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Translink Buzzer Blog

Luggage racks deliver improved customer experience onboard the 620

The luggage lack onboard one of our articulated buses.

Five articulated buses operating out of Richmond Transit Centre are now equipped with luggage racks, improving the onboard experience for our 620 Tsawwassen Ferry / Bridgeport Station customers.

This means a more comfortable ride for our customers! The three-level luggage rack is located across from the middle doors on coaches 8060, 8063, 8064, 8065 and 8066.

The 620 service is unique compared to other service in the region as it’s designed to align with the Victoria ferry schedules.

How it began

Coast Mountain Bus Company first piloted a luggage rack-equipped bus back in April 2017. During the pilot, the luggage rack was installed near the rear doors of the bus.

Our transit operators and customers provided valuable feedback, letting us know that they really liked the idea, but the rack’s height and location were not ideal. Passengers were having trouble lifting their luggage onto the top shelf because they had to lift it over their shoulders. So, our maintenance team adjusted the rack’s height to ensure more customers could easily use the rack.

The luggage rack’s final design is lower and is installed across from the middle doors on all five buses, allowing for easier access.

Have you tried them yet? If so, let us know what you think!

Author: Allen Tung

Q&A: Bike Parkades support active transportation in Metro Vancouver

Derek Yau is a transportation engineer with TransLink. He looks after the region’s bike facilities.

Did you know 107,000 trips are made each day by cycling in Metro Vancouver?

As Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority, it’s our job to help support and grow the number of bike trips. How do we do this? We help provide connections to the wider transportation system of the region by making transit more bike-accessible.

The Bike Parkade at Joyce–Collingwood Station on opening day

That means including spaces on transit for bicycles, managing the Major Road Network (including five bridges), providing cycling options such as the BC Parkway, Central Valley Greenway and Canada Line Pedestrian–Bicycle Bridge, and developing the Regional Cycling Strategy.

We also invest in Bike Parkades—indoor facilities where registered customers can store their bikes for the day and connect directly to transit. The latest facility opened at Joyce–Collingwood Station just last month, joining the parkades at Main Street–Science World and King George stations.  Read more »

#MyTransLink – January 30

Hey there! Welcome back to another week of #MyTransLink. We’re sharing some of the amazing photos captured by YOU! Our snap-happy customers, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts. Curating these photos is always a challenge because of all the outstanding shots to choose from. Check out this small sampling of our favourites since last week, and make sure to read to the bottom to see what we’ve got in store for next week!

TransLink Wayfinding 101: what is wayfinding?

If you’ve taken transit, you’ve taken part in wayfinding on our system. So what exactly is it?

For the customer, wayfinding is much more than applying directional signage, and for us at TransLink, it’s much more than simply providing directional signage.

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On this day in Buzzer Blog history: January 24, 2011

Old Mr Buzzer

It’s hard to believe that 2011 was seven years ago, it feels like just yesterday. For this edition of On this day in Buzzer Blog history, we’re throwing back to a throwback post where we shared a cool piece of transit history sent to us by Bob Hassan, who had inherited his late fathers collection of Buzzer relics.

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#MyTransLink – January 23

Here we go again! This week’s edition of #MyTransLink once again shares some stunning photos captured by YOU! Our snap-happy customers, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts. Here’s a small sampling of our favourites since last week.

Universal Fare Gate Access Program launches


Transit customers who are not able to tap a Compass Card at fare gates due to a disability will now have greater access to the SkyTrain system with the launch of the Universal Fare Gate Access Program.

The program, the first of its kind to our knowledge globally, provides participants with radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards that will automatically send a signal to RFID readers located above designated accessible fare gates. The fare gate will open when the card comes within range and close once the customer passes through.

As of today, more than 40 per cent of SkyTrain stations have been outfitted with RFID technology. All SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be equipped with this technology by the end of the year.

We’ve chosen a phased roll out so we can begin restoring access to the system as soon as possible. A phased approach also allows us to take customer feedback and make adjustments to the system as we go, which gives us the best opportunity to get this right.

It’s important to us that this customer group have the same travel experience as our other customers. This unique, locally-developed solution, allows those enrolled in this program to use the same fare gates as everyone else to independently travel the system as they please.

This technology, which was designed by TransLink and implemented in partnership with Vancouver-based Hyperlight Systems, is at the forefront of the industry. World-wide, no other transit authority (to our knowledge) offers fully-automated, touchless access to a gated transit system.

For information on the program and how it can best benefit you, please call 604.953.3698 or email opengates@translink.ca. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Double the fun: Double-decker buses will add to the fleet in 2019

TransLink double decker bus

Back in November of 2017, we launched our highly anticipated Double-decker bus pilot project, with two, double tall buses rolling out on various long-distance commuter routes.

Read more »

Did you know there’s a time capsule at New Westminster Station?

Premier Bill Bennett seals commemorative time capsule as Ontario Premier David Peterson and
New Westminster Mayor Tom Baker look on.

Our Transit History section just scratches the surface of what we have in The Buzzer archives, which includes eight issues of the Vancouver Regional Rapid Transit Project Quarterly.

The 12-page Winter 1986 edition, released a month after SkyTrain’s opening, contained a myriad of photos and stories touting the launch of Vancouver’s first rapid transit system. Perhaps, the most interesting tidbit is the existence of a time capsule.

Mhmm, that’s right! A stainless steel time capsule, sealed by then-B.C. premier Bill Bennett, was buried at New Westminster Station. It will be opened in 2085—a hundred years after SkyTrain opened.

Luckily, we won’t have to wait until 2085 to find out what’s inside!

According to quarterly, it includes the names of the 5,000 people that built SkyTrain and a letter from Bennett to the British Columbians that will open the capsule. He writes,

[The inauguration of SkyTrain is] a milestone as important as the arrival in 1885 of the first transcontinental passenger train in British Columbia. The documents which accompany this letter in the time capsule are the essential records relating to the design and construction of SkyTrain and represent the creative efforts of thousands of British Columbian and Canadian architects, engineers, construction workers, planners-and designers. Together, we have shown the world what imagination and determination can achieve.

Also inside:

…the opening day commemorative editions of the Vancouver Sun and Province, which contained special SkyTrain supplements, a copy of the rapid transit film, Going to Town, a filmed message from Grace M. McCarthy, minister responsible for the project, one of the invitations to the SkyTrain opening ceremonies, and a copy of each of the seven quarterly reports of the Rapid Transit Project.

Also, luckily, we have a copy of Going to Town uploaded to our YouTube account! Watch it here.

Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Tri-Cities

Bus Route Buzz
Bus Route Buzz is our series that takes a deep dive look into quarterly service changes coming to your area. This edition takes a look at improvements to Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and the Tri-Cities. 

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A talon for getting rid of pigeons – TransLink’s Falconry Project

Falconry Project

In a bid to develop a humane solution to address the long-standing pigeon problem at SkyTrain stations across the region, we have partnered with our feathered friends at Raptors Ridge for a six-week falconry project around six of our most bird populated stations. Falconers will be bringing predatory birds, falcons and hawks, to these stations in order to change the habits of the pigeons and deter them from returning.

Read more »

#MyTransLink – January 16

We’re back with another edition of #MyTransLink, the weekly curated series sharing photos captured by our snap happy customers, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts alike. Check out a sampling of our favourites since the last week.

Sign Light

A post shared by Philipp Postrehovsky (@philpostro) on

Read more »

Buzzer illustrator interview: Jenny Hsieh

The December 2017 edition of the print Buzzer was illustrated by the talented Jenny Hsieh, who we originally discovered through her super fun Instagram account.

Jenny’s adorable winter clad creatures don the cover in promotion of winter service changes, all-door boarding, TransLink merchandise, and more!

We asked Jenny a few questions to learn a little more about her as an illustrator.

Tell us about yourself!

I am a freelance illustrator based in Vancouver. I recently graduated from Emily Carr University with a BFA in Illustration. When I’m not drawing I’m liking cute dog photos on Instagram.

(us too Jenny… us too!)

What gets you inspired when you’re creating?

I get my inspiration from everyday life. I like to take seemingly banal moments and illustrate them in a way that makes them extraordinary.

What are your favourite subjects to illustrate?

I enjoy drawing people and dogs (especially shiba inus).

Tell us about your illustration for the latest print Buzzer?

My illustration features three warmly dressed animals waiting for the bus. I wanted to illustrate something simple and fun to represent bus schedule changes in the winter season.

What are your artist tools of choice?

I like to switch between various mediums. I mainly use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator for my digital work, and watercolour, ink, or coloured pencils for my traditional stuff. I like exploring different mediums since each one can really lend to the mood of a work.

What has been some of your favourite projects you’ve created?

Recently, I made a zine consisting of ink drawings that I created in October. It’s basically cute girls in cute outfits – it was a lot of fun to draw!

What are some of the fun projects you’re working on now?

Right now, I am trying to put together another zine/comic. I am also working on opening an online store, which will probably be ready early next year. You can stay updated with me on my instagram and website!

What is your favourite mode of transit?

My favourite and most frequent mode of transit is definitely the SkyTrain. I’ve spent most of my time on the SkyTrain because of school. It just makes travelling downtown so convenient!

Do you have any fun plans for winter?

Yes! Winter vacation plans included spending Christmas and New Year’s in Taiwan.

A huge thanks to Jenny for creating such a great illustration for our print Buzzer! We wish you well in your future art projects!

Grab your copy of The Buzzer on SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and buses before they’re gone or download it here.

Interested in becoming an illustrator for The Buzzer? Shoot us an email at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Friday fun poll: do you prefer a window or aisle seat on transit?

Riding the bus while seated in the window seat!

I recently came back from a trip to the United States and when you fly, often you get to choose where you sit on the plane. I always choose the aisle seat when flying. This way if I need to get up from my seat, I don’t have to awkwardly squeeze my way out.

It got me thinking about where I like to sit on transit—is it the window or aisle seat?

On shorter commutes, I prefer an aisle seat so I can easily disembark when it’s my stop. But for longer commute such as riding the 410 from 22nd Street Station to Richmond, I like the window seat so I can have an uninterrupted commute where I can doze off or look out the window to pass the time.

It’s over to you, the Buzzer blog readers, again! Do you prefer a window or aisle seat? Let us know why in the comments section.

Do you prefer a window or aisle seat on transit?

  • Window seat (76%, 220 Votes)
  • Aisle seat (16%, 46 Votes)
  • I prefer to stand (8%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 288

Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: South of the Fraser

Bus Route Buzz

Bus Route Buzz is our series that takes a deep dive into quarterly service changes. This edition takes a look at improvements South of the Fraser. 

Read more »