to read the terms and conditions and judging criteria for all the details on the contest.

Transit on TV: ‘The Flash’, a Millennium Line SkyTrain cameo in DC Comics television series’ trailer

 

Astute Vancouverites  know Vancouver is often referred to as “Hollywood North.” Our film industry is the third largest in North America behind only Los Angeles and New York.

Naturally, you’ll find TransLink’s services making cameo appearances in movies, television shows, and commercials!

Take a peek at our TransLink in TV & Film and you’ll learn the Canada Line was on The Amazing Race Canada, the West Coast Express was in Fringe, Waterfront Station was in Smallville, West Coast Express platform at Waterfront Station was used to film a Jessica Biel fight scene in Blade Trinity, one of our articulated buses was in the television series Defying Gravity, SkyTrain was in a Vodafone commercial, and much more.

Now, SkyTrain is a star in The CW and CTV’s The Flash television series!

In The Flash‘s heroic trailer (at the 0:25 mark), you can spot the Millennium Line SkyTrain as Flash runs along the fence.

Bill Knight, our resident transit guru, tells us he thinks the scene was filmed in the lot of Vancouver Film Studios’ Soundstage “B” by Boundary Road, adjacent to the Central Valley Greenway, where the Millennium Line guideway elevates to cross over the Trans-Canada Highway.

Will we see Flash riding the busSkyTrain, SeaBus, or West Coast Express any time soon? You never know.

Each year, we receive about 75 to 100 requests to film on our system each year. We try to provide access the best we can, but we can’t accommodate all of them. Filming has to fit within our time restrictions and take place outside of service hours so  our customers are not affected.

With major upgrades underway on the Expo Line, many requests for filming on the SkyTrain system have been unable to go ahead.

Have you spotted us on a television show or film that we haven’t blogged about? Let us know in the comments, tweet us @TheBuzzer, or thebuzzer@translink.ca!

Canada Line celebrates 200 million passengers and helps spread the warmth

Canada Line

Psst…psst…have you heard? The Canada Line will surpass 200 million passengers this month! We’re sharing stories about the Canada Line on the Buzzer blog leading up to this month’s celebratory event. 

We celebrated 200 million passengers on the Canada Line with our partners on Nov 21!

We celebrated 200 million passengers on the Canada Line with our partners on Nov 21!

The Canada Line hit a major milestone this month – carrying its 200 millionth passenger just five years after opening!

We have been sharing Canada Line rider stories with you all week and it culminated on Friday, November 21 with a special event at Waterfront Station attended by both riders and dignitaries.

Attending the event were Andrea Reimer, City of Vancouver Councilor; Iain Black, Vancouver Board of Trade CEO, John Yap, Member of Legislative Assembly Richmond-Steveston; Craig Richmond, Vancouver Airport Authority CEO, Wai Young, Member of Parliament Vancouver South; Howard Nemtin, TransLink Board Vice-Chair; and Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Richmond; among other key stakeholders. Peter Ladner, Business in Vancouver Co-Founder, acted as the emcee for the event.

Joining them were Canada Line riders Donald McDonald, Jasper Tam, and Samantha Gill.

Two of our many dedicated Canada Line staff members!

Two of our many dedicated Canada Line staff members!

One of many reasons the Canada Line has been so successful in reaching this major milestone is the professional and dedicated staff of 200 employees, consisting of:

  • Field Operations (Green Jackets)
  • Canada Line Attendants,
  • Central Control Operators
  • Guideway Technicians
  • Vehicle Technicians
  • Electronic Technicians
  • Facilities Services Technicians
  • Administrative support personnel – HSQE, Engineering, Finance, Procurement, HR, Materials Supply Management, Scheduling and Perfomance management
$20 for Colleen!

$20 for Colleen!

Friday also marked the start of Blanket BC’s annual Drive on the Line that takes place along the Canada Line.

TransLink Vice-President of Communications and Customer Engagement Colleen Brennan joined volunteers at Waterfront Station, helping collect blankets and donations for those vulnerable to the cold throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island.

Within seconds of getting handed the donation box, Colleen received a $20 donation. Way to go!

Volunteers will be back again at eight Canada Line stations on Saturday, November 22 to collect blankets from 8 am to 6pm.

Samantha is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line!

Samantha Gill was one of our three Canada Line riders. Here’s a short interview Robert did with her.

SamanthaWhere do you live?
I live in the West End of Vancouver.

What do you do?
I work at the Women’s and Children’s hospital. I’m an audiometric technician. I work with audiologists. I’ve been working there for three years now.

How do you get to work?
I usually bike to the Yaletown-Roundhouse SkyTrain Station and then bike from King Edward. I don’t own a car.

How often do you use the train?
I use it three to five days a week. I usually try to walk home. I use the line more in the winter months than in summer when I try to bike more.

Do you use Canada Line outside of work hours?
I use the Canada Line when I take the West Coast Express and when I go to the airport.

What do you do when on the train?
I usually read a book. I use my time on the Canada Line as me time. The trip is usually so fast I can’t get into anything of great length.

What does Canada Line mean to you?
“Convenience, efficient, it’s so easy”

Thanks to Samantha and all 200 million passengers on the Canada Line!

Jasper is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line

Canada Line

Psst…psst…have you heard? The Canada Line will surpass 200 million passengers this month! We’re sharing stories about the Canada Line on the Buzzer blog leading up to this month’s celebratory event. 

Jasper Tam is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line!

Jasper Tam is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line!

We put out a call for Canada Line stories and the response was exceptional! Jasper Tam is currently a post-secondary student and this is what he submitted to us:

 

I have been excited about the Canada Line since the start, I remember visiting Vancouver City Centre Station and Lansdowne Station during the station open houses before the line opened.

I was excited that a new underground train system was opening in downtown Vancouver and how it would benefit the movement of people in downtown through the many new pedestrian tunnels that connected to the Canada Line as well as the improved movement of people from downtown, through Vancouver, and on to Richmond and YVR.

I took the train during its opening day – lining up to get into all the stations was well worth it! I still remember being amazed at how fast it took to get from downtown Vancouver to Richmond compared to the 98 B-Line. I remember I told myself that day that, “Great, now I will be able to go to Richmond more often to enjoy the diverse selection of restaurants there!”

I live in the Lynn Valley neighbourhood of North Vancouver and am currently a student at the University of British Columbia. I have attended UBC since 2009 and have been commuting by public transit to and from school for almost six years now – one hour and 20 minutes each way!

I would say I use the Canada Line for work, school and travel. I volunteer part-time at YVR and rely on the Canada Line to get me there quickly and efficiently. I use the Canada Line for school on my return trip from UBC to Lynn Valley too. I take the 84 bus to Olympic Village Station where I transfer onto the Canada Line to Waterfront Station and take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay before making one final transfer to another bus.

Over the years, I have learned that if I take the 84 bus 45 minutes before the SeaBus departure from Waterfront Station, I will always be able to catch that SeaBus. For example, if I take the 84 that leaves at 5:00 pm, I will always be able to catch the 5:47 pm SeaBus.

I love the Canada Line because I know that it is always on-time and reliable. It also means I get some extra exercise on my commute over taking the bus directly from UBC to Waterfront. I love that the Canada Line gives me just another option of going home. Sometimes on the way to school, when I miss the 44 departure from Waterfront to UBC, I take the Canada Line to get to either Olympic Village Station for the 84 bus or Broadway City-Hall Station for the 99 bus. I love that the Canada Line is able to give me so many options.

In the summer, I often took the Canada Line to get to the Richmond Night Market beside Bridgeport Station and it also gives me easy access to the whole Cambie corridor!

One of the things I will be looking forward to is using the Compass fare gates when they are closed. I loved tapping in and out during the Compass beta test.

I like Canada Line because of their great display signage (those signs that tell you how many minutes the train is coming are clear and easy-to-read and display important messages such as delays), cleanliness (it is great to always see cleaners at the end of the line going to clean the trains), reliability (trains come at consistent frequencies), speed (25 minutes from Downtown to Richmond or YVR!), safety, lighting (love the lighting of the stations and the trains; my favourite by far out of all of the SkyTrain lines), and Canada Line Attendants in their green jackets everywhere!

Thanks Jasper! Do  you have a Canada Line story to tell? Let us know in the comments section!

Donald is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line

Canada Line

The Canada Line will surpass 200 million passengers this month! We’re sharing stories about the Canada Line on the Buzzer blog leading up to this month’s celebratory event.

Donald takes the Canada Line five days a week and sometimes more!

Donald takes the Canada Line four days a week and sometimes more!

Donald McDonald is one of those what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guys. When I started to ask the knowledgeable electrician about his experience using the Canada Line, his beaming smile gave me a good indication of what he was going to say.

“I take the train because it’s convenient. I don’t have to pay too much attention. It means I don’t have to rush because I know when a train will be there.”

Donald has been taking the Canada Line for past four years. He’s an Electrician and Baggage Supervisor at YVR Airport. He basically helps to make sure that the journey a passenger’s bags make between when they are checking in their bag and when they are loaded onto a plane is successful. As he says, “There’s a lot that goes on behind that curtain your bag goes behind.”

Growing up in South Vancouver, Donald has recently returned to the area and lives a few blocks from the Marine Drive Canada Line station. He takes the first train of the day at 5:05 am, which gets him to work before he starts his day at six a.m.

While on the train, he enjoys a hot tea and reads his emails in preparation of his day ahead.

Donald occasionally needs to drive to work if he’s on an earlier morning shift. “Driving is actually more expensive than taking the train,” says Donald. “I need to pay for parking and for maintenance of the vehicle.”

Before the Canada Line was open, Donald was traveling from Mission an hour and a half one way to YVR. Now living in Vancouver and using the Canada Line, Donald says, “I can park my truck [at home] five days a week and save some money.”

Living so close to the Canada Line, Donald uses the train outside of work hours as well. “I take the Canada Line downtown all the time or to the Cambie corridor,” says Donald. He continues to tell me that his time on the train lets him catch up with texts from his daughter.

Donald is just one of nearly 200 million people to have taken Canada Line since it opened in 2009. Do you have a story about Canada Line? Please leave it in the comments section below!

Donate blankets at Canada Line stations for Blanket BC’s 2014 Drive on the Line on Nov 21 and 22

Click here to see the official poster!

Click here to see the official poster!

The Blanket BC Society will be holding its sixth annual “Drive on the Line” in collaboration with TransLink on Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22 on the Canada Line.

This two-day drive accepts blanket donations, as well as anything from scarves, socks, mittens and toques, to help those vulnerable to the cold.

This year’s goal is to collect over 10,000 blankets – the estimated number of homeless living in British Columbia.

Donations are being accepted at eight different Canada Line stations between 8 am and 6 pm:

  • Waterfront
  • Yaletown/Roundhouse
  • Vancouver City Centre
  • Broadway/City Hall
  • Oakridge/41st
  • Bridgeport
  • Lansdowne
  • Richmond Brighouse

All donated items will be divided and distributed to shelter programs throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. Last year, the Drive on the Line successfully collected over 8,000 blankets and over 2,000 articles of clothing.

Make a warm difference and donate on November 21 and 22 or join over 150 other Metro Vancouver residents and volunteer your time.

TransLink accepts all 20 recommendations in McNeil report on SkyTrain service

TransLink accepts all 20 recommendations in McNeil report on SkyTrain service

TransLink accepts all 20 recommendations in McNeil report on SkyTrain service

TransLink is accepting and acting on all 20 recommendations made by independent reviewer Gary McNeil into SkyTrain.

» Read Gary McNeil’s full report and recommendations

Mr. McNeil estimates that all the recommendations will cost approximately $71 million to implement. This includes equipment and technology upgrades, and customer service improvements.

We have already moved ahead with some of this work. We acted immediately following July’s unprecedented service disruptions by improving the way we prevent, prepare for, and respond to service disruptions. Funds to complete the initiatives will be budgeted over the next five years.

The service disruptions in July were unacceptable to customers and unacceptable to us.  We are committing to better service on SkyTrain and with this review, we now have a clear plan of action for improving our customers’ experience with this vital regional service.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • More resources and a robust plan for quickly and safely evacuating passengers from trains during major service disruptions.
  • A better Passenger Address System, including PA speakers and emergency information panels at each station entrance.
  • Adding the “auto restart” component to SkyTrain’s SELTRAC system to reduce the duration of delays when major failures occur to the “command and control” communication function between trains.
  • Installing system continuity equipment for critical system elements. These “redundancies” for system continuity will ensure the critical functions remain active in the event of a system failure.
  • Upgrading the guideway intrusion system to better detect false alarms.
  • Increasing the visibility of front-line staff.

These initiatives will aim to:

  • Reduce the frequency and duration of service disruptions
  • Ensure timely evacuation of passengers in the event of a prolonged disruption
  • Strengthen the resilience of the system so it can recover from breakdowns more quickly
  • Provide clear and frequent communication with customers on the trains, in and around the stations, and on buses, when service disruptions occur

Have a question about the report? Let us know in the comments section below!

So You Think You Can Busk? We want to hear you at our 2014 busker auditions!

SYTYCB2013

Duo performance

A duo auditioning at last year’s So You Think You Can Busk? 

Attention all buskers! TransLink will be holding our annual busker auditions at our head office next to Sapperton Station on December 10!

For 28 years, buskers have been part of the culture of transit in Metro Vancouver. Expo ’86 brought an influx of street performers and it was deemed busking performers would make a nice addition to the SkyTrain system. We’re so happy is was!

Since then, musicians of every ilk have provided riders with entertainment and a soundtrack to their travels. Buskers help make the six SkyTrain stations in downtown Vancouver more vibrant adding a bit of music to the environment.

Every year, licenses open up for new buskers to join seasoned veterans already playing on the system. Interested in busking on the system? Think you got what it takes?

All you need to do is fill out the application form and submit it in-person to TransLink’s head office at 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC by December 3, 2014 to enter the audition process.

Once applications are submitted, qualified buskers will be invited to audition on Wednesday, December 10 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Auditions:

When: Wednesday, December 10 from 10 am to 4 pm
Where: TransLink Head Office, 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC

Successful candidates will be offered a license to perform at select stations, located primarily in the downtown core for one year from January to December 2015.

Audition spots are on a limited first-come-first serve basis; once filled, no further applications will be accepted. Successful candidates will be required to attend a mandatory licensing session soon after auditioning. New licenses will take effect January 1, 2015. Cost for the annual license is $ 75.00.

Last year, eight busker licenses were up for grabs and we had nearly 50 musicians apply to audition. Click here to see what happened!

Gabby is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line

Canada Line

Psst…psst…have you heard? The Canada Line will surpass 200 million passengers this month! We’re sharing stories about the Canada Line on the Buzzer blog leading up to this month’s celebratory event. 

Gabby Ventura is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line!

Gabby Ventura is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line!

Gabby Ventura is a senior manager at Zennkai Hair Salon. She lives in the Knight Street and East 57th Avenue area and is one of 200 million passengers on the Canada Line to date!

Prior to the opening of the Canada Line in 2009, she says she had a lengthy commute by bus to get from home to Richmond Centre.

“Before I had to take the 430 bus, and it would take me about 45 minutes to get to our Richmond Centre store,” she says.

The commute time between home and work was improved after the opening of the Canada Line. She could now catch the 49 bus to Langara-49th Station before taking a quick 14-minute Canada Line ride to Richmond-Brighouse Station.

During the summer, Gabby transferred to the company’s Oakridge Centre location, where she currently works. Gabby says her commute is now even quicker — about 15 minutes — thanks to a combination of working closer to home and the two-minute commute time between Langara-49th and Oakridge-41st stations.

She adds the Canada Line is an asset to Zennkai’s business, especially when she and her staff have to travel between stores. Zennaki has eight locations throughout Metro Vancouver including at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby and on Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver by Vancouver City Centre Station.

“I can get from one place to another so much quicker. From our Richmond location, going downtown is 24 minutes,” Gabby says. “It’s nice to get there really fast.”

By being located close to the Canada Line, she believes it has brought in a new demographic of customers too.

“I definitely feel like there’s been an increase at this location,” she says. “We have a lot of people from the Richmond area that are saying how this is much more convenient for them, so we definitely have a lot more traffic.

“We have a lot of locals, but today, for instance, I had two guests that were from out of town and were really intrigued by our store and what we have to offer them, so we do get a lot of customers from outside of Vancouver.”

What does Gabby like to do on transit?

“I’m a reader. I like to play games on the SkyTrain as well, but I like to people watch – that’s the one thing that I like to do. Plug in my music and just people watch,” she says.

The November 2014 issue of the Buzzer is on the system

November 2014 BuzzerWe have a jam packed issue for you this month!

The 102nd Grey Cup Festival is in Vancouver from November 26 to 30 and TravelSmart has tips on how to TravelSmart to the festivities and the championship game!

One way is to get the limited edition three-day, three-zone commemorative multi-day transit pass, giving you unlimited travel on the bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus from November 28 to 30. Transit Police shares a safety guide for the festival, ensuring a safe and secure trip on public transit.

Compass Card? We got an update! Post-secondary students at 10 schools will be next group to receive the Compass Card, starting in January 2015. GoCard? We also have an update! Cards from the 2013/14 school year are now valid until November 30 for eligible students.

The Canada Line will be carrying its 200 millionth passenger later this month and we’re serving up stories on the Buzzer blog leading up to the milestone! Also on the Canada Line, Blanket BC will be holding their annual “Drive on the Line” on November 21 and 22 between 8 am and 6 pm.

Volunteers will be collecting blankets and warm articles of clothing for local shelters and struggling families at the following stations: Richmond-Brighouse, Lansdowne, Bridgeport, Oakridge, Broadway-City Hall, Yaletown-Roundhouse, Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront.

West Vancouver customers can now expect real-time transit information and next stop announcements onboard the Blue Bus fleet. We also have the results to our poll question, “What do you read on transit?” 58 per cent of you said you read the news or newspaper on transit! Click here to read the full results.

Last, but not least, it’s not a Buzzer without our usual favourites – Coming Events, Back Issues and Contest Corner!

Pick yours up today onboard the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or download it here. Enjoy! Let us know what you think in the comments section.