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Translink Buzzer Blog

Let transit get you to your Canada Day events!

Flag in Vanier Park, Vancouver - Courtesy of I am I.A.M.

Flag in Vanier Park, Vancouver – Courtesy of I am I.A.M.

Canada Day is upon us and we want to help you enjoy all of the great celebrations our region has to offer.

Take a look at some of the bigger events and how to get there on transit!

Surrey is celebrating in style this Canada Day!

It’s a great (and free!) day of family fun for all ages – music, face painting, the works!

You’ll find midway games and rides, an expanded kids play area, over 100 exhibitors, live entertainment and a fireworks show in the evening.

My advice? Get there early because they are expecting more than 100,000 people to attend!

This is an easy one to get to. Take the Expo Line to Surrey Central station, hop on the 320 to Langley Centre at Cloverdale park and you’re there!

Where: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 17728 64 Avenue, Surrey
When: 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Feeling fishy? The Steveston Community Centre is hosting the 70th Annual Salmon Festival!

You can check out the parade with more than 100 floats, marching bands, celebrities and other personalities who will wind their way down Moncton Street beginning at 10 a.m.

But the real star of the day will be the annual ultimate salmon barbecue — nearly 550 kilograms of BBQ salmon!

Other activities like a vintage car show, craft and food fair, Japanese cultural show and children’s festival will be running throughout the fair grounds including local performers.

Where: 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond
When: Breakfast starts at 6:30 a.m., main event begins at 10 a.m.

TransLink is providing a special event shuttle service on Wednesday, transporting passengers from Richmond’s Bridgeport Station to Lord Byng Elementary School in Steveston.

  • Shuttles start at 9 a.m. from Bridgeport Station to Steveston, with return shuttles starting in the afternoon, with the last shuttle leaving at approximately 4:30 p.m. Shuttles may continue later if the demand is great.
  • Lord Byng Elementary School (1 Road and Georgia Street) will be the shuttle’s temporary terminus, with a short walk to the festival site. The terminus may move to 1 Road and Steveston Highway if the area is heavily congested.
  • Additional shuttle service will back up regular service routes (C93, 401, 410) to ensure all customers can get where they’re going on Wednesday. Regular bus routes for the Steveston area will terminate at 1 Road and Steveston Highway due to congestion.
  • The shuttle are three articulated buses that are expected to run approximately every 20 minutes, leaving Bay 3 at Bridgeport Station.
  • The cost is a regular one-zone fare.

If you’re looking for crowds and Canada Day craziness, look no further!It's firework time again!

Canada Day at Canada Place is back for its 28th year.

This is a huge all day event including  live music and dance performances with popular acts and interactive activity zones featuring food carts, street hockey, an armed forces display, Salty’s Fun Zone and a circus show.

After all of that, you can check out the Canada Day Parade at 7:00 p.m. and the Fireworks at 10:30 p.m.

Where: Canada Place, Vancouver
When: 10 a.m. to end of Fireworks

To accommodate Canada Day festivities across the region, there will be extended service on SkyTrain, SeaBus and Canada line.

There will also be increased frequency or minor detours on some routes, including multiple routes in downtown Vancouver and the 135, 160, 209, 210, 211, 240, 246, 250, 250A, 257, 320, C43 and C47.

For other events, take a look at this great list from VanCity Buzz.

Know before you go! Use our Trip Planner to help you on your way to Canada Day fun!

International Bus Benchmarking Group looks at CMBC!

Did you know that CMBC is a member of the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG)?

Joining 14 other bus organizations from cities around the world such Paris, Barcelona and Dublin, being an IBBG member helps us understand how our bus performance and operations stack up globally.

As a part of the group we are given an inside look at global industry trends that help us ensure we have the best practices in place in Metro Vancouver. To check out what IBBG is all about you can watch this informational video (note: the video is six years old, so a little dated) or visit their website. 

This morning we were lucky enough to attend a presentation led by the Associate Director of the Bus Benchmarking, Mark Trompet. Sharing data collected from bus organizations worldwide, Mark gave us an overview of key performance indicators measured by IBBG and how Metro Vancouver’s bus network compares to other systems.

Catching up with Mark, we did a quick interview about his work at IBBG and CMBC’s performance. Enjoy!

Happy 148th, Canada!

We hope you all enjoy Canada Day!

We hope you all enjoy Canada Day!

Ohhhhhhhhhhh Canada we stand on guard for theeeeeeeeeeeee!!

I do love a good anthem.

Canada Day is this Wednesday, July 1st and there will be tons of activities happening all over the region.

Know before you go! Check out the holiday service schedule for detours and extended service.

Heading downtown Vancouver to see the fireworks at Canada Place?

Avoid those crazy long lines and pre-purchase return tickets for the SkyTrain!

Customers can buy tickets at Vancouver City Centre, Granville, Burrard and Waterfront stations.

Portable fareboxes only accept exact cash fare and tickets are valid until the end of service.

Perhaps you’re more of a Granville Island Canada Day celebrator. If you’re planning to ride your bike there, prepare to feel pampered!

BEST’S Bicycle Valet will be providing cyclists FREE, secure temporary bike storage from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

You can check out more details here.

Wherever you celebrate this great land of ours, let us help you get there!

Plan your route with our Trip Planner or call Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Remember! On holidays you only need a one-zone fare for the entire system!

Today marks 125 years of transit in the region!

buzzer_banner_125_yearsWhen you think about what can happen in 125 years, it boggles the mind!

Now, think about how far transit and transportation has come since its humble, yet forward-thinking beginning.

We can’t truly understand where we are or where we’re going without taking a look at where we’ve been! So, let’s do that!

Streetcar on Columbia St ca. 1900

The interuban streetcar on Columbia St. circa 1900

New Westminster, the oldest municipality in the province, started construction on a streetcar in 1890.

It was then called an interurban and used electric rails above ground to connect residents from city to city.

BCE bus with school children 1948

A BCE bus in 1948 waits for school children to cross the road

For 60 years, this mode of transit dominated the region until buses came around!

Diesel and trolleybuses were used and allowed residents to venture around their neighbourhoods and even further out.

Times changed again when we saw our SeaBus come into action and eventually our elevated rapid transit system, the SkyTrain.

Public transit has really shaped the way this region has grown and will continue to grow!

Take a look at some of these great photos throughout our transit journey.

In 1990, there was a special edition of the print Buzzer released documenting the centennial of transit in the region.

Check out some of the excerpts:

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Buzz100 - 7

Keep your eyes open on the Buzzer along with our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages throughout the summer for lots of fun events celebrating our transit history! Also, make sure you don’t miss the free vintage bus ride on Sunday!

 

TransLink 2014 AGM

From Left to Right (Doug Allen, Interim CEO; Barry Forbes, Board Vice-Chair; Cathy McLay,  CFO  and Executive Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Services; Sandra Hentzen Executive Vice President, Human Resources; Angus MacIntrye, Retired Bus Operator

From Left to Right (Doug Allen, Interim CEO; Barry Forbes, TransLink Board Vice-Chair; Don Rose, TransLink Board Member; Sandra Hentzen, Executive Vice President, Human Resources; Angus McIntyre, Retired Bus Operator;  Cathy McLay, CFO and Executive Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Services; Robin Chakrabarti, Board Member

It was a beautiful morning at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster as VP of Communications and Customer Engagement, Colleen Brennan, welcomed all guests to our annual general meeting .

The meeting was open to the public and discussed how we did last year both operationally and financially, where we are now and where we’re going as a transit system heading into the future.

TransLink’s achievements in efficiency and sustainability were presented by CFO Cathy McClay.

Take a look at some of the highlights Cathy shared:

  • The 2014 Budget included over $64 million in cost efficiencies and revenue improvements, of which we exceeded by over $5 million.
  • We also achieved slightly over $38 million in one-time savings from contributions from developers and improved buying practices.
  • Since 2012, we’ve realized about $240 million in cost savings
  • Since 2010, we’ve kept expenditures below the rate of inflation, with only 1.2 per cent compounded annual growth
  • TransLink plays a leadership role in sustainability.
  • Our anti-idling program for buses has saved 567 thousand litres of fuel, accounting for a savings of $750k last year alone.
  • We also decreased energy consumption across our facilities by 2.3 per cent compared to 2013.

Interim CEO Doug Allen spoke about how TransLink is continuing to implement recommendations from the MacNeil report of 2014 to better serve our customers across the region.

He also talked about our very successful and necessary HandyDART program.

This past year, we have expanded the use of taxis to get more people with mobility challenges where they need to go resulting in a 60 per cent reduction in trip denials for HandyDART service.

We delivered more than one million trips on HandyDART vehicles and 74,361 trips by taxi.

Everyone in attendance was able to hear some stories from wonderful employees across TransLink and its operating companies.

Mechanical engineer with BCRTC, Matt Doyle works behind the scenes to make sure SkyTrain is running smoothly.

“I enjoy going to work because I provide a necessary public service and I know it makes a difference – to thousands of people – every day.” – Matt

Sabrina Lau Texier, “plan-gineer” (planner in the engineering department) extraordinaire told us her story of why she does the work she does.

“I choose to work in transit because I believe very strongly in what this organization is trying to do – both at work, and outside the office.” – Sabrina

Desiree Gill has been a bus operator out of Vancouver Transit Centre with CMBC for 6 years and she loves her job, working in the heart of Vancouver.

“There is no better way to start the day than seeing the ocean and city skyline while driving over the Granville Street or Burrard Street Bridges, just as the sun’s coming up.” – Desiree

 

 

Looking for even more information about how TransLink fared in 2014? Check out our latest Annual Report and Statutory Report.

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!

AGM

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.