ALERT! More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Retrofitting our facilities to increase energy efficiency

DSCN5091

Richmond Transit Centre

Psst! Hey conservation wonks. You’re going to want to read this.

TransLink is constantly looking at how we can lower our carbon footprint, utilize green technologies and increase our energy efficiency in order to be more sustainable in our ever-changing industry and planet.

In 2015, an energy study was completed at Richmond Transit Centre. This study identified opportunities for CMBC to reduce electrical and natural gas use through mechanical, control and lighting measures at this bus depot. And that study has resulted in some significant changes.

What was changed

Compressor Heat Recovery → Damper redirected compressor generated heat into garage

Exhaust Fan Heat Recovery → Transfer heat to Make Up Air supply via installation of glycol loop

Workshop-to-Steam-Bay Heat Barrier → Reduce loss of heat from garage

MUA-1b/1c/4 → Shut down when garage doors are open to reduce heat loss with installation of soft start fan motors

RTU Controls → Roof Top Unit control optimization and DDC re-programming

Interior and Exterior Lights → 100% LED technology

*MUA = treats air outside which is then released into the building
*RTU = recirculates air within the building

Energy and Environmental Savings

Electrical Savings: 592,705 kWh/y (24% Savings)
Electrical Cost Savings: $64,000/y
Natural Gas Savings: 3,620 GJ/y (33% Savings)
Natural Gas cost Savings: $36,200/y
Greenhouse Gas Savings: 186 Tonnes of CO2e per year

Retrofitting our facilities

Significant energy savings are expected at RTC by implementing the recommended heat recovery systems and optimizing make-up air and exhaust controls.  Retrofitting interior and exterior lights to LED technology will result in large electrical savings of 500,000 kWh annually as lighting accounts for the highest portion of electrical consumption for the facility.

The implementation of the energy saving measures represents a 33% reduction in natural gas and 24% reduction in electricity!

Energy efficiency for the win!

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink on the Move: Compass points the way

TransLink on the Move Fare gates

TransLink on the Move is back again with more info unpacked from the 2016 Annual Report. It’s amazing the changes a year can bring! Today, May 8th marks one year and one month since the full closure of all fare gates at SeaBus and SkyTrain Stations across the system. With Compass in full operation we now have 463 fare gates closed, including the recently opened, or rather closed, permanent Compass fare gates at Metrotown Station!

In year one, Compass celebrated 1 Million active Compass Cards on the system, as well as full integration into our two secure bike parkades! One card loaded with Stored Value gets transit travel and bike parking all in one!

You asked, we listened! Earlier this year, due in part to overwhelming customer demand, we lowered the minimum Stored Value requirement on your Adult Compass Card from $10 to $5, making transit more accessible to more customers.

And that’s not all on the Compass front! Our recent partnership with United Way Lower Mainland brought five Compass Donation Kiosks to SkyTrain Stations across Vancouver giving customers the ability to donate their unregistered Compass Cards to a great cause.
Year one has been chock-full of great Compass News, and we’re excited to see where the future of Compass takes us!
Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!
Author: Sarah Kertcher

Walk this way… at Metrotown Station

Metrotown map
Starting Monday, May 8, 2017 we’re temporarily changing the way you enter and exit Metrotown Station.

To accommodate the widening of the west walkway adjacent to the bus loop, the walkway will temporarily close.

There will be no access between the west crosswalk onto Central Boulevard to the main station entrance during the time of work.

The walkway is expected to reopen on Friday evening on May 12 2017.

We’ll be starting week-long construction on the walkway that when complete will be three metres wide — double the width of the existing walkway – allowing for safer customer access to and from Metrotown Station.

Follow the leader

Look for our friendly neighbourhood traffic flaggers to help guide you on your way!

We’ll also have additional staff near the bus loop and the station to ensure you can easily make connections to where you need to go.

The walkway closure will not affect SkyTrain or bus service.

 Have questions?
Learn more about Metrotown Station upgrades at translink.ca/metrotown.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Running Rail work resumes May 22, 2017

Modified service route 1 NW to VC_17x11-01

**UPDATE May 8** – Work has been postponed until May 22, 2017. Continue to check translink.ca/alerts for the latest updates.

The Running Rail Replacement Project continues with work that started on Sunday, April 30.

Fun fact!

As part of this project we have already replaced 6851 rail pads, and expect to install a total of almost 7000 rail pads by the end of the project.

May 7 to May 9 May 22 to May 24

Single tracking – when trains travel on the same track in alternating directions – will happen at Royal Oak and Edmonds stations from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service.

  • Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George stations, with additional trains until midnight between Waterfront and Metrotown
  • Expo service to Sapperton, Braid, Lougheed Town Centre and Production Way–University will be replaced with trains operating between New Westminster and VCC–Clark. Passengers from other stations on the Expo Line can change trains to this service at Commercial – Broadway, New Westminster and Columbia stations.
  • Expo Line passengers should allow for 15-20 minutes extra travel time.
  • Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.

Learn more about the 2017 Running Rail project

Know before you go!
For more information on what this means for your commute, visit translink.ca/alerts.
Find details on the Rail Replacement Project at translink.ca/rail replacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Join us for a Jane’s Walk and explore art on transit!

Jane's Walk
I’ve had a tumultuous past with Jane’s Walk.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Jane Jacobs was an incredible woman who sparked a worldwide movement!

Unfortunately, my last Jane’s walk got a bit soggy.

But! I’ve put the pond behind me and I’m so excited to participate in this year’s festivities!

What is a Jane’s Walk?

The international festival is inspired by urbanist and author Jane Jacobs who believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy and cities planned by and for the people.

(She also would have been 101 years old TODAY!)JJ

The walks are free, citizen-led tours to get people telling stories about their communities, exploring their cities and connecting with neighbours.

Although Jacobs was not trained as a planner, she wrote one of the most influential books on city planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

This year TransLink’s own Debra Rolfe will be leading a walk!

Debra is a planner specializing in public art in TransLink’s Facility Design Team. With a background in art history, urban design and transportation planning, she brings a multi-disciplinary approach to art on transit.

So, it’s only fitting that her walk and talk entitled “Getting Where You Want to Go, Beautifully” is exploring the art found on and around transit.

Walk details

Where: Stadium-Chinatown Station, outside the Lost Property Office (look for the Jane’s Walk sign!)
When: Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Walk Route:

  • Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station Concourse level
    Outside Lost Property Office
  • Main Street-Science World SkyTrain Station
    Outside East Station House
  • Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station|
    By 99 B-Line Queue
  • Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain Station
    Outside East Station House

**Please bring your Compass Card loaded with valid fare or a one-zone Compass Ticket.**

If you’re an art lover, a transit fan or both, you won’t want to miss this!

Interested in other Jane’s Walks in our area? Head to janeswalk.org/canada/vancouver.
Don’t miss out on the social fun, follow @JanesWalk on Twitter!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fun Poll results: School takes the top destination for our first transit trips

meta-chart

Looks like the number one first transit trip destination for 25 per cent of voters (85 votes) was off to school!

Which doesn’t surprise me. Public transit in urban settings can often take the place of a “big yellow school bus” for many children!

Let’s see how the other destinations fared in our little poll.

Coming in second was shopping grabbing 16 per cent (14 votes)! Like, obvi.

ROBIN SPARKLES
Entertainment (movies, concerts and such) came in third place with 15 per cent (13 votes). In fourth place is the road to nowhere. Literally! 12 per cent of voters (10 votes) said their first transit trip was just for fun and had no destination.

Next in the voting hierarchy comes trips to see family or friends with eight per cent (seven votes), seven per cent (six votes) of you headed home and the same number of people voted for transiting to an appointment or meeting.

“Other” garnered six per cent (5 votes) and some great stories!

Adam Eileen Mala

Sporting event trips got two per cent (two votes) GO SPORTS!! And bringing up the rear is heading to work with only one per cent (one vote).

Other Buzzer readers and Facebook followers commented that they genuinely couldn’t remember where their first transit trip took them because they were just wee little ones.

Thanks to everyone for voting!

If you have an idea for a poll, comment below or email thebuzzer@translink.ca!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Ridership is on the rise: Q1 2017 reports continued growth

Q1 2017 Infographic

The annual trend of breaking ridership records continues through the first quarter of 2017. A 5.6% increase in individual Boardings, and a 5.1% increase in Journeys (number of start-to-finish trips taken on transit) shows transit ridership growing significantly compared to the same period last year.

Contributing to the growth is an increase in the number of average weekday Boardings for all modes with the exception of West Coast Express which saw a slight decrease.

  • Expo/Millennium Line – up 13.8%
  • Canada Line – up 7%
  • Bus – up 4.6%
  • SeaBus – up 3.6%
  • West Coast Express – down 5.8%

Explanation of growth

Various key factors play a role in ridership growth. We have identified some of the biggest players:

Transit Service Hours – Overall increased service hours in 2017 including the implementation of the Evergreen Extension.

Number of working days – There were 2 more working days in Q1 of 2017 over the previous year.

Weather – Metro Vancouver saw unseasonably cold and snowy conditions this winter. While the impact of weather on transit is not clear, data shows that commuters often substitute modes from walking/cycling to transit/driving during inclement weather.

Fuel Prices – Fuel prices in Q1 of 2017 averaged 15% higher than during the same time last year, and is a likely cause for commuters to park their vehicles and hop on transit.

Transit Fare Prices – With no change in transit fares over the past year, transit remains an attractive option.

Economic Growth & Activities – Various economic factors have contributed to growing ridership such as highest new housing starts, increased tourism, increased retail sales, and increased population and employment.

For more information check out our Accountability Centre.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

All BMO runners to their marks this Sunday!

Photo by Chris Morris

Photo by Chris Morris

The BMO Marathon will take place this Sunday, May 7, 2017.

Don’t worry if you’re not a marathon master because there is a time and pace for everyone with a half marathon, 8KM, relay, 2.5 KM walk and kids run, too!

Given the picturesque city, ocean and mountain views, this race is one of the most popular destination runs in the world and that means a lot-o-people will be funnelling into our fair region this weekend.

To help runners, volunteers and cheering sections alike get to the starting line, TransLink is increasing Canada Line service and providing shuttles to the race!

Canada Line will operate on its regular Sunday schedule while offering increased train frequency until 8:15 a.m. First trains depart Waterfront Station at 4:48 a.m. and Richmond Brighouse at 5:02 a.m.

Expo and Millennium Lines and SeaBus will operate normally. West Coast Express will not run.

Your easiest route to the prepping area of the race will be to head to Oakridge–41st Station and walk down to Queen Elizabeth Park on Midlothian Avenue near Hillcrest Community Centre.

Cycling to the race? TravelSmart is sponsoring BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer secure, temporary bike storage, free of charge. The valet is located at the finish line at Pender Street, west of Burrard Street, and is open from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m.  

Due to the race route, the following bus routes will be modified:

2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 17, 19, 22, 25, 33, 41, 49, 99, 160, 210, 211, 240, 246, C18, C20, and 23.

Happy running!!

For transit service information including bus re-routes during race,
sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca,
follow @TransLink or call 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink on the Move: Looking back on record ridership

TransLink on the Move Ridership

For TransLink on the Move this week, our five week series where we look at some of the many highlights from our 2016 Annual Report, we’re taking a look back on ridership from 2016 where we logged 384.83 million boardings! Our highest ever!

Last year saw an increase of 4.5% over 2015’s ridership levels, and we have YOU, our riders to thank for that! Thank you for helping us build and maintain momentum. We are proud of the work we do, and strive to continue improving with a commitment to focus on what matters to our customers.

Snapshot

In 2016, we launched our new Accountability Centre, a one-stop-shop in tracking performance of our regional transportation system, as well as customer satisfaction to ensure we’re meeting our goals and satisfying customer needs.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Links and Tidbits – April 28, 2017

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.

»   A peek into the past as Rome’s latest subway dig unearths ancient artifacts.

»   Check out some of these rents near busy NYC subway hubs. Can anyone say STICKER SHOCK?!

»   Public transit = the great equalizer, connecting people from all walks of life!

»  Major #TBT for the TTC when the Yonge Line opened in 1954!

»   Meet the innovative musician who makes every second count on NYC’s subway.

»   Toronto gets comic-fied with a special nod to the TTC!

»  Good samaritans to the rescue on transit.

»  Being nosy on the subway was no problem for James “Smelly” Kelly.

»   Need some tips to make your commute more enjoable? Here are 11 ways to boost your transit ride.

»   Naomi Watts just cruising around on New York’s transit system. Snapping pics people snapping pics of her!

»   A first (to my knowledge!) as Berlin declares subway stations as historic monuments!

»   The Weeknd is paying homage to his hometown of Toronto in a new video with his co-star, the TTC subway!

»  Suprise – Subway rave! Would this ^^ delight or deter you?

»  What does it mean to rely on public transit? Read these people’s stories.

»  Who owns transit data? Most transit agencies have open source data but Germany chooses not to do this. Where do you stand?

»  10-year-old goes from selling napkins in Cairo subway to launchin his own art exhibition.

Subway1-778x1024»  Subway seat urinal or urinal subway seat? Art. It’s subjective!

»  What beautiful Moscow subway car art. These are reproductions of 78 notable Russian artists’ works showcased on their public transit.

»  Finally, please enjoy these awesome “slow-tv” GIFS of NYC subway from 1905-1980s.

Author: Adrienne Coling

HandyDART booking window is being expanded May 1, 2017

handydart
We are so happy to announce that TransLink is implementing the first of a series of recommendations to improve HandyDART service.

Beginning May 1, 2017, the next-day booking window will be extended by four hours!

This means that our customers can request a next-day HandyDART trip until 4 p.m. creating more flexibility in our custom transit service.

Why the change?

In June 2016, the TransLink Board committed to review the policies and delivery model for HandyDART. This review involved extensive engagement with stakeholders, research on peer agencies in other Canadian cities and industry best practices.

Based on the findings from the Custom Transit Service Delivery Review, a number of recommendations designed to improve customer experience, the availability of trips and improve the service delivery model were presented to and accepted by the board in March 2017.

What’s next?

We are moving to implement these recommendations as soon as possible to deliver on our promises to HandyDART customers in 2017 and beyond.

Quick Facts

  • TransLink is adding 85,500 HandyDART trips in 2017 as part of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year Vision.
  • 171,000 HandyDART trips will be added over the next three years – a 15 per cent increase in service!

Click here to read the entire Customer Transit Service Delivery Review.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Capturing Art on Public Transit – 2017 Capture Photography Festival

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with British Mexican photographer Alinka EcheverrÍa, a featured artist in the 2017 Capture Photography Festival.

The Capture Photography Festival is an annual not-for-profit festival that strives to nurture emerging talent, engage community and spark public dialogue about photography as an art form and a vessel for communication.

This year, Capture has once again partnered with TransLink, this time on an art installation on the SkyTrain system.

This series titled Nicephora, is installed at Stadium–Chinatown Skytrain Station and can be viewed until 2018.

Alinka Echeverria
Precession of the Feminine
(2015), which is part of the larger series of works entitled Nicephora, was born during EcheverrÍa’s BMW Residency program at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in France, a museum named after Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography.

Capture Photography Festival
The Capture Photography Festival runs from April 1 – 28, 2017.

For more information, head to capturephotofest.com
Be sociable! Check out Capture’s Facebook and Instagram.

#MyTransLink – April 25, 2017

Ok transit shutterbugs, it’s that time again!

It’s time to feature some of the latest, awesome pics in our social photo series #MyTransLink!

#288 #🌈 #translink #skytrain #citylights #vancouver #scienceworld #nightphotography #mytranslink

A post shared by Linda & Christopher (@oneyearcanada) on

Sea Bus

A post shared by Philipp Postrehovsky (@philpostro) on

SkyTrain. #TheTraveller #Vancouver #TransLink #Canada #Sky #Train #mytranslink

A post shared by Channy Anand (@channyanand) on

Keep those Instagram #MyTransLink posts coming. Get snapping on your commute and you could be featured on our social channels, too!

Author: Adrienne Coling

From Rails to Rubber: A look back at the region’s transition from streetcars to buses

Print buzzer front page

April 20, 1955 Print Buzzer

Today marks the 62nd year since the last streetcar ride in Vancouver! We’re definitely a bus region nowadays whether they be conventional diesel, hybrids or trolleybuses, but it wasn’t always that way.

Metro Vancouver used to have interurban rail and urban streetcars connecting and moving the Lower Mainland until April 24, 1955 when we said goodbye to Vancouver streetcars with a fitting send-off at the PNE.

To know where you are, is to know where you’ve been. So, let’s take a quick look at the major milestones that transitioned our region from rails to rubber!

Transit Timeline

1889 – Laying Vancouver’s streetcar rails

laying tracks

Constructing streetcar tracks on Powell St.

1890 – First electric streetcar in Vancouver

The beginning of transit in Metro Vancouver

The beginning of transit in Metro Vancouver

First streetcars quick facts!

  • 4 wheeled
  • open sides and front
  • Bench seating
  • Ran at 6 m.p.h
  • Originally made to be horse-drawn

Two lines:

1. Down Westminster Avenue (now Main St) from 1st Ave to Powell.
2. Along Powell and Cordova from Campbell Ave to Granville St.

1891 – Interurban tram line opens connecting New Westminster and Vancouver
1905 – Construction of North Vancouver tracks
1922 – Rebuilding of doors on streetcars when the rule-of-the-road switch from left to right.
1923 – First BCER bus on Grandview Highway route

first bcer bus 1923
1927 – Two-car “trains” were introduced on major routes

Two-car streetcar "trains" ran on main Vancouver routes from 1927 to the late 1940s

Two-car streetcar “trains” ran on main Vancouver routes from 1927 to the late 1940s

1945 to 1955 – Streetcar rails removed

rail removal

Removing streetcar tracks on Broadway near Cambie

1946 – Streetcars start to be replaced with buses
April 22, 1955, 3:30 am – The last official revenue streetcar went out of service
April 22, 1955 – Last streetcar route replaced with trolley bus
April 24, 1955 –
Last streetcar (free!) ride and No. 53 display at the PNE
1958 – The end of interurban service

“If the next 65 years are anything like the last, there will be lots to keep us busy – whether it’s streetcars or helicopters!”

– The Buzzer, April 20, 1955

Although the vehicles have changed, the impact of public transit and transportation continue to mould our present and future!

Thanks for coming along for the ride down the tracks of our transit history.

Have a hankering to see a streetcar today? Just head to the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown to see the No. 53 or cruise by East Broadway at the Kingsway and….. tada a lovely little streetcar replica!

No 21 Mount Pleasant

A nod to transit years gone by

You can also view the special Rails to Rubber 1955 edition of the Buzzer and read more about our streetcar past here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink on the Move: Evergreen means Go!

TransLink on the Move Evergreen

Last week marked the start of our TransLink on the Move series where we’re breaking down some of the highlights of our 2016 Annual Report.

This week, we’re featuring the long awaited Evergreen Extension!

The opening of the Evergreen Extension was a milestone event for TransLink and for Metro Vancouver. This significant expansion of our integrated transit network brings us to 79 km of SkyTrain meaning that TransLink now operates the world’s longest fully-automated rapid transit system!

Included in the Evergreen Extension is a two-kilometre Tunnel (the longest in the SkyTrain network) connecting Coquitlam to Port Moody, a new SkyTrain operating pattern and six new stations connecting riders to more destinations in our region.

The Evergreen Extension boasts beautiful new open concept stations with plenty of glass allowing for natural light, picturesque views and beautiful public art.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the new stations, have a look at some of the shots captured by transit enthusiast Ivan Chan. Or better yet, become your very own #EvergreenExplorer by checking out some of the great java stops along the new route.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!

Author: Sarah Kertcher