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Translink Buzzer Blog

AGM marks 125 years of transit!

AGM

It’s the 125th anniversary of transit in our region!

To mark this occasion, this year’s AGM will be more than just a year in review, it will give a shout-out to those that keep us moving today and into tomorrow.

The event goes down Friday, June 26th from 10am to 11:30am at the Anvil Centre (777 Columbia St.), right next to the New Westminster SkyTrain Station.

To stay true to AGM form, in addition to celebrating transit’s big 1-2-5, we’ll also be sharing our 2014 financial and operational milestones with our regional stakeholders, senior TransLink staff, media and those of the general public that wish to attend.

Keep your eyes peeled on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information in the weeks to come!

Transit in the News – June 5, 2015

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or email us.newspaper-568058_1280

Guelph councillors endorse transit after riding city buses for one month.

Bus lane cameras go into operation in Belfast.

Google Maps will show real time public transit schedules for android app.

San Francisco city officials vow to ride public transit for three weeks.

Sarnia brings back free bus rides for Clean Air Day.

Fast-charging electric bus shows promise for regular use.

Bangkok Mass Transit Authority tests out 100% electric city bus.

Washington bans political ads from public transit.

Edmonton Metro Line LRT opening postponed.

Bystanders in East London band together to lift bus off of trapped unicyclist.

Ericsson unveils connected bus stop and other public transport innovations.

Sofia, Bulgaria residents leave cars to ride subway amidst street repairs.

Sofia Citizens Leave Cars to Ride Subway amidst Street Repairs – See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/168993/Sofia+Citizens+Leave+Cars+to+Ride+Subway+Following+Street+Reconstruction+Works#sthash.bspi3oWN.dpuf

 If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Links and Tidbits – June 4, 2015

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.

 

SkyTrain shark

»   Check out the Xoupier! (Pronounced Soup-ee-er, apparently) A space-aged idea for some TTC buses in Toronto. What do you think?

»   A company in NYC is helping you navigate the bus system by having your iphone literally point you to a bus stop!

»   Some art students right here at home turn a bus shelter into a SkyTrain.

»   “Ladies and gentlemen: We are being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher. The train’s dispatcher is a wicked man who gets a sick thrill from toying with your lives like a god. Please be patient.” Finally, some honesty!

»   I can haz fancee buz, too? Wait, six bucks? Hmmm, maybe not.

»   Angeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllll. Angel of Harrrrrrrrrrrrrleeeeeeeeeeeeemmmm. U2 is the best!

»   Edmonton taking a page out of Denmark’s book, making transit cool again. Personally, I always thought it was cool!

»   Let’s all take a video tour inside the tunnels of the Spadina Subway extension in Toronto.

»   What happens on the night bus, stays on the night bus in this new London documentary series.

»   Chachachacha changes for iconic NYC subway lettering.

»   My fave! Seinfeld always kept it real(ish) with their subway scenes!

A beautiful image created by Arthur Simpkins

A beautiful image created by Arthur Simpkins

»   Allllllll aboard the second avenue subway! Well, virtually at least with a new, interactive video game.

»  First people arrested for “man spreading” on NYC subway. This is a thing now.

»   Curious about where a train is in Israel? How about a bus in Western Australia? Wonder no more with this world transit real time map.

»   That familiar delivery company with the brown, smiley box may be sitting next to you for your commute in NYC.

»   There’s a fabulous artist take-over happening at a newsstand in Chester station in Toronto!

»   8-bit lovers unite! And then check out this great video showing what happens when a train is delayed.

»   This is not the bus you are looking for! (Star Wars anyone?)

»   All in the family breakdancing on Philly’s subway system!

»   Some more subway dancers captured in some mid-move photos.

»   Now this is great for the environment AND your wallet!

»   I wouldn’t have believed it without the video. The “poo bus” in the UK has broken a land speed record for buses!

»   NYC’s street beautification project extends underground, too.

»   I am living for these living bus shelter roofs in Boston!

»   Kudos to this bus operator out of London, Ontario. 45 years of safe driving = provincial record!

»   Vincent, is that you? Your ear seems to have magically grown back!

»   We wish you love, peace and soul (and quiet?) during this silent soul train dance party in Miami!

»   Hey, all you hep cats! Tune in to this slick daddy-o with and his beatnik talk show on a bus!

»   Questions about the L train in NYC top Google searches for the past six months. WOWZA!

»   Public art really makes a difference on and around transit and across cities!

»   The future is NOW! A robot is being developed to help visually impaired riders navigate transit systems.

@evolve_photo aka Scott Brown shared this with us on Twitter. Many a year of U-passes!

@evolve_photo aka Scott Brown shared this with us on Twitter. Many-a-year of U-Passes!

 

TravelSmart to the FIFA Women’s World Cup

Shuéme is hoping on the system to get to the games!

FIFA mascot, Shuéme is hoping on the system to get to the games!

The moment Vancouver soccer fans have been waiting for is nearly upon us – the FIFA Women’s World Cup is coming to BC Place!!

From June 8 to July 5, 2015 Vancouver will host six soccer matches plus the World Final Game.

Hosting the world’s best female soccer players is an honour that will inspire us all, but especially women and girls who love the sport.

The FIFA matches will bring thousands of additional people to the downtown core, so now is a great time to start thinking about the most TravelSmart mode of transportation to avoid heavy traffic and parking stress.

FIFA matches will take place at BC Place Stadium located at 777 Pacific Blvd. BC Place is easily accessible by SkyTrain, SeaBus, Bus and the Seaside Bike Route.

You have lots of alternatives, so consider leaving your car at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Planning your Trip

You can plan your route online on our trip planner by simply typing in your starting location and final destination. You can also get real-time Next Bus information on your mobile device.

Public Transportation

TransLink’s integrated system of buses, commuter rail, SeaBus, and SkyTrain will get you to the game for a fraction of the cost of driving and parking.

If you take SkyTrain just hop off at Stadium-Chinatown Station and walk South along Expo Boulevard to BC Place.

Park & Ride Lots

Save big bucks on parking by leaving your car at one of TransLink’s Park and Ride facilities available at many transit hubs.

Simply park your car, hop on bus or SkyTrain and relax while we whisk you off to the Game.

Carpooling

Save gas and money by carpooling! Don’t have a carpool buddy yet? Or maybe you want to fill that extra seat in your car? Connect with carpoolers along your route at ride-share.com.

Walk or Bike

Why not build some exercise into your FIFA experience? Walking and biking is a great way to arrive energized and to get home quickly.

Take the Seaside Bicycle Route and enjoy stunning views of False Creek on your journey – and yes it’s family-friendly!

Free Bike Valet service will be available at all matches. You can also lock your bike securely at the Main Street Bike Parkade and then ride the SkyTrain the rest of the way.

For more great tips and tricks for driving less and moving your body more, be sure to check out the TravelSmart homepage.

U-Pass BC transition to Compass is in full swing!

Compass Card

On June 1, another 50,000 students say good bye to the paper U-Pass BC and hello to Compass.

Students from BCIT, Langara, SFU and UBC will start using Compass Cards to travel across Metro Vancouver—and never have to line up for a paper pass again.

Compass Card for U-Pass BC – same program, better process

With the Compass system:

  • Students still get all-zone transit across Metro Vancouver and discounted West Coast Express fares
  • No more waiting in line for a paper pass, students can now request their U-Pass BC online each month at upassbc.translink.ca
  • Unlike paper passes, Compass for U-Pass BC helps deter fraud because cards can be unlinked if lost or stolen

Loading is easy peasy

Check out this video for all the steps!

Please tap in and tap out

  • Students must tap in and tap out every time they enter or exit a bus or station, including when they transfer
  • Tapping in and out provides important anonymous ridership data, so resources are placed where they’re needed most

U-Pass BC and West Coast Express

  • Students without a Compass Card should use standard traditional WCE products for the month of June
  • Those with a Compass Card need to load their U-Pass BC onto their Compass Card.
  • To have a U-Pass BC WCE Add-On loaded onto their Compass Card, visit the WCE Office or call Compass Customer Service 604.398.2042.
  • Students need to tap once they’ve loaded their WCE Monthly Pass onto their Compass Card. Until then, U-Pass BC students do not need to tap in and out on West Coast Express.

The next students to get Compass Cards are from Capilano and VCC.

Once they’re tapping on July 1, all schools will be fully converted to Compass.

Have questions? Ask away at AskCompass.ca and see our FAQ page here.

Transit in the News – May 29

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or email us.newspaper-568058_1280

All TransLink transit free last Friday because of SkyTrain shutdown.

New and expanded TTC bus routes to provide reliable overnight and weekend service.

Winnipeg Transit faces long recovery from labour dispute.

Apple Maps’ public transit directions might only support six cities at launch.

Ericsson and Volvo partner on smart public transit.

Vix eyes Malaysian public transport deal.

TTC board expected to approve bus and streetcar service improvements.

Ontario investing up to $1 Billion for light rail transit in Hamilton.

Copper wire theft causes subway headaches for thousands of commuters in NYC.

Voter turnout just shy of 45% for Transit Referendum in Metro Vancouver.

Council hears ideas on how to improve transportation within Fort St. John.

Maryland public transportation fares will soon increase.

Sioux Falls City Council discusses free summer transportation for children.

Scarborough subway route narrowed to three choices.

If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

New policy for electric and folding bikes on transit

Fashion Electric BicycleElectric and folding bikes are now being allowed on board the system!

BCRTC and CMBC are updating their operational policies to allow different types of cyclists access.

Electric bikes will now be permitted on SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus.

UPDATE Folding bikes will be allowed on all modes buses, when folded.

Riders of folding bikes are asked to use a slipcover or carrying pack while on buses.

All the existing rules for bikes on transit still apply. Here’s a refresher:

  • Bikes are not allowed at Metrotown Station at anytime.
  • There is a maximum of two bikes per SkyTrain car and one per Canada line car.
  • No e-scooters allowed on the system
  • Morning and afternoon rush hour restrictions are still in place — Canada Line: Peak times in all directions. Expo & Millennium Lines: Peak times except for the allowances listed below.

Westbound:
7am – 9am Monday-Friday travelling from Columbia Station to VCC-Clark Station; and from Columbia and King George Stations towards Waterfront Station.

Eastbound:
4pm-6pm Monday-Friday travelling from VCC-Clark Station to Columbia Station; and from Waterfront Station towards Columbia and King George Station.

You can read more about our bike policy here.

Transit Police Academy – Week 2

SeeSomethingTextSomething

You can text Transit Police anytime at 87-77-77

Week two of Transit Police Academy was very technical. Literally!

It was all about the technology they use to communicate with each other, other police in the region, emergency services as well as you (and me!), the riders on the system.

Something I thought was particularly interesting is the way that Transit Police uses historical data and specialized crime predictive analysis to identify and track hotspots and areas of concern along the system.

Specialized software automatically generates a predictive algorithm which enables Transit Police to forecast where and when criminal activity is most likely to occur.

This information determines where police focus their patrols, greatly reduces response times and helps to proactively reduce and address root causes of crime. Read more »

Compass Arrives at West Coast Express!

Compass is coming soon to West Coast Express

Compass is coming soon to West Coast Express

The convenience of the Compass fare-collection system arrives at West Coast Express (WCE), starting June 8, 2015! Once they receive cards, WCE customers will get to enjoy the many benefits of Compass, such as:

Here's what a Compass mobile validator looks like!

Here’s what a Compass mobile validator looks like!

  • Stored Value: add almost any value you want and pay-as-you-go
  • Online Purchasing: no more waiting at the vending machine to buy your fare
  • Balance Protection: with card registration, your funds are protected, even if your card is lost or stolen
  • AutoLoad: with card registration, you can set up automatic top ups or pass renewals so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to top up

Staff will hand out Compass Cards to WCE Customers on the concourse at Waterfront Station during June. WCE stations will transition to Compass throughout the month, with two stations switching each weekend.

For WCE customers, once you have your card, load it with a Compass product using the Compass website (coming very soon) or at one of the new Compass Vending Machines—and join the 100,000 Compass users already tapping in and out across Metro Vancouver!

Not ready to make the switch? You can buy existing WCE products until June 26 at Waterfront Station and other WCE stations that haven’t switched over. The last day to use existing WCE products will be July 24. Ask a Station Attendant for more tips on the best Compass transition for you.

For all other customers, it’s business as usual. Compass Vending Machines along the WCE system will not sell Compass Cards at this time, and will sell WCE products only.
Have questions?

Learn more at translink.ca/compasscard
Ask away at AskCompass.ca
Speak with a WCE Station Attendant
Or contact the WCE Office at 604.488.8906, Suite 295-601 Cordova Street, Vancouver

Share the Road Challenge 2015

Share the Road Challenge

Erin and Dave from TravelSmart participate in the Share the Road Challenge 2015

It was a Mad Max showdown (I’m a bit dramatic) of bikes versus transit versus car with HUB’s 9th annual Share the Road Challenge!

It all took place on Wednesday, May 20th with the finish line in downtown Vancouver.

Teams of three (one car, one cyclist, one transit user) started from locations across Metro Vancouver, leaving at the same time with the same amount of distance to travel to see who would get downtown first.

There were teams from Car2Go Vancouver, Vancity Buzz, Dish Jeans & Duer Denim, eProdigy Bikes, Modacity, The Georgia Straight, TravelSmart, Two Wheel Gear, Vancity, the Vancouver Airport Authority and the City of Vancouver with Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Councillors Andrea Reimer and Kerry Jang.

The results? In six out of eleven teams, cyclists reigned supreme!

Councillor Andrea Reimer took first prize for the City of Vancouver for her 14-minute trip on the SkyTrain from Commercial Drive.

Mayor Gregor Robertson came in two minutes later on his bike.

Councillor Kerry Jang placed last with a 22-minute drive in his car.

Even our very own TravelSmart team participated! They came in from the West End, with the bike commuter arriving in just 11 minutes while transit came in second with 20 minutes.

Remember, Bike to Work Week starts today!

Don’t forget to sign up at BikeHUB.

Transit in the News – May 22

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share? Comment below or email us.
newspaper-568058_1280

Buses cancelled as Winnipeg transit workers refuse overtime.

New Grand River Transit plan arrives this fall.

San Francisco leaders tour completed Central Subway tunnel.

China approves $40 billion of rail and subway projects to bolster economy.

Israel calls of Palestinian bus segregation plans.

‘Subway grinders’ to face felony charges under new bill.

Entertainment acts try out for New York subway spots.

St. Albert and Edmonton looking at integrated transit system.

Apple Maps is finally getting public transportation directions.

Five Delhi Metro stations to get WIFI soon.

Transit union in Manitoba says city is putting bus drivers at risk.

Metro Vancouver receives A grade for transit.

  If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

FREE TRANSIT

TransLink bus

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL MODES OF TRANSIT WILL BE FREE TODAY, MAY 22, DUE TO THE MAJOR DISRUPTION.

UDPATE: 12:14pm: Thank you all for your patience and understanding today. We understand the inconvenience and are happy to announce that full service has been restored to the Expo Line.

The SkyTrain disruption that was due to a fire destroying one metre communications cable is now over. Please allow time for the service to catch up to regular timings. Shuttles will continue to be used as needed to help with the flow of riders. ^ac

UPDATE: 10:43am: Follow us on Periscope at noon today (handle: TransLink BC) for a live update on the Expo Line SkyTrain disruption.

UPDATE: 10:36: For those of you who have already paid for transit today, please hold on to your tickets and/or receipts. We are working on a way to make sure you benefit from this.

UPDATE 9:29am: Trains are now able to get to and from (East and Westbound) Broadway-Commercial station. Shuttles will be in place to get people to and from downtown from this point. Please keep in mind it will take a while to get service back to regular timings.

We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work to fix the damaged communications cable caused by a fire.

We will continue to keep you updated on the Buzzer blog, Facebook, Instagram (@TransLinkBC) and Twitter (@TransLink) until the system is back to normal.

Five Ways TransLink Funds Road and Bike Infrastructure

Did you know, that in addition to transit, TransLink funds road and cycling infrastructure improvements? Each year we operate, maintain and rehabilitate 600km of our Major Road Network in Metro Vancouver!

Committing over $47 million in road and cycling projects, we’ve dedicated $41 million of this fund to 19 municipalities across the region. This helps to keep things moving smoothly, with pothole patching, snow removal and lighting being just some of the maintenance and operation work getting done thanks to this fund.

So what about the rest of the money? Well, that $6.3 million is dedicated to help fund specific road, bridge and cycling projects across Metro Vancouver. This year, 16 projects are happening across the region.

The Burrard Street Bridge improvements, the widening of the Fraser Highway and the construction of a multi-use path in Coquitlam along the Evergreen extension are just three of the awesome projects currently underway. For more information you can also check out our news release.

So there you have it! If you transit, drive or cycle in the region then there’s a good chance we’ve invested in the infrastructure that helps you get around!

 

A ride-along with Transit Security: Training for Bike Patrol

Jessica goes to Bike Patrol training

Jessica goes to Bike Patrol training

Transit Security is going to be donning some new wheels this summer.

No, not new patrol cars but bikes!

Six volunteers from the Transit Security team signed up and suited up to be a part of the project.

Jessica Hewitt from Coast Mountain Bus Company was able to literally ride along during their first day of training.

She was kind enough to tell the Buzzer all about it so we can all be in-the-know!

Read on for the inside scoop from Jessica and meet two members of the Bike Patrol team.

Today marks the launch of Transit Security’s new Bike Patrol trial in downtown Vancouver. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience what Bike Patrol training was all about as I headed out for a full day’s worth of in-class instruction and cycling drills.

As a recreational cyclist and a triathlon enthusiast, I jumped at the chance, but knew I’d be far from qualified to be riding around Vancouver’s downtown core. I sat in on the first day of intensive training, but staffers still had three more days left, including a night ride in downtown Vancouver and a final exam before each of the six Transit Security members were CAN-bike certified.

The four days of training covered everything from traffic skills, bike maintenance and hours on the saddle riding through pylons, jumping curbs, signalling, gearing and so much more!

Meet Transit Security Bike Patrol members, Jessica and Dave

For the Bike Patrol, it’s not just about learning the rules of the road. Employees have to work in hectic conditions with cars, foot traffic and other cyclists. General Security Patrol officers Jessica Stennes and Dave Partridge both volunteered to be part of the new Bike Patrol.

“It’s a great opportunity to get outside and be active, while working with employees and customers first hand,” said Jessica. “A lot of what we do involves working with the public and getting them where they need to go.”

For Dave, he’s no rookie when it comes to cycling. An avid road cyclist and mountain biker, he often hits the trails in Whistler and had no trouble riding through the pylon courses in training on the first day.

“Bike Patrol provides the operators and the public with another level of safety and customer service on the transit system,” said Dave. “I’ll be able to respond to situations efficiently in the downtown area while doing something I love.”

Having a more mobile security team will provide an opportunity to go places where security can be restricted by being in a car. This means they can work more closely with the 43 bus routes that travel through the downtown core, attend to the SeaBus and engage in proactive security activities. They aim to make our employees and customers more safe and secure. They’ll also act as an additional resource to answer customer questions during the busy summer tourist season.

As for me, I enjoyed brushing up on my bike skills and learning just what it takes to be part of Bike Patrol for a day. It’s a big job to ride amongst traffic, know all the ways to get around the downtown core, and be first responders to transit incidents. And, that’s only a small part of what Transit Security deals with on a daily basis.

Be on the lookout for Jessica and Dave and other Bike Patrol members in downtown Vancouver this summer.

Things to know:

  • All six bikes were borrowed from Transit Police and were fitted to each rider.
  • Bikes will be stored at Waterfront Station and each member of patrol will meet at Waterfront before each shift.
  • No fair-weather riders! Bike Patrol will run rain or shine!

Thanks for riding along and filling us in, Jessica!

You can see the team in training, in uniform AND being a first responder on their very first day at a fire in New Westminster in the gallery below.

Keep your eyes peeled (they’re hard to miss with all that neon yellow!) for the team out on the streets, around buses and the SeaBus in downtown Vancouver this summer.

 

The Facts Matter: How TransLink contributes to the North Shore, the Northeast Sector and more!

TransLink invests in your community

TransLink invests in your community

Here’s another post for the The Facts Matter!

This post showcases a few regional projects, where in addition to transit, TransLink has contributed to infrastructure, cycling and roads.

This week is the North Shore, the Northeast Sector, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Take a look at just some of the investments from 2012-2015 in these areas.

North Shore

  • Improving bike route on St. Andrews Ave (Esplanade to 23 St.) – $13,000
  • Traffic signal improvements (Mount Seymour Pkwy. at Broadview Dr.) – $75,000
  • Improvements to the Spirit Trail (Marine Dr./Orchill Rd. to Gleneagles Elementary) – $125,000

Northeast Sector, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

  • Building a multi-use pathway on 128 Ave. (210 St. to Laity St. and 216 St. to 222 St.)– $1,282,560
  • Intersection improvements (Shaughnessy St. and Fraser Ave.) – $50,000
  • Seismic upgrades to the Moody St. Overpass – $332,640

Each municipality has their own fact sheet and you can see what’s been done in, and being planned for, your community’s future.

Head to The Facts Matter page to find out more ways TransLink has has contributed to transit, roads and cycling.

You can also read all about it here in the coming weeks as well as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following the #TheFactsMatter hashtag.