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Translink Buzzer Blog

A celebration of 125 years of transit… with a vintage trolley bus!

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vintage trolley bus

This summer, you’re invited to join our celebration of 125 years of public transit in BC!

And wow, do we ever have a lot to to celebrate!

Transit in the region has come a long way since the first streetcars rumbled through Vancouver’s core in 1890.

Just look at how our system has expanded over the years to meet the growing population.

Following our initial trolley bus and rubber-tired bus fleets of early days, when the SeaBus hit the scene in 1977 our system began carrying more passengers to the North Shore.

Then the SkyTrain cruised in a few years later for EXPO 86 with The Millennium Line following hot on its heels in 2002.

And then the Canada Line infrastructure further grew our system for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Now, the Evergreen Line is set to expand our transportation network even further to the east.

So, all in all, it has been a busy 125 years!

In honour of this special anniversary we have a few things up our sleeves to mark the occasion…including free rides on a vintage trolley bus!

This Sunday, an old 1954 Canadian Car-Brill  trolley bus (originally acquired by BC Electric Railway
Company) will be brought out of retirement to give passengers a free ride to designated downtown stops.

Sunday’s vintage trolley bus route! The bus is running from 11am to 3pm, picking up and dropping off at stops marked on the map.

Running from 11am to 3pm, the old trolley will tour on a 30 minute schedule from these stops:

  • Southbound from Victory Square -
    Cambie St at Hastings St, stop #50410
  • Burrard Station – Burrard St at Melville St, stop #50043
  • Burrard St at Robson St, stop #50045
  • Davie St at Howe St, stop #50011
  • Seymour St at Pender St, stop #61519
  • Waterfront Station – Cordova St at Richards St

A couple of TRAMS BC volunteers will also be on board, so if you have questions about the trolley or just want to chat about transit history, these guys got you covered.

Please note, the trolley is not accessible for passengers with disabilities.

Over the upcoming weeks we will continue to celebrate 125 years of transit, so stay tuned for special interviews, archival photos and more!

Transit in the News – June 26, 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

Fort Erie bus ridership flatlined.

NYC subway stations’ cleanliness criticized in audit.

Valley Line LRT construction to alter Edmonton bus routes.

Bus rides to be safer as Delhi Transport Corporation gets 2K home guards.

Tennessee city spares mass transit.

Transit and Public sector cuts leave African Americans worse off.

Relief coming for TTC riders on overcrowded Yonge subway line but it might not last: Metrolinx report.

Hernando County, Florida gets a gas tax hike to pay for public transit and road improvements.

Rochester public transit to demo electric bus.

Postmedia wins Toronto transit distribution bid to replace Metro with 24Hrs.

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

You Keep Us Moving – Derek

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No idling here!

As the Director of Safety, Environment & Emergency Management at Coast Mountain Bus Company, Derek knows the environment is important.

He is constantly working at making our system greener every day!

In fact, our system is one of the most environmentally friendly transit systems in North America!

He works to maximize efficiency and minimize the environmental impact and because of you, he can do this.

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs.

Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.

You Keep Us Moving — Marisa

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Marisa is a puzzle solver. She is a Senior Manager for System Planning.

Her job is to look at all 1,800 square kilometres of our system and see how the pieces of transit and the community fit together to form the bigger picture. Her team works to make the decisions of where to put what and why across the system for all modes of transit and how that will develop in the future.

For Marisa, it’s all about making change in the communities and their futures.

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs.

Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.

Be heard at our AGM!

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Our AGM this Friday is fast approaching!

On June 26th from 10am to 11:30am at the Anvil Centre (777 Columbia St.) we will be sharing our 2014 operational and financial milestones with regional stakeholders, senior TransLink staff, media and those of the general public that can attend.

The event will kick off our celebration of 125 years in transit as well as give us a chance to thank those that have kept us moving today and into tomorrow.

Our AGM is an excellent opportunity to ask any burning questions you have or ask a question about the work that TransLink does.

So, what if you can’t make it? If you can’t attend this Friday here’s your chance to put forward a question at our AGM.

Two Ways to Submit a Question:

  • Post your question in the comments section. We’ll try our best to answer it at the AGM and will also post the answer.
  • Send your queries to thebuzzer@translink.ca. Make sure to include “AGM” in the subject line and also include your name (first required both if you like).

While not all questions will be able to be asked live at the AGM (we get a lot of questions…), we will try to respond to your questions via email.

Your input matters — ask away!

You Keep Us Moving — Ajay

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Meet Ajay.

He is a General Investigations Officer for Coast Mountain Bus Company.

Ajay takes pride in providing safety and security for employees and passengers.

As a part of the CMBC Transit Security team he handles non-criminal incidents and helps keep an eye on the system to make it a safer environment for everyone.

Ajay has worked for CMBC for the past 10 years and loves that his job makes a difference!

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs.

Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.

Did you know that Transit Security now has a Bike Patrol? Check out our Buzzer Blog post to get the inside scoop!

Transit in the News — June 20, 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

Free transit announced for Pan Am Games ticket holders in Toronto.

Mum’s copper coins refused by First Bus.

Hamilton looks at building gondalas as part of public transit.

Preliminary public transportation for Pope’s visit to Philadelphia released.

Weeks of disruption for Edinburgh-Glasgow rail users.

Rail firm ‘breaks promise’ on reviving village station.

Stephen Harper promises funding for Toronto’s SmartTrack transit line.

GetMovingSEQ: Southeast’s public transit among most expensive in the world.

Metro urges attendees to ride mass transit during Special Olympics.

Expect a busy night on transit with World soccer and Shania Twain.

3.9 billion World Trade Center transit hub nears completion.

A Railway City welcome for Pan Am Games torch.

Passenger train service may be arriving in Sarnia.

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

Bus operator goes above and beyond to fight roadside fire!

Earlier this week, bus operator George Simnos was driving a full 84 UBC bus along West 6th Ave when he noticed something unusual. Smoke was coming from a patch of bushes near a wooden fence, about a 100 metres from a few townhomes and parkland.

Immediately, George’s operator training kicked in. Stopping the bus (with hazards on, of course), George checked for passenger safety before grabbing the onboard fire extinguisher and starting work on the blaze.

The flames, now about a foot high, had started to climb the six-foot tall fence nearby. George quickly doused the flames. However, the blaze was resilient and continued to spark, until a passenger with a bucket of water from the pub across the street, came and soaked the fire.

Then, another passenger helped George finish it if off by kicking dirt on the area. Fire trucks arrived on the scene minutes later and took over. That’s when George got back on the bus and was greeted with a standing ovation from his passengers.

According to George he acted on the fire because he likes helping people. Shrugging off the “hero” title, he says he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

We’d like to tip our hat to George and his passengers for helping put out a fire before it got out of hand and making sure everyone was safe.

Transit Police Academy – Week 4

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I must say, of all the things I have learned thus far at Transit Police Academy, this week was my favourite.

As I said in the previous post, the two topics were recruiting and IRAYL.

If you’re interested in becoming a Transit Police officer, be prepared!

There are 14 different stages to a successful application and intake that leads to hiring and the police academy training.

This process is exactly like the other police departments in the region.

Transit Police is looking to hire from the same crop of applicants so having a similar application process across the board just makes sense.

But it’s important to note that while the majority of other police services address calls by car, Transit Police are beat-police.

They proactively patrol transit on foot which enables them to build relationships with customers, businesses and other stakeholders.

These relationships coupled with a highly visible presence on the transit system daily, enables Transit Police to address root causes of crime in and around transit in a proactive manner.

Transit Police gets about 70% of their applicants as new recruits meaning 30% are from other police departments.

Here are just some of the steps you need to complete in order to be considered:

  • Participate in a ride-along
  • Take, and pass, a written exam
  • Provide 30 (yes, 30!) personal references on top of your work references
  • Pass physical testing called the Police Officer Physical Ability Test
  • In-person interviews
  • Psychological evaluation
  • Take a polygraph

What I thought was particularly interesting is how they really look at the whole package.

Why YOU want to get into policing, what makes up who you are and how you would fit within the police service.

So, if you end up passing all the tests with flying colours, you are hired and then sent to Police Academy.

Here, there are three blocks of training:

  1. Academic (13-14 weeks)
  2. Field Training (8-12 weeks)
  3. Academic (8-10 weeks)

Upon completion, you will then graduate and become a full-fledged Transit Police member. And if you make it, believe me, you deserve it!

Transit Police are stepping up encorement of transit fares.

Next up is something I could go on and on about so, please excuse me if I do.

It’s a wonderful program, the only of its kind, called IRAYL.

IRAYL is run out of Pacific Community Resources and funded by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Their goal is to connect at-risk youth with resources to help them be safe, healthy and assist the region’s most vulnerable groups and their families.

The four members of this outreach team are on and around the SkyTrain system, Monday to Friday for eleven hours each day.

They help bridge the gap between social workers and the youth by directing people to shelters, doctors, detox and rehabilitation centres, food banks, social programs and so much more!

On site, each IRAYL member will be highly visible and carry back packs that have snacks, juice, fresh socks and/or underwear and other necessity items that kids on the street often aren’t able to provide for themselves.

They work closely with Transit Police to not only make sure these youth are safe, but also ensure the safety of the rest of the public on the system.

For them, it’s all about building trusting relationships and helping people get out of unhealthy and oftentimes dangerous situations.

Personally, I wish there was funding for a team of 10, 20, 50, even 100 of these fantastic individuals who are able to reach out and provide hope and help for so many people.

They do incredible work and I was proud to meet them and hear the stories of their work.

The next session of Transit Police Academy is about the Professional Standards Unit who investigate complaints about police members and doing some tactical simulations in the combat room! Stay tuned!

You Keep Us Moving — Wendy

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Meet Wendy.

She helps our system be one of the safest in North America as a sergeant with Transit Police and one of the original members of our service.

Wendy is internationally known for her anti-graffiti strategy and her work with schools in the Metro Vancouver area and beyond.

She is proud of her job because she knows she is making a difference

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs.

Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.

Buzzer Illustrator Interview: Mouki Butt

Mouki (well, her interpretation of herself at least) and her illustration!

Mouki (well, her interpretation of herself at least) and her illustration!


It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…bus!

The cover of this summer’s Buzzer print edition is inspired by both transit and the Women’s World Cup.

Featuring the wonderful work of Mouki Butt, the cover of the June 2015 issue captures the excitement of the FIFA event while still remaining true to our transportation roots.

We were lucky enough to do a quick interview with Mouki about her work:

Who is Mouki Butt?

I’m an illustrator who loves to draw all things cute.

Describe your illustration style in three words.

Cute, clean, colourful.

How did you arrive at this illustration? What was your inspiration?

With such a big soccer event happening this month, and so many attendees taking transit, it seemed appropriate to incorporate both.

Have you ever drawn a flying bus before? Any Keanu Reeves/Speed inspired drawings in the past?

No, this was my first flying bus, but it won’t be my last.

In our last interview you said you love taking the SkyTrain. Still riding and taking in those views?

Yes! The SkyTrain is great! I see so many wonderful faces when taking transit. It’s very inspirational for illustrating.

Any cool summer plans?

Exploring more of BC, stargazing, and swimming in the ocean.

Thanks Mouki! Haven’t picked-up the June 2015 issue of the Buzzer yet? You can download it here!

You Keep Us Moving — Cameron

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You may not see Cameron out on the system but he’s always around digitally!

Cameron is a supervisor for Customer Information.

With 235 million rides this year, Cameron and the @TransLink team on Twitter, web forum and phone provide updates about service and responds in real time to all of your concerns.

He helps riders have as much information as possible to get where they’re going safely and quickly!

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs.

Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.

You Keep Us Moving – Constable Smith

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Meet Constable Leanne Smith.

Leanne has been a police officer with the Transit Police since 2011.

She joined the dog unit in 2014 and currently works with Police Service Dog (PSD) Hershey.

PSD Hershey is a two and a half year old Labrador who detects for explosives throughout the transit system.

Hershey and Leanne are joined at the hip. The partnership is 24/7!

This duo is keeping the system safe for everyone. But they couldn’t do it without you.

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs.

Read more at translink.ca/youmoveus.

You Keep Us Moving – Burney

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I had the pleasure of meeting Burney Reid and helped to put this video together. A nicer, more dedicated guy you couldn’t meet. Burney is a member of the Coast Mountain Bus Company road crew. As he points out in the video, he’s been a mechanic working on buses for twenty years!

Roughly seven years ago, CMBC started the Road Crew to avoid towing buses with small technical issues back to the garage. Instead, the Road Crew fixes issues on the road — flat tires, doors not working correctly and other minor issues. Fixing issues of this nature on the road decreases the customer impact.

Burney uses words like “triage” and “first responders” when he describes what he does. In the past, if a bus had an issue like a broken mirror, an operator might have had to leave their route and return to their depot to have it fixed. That of course disrupts riders journeys and is costly since another bus would need to be put in service. With the CMBC Road Crew, quick repairs can be made and a bus can get back on their route, often with minimal to no delays in service.

Let us know what you think of the video and if you have any questions about the Road Crew. We’ll pass them on and get them answered!

The June 2015 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

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Much of it is dedicated to summer service changes that begin June 22.

You can also find an update from Transit Police about the one year anniversary of their OnDuty app and text line.

Don’t forget to TravelSmart to all the great summer events this region has to offer.

Finally, a thank you from us to you. Because you keep us moving!

As always, we have our favourites – Contest Corner, Back Issues and Coming Events!

Happy reading! Pick it up today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or you can download it here.

The next regular issue of the Buzzer will be out in August 2015 but keep your eyes peeled for a special edition this summer!