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Translink Buzzer Blog

The December 2016 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Happy holidays! bordered The December 2016 print Buzzer is now on the system.

Much of this issue is dedicated to Winter Service Changes.

This sheet change is especially important because of the newly opened Evergreen Extension.

Be sure to check out Bus Route Buzz for more information about changes to service around the Tri-Cities.

Remember! Service Changes begin Monday, December 19, 2016.

Also in this issue we introduce our beautiful new SkyTrain extension!!

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.

Author: Adrienne Coling

VIDEO – 28 new SkyTrain cars ordered to improve rapid transit service in Metro Vancouver

Today is a historic day as pen was set to paper in a deal that will improve transit in our region!

A $93 million order for 28 new SkyTrain Mark III cars from Bombardier Transportation was made by TransLink and the provincial government.

This is part of the $2 billion Phase One of the 10-year vision that is funded 50 per cent by the federal government, 33 per cent by the province and the rest from our region and TransLink.

The new SkyTrain cars will provide additional service and capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines increasing the rapid transit fleet to 314 cars.

With these new cars coming into service, more people will be able to rely on public transit, helping to reduce road congestion, greenhouse gases and improve efficient movement of people and goods across the region.

“With the critical support of our federal, provincial and regional partnerships, TransLink is ready and eager to start implementing service and infrastructure improvements outlined in Phase One of the 10-Year Vision. Today’s announcement is just one in a series of steps we’re taking to expand service for our customers and reduce wait times and crowding.”

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

The new train cars are schedule to start arriving in 2018 and after extensive testing, enter into service by early 2019.

Starting in January 2017, TransLink will begin service improvements using the existing fleet for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines and SeaBus, with additional bus and HandyDart service improvements beginning in April 2017.

Transit and transportation improvements in Phase One

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express)
  • Pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail
  • New funding for improvements to the Major Road Network
  • Expansion and improvements to cycling and pedestrian networks

Want more information on the Mayors’ Council 10-year vision?
Head to tenyearvision.translink.ca.


Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus Route Buzz: New service – 191 Coquitlam Central Station/Princeton

Bus Route Buzz
191 map
Great news for Burke Mountain residents!

Introducing the 191 that will provide service to the Burke Mountain neighbourhood, connecting residents to the Evergreen Extension and West Coast Express.

191 Coquitlam Central Station/Princeton

The new service will operate with two-way service Coquitlam Central Station, Johnson Street, Glen Drive, Pinetree Way, David Avenue, completing a counter-clockwise one-way loop in Burke Mountain along David Avenue, Princeton Avenue and Coast Meridian Road.

Service will be provided seven days a week with trips every 30 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and slightly later start times on weekends.

Lots more information on bus integration and service changes watch our Facebook Live with Denis the planner!

For the final Bus Route Buzz post, we will be looking at the West Coast Express TrainBus. Stay tuned!

Plan ahead! Visit Trip Planner to map your route – use December 19 or later as your travel date.
Have questions? Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet @TransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Buzzer blog reader submission: Winter poem

Poetry mosaic
Regular transit user and Buzzer blog reader Carrie Tomiye sent us this lovely poem she wrote about travelling on transit during the winter months.

Enjoy!

For my daily trip planner.    Snow snow, melt away.  Snow snow,

Not even for another day..     Please let go of freezing snow…  Let the sun shine,

Beyond us.    And the warmth of coziness.

Rain, sleet, go away,   just want a blizzard ice cream!

Really  just to eat .  Wish for the hard weather to go away.

Do you have interesting stories, fun photos or other transit tidbits to share?
Email us at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus Route Buzz: Anmore and Belcarra – C26

Bus Route Buzz
Explaining the changes for Anmore and Belcarra and the C26 is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

182 Moody Centre Station/Buntzen Lake

1 – The C26 has a new name! It will now be part of the 182 service.

2 – This route provides all day service through Heritage Mountain via Ravine Drive.

3Two new trips per day have been added to improve connections to other services.

All trips are routed via Ravine Drive.

Well, that was easy!

New route for Burke Mountain next time on Bus Route Buzz!

Want more info on Service Changes? Watch our Facebook Live with Denis the Planner!

Plan ahead! Visit Trip Planner to map your route – use December 19 or later as your travel date.
Have questions? Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet @TransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Ivan Chan Photography explores the Evergreen Extension

Thanks to Ivan Chan Photography for all the great photos in this post!

Thanks to Ivan Chan Photography for all the great photos in this post!

The Buzzer blog gladly receives emails from readers and transit riders regarding everything from blog suggestions to cool transit stories; operator kudos to poetry and photography!

Ivan Chan is a self employed photographer and videographer who often works in real estate photography. He’s also a transit fan who recently took some awesome photographs of the newly opened Evergreen Extension!

In these photos, Ivan focuses on architecture, depicting the form and function incorporated in the beauty of these brand new SkyTrain stations.

Ivan agreed to a little one-on-one so we could learn a little more about this transit shutterbug.

What made you get interested in taking photographs?

To me, I feel taking photos conveys a story or message in itself, which is why people tend to say photos are worth a thousand words. Photos are a way of conveying meanings and memories in time. In the future, when I look back at an older photo, it reminds me of this event or that feeling.

What kind of images do you like to capture?

I like to take photos of random things like signage, buildings, interior and exterior architectural design, transportation related shots, scenery and landscape.

What made you document the new Evergreen Extension and its stations?

Being focused on real estate photography and my interest in transportation projects, I decided to bring this concept and photo taking technique and showcasing architectural features of the new Evergreen Line stations.

What’s your favourite part of the Evergreen Extension?

My favourite part is the stunning view of the landscape and scenery from Burquitlam Station and the view from the line running between Burquitlam Station and Lougheed Town Centre Station. One can look far away into the Metrotown direction, New Westminster city area and the SFU area.

How do you hope people will react to your transit photos?

In a way, I hope to educate the public and first time transit users, including tourists, on how transit stations look like, how to navigate or use the photos as a wayfinding tool around the stations and what to expect of in terms of layout so they are better prepared in their own route planning.

Are you a transit fan?

Ironically, although I drive most of the time, I am still a transit fan. I am inspired by the technology that runs behind the Skytrain system and I like using train systems. When I went to school many years ago at UBC, taking the bus was my favourite thing! My favourite mode of transit transportation would be the rapid rail transit/SkyTrain because it is dedicated and separated from traffic. There will never be slow downs or congestion to deal with and fewer stops making the ride much, much less stressful and more efficient, fast and reliable.

Enjoy just a few of Ivan’s Evergreen shots:

Thank you to Ivan and Ivan Chan Photography for reaching out and sharing these great images with us all!

Do you have fun stories, photos or other interesting transit tidbits to share with the Buzzer blog team?
Have at it! Email us at thebuzzer@translink.ca.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fare Review Phase 1 results are in!

Fare review graphic
In May and June of 2016, we asked riders and others across the region to tell us what they would like to see in a new transit fare system.

Nearly 30,000 people participated!

After going through all of the online surveys, feedback from open houses and workshops, here’s what you had to say:

  • Nearly two of every three people disagreed the current fare system works well.
  • More than seven in ten people who responded to the survey said there should be more fare product options for different periods of time ie. weekly or multi-day pass.
  • Almost half of survey respondents said the 90-minute transfer window is not long enough.

Here are the top six priorities survey respondents want to see in a fare system:

1.   Make fares lower for people who use transit frequently

2.   Make fares lower for shorter distance trips

3.   Provide more fare product options for different periods of time

4.   More fare product options to make transit more affordable for families

5.   Make it easier to understand and predict how much you’ll pay

6.   Make fares lower for people with less ability to pay

Next Steps

In early 2017, TransLink will launch Phase 2 of the Transit Fare Review.

We will use the feedback from Phase 1 to help define and evaluate the options for varying fares by distance travelled, time of travel and service type.

We will also begin to map out the options for different types of fare products and passes, user discounts and rules around transfers between services.

You can read the full report here.

Author: Emma Keeler-Dugas

Lost Property office opens on Saturdays for 3-month trial starting January 7, 2017

The Lost Property Office, located in a corner of Stadium Station.

The Lost Property Office, located at Stadium–Chinatown Station.

Have you ever lost something on transit?

It can be a panicked and stressful situation, but staff across the system make sure your lost umbrellas, dropped gloves and forgotten text books get to one, amazing place: the Lost Property Office!

This is where all lost items found on transit have a temporary home until the rightful owners can claim them.

DID YOU KNOW??
Lost Property receives upwards of 5,000 umbrellas a year!

Starting January 7, 2017, the Lost Property department will open for four hours (12 p.m. – 4 p.m.) each Saturday to better assist our customers.

These hours will run as part of a three-month trial.

Lost an item on transit? Have no fear! Follow these Lost Property tips!

  • Figure out where you lost your item ie. West Coast Express, Langley Community Shuttle, etc. The phone numbers for each Lost Property are below.
  • Give the correct contact a call during business hours (Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).
  • Have all the details ready including date/time the item was lost, the route the item was lost on, the description of the item lost as well as all your contact information.
  • Fill out the online form that can be completed at anytime that will send a report directly to the office.

**Please note** It can take up to two business days for items to arrive in the Lost Property office and lost bicycles are taken in once a week, each Thursday.

Important Numbers

  • Main Lost Property Office
    Stadium–Chinatown SkyTrain Station
    T: 604.953.3334
  • West Vancouver Blue Bus Lost Property
    T: 604.985.7777
  • West Coast Express Lost Property
    T: 604.488.8906
  • Langley and New Westminster Community Shuttles Lost Property
    T: 604.574.9396

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus Route Buzz: Port Moody and north Coquitlam – 178/C25/C26/C27/C28/C29/C30

Bus Route Buzz
178 C25 C26 C27 C28 C29 C30 map
Community Shuttles in the Tri-Cities, they are a’changin’ – bringing new route names and new routes to Port Moody and north Coquitlam.

A rose by any other name… let’s take a look!

New Routes:

New route list

  • 179 Coquitlam Central Station/Buntzen Lake and 182 Moody Centre Station/Belcarra take the place of the C26.
  • 183 Moody Centre Station/Coquitlam Central Station and 185 Coquitlam Central Station/Landsdowne will provide service to areas previously served by the C27.
  • 184 Moody Centre Station/Noons Creek and 186 Coquitlam Central Station/Hampton Park will be the new name of the C28.
  • 187 Coquitlam Central Station/Parkway (previously C29)
  • 189 Coquitlam CEntral Station/Lafarge Park (previously C30)

The 178 Port Moody Station/Coquitlam Station route is discontinued.

Be sure to check out our next Bus Route Buzz installment as we look at Anmore and Belcarra service.

Lots more information about bus service changes in our Facebook live stream with Denis the Planner. Check it out!

Plan ahead! Visit Trip Planner to map your route – use December 19 or later as your travel date.
Have questions? Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet @TransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus Route Buzz: 169 Braid Station/Coquitlam Central Station

Bus Route Buzz
169 map
Oh my gosh, we’re back again!

For this edition of Bus Route Buzz, let’s look at route 169.

169 Braid Station/Coquitlam Central Station

With the Evergreen Extension open, customers who travel between Coquitlam and Braid Stations can now use SkyTrain!

To accommodate new building construction on Holly Drive and on Orchard Drive, the 169 will continue on a detour routing southbound until late 2019.

The 169 will reroute all northbound and southdbound trips via Riverview Hospital groups via Holly Drive, with service operating every 30 minutes.

Short and sweet!

Next time on Bus Route Buzz,  get ready for some more NEW routes in Port Moody and North Coquitlam!

As always, you can learn more about bus changes on our Facebook live stream with Denis the Planner!

Plan ahead! Visit Trip Planner to map your route – use December 19 or later as your travel date.
Have questions? Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet @TransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Links and Tidbits December 9, 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.

IMG_1243»   A journey from dropping out of college to taking on Detroit’s transit problems.

»   Public displays of affection on transit. What’s your take? Some transit agencies actually ban kissing!

»   As if there weren’t enough reasons to love Hermione already…

Emma Watson Has Taken to Hiding Free Books on Public Transit

»   Take a look at the history (and when it was abandoned) of electric rail transit in Hamilton, Ontario.

GoOpti, a ride-sharing platform for European shuttle bus services, raises €4.4M funding

»   In Bristol, UK, there are apparently 9 most annoying bus passengers. Do you fit the bill for any of these transit courtesy offenders?

»   Buses. Great for transporting people AND stuffing full of food for the Calgary food bank!

»   Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try this! *shakes head*

»   Pittsburgh reporter pens a love letter to public transit.

»   Are these driverless pods the future of mass transit?? What’s your take?

»   Some consider graffiti as art, others see it as vandalism. Whatever your take, the graffiti that has adorned subways over the years have made a statement.

»   Say hello to the 12 most beautiful subway stations from around the world. My fave is Kungsträdgården Metro Station in Sweden – because it looks like an awesome cave!

»   Pet owners can get pretty creative when taking their pooches on transit.

»   Throwback! Berlin is set to use retro trains from the 1950s on their system today!

Unearthing the secrets of New York City’s subway including phantom tunnels and underground gardens!

»   Meet the voice of Ottawa’s transit! [ICYMI: We actually have our own voice star for our transit here in Metro Vancouver].

»   It’s difficult enough to get photos of anything in North Korea but this is awesome! Check out the mysterious (and one of the deepest underground transit systems in the world!) Pyongang subway system.

»   Have you ever wanted to build your own subway system? Wait no longer, friends and check out Mini Metro!

»   If you read this blog, we all know I love Halloween and costumes. Let’s look at the best the NYC subway system had to offer this year!

»   The pneumatic subway that almost was.

»   Buskers in the TTC take centre stage (really, they’re getting stages!) in and around the Toronto transit system.

»   The NYC subway system turned 112. Wow, it doesn’t look a day over 95!

»   Speaking of NYC… If you’ve been dying to know how rats got into subways in New York, well, this one’s for you!

»   After 35 years of service, Calgary bids farewell to their very first C-Train car as it takes one last trip.

»   Canadians band together on transit to make sure a man gets to a job interview on time! *heart!*

»   A subway style apartment? Um… I need to live here.

»   The coolest new electric bus out of China looks like an old tram car? That’s right – the Dang Dang is a mix of new and old transit!

»   The annual CP holiday train is riding the rails to bring holiday cheer across Canada.

»    Driverless delivery has been around far before Amazon. In 1927 London introduced Rail Mail!

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink secures $150 million in ninth bond issue

2013 Bus Service Performance Review

Some great financial news for TransLink!

TransLink has successfully launched its ninth bond issue in November.

This brings in $150 million for financing capital projects as outlined in the 10-year Investment Plan for Metro Vancouver – Phase One of which was approved by the Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board last month.

This money will directly aide in the implementation of many transit projects including expansions of the network.

Did you know??

TransLink is Canada’s only transportation agency to raise funds directly through Canadian debt capital markets. TransLink has raised $1.33 billion since 2010.

“Our ability to go directly to the capital markets with a solid reputation as a good investment means greater cost certainty for how we manage our debt,” said Cathy McLay, TransLink CFO EVP, Finance and Corporate Services. “Investors can put their money anywhere and they choose us. This consistent demand for our bonds also helps to ensure we maintain access to capital that keeps Metro Vancouver’s road and transit network moving now and into the future.”

In October, Moody’s Investors Service and Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) reaffirmed TransLink’s Aa2 and AA stable credit ratings.

Both agencies highlight TransLink’s diverse revenue streams, solid governance and management practice, and track record of finding cost efficiencies as reasons for the high credit rating.

If you’d like to look further into our credit rating reports, they are available at translink.ca.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus Route Buzz: Port Coquitlam and northeast Coquitlam – 159/188/C37/C38/C40

Bus Route Buzz
159 188 C37 C40 map
Ta da!!

Introducing brand new bus service for northeastern Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam!

These routes will now provide direct connections to the new Evergreen Extension.

Community Shuttle buses across the Tri-Cities are also being renamed.

New Routes:

New routes list

  • 159 Port Coquitlam/Braid Station – All trips on the 159 will travel via Pitt River Road
  • 171 Fremont/Coquitlam Central Station and 172 Riverside/Coquitlam Central Station serving the former C37 areas with new service to Dominion Triangle and a direct connection to the Evergreen Extension.
  • 173 Cedar/Coquitlam Central Station and 174 Rocklin/Coquitlam Central Station cover the route previously served by C38.
  • 175 Meridian/Coquitlam Central Station (previously C40) providing a new connection to the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension.
  • 170 Port Coquitlam Station/Port Coquitlam South (previously C36) has no route changes.
  • 188 Port Coquitlam Station/Coquitlam Central Station gets increased capacity.

Stay tuned for the next Bus Route Buzz post where the 169 Braid Station route will take centre stage.

Want to know more about bus planning? Watch our Facebook live stream with Denis the Planner!

Plan ahead! Visit Trip Planner to map your route – use December 19 or later as your travel date.
Have questions? Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or tweet @TransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Join TRAMS for their annual holiday lights tours around Metro Vancouver

Courtesy of TRAMS

Courtesy of TRAMS

Do you love outdoor holiday decorations AND old transit vehicles and memorabilia?

Well then, you’re in luck! Because TRAMS (The Transit Museum Society of Vancouver) is hosting their yearly holiday lights tours!

bus

Let Rudolph lead the way to festive fun!

Hop aboard the Rudolph-themed bus and explore the region’s best decorated homes and buildings.

Tours are taking place December 16, 17, 18, 21, 23 and 30.

This two (and a bit) hour tour leaves from 22nd Street SkyTrain Station at 7 p.m.

Fares:

  • Adults – $25
  • Senior/Student –$15
  • Children – $5
  • Children under 2 years of age ride free!
  • Family rate – Bring four children for the price of two
  • Members of TRAMS receive $2 discount for each member of their travel party

Reserve your spot online today! You can pay online ahead of time or with cash or credit on the bus. If you are paying cash, please have exact change.

Author: Adrienne Coling

(Video) 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather


Despite our best West Coast efforts, a snowy winter has arrived in Metro Vancouver.

And it looks like this is just the beginning because there is another dumping of the white stuff forecasted to hit the region.

That means lots of extra safety and operational procedures to keep the transit system running smoothly and safely.

Remember! Buses can only go as the traffic allows. Be sure to check your municipality’s website for snow removal schedules and give yourself some extra time for your transit trip.

Here are six things that TransLink is doing to prepare for the winter weather:

  • Trolley anti-icing trucks will deploy spraying the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.
  • SkyTrain De-icing – De-icer spray trains are used to keep the power rail free of ice. De-icing stations will be set up in covered areas and tunnels to prevent ice and snow compacts on the trains.  During times of overnight snow, some SkyTrain cars will run throughout the night to keep tracks clear.
  • Additional bus tire traction – Operators have a snow/ice switch which gives the bus tires better traction in the snow.
  • Bus switch outs –  If needed, we’ll switch out articulated buses for traditional buses. Although articulated buses are great for turning and maneuvering throughout our streets in Metro Vancouver and allow for quick movement of large numbers of passengers, when travelling up hills or on streets that have poor conditions, the back halves are heavy which can create some traction problems.
  • Canada Line Anti-icing and sanding – ensures the power rail and tracks are clear of ice. Canada Line cars have a braking system similar to ABS brakes on your vehicle which helps avoid slippage in this weather.
  • Extra staff on transit – Extra staff including SkyTrain Attendants and Transit Police will assist customers in getting where they need to go. HandyDART will send two staff out in each vehicle to ensure customers get safely to their door, and assist in digging out the bus if required.

Watch the replay of our Facebook live stream, or catch it on Periscope below!


Know before you go!

If there’s snow or ice ensure you plan ahead with Trip Planner or m.translink.ca on your mobile device, and make sure to allow yourself extra commuting time.

Sign up for transit alerts so you’ll be the first to know if there are changes in the transit schedule.

Follow our customer information team on Twitter (@TransLink) and save their number (604) 953-3333 on your mobile device.

Don’t forget to take a look at our tips for dealing with inclement weather on transit!

Author: Adrienne Coling