ALERT! More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Attention Metrotown SkyTrain riders!

walkway
Some more changes are coming to Metrotown Station as we upgrade one of our busiest stations outside downtown Vancouver.

Beginning November 16, a portion of the centre stationhouse will open!

To allow for demolition to begin on the existing east entrance, the pedestrian walkway at Metrotown Station connecting the mall and bus loop will permanently close.

The station upgrades allow space for an overhead walkway to be built, however, TransLink does not own the property and it will be up to the discretion of the City of Burnaby.

We are currently working with the city to agree upon design, construction, funding and timing for the a new walkway.

Not to worry, the station is still accessible for riders! You can exit the platform via the brand new stairs in the centre stationhouse towards the east of the platform or the emergency staircase at the west end of the platform.

The future bus lane will be used for passengers to travel east or west along the south side of Central Boulevard. Concrete barricades will be installed to separate pedestrians from traffic in that area.

Compass Vending Machines and card readers will be located just outside the station, so remember to tap in and tap out to ensure you are paying the correct fare!

ct_f_metrotown_walkway_closure_map
To help direct riders during this construction, additional staff will be on hand, but you should still allow for an additional five to 10 minutes of travel time when using this station.

**Please note** There will be no escalator access into the station, only stairs. The HandyDART and Community Shuttles will continue to run between Metrotown and Patterson stations until the new elevators open this spring.

What’s all this construction for? Let me tell you! When fully complete, the upgraded station will include:

  • A rebuilt east stationhouse and the addition of new centre and west stationhouses
  • New stairs and escalators
  • A replacement of the original elevator with three new elevators accessible via a new central entry
  • An upgraded bus exchange on Central Boulevard
  • New secure bike parking

Looking for more station upgrades or Metrotown information?
Visit translink.ca/ontrack and translink.ca/Metrotown.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Derek Stewart speaks at CUTA about climate change and its impacts to transit

Courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

Courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

The 2016 CUTA Fall Conference and Transit Show is well underway!

One of speakers at this year’s conference is CMBC’s Derek Stewart; Director of Safety, Environment and Emergency Management.

You may remember him from this video!

We had the opportunity to pick Derek’s brain about his talk entitled Climate change impacts on transit and infrastructure and how that affects us here in Metro Vancouver.

How does climate change affect a transit network?

Climate change means that what we see as weather on a day to day basis is going to be different in the future. We don’t know exactly what nature has in store for us in the long term, but we expect more intense rainfall and wind events, along with more extreme heat and increased ocean levels.

As we saw with our recent wind and rain storms, this can mean fallen trees, power outages and local flooding, impacting our ability to reliably deliver customer service.

Why is it an important issue to address as Canadian transit agencies?

Transit is different than many other industries in two respects: we must deliver reliable service every day and our infrastructure tends to be around for a long time (good examples include our Oakridge and North Vancouver Transit Centres, both of which recently closed after decades of service).

Unlike a manufacturing plant or a warehouse that can relocate to areas less impacted by climate change, we operate where our customer live and work, regardless of the climate changes that happen.

What concerns does TransLink have regarding climate change?

Nearly every aspect of climate change will have some sort of impact on us. On the customer facing side of our business, we are already changing our bus and rail specifications to ensure that our vehicles are air conditioned. Our summers in recent years have included long, hot, dry spells creating comfort issues for our customers where our fleet is not air conditioned.

Should the frequency of intense rain and wind events increase, this will increase the likelihood of temporary service disruptions. In the longer term, rising ocean levels and increased rainfall could put several of our maintenance facilities at risk of flooding.

What can transit agencies do to prepare for the future?

In some respects, doing what we already do, just better, will help us to prepare.

Transit agencies are very good at responding to mini emergencies each day. Learning from our mistakes will make us better prepared for increased weather intensity. Planning, and running practice drills, for expected emergencies such as floods and earthquakes will also give us the skills and confidence to respond to emergencies.

In the longer term, we need to better understand what climate change means to us and how our infrastructure is vulnerable. Planning to mitigate these vulnerabilities will help us protect our assets and better enable us to reliably move people throughout the region.

What is TransLink doing to prepare for the future?

TransLink and its operating companies are continuously developing and revising plans for emergencies such as floods, which include elements such as protecting valuable assets and maintaining business continuity by relocating operations to alternate locations. By ensuring lines of communication both inside our organization and with our customers, we are able to adapt to conditions in the short term.

On the longer term horizon, we are working together with local and regional partners, engineers, and others to understand how and where we are vulnerable to climate change. By understanding our vulnerabilities, we can change the location, design and supporting infrastructure for delivery of transit services.

To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change TransLink is working to increase public transit mode share, while at the same time decreasing the carbon footprint of its fleet and facilities.

A big thank you to Derek for speaking with us and helping CMBC and all of TransLink’s operating companies prepare for our changing world.

Interested in what else is being discussed at CUTA? Check out the full program here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

(Video) Evergreen Extension is opening December 2, 2016

TRL16-014-Static-Ad_m.translink-banner_640x194_GLOBEMoodyCentreStation2
Are you ready for this??

MoodyCentreStation1

Moody Centre Station

The Evergreen Extension to the Millennium Line is opening December 2, 2016!

That’s right!

We’re so excited that our riders across the Tri-Cities will soon have more frequent transit options and be able to seamlessly connect to the Metro Vancouver transit network!

It’s also an important milestone for the entire system because once Evergreen opens, SkyTrain will be the longest, fully automated, driverless rapid transit system in the world!

Now that construction has finished, TransLink will take control over the operation of everything Evergreen.

BurquitlamStation3

Burquitlam Station art

Right now, we’re focused on ensuring a smooth transition for our customers and we continue to get ready behind the scenes. On the customer end, you will start seeing platform posters and ads, transit advertising, digital, newspaper and radio ads, plus a video that will play on the system and in the media.

To do that, we are testing the extension, planning the grand opening and preparing for the extensive bus integration that will take place after Evergreen opens.

We know you have tons of questions about bus service changes and we will have all that info for you later this month once the changes are finalized.

So, be sure to stay tuned to our social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and right here on the Buzzer blog!

Here are some resources for you leading up to, and after, the opening:

  • Starting on November 28, you can head to our Trip Planner to help you map out your route with new travel information.
  • If you want to use Trip Planner, be sure to choose the specific date on which you want to travel.
  • First train departs at 12p.m. on December 2 and a community celebration is planned at Coquitlam Centre – watch the blog for details soon!
  • Bus service changes will begin to take effect on December 19.
  • From November 21 to December 22, you’ll see our outreach teams all across the system. These wonderful people are virtual Evergreen encyclopedias and can answer your questions and help riders understand how the bus changes affect their transit trips.

You can learn more by visiting translink.ca/evergreen for more information.

 

For more information about bus travel once the Evergreen Extension opens, head to translink.ca/servicechanges on November 28.


TransLink @TransLink


 Author: Adrienne Coling

Fall back this weekend as Daylight Savings Time ends

Remember to set those clocks back!

Remember to set those clocks back!

Fun fact: Daylight saving time started in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to squeeze in an extra hour of daylight.

This Sunday, November 6, we’re rolling those clocks back one hour at 2 a.m.

Our transit services will finish their Saturday night service and the change to Pacific Standard Time will take effect for the start of Sunday service.

So, remember to set those clocks before bed on Saturday to seamlessly slip into Sunday morning transit travels.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Metro Vancouver welcomes the 2016 CUTA Fall Conference and Transit Show

CUTA is the Canadian Urban Transit Association and this year’s Fall Conference and Transit Show is happening right here in Metro Vancouver November 5–9.

The conference is such a wonderful opportunity to bring the best and brightest in Canadian transit together and experience the wealth of knowledge these experts have to bring!

This year’s theme is Inspiring Sustainable Change with a variety of seminars and speakers discussing today’s demands, tomorrow’s challenges and the possibilities for transit in our country and around the world.

There are 20 amazing TransLink employees presenting different topics from climate change to land use and everything in between.

In fact, our own Robert Willis will be presenting in the Growing Customer Expectations session regarding video use for social media used by transit agencies.

Derek Stewart from CMBC will also be speaking. His talk is about his climate change challenges facing transit agencies. Keep your eyes glued to the Buzzer blog as we will be featuring a little Q & A with Derek next week.

For more conference details, check out the full program.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Burnaby Transit Centre turns 30!

First bus
On November 3, 1986 at 4:35 a.m. bus #5101 was the very first to pass through the gates of the brand new Burnaby Transit Centre.

Who knew that 30 years later, BTC would still be such a hub for our bus fleet?!

This transit centre is made up of a north and south campus and holds fleet overhaul as well as the paint and fabric services for all of CMBC’s buses plus the sign, fare box and bus stop maintenance shops.

Some notable bus routes coming out of BTC are the ever-popular 99 B-line, 43 Joyce/UBC, 135 SFU/Burrard Station and 236 Grouse Mountain/Lonsdale Quay – just to name a few!

BTC is a highlight for I Love Transit week each year as transit ‘campers’ get to explore buses behind the scenes.

To BTC, we wish you a happy 30th birthday and thank all of hard working employees that keep it running and in turn, keep our buses running and serving the transit network!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Transit for Remembrance Day

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

Once again, TransLink and its operating companies will provide free transit to veterans and members of the Armed Forces and Coast Guard this Remembrance Day, Friday November 11, 2016.

“Providing free transit service is one small way we can honour and thank the brave men and women who protect freedom for not only every Canadian, but our neighbours around the globe.” – TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

Here’s how it will work:

One accessible fare gate will remain open at all SeaBus, SkyTrain and Canada Line stations from the start of service to 6:00 p.m. and transit will be free all day on buses.

Ordinary and Life Members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans, Korean Veterans Association, Armed Forces and Coast Guard are invited to ride free on all conventional TransLink services, HandyDART and Canada Line YVR Add-Fare.

*Please note* the West Coast Express will not operate on Remembrance Day.

Veterans and eligible members are not required to tap their Compass Cards but please have your membership card ready to display or appear in uniform when boarding buses or entering a fare-paid zone.

For the rest of the public, transit is operating on a holiday schedule and you will only need a one-zone fare for travel across the network.

We will also be observing a moment of silence at 11:00 am, with all SkyTrain, SeaBus, and buses observing this moment at the stop reached closest to the hour.

All TransLink and operating company properties will fly their flags at half-mast.

Service returns to regular weekday schedules for all modes on Monday, November 14.

You can find more information on our Holiday Service page.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Knight Street Bridge Inspection

Kinght Street BridgeCustomer Alert

Heads up to all late Knight Street Bridge users! From Nov. 1 to 5 10 15/16 and Dec. 5 to 7 the Knight Street Bridge will undergo inspections to ensure a state of good repair. The bridge will remain open during the inspection however some lane closures will be required between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m on the following days (Please note dates and times have been updated, and all work is tentative due to being dependent on weather):

**UPDATE NOVEMBER 17:

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016
    – One night, slow/curb lane closure northbound over the length of the north brance structure and Marine Drive Overpass
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016
    – One night, slow/curb lane closure northbound 230 metres of the south branch structure
  • Thursday, November 17, 2016
    – One night, slow/curb lane closure northbound 230 metres of the south branch structure

November 1st and 2nd – single lane closure southbound (completed)

November 3rd and 4thsingle lane closure northbound slow/curb lane closure southbound over the length of the south branch structure (tentative)

December 5th to 7th – Two nights, slow/curb lane closure for entire corridor length (all three sections) each night between 10 PM and 5AM.

Update:

Snooper Truck Inspection on Marine Drive Overpass, Knight Street Bridge North Branch and South Branch (Dec 12-14 between 10pm-5am)

Monday, Dec 12  – Knight Street Corridor Southbound Slow lane closure

Tuesday, Dec 13  – Knight Street Corridor Northbound Slow lane closure

 

Motorists can expect minor delays during the lane closures, so if you`re driving, make sure to watch out for the closure and remember to obey all posted signs and instructions. We thank everyone for their patience while we do this important work.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Transit Police tips for a safe and happy Halloween

Halloween is a great time for kids and adults alike!

It’s important with all the fun and frivolity that dressing as Star Lord and Cleopatra can bring that we keep ourselves safe on this spooky night!

Allow me to present tips from Transit Police for you to have a safe and happy Halloween!

  • Take extra care when choosing a Halloween costume.
    Prop swords and knives could be mistaken for the real thing. Think about how might this costume put your safety at risk? Best rule of thumb: if you’re unsure, leave it at home.
  • Consuming alcohol in public is illegal.
    This includes at SkyTrain stations and on-board buses, SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express. If you are on your way to an event and are carrying alcohol, be sure the container remains closed until you arrive at your destination.
  • See something? Say something.
    There are quick ways to report non-emergency police issues discreetly to Transit Police. You can text 87-77-77, use the OnDuty App or call 604-515-8300. In an emergency always call 911.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings while on public transit.
    As always, try to keep valuables out of sight from others and keep your eyes open! Don’t be distracted by your electronic device.
  • Plan ahead for a safe ride home.
    Make note of key times such as the last trip of the night! Check out the NightBus and SkyTrain schedules to make sure you don’t miss your ride home.
  • Set a meeting place.
    If you are travelling in a group, plan a meeting place ahead of time in case you get separated.
  • Be seen!
    Wear bright costumes or include reflective tape, glow sticks, or other articles that improve visibility.
  • Try face paint or make‐up instead of a mask.
    If you must wear a mask, enlarge the eyes for better vision and remove it when you are walking in and around stations and in busy pedestrian areas.

Happy Halloween!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Transit Trick-or-Treat

Transit Trick or Treat

Halloween is fast approaching! The weather looks like it should clear by this evening, but you never know!

If you or your costumed comrades are fair weather trick-or-treaters, we have a list of Metro Vancouver malls conveniently located on or near  SkyTrain routes that participate in indoor trick-or-treating.

Central City Mall – Located on the corner of 102nd Avenue and King George Boulevard in Surrey, BC.

Trick or Treating will take place on Monday, October 31, from 4pm to 6pm. Stop by Customer Service for a treat before making your way to any store displaying participating signage.

Coquitlam Centre – Located at the intersection of the Barnet Highway (7A) and the Lougheed Highway (7). The address is 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam, BC.

Want to keep your kiddies indoors this Halloween? Coquitlam Centre invites you to celebrate Halloween on October 31st, from 4pm to 5pm by trick or treating at the mall. All kids 12 and under in a costume are welcome to participate!
Brentwood Town Centre – Located at 4567 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, BC.

Join the annual Halloween fun on Monday, October 31st from 4pm to 5pm. Fun for the whole family including a live DJ, Stilt Walkers, Balloon Artists, Interactive Pumpkin Patch, and of course, candy galore!

Willowbrook Shopping Centre – Located at #150 – 19705 Fraser Highway, Langley, BC

For $2 cash per child up to age 12, you can join in this popular and lively Halloween event and Trick or Treat Parade on Monday, October 31st from 5pm to 6pm. Registration starts at 4:30pm at any of the following Willowbrook Shopping Centre entrances: Sport ChekSwimco, Tim Hortons,  Sashimi Sushi, and Sears.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Langley School District Foundation to support innovative and essential school programs for Langley students.

Lougheed Town Centre – Located at 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby

Trick or treat (mostly treats!) at Lougheed Town Centre on October 31 from 4pm to 5pm. Free treats for kids under 12, with a little something for parents too! Check out the Halloween photo booth open from 4pm to 6pm to capture your perfect costume (and then submit your #TLtrickortreat selfie).

Trick or treating at Lougheed Town Centre is in support of Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. Suggested donation of $1 per child.

Metropolis at Metrotown – Located at 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC

Come in costume and trick-or-treat your way around Vancouver’s biggest shopping centre on October 31st from 4pm to 6pm. Not all stores are participating, however there will be more than enough candy at the various shops throughout the mall.

Landsdowne Centre – Located at 5300 No.3 Road, Richmond, BC

Grab your costume and your silly face on October 31st from 12pm to 5pm for the Halloween photo booth at Lansdowne Centre. Celebrate Halloween with trick or treating from 3pm to 5pm.

 

*****Don’t forget to snap a #TLtrickortreat selfie of you in costume on transit for a chance to win!*****

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Links and Tidbits – October 28, 2016

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.

music on transit

 

»   GO Transit sees better behaviour from riders after this etiquette campaign.

»  Moovit attempts to streamline transit with their update app. Any reviews from users??

»   Transit movers and shakers are making a global difference!

»   Yowza! This self-driving shuttle bus has a fancy price tag to go with it.

»   I think we should “tune in” to each other on transit. I’d wear a button for Tube Chat!!

»   Another subway hero… with a beat that saved a life!

»   Solar powered subway. Reality or pipe dream?

How New York’s Subway Map Was Reimagined for Women

»   Need a map of some public transit agencies in America. How about ALL PUBLIC TRANSIT!?!

»   The map fun continues with this “30 minutes or less” San Francisco gem!

»   Turning firearms into fares in Halifax.

»   I would be absolutely fine being delayed to save a kitty on the tracks!

»   An abandoned New York City trolley tunnel could be the world’s first underground park! (Hopefully everything gets a good scrub before opening)

»   Learn about Montreal’s fascinating and controversial transit past.

»   ^^ When the opportunity arises, you have to shake your groove thing!

»   I think public transit art, in whatever form it takes, is my favourite. It really captures candid humanity. What do you think of these pieces?

»   Hmmm. Should we get some handsome anime mascots to promo TransLink?

»   Real life photos of the worst transit etiquette offenders!

»   A royal commute for those on this Amsterdam subway!

»   ^^ Panda Train! Panda Train in the sky!!

»   New Wayfinding signs for Ottawa. Just look for the big, red “O!”

»   What cities have the most people living near public transit? Read on and see!

»   Monorail. What’s it called? Monorail. That’s right! Shenzhen Monorail.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Show us your Halloween spirit on transit and win!

halloween group therapy

Halloween. Is. Awesome.

I think we can all use that one day of the year where you get to dress up and be whoever your heart desires. It’s a great way to have fun… and get candy!

This year, instead of simply presenting you with transit costumes we want YOU to show US what you’ve got. The more creative and hilarious, the better!

Here’s the sitch:

  • Dress up on in your most awesome Halloween gear
  • Snap a selfie or get a picture of yourself taken wearing your costume on transit
  • Tag us on Twitter (@TransLink) or on Instagram (@TransLinkBC) with the hashtag #TLtrickortreat
  • You can also enter by emailing thebuzzer@translink.ca with the subject “Halloween
  • Entries MUST be received before the stroke of midnight on All Hallows’ Eve 2016

Full contest rules and regulations can be found here.

A respected panel of fresh zombies, cursed witches and Gru’s minions will choose the top three entries to win a transit prize pack.

Here are some examples for your inspiration!

Photos courtesy of Gothamist

Just remember, although we’re having fun with this, make sure you’re aware of your costume around others on transit – no one needs a giant feather in the eye or some fake blood on their suit.

Now, go forth and costume!

Congrats to this years #TLTrickorTreat contest winner, Jackie H!

Halloween Contest Winner

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fun Poll: Do you have a secret transit friend?

human bondI am conducting yet another social experiment here on the Buzzer blog! Well, we did it seven years ago, but that was a lifetime ago.

The poll is about the people we meet continuously on transit. Do we all have secret transit friends? How do you interact with them? These are the questions that keep me up at night!

I actually have three secret transit friends!

The first, we say good morning or hi, another we nod and the third we just make reaction faces to weird things that happen on the bus.

What’s your deal? Vote today!

Do you have a secret transit friend?

  • No - I like keeping to myself on transit (36%, 54 Votes)
  • No - but I'd like one! (23%, 34 Votes)
  • Yes - but no conscious interaction (15%, 23 Votes)
  • Yes - we never speak but acknowledge each other (13%, 20 Votes)
  • Yes - we talk occasionally (9%, 13 Votes)
  • Yes - we chat daily (4%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 150

Have a funny secret transit friend story? Comment below!

Author: Adrienne Coling

CMBC to the rescue — literally!

FullSizeRender (4)

A Transit bus, a Shelter bus, an Ambulance? Oh My!

There’s never a dull moment when it comes to operating a transit bus, and last night was no exception. Late last night, CMBC was contacted by BC Ambulance Service requesting assistance with the transportation of patients from a British Airways flight that had made an emergency landing at YVR. The flight was en route to London from San Francisco when the cabin was overcome by fumes.

FullSizeRender (2)

CMBC staff jumped in to action providing vehicles and support staff to oversee our side of the operation. Three coaches were directed to the aircraft (two were used and one was on standby) where 25 non-critical patients were loaded aboard and transported to Vancouver General, Richmond, and Delta hospitals.

FullSizeRender (3)

Ten CMBC employees were directly involved with this incident and have been commended for their professionalism and dedication in this time of need.

CMBC scrambles bus a number of times a year for those in need and our staff takes great pride in being able to help.

Author: Sarah Kercher

Introducing TransLink’s Transit Hacks!

SkyTrain-image
Life hacks
have been a big part of the Internet for the past few years.

Across the world wide web you can find tricks for cooking, laundry, DIY projects, make up and more – all meant to make your life easier.

With that in mind, we are kicking off a new series on the blog; TransLink’s transit hacks!

Each month we will feature a different insider tip, how-to video or live stream conversation to make your life on transit, easier.

Some broad topics we’re considering are: Compass and fare gates, transfers, etiquette/courtesy on transit, bus door boarding and exiting – the possibilities are endless!

We will kick this awesome new series off next month, but we want YOUR input!

Comment below and let us know what you want to get some insider knowledge on to help you on your transit trips.

Do you have a transit hack? Email thebuzzer@translink.ca. If we use your idea for a future video, you’ll win a prize  from the social team!

Author: Adrienne Coling