ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

On this day in Buzzer Blog history: January 24, 2011

Old Mr Buzzer

It’s hard to believe that 2011 was seven years ago, it feels like just yesterday. For this edition of On this day in Buzzer Blog history, we’re throwing back to a throwback post where we shared a cool piece of transit history sent to us by Bob Hassan, who had inherited his late fathers collection of Buzzer relics.

Read more »

#MyTransLink – January 23

Here we go again! This week’s edition of #MyTransLink once again shares some stunning photos captured by YOU! Our snap-happy customers, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts. Here’s a small sampling of our favourites since last week.

Universal Fare Gate Access Program launches

Transit customers who are not able to tap a Compass Card at fare gates due to a disability will now have greater access to the SkyTrain system with the launch of the Universal Fare Gate Access Program.

The program, the first of its kind to our knowledge globally, provides participants with radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards that will automatically send a signal to RFID readers located above designated accessible fare gates. The fare gate will open when the card comes within range and close once the customer passes through.

As of today, more than 40 per cent of SkyTrain stations have been outfitted with RFID technology. All SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be equipped with this technology by the end of the year.

We’ve chosen a phased roll out so we can begin restoring access to the system as soon as possible. A phased approach also allows us to take customer feedback and make adjustments to the system as we go, which gives us the best opportunity to get this right.

It’s important to us that this customer group have the same travel experience as our other customers. This unique, locally-developed solution, allows those enrolled in this program to use the same fare gates as everyone else to independently travel the system as they please.

This technology, which was designed by TransLink and implemented in partnership with Vancouver-based Hyperlight Systems, is at the forefront of the industry. World-wide, no other transit authority (to our knowledge) offers fully-automated, touchless access to a gated transit system.

For information on the program and how it can best benefit you, please call 604.953.3698 or email Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Double the fun: Double-decker buses will add to the fleet in 2019

TransLink double decker bus

Back in November of 2017, we launched our highly anticipated Double-decker bus pilot project, with two, double tall buses rolling out on various long-distance commuter routes.

Read more »

Did you know there’s a time capsule at New Westminster Station?

Premier Bill Bennett seals commemorative time capsule as Ontario Premier David Peterson and
New Westminster Mayor Tom Baker look on.

Our Transit History section just scratches the surface of what we have in The Buzzer archives, which includes eight issues of the Vancouver Regional Rapid Transit Project Quarterly.

The 12-page Winter 1986 edition, released a month after SkyTrain’s opening, contained a myriad of photos and stories touting the launch of Vancouver’s first rapid transit system. Perhaps, the most interesting tidbit is the existence of a time capsule.

Mhmm, that’s right! A stainless steel time capsule, sealed by then-B.C. premier Bill Bennett, was buried at New Westminster Station. It will be opened in 2085—a hundred years after SkyTrain opened.

Luckily, we won’t have to wait until 2085 to find out what’s inside!

According to quarterly, it includes the names of the 5,000 people that built SkyTrain and a letter from Bennett to the British Columbians that will open the capsule. He writes,

[The inauguration of SkyTrain is] a milestone as important as the arrival in 1885 of the first transcontinental passenger train in British Columbia. The documents which accompany this letter in the time capsule are the essential records relating to the design and construction of SkyTrain and represent the creative efforts of thousands of British Columbian and Canadian architects, engineers, construction workers, planners-and designers. Together, we have shown the world what imagination and determination can achieve.

Also inside:

…the opening day commemorative editions of the Vancouver Sun and Province, which contained special SkyTrain supplements, a copy of the rapid transit film, Going to Town, a filmed message from Grace M. McCarthy, minister responsible for the project, one of the invitations to the SkyTrain opening ceremonies, and a copy of each of the seven quarterly reports of the Rapid Transit Project.

Also, luckily, we have a copy of Going to Town uploaded to our YouTube account! Watch it here.

Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Tri-Cities

Bus Route Buzz
Bus Route Buzz is our series that takes a deep dive look into quarterly service changes coming to your area. This edition takes a look at improvements to Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and the Tri-Cities. 

Read more »

A talon for getting rid of pigeons – TransLink’s Falconry Project

Falconry Project

In a bid to develop a humane solution to address the long-standing pigeon problem at SkyTrain stations across the region, we have partnered with our feathered friends at Raptors Ridge for a six-week falconry project around six of our most bird populated stations. Falconers will be bringing predatory birds, falcons and hawks, to these stations in order to change the habits of the pigeons and deter them from returning.

Read more »

#MyTransLink – January 16

We’re back with another edition of #MyTransLink, the weekly curated series sharing photos captured by our snap happy customers, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts alike. Check out a sampling of our favourites since the last week.

Sign Light

A post shared by Philipp Postrehovsky (@philpostro) on

Read more »

Buzzer illustrator interview: Jenny Hsieh

The December 2017 edition of the print Buzzer was illustrated by the talented Jenny Hsieh, who we originally discovered through her super fun Instagram account.

Jenny’s adorable winter clad creatures don the cover in promotion of winter service changes, all-door boarding, TransLink merchandise, and more!

We asked Jenny a few questions to learn a little more about her as an illustrator.

Tell us about yourself!

I am a freelance illustrator based in Vancouver. I recently graduated from Emily Carr University with a BFA in Illustration. When I’m not drawing I’m liking cute dog photos on Instagram.

(us too Jenny… us too!)

What gets you inspired when you’re creating?

I get my inspiration from everyday life. I like to take seemingly banal moments and illustrate them in a way that makes them extraordinary.

What are your favourite subjects to illustrate?

I enjoy drawing people and dogs (especially shiba inus).

Tell us about your illustration for the latest print Buzzer?

My illustration features three warmly dressed animals waiting for the bus. I wanted to illustrate something simple and fun to represent bus schedule changes in the winter season.

What are your artist tools of choice?

I like to switch between various mediums. I mainly use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator for my digital work, and watercolour, ink, or coloured pencils for my traditional stuff. I like exploring different mediums since each one can really lend to the mood of a work.

What has been some of your favourite projects you’ve created?

Recently, I made a zine consisting of ink drawings that I created in October. It’s basically cute girls in cute outfits – it was a lot of fun to draw!

What are some of the fun projects you’re working on now?

Right now, I am trying to put together another zine/comic. I am also working on opening an online store, which will probably be ready early next year. You can stay updated with me on my instagram and website!

What is your favourite mode of transit?

My favourite and most frequent mode of transit is definitely the SkyTrain. I’ve spent most of my time on the SkyTrain because of school. It just makes travelling downtown so convenient!

Do you have any fun plans for winter?

Yes! Winter vacation plans included spending Christmas and New Year’s in Taiwan.

A huge thanks to Jenny for creating such a great illustration for our print Buzzer! We wish you well in your future art projects!

Grab your copy of The Buzzer on SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and buses before they’re gone or download it here.

Interested in becoming an illustrator for The Buzzer? Shoot us an email at

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Friday fun poll: do you prefer a window or aisle seat on transit?

Riding the bus while seated in the window seat!

I recently came back from a trip to the United States and when you fly, often you get to choose where you sit on the plane. I always choose the aisle seat when flying. This way if I need to get up from my seat, I don’t have to awkwardly squeeze my way out.

It got me thinking about where I like to sit on transit—is it the window or aisle seat?

On shorter commutes, I prefer an aisle seat so I can easily disembark when it’s my stop. But for longer commute such as riding the 410 from 22nd Street Station to Richmond, I like the window seat so I can have an uninterrupted commute where I can doze off or look out the window to pass the time.

It’s over to you, the Buzzer blog readers, again! Do you prefer a window or aisle seat? Let us know why in the comments section.

Do you prefer a window or aisle seat on transit?

  • Window seat (76%, 220 Votes)
  • Aisle seat (16%, 46 Votes)
  • I prefer to stand (8%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 288

Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: South of the Fraser

Bus Route Buzz

Bus Route Buzz is our series that takes a deep dive into quarterly service changes. This edition takes a look at improvements South of the Fraser. 

Read more »

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond looks at what’s ahead in 2018 on CBC Radio’s The Early Edition

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond appeared on CBC Radio’s The Early Edition on January 10.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond appeared on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn on January 10, looking ahead to what’s upcoming for the organization in 2018. He talks about 10-Year Vision funding to the Transit Fare Review, and everything in between.

Have a listen! Big thanks to CBC for sharing the audio with us.

#MyTransLink – January 9, 2017

#MyTransLink Photography Quote

Welcome to another edition of #MyTransLink, the weekly curated series sharing photos captured by our snap happy customers, community neighbours and transit enthusiasts alike. Take a look at our favourites since last week.

Read more »

Links and Tidbits – January 5, 2018

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!

»  An oldie but a goodie! Daily Hive recently shared the Going to Town documentary (embed above) from 1985 about SkyTrain—or the Vancouver Regional Rapid Transit Project as it was referred to at the time.

»  But wait, there’s more! BC Transit also produced On Track, an early SkyTrain project film from 1983.

»  For more historical fodder, you’ll want to check out our Transit History category.

»  We’ve taken you behind the scenes to our Lost Property Office in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Let’s take a look inside Transport for London’s Lost Property Office!

»  In December, our counterparts at the Toronto Transit Commission opened the 8.6-kilometre extension of Line 1 from Downsview Park Station in Toronto to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre in York Region.

»  Over in New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has cut “ladies and gentlemen” announcements in favour of more gender-neutral words such as “passengers,” “riders,” and “everyone.”

»  Where do New York City subway maintenance personnel go when a train comes? Here’s your answer.

»  Also in New York, they are testing 10 different prototypes of open gangway trains by the 2020s.

»  This isn’t an April Fool’s joke! Waste coffee grounds will help power some Transport for London buses.

»  Australia has unveiled plans to build a supersonic hyperloop. Trains will travel at speeds of more than 1,000km/h! 😬

»  QR code payment is coming to the Shanghai Metro. The pilot began on Oct. 30, 2017 and the plan is to expand it to all 17 lines in the city by early 2018. Closer to home, Metrolink in California is also getting QR code payment.

»  Baggage fees are common among airlines, but not on public transit. The Namma Metro in India is charging passengers 30 rupees for each piece of baggage they carry—and customers are furious.

»  What has been dubbed  the “millennial railcard” has launched in the United Kingdom, offering passengers between 26 and 30 years old a third off train travel.

»  Arlington used to be the largest city without any buses, now they are the first system to run solely on microtransit.

Author: Allen Tung

Bus Route Buzz – Winter Service Changes 2017/18: Burnaby & New Westminster

Bus Route Buzz
Bus Route Buzz is our series each service change that takes a deep dive into what’s coming to your area. In this edition, we take a look at improvements in Burnaby and New Westminster. 

TransLink makes bus service changes every quarter (spring, summer, fall and winter), to reflect seasonal changes in demand and bring more service to where customers need it most. This winter, we’re improving bus service to reduce overcrowding and wait times, expand service hours, and increase reliability.

Read more »