|TransLink’s Transit Pet Peeves were recently featured in 24 Hours newspaper!As Buzzer readers will know, the eight comical peeves started off as a Facebook battle in November 2011 and then became TransLink’s official etiquette campaign in 2013.
Wanna know more about Blocking Bunny or Lounge Lizard? Read all about it here!
Over the past few years people have been chatting about the campaign. Below is a taste.
For this latest week in the #WhatsTheLink series, we’re looking at goods movement in the region.
How do we do this?
#WhatsTheLink between everything? A part in Metro Vancouver’s economy – ensuring goods and people get where they need to go!
Have you ever wondered about the journey the coffee you drink took? If you’re like many in Metro Vancouver, you probably haven’t.
That’s because the goods we use each day are usually readily available on the shelves, and we take it for granted. One of the reasons we don’t have to worry about finding fresh milk, fuel for our vehicles or materials to build our homes is because of the efficient movement of goods and people in our region.
Although Metro Vancouver’s ports have been identified as a gateway to Asia, Sany Zein, Director of Infrastructure and Network Management for TransLink explains many of the trucks we see on the roads are serving the local economy.
“While gateway-oriented goods movement is a very large part of our economy, most of the trucks we see on the roads are serving the local economy,” says Zein.
“Almost everything we have in our homes and businesses is delivered by truck. Without an efficient Major Roads Network, we wouldn’t have a thriving economy.”
These trucks not only rely on the Major Roads Network, but an efficient transit system as well.
Wait…what?!? Trucks depend on an efficient transit system? Yup!
Besides being an important mode of transportation for people in the region, transit helps free up congestion on the roads.
Did you know? Six out of 10 people in Metro Vancouver take public transit to work or school!
When truckers aren’t using the Provincial roads network, they look to the Major Road Network to get them where they need to go. It is the backbone for the movement of goods in the region.
This year, TransLink is providing $42 million dollars towards the Major Road Network.
Providing an efficient public transportation system, managing the Major Roads Network and funding major infrastructure projects are three ways TransLink helps get you and goods we all need moving around the region.
In the past, we’ve done a series for you to Ask TransLink, a spotlight about Life on Transit, TransLink’s roads and bridges, TransLink 101 where we answered basic questions about the organization, and of course, #WhatsTheLink.
For the month of July, we’re excited to be bringing you another special series called, Explore with TransLink!
What’s “Explore with TransLink” all about?
To say TransLink’s service area is “big” might be a bit of an understatement. The SkyTrain is one of the longest automated rapid transit systems in the world and our service area is larger than Montreal and Chicago, and twice the size of Toronto’s.
This being summer and all, we’re going to explore Metro Vancouver with you by sharing a selection of fascinating places that TransLink takes you and you might not have been!
Tell us what places TransLink takes you
As always, we’d love your feedback to help inform our series! Tell us some ‘hidden gems’ in Vancouver or finish this sentence, “TransLink takes you…” in the comments section below or share it with us via email, email@example.com.
We’re excited to showcase great submissions to spur more conversations!
You’ve seen the gates at SkyTrain stations, you’ve seen the gizmos on buses, and you might have seen someone use a Compass Card. Naturally, you’re wondering when the Compass system will be in full swing.
We currently have 85,000 Compass Cards in use by TransLink and operating company employees, BC Bus Pass holders, and some CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) users. We’re eager to launch the card to the public, but we want to make sure everything is up to scratch before pushing ahead.
We’re working with our contractor to increase the transaction speed and reliability of our mobile validators (i.e., the gizmos on buses that read Compass Cards). Rather than roll out a system that doesn’t meet our standards for customer service, we’re making sure it is right for our customers before taking the next step.
What should you do in the next few months?
For now, it’s business as usual for our riders. While we work with the contractor to improve the performance of the mobile validators, it’s important for existing Compass Card holders to continue to tap in and tap out. The “taps” we’ve recorded since the inception of Compass have already painted a valuable picture of “what, where and when” people use transit. The data will help us make customer-focused decisions in the future.
If you don’t have a Compass Card, just keep using the system as you always have, and we’ll provide further updates as work progresses. When the time comes for the next phase of our rollout, we’ll give you lots of notice.
What does everyone else think about Compass?
We’ve learned from cities around the world that extended delivery schedules are common with major system changes like the Compass project. In April 2014, we invited peer reviewers from LA, Montreal, Seattle and San Francisco to evaluate our progress. They all agreed that we’re on the right track, making good progress by industry standards.
Ask away at askcompass.ca
To help you get where you need to go this summer, TransLink will adjust services around some events to make your travel more comfortable and convenient. To stay abreast of any detours or service changes related to events around the region, check out the alerts or special events pages.
Upcoming events include, but are not limited to:
July 8: UBC Grand Prix
July 9: Gastown Grand Prix
July 10: Giro Di Burnaby Race
July 12: Khatsahlano Music Festival
July 12 to 13: Caribbean Festival – Maple Ridge
July 26 to 27: Caribbean Days – North Shore
July 26, July 30 and August 2: Celebration of Light
August 3: Sunset Beach Festival & Market and Pride Parade
August 16 to September 1: A special shuttle service operates during the Fair at the PNE, 7 days a week.
TravelSmart continues to sponsor BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which offers cyclists free and secure temporary bike storage. If you plan on enjoying any of the festivities listed above, check BEST’s calendar of events to see if there is a bike valet that can serve you.
Due to maintenance and repairs, the Pattullo Bridge will be closed to all traffic (including bicycles and pedestrians) for three weekends this summer:
- July 25-28
- August 15-18
- August 29-September 1
On the first weekend of closures, the bridge will close at 8 p.m. on Friday night and reopen at 3 a.m. on Monday morning. On the following weekends, the bridge will close at 9 p.m. on Friday night and re-open at 3 a.m. on Monday morning.
Our hard working transit system gets the region’s 418,000 riders each day where they need to go. Aside from transit, TransLink also manages 2,300 lane kilometres of major roads, five bridges, and helps make 107,000 cycling trips in the region each day possible.
And we are back this week to share with you another #WhatsTheLink tidbit!
There’s a good chance where you spend your days is directly related to where transit and these infrastructures are located in Metro Vancouver. Transit has guided growth and community design in the region from the very beginning!
From the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s, to the early street cars of the 1900s, and then the interurban lines that later connected New Westminster, Vancouver, Steveston, Karrisdale and Chilliwack, transit has helped fuel the growth of communities.
The region’s growth strategy was updated in the 1970s and it brought a prohibition on the expansion of highways into the city of Vancouver. Transit was seen as way to facilitate the growth of the region.
This set the stage for the birth of the SkyTrain system in the 1980s. The SkyTrain system today includes the Expo, Millennium and Canada Line, connecting Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey. The planned the Evergreen Line expands the SkyTrain system into Port Moody and Coquitlam.
The SkyTrain system, from the outset, has been shaping Metro Vancouver development and is helping to determine where we build in Metro Vancouver.
Statements like, “Anything transit-oriented—anything close to a station—is going to be a highly coveted opportunity” and “…The consumer has spoken. They want to live on transit, and they’ll buy without parking” are showing developers as well as buyers and renters see proximity to transit as valuable.
These transit-oriented communities—or transit-oriented developments (TODs)—focus on making transit accessible to everyone.
They promote more walking and cycling than communities without good access to transit, resulting in lower levels of automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions.
By 2018, we anticipate there to be over 70 integrated, transit-oriented developments around SkyTrain stations!
On Monday, July 15, the planned annual inflation-rate adjustment for tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge goes into effect. The increases range from five to 15 cents, with no increase for registered motorcycle customers. Here are the details!
Click here to see the news release with more about the increase, or visit the Golden Ears Bridge site for even more about tolling and the project.
We celebrate Canada’s 147th birthday next Tuesday!
SkyTrain, SeaBus, and bus will all be running on a Sunday/holiday schedule, but TransLink will be extending services to help get customers get where they need to go.
Customers are advised to check their route before they go and remember, it’s a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!
Service returns to regular weekday schedules for all modes on Wednesday, July 2.
Bus services will operate Sunday/holiday hours and service, except as noted:
- Customers going to the Canada Day event in Cloverdale can take the 320 at Surrey Central Bay 2; 12 additional shuttles will leave Cloverdale following the fireworks.
- “Saturday” late night trips will operate for the 319, 320 and 321 to connect with the last train from Waterfront to King George.
- To accommodate Canada Day festivities across the region, there will be increased frequency or minor detours on some routes, including multiple routes in downtown Vancouver and the 135, 160, 209, 210, 211, 240, 246, 250, 250A, 257, 320, C43 and C47.
Canada Line will operate Sunday/holiday hours and service, plus:
- “Rush-hour” service will begin in the afternoon, with every available train in service after the fireworks in downtown Vancouver to clear people out of the area as quickly as possible.
- The last Canada Line train will leave Waterfront for Richmond-Brighouse at 1:15 a.m.
Expo and Millennium lines will operate Sunday/holiday hours and service, plus:
- Sunday/holiday start time of 7:08 a.m. from King George, 7:15 a.m. from Lougheed and 7:50 a.m. from Waterfront. The last train will leave from Waterfront at 1:16 a.m. and arrive at King George at 1:55 a.m.
- Trains will run more frequently starting mid-afternoon.
SeaBus will provide extra and extended service:
- First sailing: Lonsdale Quay at 8:02 a.m. and Waterfront at 8:16 a.m.
- Last sailing: Leaves Waterfront at 1:22 a.m.
- Services will operate every 30 minutes from 8:00 to 10:15 a.m., every 15 minutes from 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and every 30 minutes from 11:30 p.m. to the last sailing at 1:22 a.m.
West Coast Express and TrainBus service will not operate. AirCare Inspection Centres will also be closed.
Need more help?
To make sure you get where you need to go on time, you can plan your trip with our Trip Planner. You can also call Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet them @TransLink, 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Have a happy Canada Day, everyone!
Each month we bring you a different illustration on the cover of the Buzzer and this time, we had the privilege of working with Katie So for the June 2014 issue! If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out the PDF or the Buzzer post.
She graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us:
1. Who is Katie So? Katie is an illustrator and cartoonist from Vancouver.
2. How did you come up with your illustration for the Buzzer?
I was inspired by trips to the beach, and how everyone looks so nice in their summer outfits.
3. Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite mode?
I like the Canada Line because it’s clean and efficient.
4. What’s your favourite colour and why?
Right now, I really like pinks and reds because roses and peonies are in bloom.
5. Peer into your crystal ball, and tell us what you see for yourself in the future.
I hope to be sitting on the beach, suntanning and reading a book.
Thanks for your time Katie and a wonderful illustration!
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.
» HUM Canada recently orchestrated a music flash mob singing songs such as Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” to spread joy and happiness on the Canada Line.
» Anat found this pin in a consignment shop in Vancouver and tweeted it to @TransLink. Fred Cummings, President and General Manager, British Columbia Rapid Transit Company says the pin was made in the early 1990s, but was not made for a specific event. It was a standard lapel pin for visitors.
— Anat (@Kissless) May 15, 2014
» @WeAreHub noticed there are 86 spots in the brand-new Secure Bike Parking facility at Main Street-Science World Station. The facility is of course located close by to the Expo 86 grounds. Coincidence?!?
» Nethangi lost her Samsung Galaxy S3 on the bus so she contacted our folks at the Lost Property Office. There she was reunited with her phone! Her friend, Nadheera, snapped the photograph.
» Speaking of the Lost Property Office… Oh, look, an old farebox!
» Our West Coast Express signage at Waterfront Station caught the eye of George Takei, better known as Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise!
» Krumbach, a small town in Austria, has some of the coolest bus shelters you’ll ever see! In total, there are seven of them and each was designed by an international architect. (Thanks to @heyrickie!)
» In Sweden, researchers are proposing water buses as a way to ease congestion in Stockholm and other waterfront cities.
» China is contemplating building a high-speed railway that will connect China to North America. The line would would start in northeastern China, travel over Sibera towards the Bering Strait, travel underneath the Pacific Ocean through a tunnel to Alaska, to Canada and then continental United States.
» Everybody knows the rules on transit — you don’t talk or make eye contact with strangers. Two behavioural scientists in Chicago did an experiment and asked a few commuters to break these rules in exchange for a $5 Starbucks gift card. The results? Those who talked to a stranger had a more positive experience.
» A heart-warming moment as a bus driver in Sweden stopped his bus to comfort a crying girl.
» This is what happens when Árstíðir, an Icelandic band, sings an 800-year-old hymn in a train station. (Thanks Jennifer S.!)
» Somebody made these hilarious fake signs for the London Underground. (Thanks to Jennifer again!)
» Miss 604 shared this video, “Commuting Over the Years: A Brief Introduction to Surrey’s Transportation History,” from the Surrey Archives:
If you see something, while riding transit, say something! Through the app’s built-in text messaging function, users will be able to discreetly report non-emergency issues to Transit Police dispatch. There is no need to draw attention to yourself and you don’t have to wait to report crime on transit.
The OnDuty app’s Crime Maps feature will allow you to view crime hotspots along the transit system. Transit Police will be updating crime maps section weekly, so you can have a better, up-to-date understanding of where and when crime occurs.
Stay connected to the Transit Police’s Twitter and Facebook pages and real-time alerts will keep you informed about public safety concerns, missing persons or major service disruptions. You will also be able to access TransLink’s Next Bus and Trip Planner features directly from the app!
*This app is for non-emergency reporting only. For emergencies, please call 911.
But for #WhatsTheLink this week, we’re going to what we’re famous for — transit! We shared with you a number of Metro Vancouver transit photos from yesteryear and introduced you to our transit superheroes, the 99 B-Line, SeaBus, and SkyTrain.
How are they transit superheroes? The 99 B-Line is one of the busiest bus routes in North America, with nearly 17 million boardings in 2012. The SeaBus moves six million people each year across the Burrard Inlet between Downtown Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. And SkyTrain? It’s on-time 95 per cent of the time!
Boya Yang is a grade six student at Marlborough Elementary in Burnaby and he knows TransLink’s transit system is hard working, helping to keep Metro Vancouver moving and livable.
Boya’s knowledge about TransLink is quite impressive! In his project, he highlights TransLink’s history and its importance as well as the different transit services TransLink offers including buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express.
As he points out in his project, TransLink helps connect people and make the region a better place to live.
To do this, TransLink connects the 418,000 people who take transit each day with a reliable system that is multimodal and seamlessly connected.
How reliable? Well, here are a few facts from 2013:
- The SkyTrain is on time 95% of the time for both the Expo and Millennium lines.
- The West Coast Express is on time 98% of the time.
- TransLink delivered 99.4% of scheduled service for bus and SkyTrain last year.
Angus McIntyre retired in 2011 after over 40 years as a bus operator in Metro Vancouver.
During his years as a bus operator, Angus has seen a lot of changes to the system. These changes include the buses he operated and people he served.
As you can see from the photo below, he was a bit of a shutterbug and things looked a little different in the 70s and 80s.
What hasn’t changed since Angus’ time is a commitment by TransLink to move people and goods across the region.
TransLink has been providing transportation options to people in Metro Vancouver since 1999. For 15 years we’ve been part of your communities, getting you where you need to be.
Hi Buzzer readers – a big thank you to everyone who participated in Phase 2 of the Downtown Bus Service Review! More than 300 of you attended the open houses in April and provided us with close to 1,000 completed questionnaires in-person and online.
The upside of receiving such great input is that we heard about issues and opportunities that are so important to the community. The other side of the coin is that with all these new ideas to consider and reasons to reanalyze some options, the team needs to take more time to provide recommendations.
More time? Yep more time. We are working closely with our partners at the City of Vancouver and really appreciate your continued enthusiasm for this project.
While we continue our technical work to identify the best possible solutions to the issues raised during consultation, we want to share what we heard with you. See the Consultation Summary for more details.
Stay tuned for Phase 3 — where we’ll present the final results of the review.
It was a packed house at TransLink’s 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the new Surrey City Hall on Wednesday, May 28 as hundreds joined us to hear more about our accomplishments and financial highlights of the past year.
In 2013, TransLink achieved $16.3 million in efficiencies and reduced costs while maintaining strong customer service ratings. Other achievements shared at the AGM include:
- $248 million invested in infrastructure and transit fleet upgrades to keep the transit system in good repair today, and for years to come.
- 58,600 new bus service hours for the new 555 bus route between Langley to New Westminster over the Port Mann Bridge, and for the new King George 96 B-line.
- Transit customer satisfaction ratings of 7.6 out of 10.
- 1,760 fewer tonnes of CO2 emitted by reducing bus idling by 161,000 hours since 2009.
- 10,000 customers participated in Compass Card Beta test, and 80,000 Compass cards are now in circulation.
- Moved an estimated 233.9 million transit passengers in 2013.
2013 Annual Report
TransLink’s Annual Reports highlight the accomplishments of each fiscal period. The Reports are prepared under the direction of the Board of Directors. Each report contains performance measures, selected by the Board, as well as a consolidated Financial Report.
» Read the 2013 Annual Report
Questions and Answers
Due to time constraints, we were unable to get to many of the online questions, but fear not! We have gotten you the answers!
Please note: questions may have been edited for clarity.
Why aren’t there power outlets on the buses and SkyTrain? There are power outlets on the SeaBus and West Coast Express, so why can’t they be on the buses and SkyTrain as well? In the US, there are power outlets on every single bus, so why can’t that happen here? –Richard via email
Convenient outlets on SkyTrain cars and buses are not considered necessary most passenger trips are short – the typical passenger trip is about 17 minutes. The cost of putting in the wiring and outlets in an already crowded space would likely be significant. Furthermore, electronic devices plugged into power outlets are likely to be an obstacle for the smooth flow of the heavy traffic in and out of SkyTrain cars.
I would like to know if you [TransLink executives] regularly use public transit in the Metro Vancouver area? This will tell me if you are aware firsthand what issues us transit commuters are faced with. –Chris via email
All executives at TransLink do frequently use transit, particularly when traveling to meetings around the region.