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Translink Buzzer Blog

Gearing up for a fun and safe Celebration of Light 2017 – Everything you need to know!

Each summer locals and tourists alike make their way to English Bay, the West End and Kits Point to be treated to the spectacular Honda Celebration of Light fireworks.

This year, starting at 10 p.m. each evening, the Celebration of Light will take place on:

  • Saturday, July 29 – Japan
  • Wednesday, August 2 – UK
  • Saturday, August 5 – Canada

More than 20,000 people take transit to and from the event each night, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Keep reading to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know to have a fun and safe evening at the Celebration of Light!

Increased Service

To get you to the fireworks in the safest and most convenient fashion, we have added additional bus and train service. For more information, take a look here.

TransLink Ambassadors

Do you have a question? Wondering which bus will get you to your destination or where the nearest SkyTrain station is? TransLink’s Ambassadors are here to help you! They have oodles of information to answer any questions that you have about the transit system. Word on the street is that they also come equipped with maps of the transit network.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our TransLink Ambassadors, dressed in blue TravelSmart golf shirts! They will be out and about, at the Community Engagement Bus and at SkyTrain stations such as Burrard, Waterfront and Granville from 3:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Community Engagement Bus

You’ll also want to take in TransLink’s community engagement bus – it’s bright, playful and definitely hard to miss! Outreach teams will be on and around the bus to answer any transit related questions you may have! You can find the community engagement bus at Second Beach from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. each night of the celebrations.

Transit Police

There will be additional Transit Police out and about to ensure everyone gets to and from their destinations safely! Our Transit Police have a mobile-friendly website to make it easy for you to say something, when you see something.

By visiting transitpolice.ca you are able to discreetly report a non-emergency police issue, contact us, download the SeeSay app or text 87-77-77.

 To stay up to date, you can follow along with a couple of our Transit Police for live tweets:

FYI: Since there will be an increase in riders on transit, take a look at our safety tips section to help keep yourself and your belongings safe while on transit.

Stay in the loop!

For more details, visit hondacelebrationoflight.com. For day-of information about the event, check Twitter at: @TransLink, @CityofVancouver, @VancouverPD, @VanFireRescue, @CelebOfLight. You can also follow along by using or searching the hashtag #CelebofLight.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Extra service gets you to the Celebration of Light

The Honda Celebration of Light will be lighting up the sky again this summer, and we’re adding extra service to get you there!

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Five tips and tricks to staying safe on the SkyTrain!

One of our top priorities is to make sure you get to and from your destination safely! Watch the video above to learn all of the best ways to stay safe while using the SkyTrain.

Here are our top five tips and tricks to a smooth journey:

Slow and steady

Don’t run for the train. Trains come quite frequently and there will be another one along in just a few minutes!

On the platform

Always stand behind the yellow line on platforms and wait at the Designated Waiting Areas as they are designed to provide added safety and security. Safety features you can find at Designated Waiting Areas are: enhanced lighting, a red emergency telephone that will connect you directly to the SkyTrain Control Centre, a bench and they are monitored by closed-circuit television.

Hold on!

SkyTrains are moving vehicles!  Make sure you hold on to a yellow marked handrail or bar to keep yourself steady.

Know where to find help

In the case of an emergency, you can contact the SkyTrain Control Centre by pressing on the silent passenger alarm. This is a yellow strip located on every window on board the SkyTrain. Triggering this alarm means that help will be on board as soon as possible. You can also use the on board speakerphone that is located on each car near the doors. By pressing the red button you can speak directly to SkyTrain control operators.

FYI: when in doubt, don`t be scared to ask a SkyTrain attendant for help!

Stay onboard!

Trains will stop between stations if something falls onto the track so make sure to stay on board the train and do not exit between stations. The safest place to be in the case of a stoppage is on the train!

Take a look here for more information on the cool safety features that you can find on board the SkyTrain!

Author: Christina Jakopin

Record numbers for the first half of 2017 puts TransLink on track for a record-breaking year!

With over 200 million boardings across the region for the first half of 2017 and more than 1.26 million average weekday boardings in the first three months of this year, it’s no surprise that TransLink is on track for record-breaking ridership!

We saw a 5.7 per cent increase this half of the year compared to the same period last year!

Ridership numbers from January 1 to June 30, 2017

  • SkyTrain: 74 million boardings (+ 11.9 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • Bus: 122.5 million boardings (+ 2.5 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • SeaBus: 2.7 million boardings (+ 5.7 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • West Coast Express: 1.2 million boardings (- 6.1 per cent compared to same period in 2016)

“This increase in ridership is great news, and builds on the growth we saw in 2016. It’s great to see people taking advantage of new service we started putting on the road in January,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “I’m thrilled we’re in a position to continue adding even more transit service in coming months, including in September one of our largest single increases to bus service since the run-up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

10-Year Vision

The addition of new transit service in 2017 as part of delivering on the 10-Year Vision is one of the driving attributes in this year’s boost in ridership. Since the beginning of 2017, we have added 89,000 bus service hours, focusing on the region’s most congested areas. Fall service changes coming this September will include the addition of new bus routes and will be the largest expansion since 2010 when we hosted the Olympic Winter Games! The Transit Service Performance Review is one of the tools that we use to direct change.

Transit Service Performance Review (TSPR)

Today, we released the findings of the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review (TSPR), a comprehensive review of ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

Have a read of the full 2016 Transit Service Performance Review yourself!

The data collected from the TSPR gives us valuable insights on boardings, ridership, transit trends and more. This data helps us identify opportunities to reduce overcrowding, improve performance and reliability and meet the needs of our customers as the region continues to grow.

Did you know? We gather data from multiple sources such as fare gates at SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals, automated passenger counter units on buses and Compass Card validators.

Increasing Ridership

We had record ridership in 2016, with 384.8 million boardings. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year!

Ridership growth in 2016 was the largest since 2010, when the region hosted the Olympic Winter Games. This growth was likely due to strong economic activity, an increase in transit service hours and the launch of Compass Card.

The annual review shows that ridership across the system continues to grow:

  • Bus ridership continued to increase throughout the day, particularly during evenings and on Saturdays
  • Bus boardings increased 4.6 per cent to 239.6 million
  • All three SkyTrain lines experienced ridership growth. Canada Line boardings grew by 5.5 per cent, while boardings on the Expo and Millennium Lines grew by 4.1 per cent
  • Evergreen Extension stations saw steady ridership over their first four weeks of service, despite record snowfall

Did you know? System-wide ridership is measured in boardings and journeys. A boarding is considered each time a passenger enters a fare paid zone using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment. A journey is a complete transit trip using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment, regardless of the number of transfers.

Other trends identified during the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review include:

  • South of Fraser led all Metro Vancouver sub-regions in ridership growth – seeing a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased ridership of the 96 B-Line
  • With its 4.3 million annual boardings, up 15 per cent over 2015, the 96 B-Line had the largest increase in annual boardings of any route in the system
  • SeaBus boardings declined by 2.8 per cent in 2016, due to lower summer ridership. However, if SeaBus were a bus route, it would still rank as having the 11th highest boardings in all of Metro Vancouver

Want to learn more and keep up with how we’re meeting our goals? Check out the Accountability Centre.

Author: Christina Jakopin

#MyTransLink – July 25, 2017

My favourite week for sharing our riders awesomeness is once again upon us. #MyTransLink is our rider curated series showcasing not only the beautiful landscapes that make up the Metro Vancouver, but also the beautiful people in front of and behind the lens.

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.”
— Robert Frank

Biweekly, riders from across the region produce an awe-inspiring gallery of transit themed photographs and here are some of our faves!

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Behind The Scenes: A look into the remake of a Mark I SkyTrain

SkyTrain OMC

If you’ve ever taken the SkyTrain in Metro Vancouver, you’ve likely been a passenger on a Mark I. Making up 40% of our SkyTrain fleet, 114 of our 150 Mark I SkyTrains are currently undergoing a massive overhaul at OMC2, one of our Operations & Maintenance Centres in Burnaby.

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New escalators at Metrotown SkyTrain station are now in service!

At a height of 13 metres (43 feet), the new escalators at Metrotown Station are the second highest in the SkyTrain system, surpassed only by the escalators at Granville Station at 14 metres (46 feet).

Exciting news for our customers who use Metrotown Station: the first four of eight new escalators—two up and two down—entered service on Monday, July 24!

These escalators at the newly opened west stationhouse will significantly improve passenger flow and access for our customers who can now enter and exit the platform via two escalators, two elevators, or one of two staircases from Central Boulevard.

Compass fare gates and vending machines have been installed at the west stationhouse and are operational. Customers are reminded to continue to tap in and out.

What’s next?

This is a major milestone for the station. Although both the centre and west stationhouses are now open, upgrades continue at Metrotown Station. We thank everyone for their patience while we complete this essential work.

In summer 2018, two more pairs of escalators will go into service when the rebuilt east stationhouse opens. When fully complete, the upgraded station will include:

  • Rebuilt east stationhouse and addition of new centre and west stationhouses
  • New stairs and escalators
  • Replacement of the original elevator with three new elevators accessible via a new central entry
  • An upgraded bus exchange on Central Boulevard
  • New secure parking area for bicycles

We’ll make sure to keep you updated on all the upgrades as they are completed.

Explore inside the west stationhouse

Visit our website for more information on the upgrades at Metrotown Station.

Author: Allen Tung

Send a text and help those affected by the wildfires in BC

B.C. remains in a state of emergency as 140 wildfires continue to burn across the province forcing mass evacuation orders and leaving tens of thousands of hectares of land burned. Multiple communities are affected and thousands of people are being uprooted. Urgent emergency services are required to support individuals and families.

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Bus Route Buzz : Horseshoe Bay

Bus Route Buzz

Great news Horseshoe Bay! This Bus Route Buzz is all about you! As part of Summer Service changes, we’ve increased frequency on route 257: Horseshoe Bay.

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Thank you for participating in the Broadway Extension and Surrey LRT consultations

Residents participate in the Surrey–Newton–Guildford LRT Project open house at Surrey City Hall on June 22.

Thank you to everyone who shared their input in the recent rounds of consultation for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and Surrey–Newton–Guildford LRT projects. The online surveys are now closed and all open houses for both projects are now complete.

TransLink and the City of Vancouver held four stakeholder workshops and three public open houses, hearing from more than 900 stakeholders and members of the public. As well, more than 3,000 online surveys were completed.

To learn more about Surrey LRT project, more than 430 people came out to two stakeholder workshops and three public open houses, hosted in partnership with the City of Surrey. We also heard from about 1,800 people through online surveys.

Stay tuned for updates on the next steps for both the Broadway Extension and Surrey LRT projects! We’re compiling the feedback received, and we’ll report on what we heard and how this input will be considered as project planning continues.

More than 900 stakeholders and members of the public participated in the Millennium Line Broadway Extension Project open houses and stakeholder workshops.

Author: Allen Tung 

Upcoming rail replacement work on the Expo Line

Running rail replacement will mean modified late evening service between Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Replacement work is currently taking place in the Stadium–Chinatown area, resulting in modified evening SkyTrain service in downtown Vancouver. The affected dates and times are:

  • Monday, July 17; Wednesday, July 19; Thursday, July 20 and Sunday, July 23 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Monday, July 24 through Thursday, July 27 (from 11:59 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, July 30; Monday, July 31 and Thursday, August 3 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Monday, August 7 through Thursday, August 10 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, August 13; Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)
  • Sunday, August 20 and Tuesday, August 22 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service); Wednesday, August 23 (from 10:30 p.m. until the end of service); and Thursday, August 24 (from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service)

(Author’s Note: Due to the rescheduling of the J. Cole concert at Rogers Arena from Tuesday, July 18 to Wednesday, July 19, rail replacement work is cancelled on July 19.) 

Expo Line trains will terminate at Stadium-Chinatown Station, operating with a normal 5 minute frequency. A shuttle train will operate every 10 minutes between Waterfront, Burrard, Granville and Stadium-Chinatown stations. Expo Line passengers connecting at Stadium–Chinatown should allow for 5-10 minutes extra travel time.

Normal 10 minute service frequency is provided on the Millennium Line, and on the Expo Line to both King George and Production Way–University.  The Canada Line will also operate normally.

Customers are advised to watch destination displays and listen for train destination announcements. We thank you for your patience as we complete this essential work.

How does this affect your commute? Check out our Alerts Page for pattern changes and upcoming work.
Find more information on the entire project, visit translink.ca/railreplacement.

A day in the life of a SkyTrain Attendant – ride along with BCRTC President Vivienne King

Last week, British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC) President Vivienne King, donned her reflective vest and steel toed boots to walk a mile (or likely many miles) in a SkyTrain Attendant (STA)’s shoes.

Read more »

Rail grinding on the Millennium Line on July 14 and 15

Rail grinding on the Millennium Line, from 11 p.m. until the end of service on July 14 and 15, will result in modified late evening service between Renfrew and VCC–Clark stations.

Heads-up Millennium Line passengers! As part of our regular maintenance program, crews will be grinding rails this Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15, resulting in modified late evening service.

From 11 p.m. until the end of service, a shuttle train will operate on the Millennium Line between Renfrew, Commercial–Broadway and VCC–Clark stations in both directions. Passengers travelling through Renfrew Station, please allow 5-10 minutes extra travel time to switch between the trains.

Expo Line trains—Waterfront to King George Station and Waterfront to Production Way–University Station—will operate normally. Canada Line is unaffected by this work.

What is rail grinding?

Rail grinding is standard maintenance work that we do on a regular basis on the Expo and Millennium lines, to improve ride quality, reduce noise levels, and extend the rail’s life. A locomotive pulls two trailers that have grinding stones, removing a small amount of steel from the rail to remove surface imperfections and re-profile the rail to improve ride quality.

A short-term side effect of this work is increased noise from anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks while the freshly ground rail adjusts to the train’s wheels. We thank our neighbours and customers for their understanding while we complete this important maintenance work.

Want more information? Watch translink.ca/alerts for future updates on rail grinding locations.

Author: Allen Tung

Help us build a better transit alert experience

Transit Alerts

Last year, you told us how you use and access Transit Alerts, and now we’re back looking for your input on how you want to be notified about transit disruptions or service changes.

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#MyTransLink – July 11, 2017

It’s that time again! #MyTransLink is here to showcase your favourite moments in and around transit! Whether your transit is via land or sea, #MyTransLink captures it all! So hot off the web, I present to you these past weeks in transit!