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Translink Buzzer Blog

TransLink is going LIVE! Facebook Live!

Facebook Live

Today is an exciting day for the TransLink Social Media team, as we will be streaming LIVE for the first time from Facebook at 2:00pm PST. For our inaugural stream, we will be doing a demo of how to take your bike on the bus! After all, Bike to Work week is coming soon!

Make sure to tune in and learn how you can take advantage of the great weather we’ve been having in the Metro Vancouver area, and perhaps make your commute multi-modal!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

UPDATE: Here’s the recording of our first Facebook Live!

TravelSmart to the BMO Vancouver Marathon!

On your mark. Get set. GO!

On your mark. Get set. GO!

Where can you find 31,000 litres of water, 13,000 bananas, over 90,000 spectators and 4,000 volunteers?

At the 45th annual BMO Vancouver Marathon and it’s happening this Sunday!

Runners from around the world will lace up and descend on our fair region on May 1 for this award-winning race.

Not up for the 42 kilometre trek? Not to worry!

There are races for everyone! You can participate in the marquee marathon, a fast half marathon, a relay, an 8 km run, a kids run or a 2.5 km walk.

The big news on the transit front is that the Vancouver International Marathon Society is offering free, single-use Compass Tickets to all runners.

There will also be free TravelSmart Bus Shuttles available in five locations for registered Marathon and Half Marathon runners.

You can find more information and register for the shuttle here.

Canada Line is one of the most convenient ways to get to the race with peak service levels in effect until 8:15am — meaning trains will be running every 6-7 minutes.

Remember! Different races have different starting points and times.

Check out this handy-dandy chart to help you get to the starting line!

Let transit help you get to the starting line

Let transit help you get to the starting line

*Relay Exchange Zones are located near Imperial Drive and W 16th, NW Marine and 4th Ave, plus Chestnut and Cornwall.

Get those pompoms and bullhorns out because the day isn’t just for the runners!

If you come out and cheer for the thousands of runners as they race toward the downtown Finish Line Street Festival, YOU could win prizes!

Know before you go!

The following bus routes will be modified at certain times during the day to accommodate the marathon: 2, 9, 15, 17, 19, 22, 25, 33, 41, 49, 99, 160, 210, 211, 240, 246, C18, C19, C20, C21, and C23.

SkyTrain and SeaBus will operate regular Sunday service; there is no Sunday service on the West Coast Express.

More race details as well as road closure information can be found online at bmovanmarathon.ca/travelsmart.
For transit information and detours, visit translink.ca/alerts.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Significant detours on the #49 bus between West Boulevard and Dunbar Street

The #49 will detour from May 2-Sept 5 2016

The 49 will detour from Monday, May 2 to September 2016

As the warm, summery months draw near, many construction and road rehabilitation projects around the region will take place that may have an impact on your commute.

From May until September 2016, the City of Vancouver will be replacing the sewer main and rehabilitating the roadway along Southwest Marine Drive.

This project requires a full closure of Southwest Marine Drive from Granville Street to Camosun Street, which will affect service of the 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar/UBC route between 49th Avenue and West Boulevard and 41st Avenue and Dunbar Street.

Effective Monday, May 2, the 49 will be re-routed and no longer service stops along:

  • 49th Avenue between West Boulevard and SW Marine Drive;
  • SW Marine Drive between 49thAvenue and Dunbar Street; and
  • Dunbar Street between SW Marine Drive and 41st Avenue.

The 49 will now route off 49th Avenue via West Boulevard and 41st Ave (Westbound direction) and 41st Avenue and East Boulevard (Eastbound direction).

There are no direct impacts to the 41, 43 and 480; however, there may be increased traffic congestion along the 41st Avenue, potentially causing some delays.

Stopping procedures during detour

The 49 will run express – between East Boulevard and Dunbar Street, along 41st Avenue and East and West Boulevards– not providing local service along its detour routing (no pick up/drop off) so that it stays reliable and for our customers and delays are kept to a minimum.

There will be two additional temporary stops to minimize travel distances for passengers:

  • Last Stop Westbound (prior to express section) – #51018 (Northbound West Boulevard far side W 49th Avenue)
  • Last Stop Eastbound (prior to express section) – #60745 (Eastbound W 41st Avenue far side Alma Street)

The Southwest Marine Drive Upgrades Project is estimated to be completed by September 2016.

We appreciate your patience as the City of Vancouver completes this necessary road work.

For more information on changes and detours, visit translink.ca/alerts

Author: Jordan Keim

Pattullo Bridge rehabilitation starts tomorrow

Our dear Pattullo Bridge is one of the busiest crossings in Metro Vancouver.

Sitting just shy of the big 8-0, the bridge is getting a face lift and the work starts tomorrow!

From April 29 until October 3, extensive deck repair work will take place to keep the bridge safe.

Increased congestion and delays are expected in the area during this necessary construction.

Drivers taking the Pattullo Bridge should plan an extra 20 to 40 minutes of travel time in the morning peak period and 10 to 30 minutes in the afternoon peak period.

With the delays in mind, we encourage drivers to take alternate routes or take transit!

We have added service hours to the 101, 104, 128, 155, 340, 388 and the 410 bus routes.

There are also seven parking lots (plus the existing Park and Ride lots) around New Westminster, Scott Road and Surrey Central SkyTrain stations where you can park and hop on transit to cross the river.

What to expect during construction

  • The bridge will close from the evening on April 29 (8 p.m.) to the morning of May 2 (5 a.m.) to allow crews to set up for construction work. The bridge will also close from the evening of September 30 (8 p.m.) to the morning of October 3 (5 a.m.) for crews to remove equipment.
  • From May 2 to September 30, the bridge will have one lane open in each direction except for two nights a week and one weekend a month when the bridge will close to vehicle traffic. Be sure to head to our closure schedule for ongoing, updated closures.
  • Trucks will still have access when the bridge is open.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the bridge, even during evening and weekend closures.
  • Minor vehicle incidents on the bridge will cause significant traffic delays and potentially a full bridge closure.

You can read the media advisory here.

Looking for additional information and travel resources?
Visit www.translink.ca/pattullorehab.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Poll wrap-up: Riders like to carry their Compass Cards in their wallets!

PNG chart

Wallet Compass Card carriers lead the pack!

I guess you can figure it out from the post title but… the wallet wins the day!

Remember, it’s important to note that carrying your Compass Card on or in your phone case may stop it from tapping correctly.

This poll has been one of the most successful we have conducted here on the Buzzer blog with a total of 669 votes!

ICYMI: A few weeks ago, we asked our readers to vote on how they carry their Compass Cards.

The results were mixed beyond the one, clear winner.

Coming in second with 126 votes is a phone case while 103 riders voted that they carry their cards loose.

Plastic sleeves, lanyards (that’s me!) and “other” came in with 89, 78 and 43 votes, respectively.

Many people commented to let us know exactly what some of those other methods were.

Some riders said they like a retractable cord that can sit on their belt and snap their card back into place after a tap. Others like a change purse to keep their card handy and one person even carries their Compass card in an Altoids box! (sans mints, I assume)

Thank you to everyone who voted and commented on all of our channels!

Do you have an idea for a poll? Want to unearth an old poll to see new results?
Comment below or email us!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Earth Day 2016 – Doing our part for the earth

Earth Day

Earth Day takes place annually on April 22, and is celebrated globally with the goal of encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly. The TransLink family takes sustainability seriously and works hard daily to protect the environment!

Here are a few examples of environmentally-focused projects from across the TransLink enterprise in 2015. 

Cutting back on washing to save water

In 2015 we all saw a record breaking long, hot and dry summer. When the region experienced water shortages we voluntarily suspended our regular exterior bus washing and exterior SkyTrain washing at the end of each service day, despite the fact that our bus wash system uses reclaimed water for the majority of the wash cycle.

To give you an idea of how much water was conserved, at Vancouver Transit Centre (CMBC’s biggest bus depot), they saved 30,000 litres each day! Across the bus network, we saved a total of 5.7 million litres of water from July to September. If there is another shortage this year, we will happily do our part to conserve.

Driving the benefits of compressed natural gas

CMBC started operating 31 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in 2015. The quieter CNG buses – with reduced carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs – replaced 45 diesel buses that were retired from operation at the end of their service life. The New Flyer Xcelesior buses started on routes in the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody) and operate out of the Port Coquitlam Transit Centre, which is equipped with CNG refueling stations.

Going platinum

Last year, TransLink moved up from gold and became the first Canadian transit organization to gain platinum level status for sustainability from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Since 2010, 58 separate projects reduced waste by nine per cent, water use by 10 per cent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent in its facilities. The bus fleet alone has had a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. CMBC also reduced energy consumption by more than seven per cent. 

How are you going to celebrate? You could turn an eye to increasing the amount you recycle, volunteer for a local green project or install a rain water collection system at your home.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink’s family of companies and unions raise over $275,000 for a second year in a row

United Way of the Lower Mainland

Photo: (Left to right) David Black (MoveUP – COPE local 378), Kathy Pereira (CMBC), Brenda Aynsley (United Way), Cathy McLay (TransLink) and Kevin Desmond (TransLink).

Thanks again to the hard work and dedication of employees in the TransLink family, for the second year in a row, our donation to United Way of the Lower Mainland exceeded $275,000!

“I am extremely proud of the commitment employees across the TransLink enterprise display to our United Way campaigns each year. We have been strong supporters of United Way for many years because they have the ability to help the people who live in the communities we serve,” said Cathy McLay, CFO and EVP, Finance and Corporate Services, Translink.

Employees from TransLink, B.C. Rapid Transit Company, Coast Mountain Bus Company, Transit Police, MoveUP (COPE local 378), CUPE 4500, CUPE 7000, Unifor 111, and Unifor 2200 contributed their time and generously donated to support United Way’s programs and services.

“United Way works with over 150 community partners and builds strong relationships with government and social services to deliver programs, help people understand issues and create change. These are initiatives our union and members support,” added David Black, President, MoveUP (COPE local 378).

For more information on how contributions to United Way are helping make a difference in the lives of so many in our community, visit United Way of the Lower Mainland online.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Compass update following our full Compass roll out

Compass has arrived and it’s fully rolled out! And last Thursday TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond, held a Compass update at TransLink Headquarters.

Above is the recorder of our live Periscope of the event. If you’d like to see the online comments (including hearts!) and answers, you can see them on our Katch of the Periscope.

For all you number crunchers out there, here are the latest Compass numbers!

  • 800,000 customers using a Compass Card on a regular basis.

  • 94% of journeys on our system are made with a Compass Card or Ticket.

  • More than 1.3 million taps are recorded every weekday.

  • 149,000 people loaded an April Monthly Pass to their Compass Card.

  • Approximately 363,000 Compass Cards are registered (46%).

  • Approximately 91,000 customers have signed up for AutoLoad.

Upcoming special events: April 16 to 20, 2016

Harminder Sidhu - who competed in the Sun Run with our CMBC team

Harminder Sidhu – who competed in the Sun Run with our CMBC team

To accommodate upcoming special events, we will be adjusting services to help our customers get where they need to go.

  • Saturday, April 16Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade; bus route detours in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 17Vancouver Sun Run; SeaBus and SkyTrain services will begin earlier and bus detours are in effect from the first bus until 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 20 – Vancouver 420;  bus route detours in effect from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m

Ongoing construction will continue on the City of Vancouver’s Burrard Corridor Project, so please allow extra travel time if commuting over the Burrard Bridge.

Customers are encouraged to check the trip planner and know before they go!

For transit service information including bus re-routes during this weekend’s events or ongoing construction, sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit our events page,          follow @TransLink or call 604.953.3333.

Author: Jordan Keim 

Have your say and take the Southwest Area Transport Plan survey

TRL16-003_SWAPT-Rotator_535x367px

Have your say and take the SWATP survey today!

We all know our region is growing in leaps and bounds and the Southwest Area of Metro Vancouver is no exception so, now is the time to plan for the future!

From April 11 to May 6, 2016, take the Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) survey and share your priorities for transportation improvements in Richmond, Tsawwassen First Nation, South Delta and connections to North Delta.

The SWATP is a very comprehensive planning process that will run for about two years.

It began in 2015 and will focus on improving transit service and infrastructure as well as addressing aspects of cycling, walking, driving and goods movement throughout the area.

With your help, we will better understand the current challenges and opportunities you face as you travel to, within or from the Southwest sub-region every day.

For future notifications around the Southwest Area Transport Plan, sign up for our eNewsletter or head to the TransLink website for more information.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Buzzer illustrator interview: Vivian Lau

Stitched

Meet Vivian! TransLink employee and latest print Buzzer illustrator.

Our April 2016 edition of the print Buzzer was illustrated by one of TransLink’s own employees, Vivian Lau!

Vivian works in the Wayfinding department as a graphic artist.

She created the wonderful, spring-inspired image with little furry friends riding the bus – which is just fantastic!

I caught up with Vivian to find out a little bit more about her artistic process and what inspires her work.

Tell us about yourself…

I’m a graphic designer, and I’m currently a part of TransLink’s Wayfinding team. I make maps and directional signage for the SkyTrain stations, as well as other print materials. In my spare time, I run a casual lifestyle blog where I review restaurants, as well as discuss historical cookery and antiquarian books.

What inspires you when create your art?

A few of my close friends are video game artists. Their amazing work pushes me to practice more, though I feel I still have a ways to go before I can even call myself an artist. For this particular design, I was inspired by paper-cutting and wanted to give the design a simple, layered effect.

What tools do you use?

I predominantly use Adobe Illustrator, but I have a background in watercolour and oil painting. I’m currently branching out into 3D printing and laser cutting.

How would you describe your design style?

I wouldn’t say I have a particular design style – I’m pretty adaptable. I find the constraints of a project usually helps determine the style used.

What’s your favourite mode of transit?

My favourite mode of transit is the SkyTrain! It’s easy to get everywhere, and it’s usually reliable. It helps that I live super close to a station.

Do you have any fun plans or activities you’re up to this spring?

My schedule has been packed lately! I’ve been enamoured with the idea of being more in control of my body and mind, so I’ve invested some time into weightlifting and starting classes on dance, voice acting, and singing. Also, I’ve just been put on a monthly schedule with my tattoo artist, so I have a lot of art to look forward to in the next while!

Thanks Vivian!

If you haven’t got a copy of the latest Buzzer, what are you waiting for?!

Pick one up on SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and buses or download it here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

The 3rd Annual People Report is released

TransLink and its operating companies employ 6,906 people!

TransLink employs 6,906 people!

For the third year, TransLink has released its People Report.

This publication is an opportunity for us to showcase initiatives that help to support and enrich our employees across the TransLink enterprise.

Did you know that TransLink and it’s operating companies employ almost 7,000 people??

We all work together to support our riders, helping you get to where you need to go across the Metro Vancouver!

Here are a few excerpts from the 2015 People Report about some of our employees:

Two of TransLink’s System Analytics team present work abroad

Jacob and FearghalPlanning Analyst Jacob Fox and Project Manager Fearghal King presented their work on driving behaviour and fuel trends to the Revenue and Finance Committee at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) annual conference in Washington, DC.

For their study, the two TransLink System Analytics team members built a model to estimate vehicle kilometres traveled (VKTs) by Metro Vancouver residents using data from several sources including odometer readings collected by the now ended AirCare program.

Their peer-reviewed paper, “Revenue and policy implications from emerging fuel sale trends in Metro Vancouver,” will be published this year in the Transportation Research Record, the journal of the Transportation Research Board. This is a great achievement since only about 20 per cent of TRB papers are selected for publication.

Police Honours Meritorious Service Award

Police Honours Meritorious Service AwardTP
Transit Police Constable Martin Hurst received the Meritorious Service Award from BC’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Judith Guichon, at the Police Honours Night ceremonies at Government House in Victoria on November 19, 2015.

Martin’s dedication, initiative and expertise in social media investigations and internet open-source intelligence has changed the way many police services in Canada investigate a wide variety of crimes.

An instructor of computer-based investigation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and British Columbia Institute of Technology, he is also an internationally-recognized speaker and instructor in the field of open-source intelligence.

STAs reunited with an expecting passenger in distress

STAsSkyTrain Attendants Ian Scott and Raj Lall noticed that a passenger was visibly distressed when she disembarked at Lougheed Station.

She told them she was seven weeks pregnant, bleeding heavily and experiencing severe abdominal pain. Ian called for an ambulance and sat with her for half an hour as Raj waited to direct first responders to her location.

After the woman was taken to hospital, she got the good news that both she and her baby were in no danger. The passenger emailed a commendation to BCRTC. “I wish I could thank (the STAs) in person,” she wrote, “and let them know that my baby is safe because of their help.”

Ian and Raj were presented with Letters of Commendation for their actions. The thankful passenger attended the ceremony and she was able to thank them in person.

They were delighted. “Serious things like this happen every day (on SkyTrain), but we don’t hear back from them,” said Ian. “People don’t think to call, so this was very special. It certainly made my day when I found out everything was okay.” Added Raj: “It was good to hear that everything went well. Most people only take the time to call and complain.”

Stay tuned to the Buzzer blog as we delve further into some of the great stories that take place behind the scenes with our employees across the transit network!

Want to know about the people at TransLink?
You can read the entire People Report here.

Author: Adrienne Coling (with copy from The 2015 People Report)

Participate in the 2016 International Bus Benchmarking Group survey

Take the survey for CMBC from April 4–May 1

Take the survey for CMBC April 4–May 1

Do you have thoughts about CMBC service you want to share?

Now is your chance to weigh in, on an international scale, and help us improve our bus service!

The International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) is an association that compares experiences, performance, identifies best practices and allows participating transit organizations to learn from others in the group in order to improve performance on their own systems.

They do this by surveys completed by riders in these urban areas.

That means YOU!

You can take the 2016 IBBG Customer Satisfaction Survey for CMBC to help us improve our service across the region!

The survey will be available from April 4 to May 1.

Be sure to check out a quick interview we did last year with Associate Director of the Bus Benchmarking, Mark Trompet (below).

FYI – The members of the IBBG are:

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fare gates are closing today!

Group photo

Keep an eye out for these friendly people helping out riders with Compass this week

“On with the show, this is it!”

The big day has arrived and all of the Compass fare gates are closing!

Top 5 - Compass

Compass tips for riders

Starting today, April 4, you’ll see closures starting on the Millennium and Canada Line, then the Expo Line stations throughout the week.

By April 8, all gates at SeaBus and SkyTrain (which includes Canada Line) stations will be fully closed and customers will need a Compass Card or Compass Ticket to pass through fare gates and travel on SkyTrain and SeaBus.

There will be extra staff on hand at fare gate entrances to help customers during this week.

The social media team, along with our communications department colleagues, will be decked out in our finest Compass blue gear at stations across the region to help riders make this adjustment.

Remember! With Compass, customers can travel and seamlessly transfer across the TransLink network with a single Compass card/ticket while enjoying benefits like AutoLoad and balance protection.

For more information, head to translink.ca/compasscard.
To order a Compass Card online or register you card, visit CompassCard.ca.
For a convenient, one-stop source for customer questions and answers,
visit AskCompass.ca.

Author: Adrienne Coling

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

Much of this issue is dedicated to spring service changes.

There’s also an update about full fare gate closures starting on April 4.

imageedit_5_4412239644Transit Network Review consultation last fall and news about the Pattullo Bridge Rehabilitation Project.

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