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Translink Buzzer Blog

Links and Tidbits – May 6, 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.

lvmarbles26n

Don’t lose your marbles!

»   At the Times Square–42nd Street subway stop in NYC you can take in this ^^ beautiful mosaic by artist Lisa Dinhofer.

»   Move over subway pizza rat and hello subway bagel rat!

»   Watch this video! (Be sure to wait until the passenger chimes in) Warning, colourful language!

»   Washington Metro turns the big 4-0!

»   Hillary had some trouble using the NYC subway – She should visit us, tapping a Compass Card is a breeze!

»   ^^ Of course SNL had to have a crack at poking some fun.

»   Rubber ferry, you’re the one! You make bath time so much fun!

»   BCIT’s, Evolution 107.9 radio’s Harrison Jewell spoke about TransLink and how we compare with other transit authorities in North America.

»   I admit, I’d probably do a double take at some of these books being read on the train!

»   ^^Literally the happiest I’ve ever seen people on transit in this 1964 NYC World’s Fair advert for the “subway special!”

»   You know what really grinds GO transit users’ gears? Take a look!

»   More than one fifth of U.S. urban residents use public transit regularly with NY, LA and Chicago topping the list.

»   Another month, another superhero bus operator – this time in Calgary.

»   Did you know that Cincinnati has a secret, unused subway? Neither did I!

»   From bus to food truck (looks like one of our community shuttle vehicles!) offering fresh produce at reduced rates for low-income families in Toronto. What a great idea!

»   Looks like Halifax has the same idea – full sized bus this time though!

»   Hold onto your hats because TransLink’s own Pet Peeves transit etiquette campaign is making worldwide headlines by being featured at the New York Transit Museum!

»   Another beautiful transit relic saved in London! Take a look at the Crystal Palace.

»   One of my greatest fears – becoming a meme! The late, great David Bowie’s son turned this man into an viral internet sensation!

»   So, this is what it feels like… when doves cry. What a fitting tribute!

»   Much Shiba. Very transit doge. So subway.

»   Posts like this are my bread and butter. I LOVE secrets and transit secrets are even better!

»   Ever wondered why you get sleepy on the train or bus? Looks like there’s an answer!

»   Mexico City has nearly 200 different transit signs on their system. They even tweet out the meanings for passengers. For example! Why is Talismán station represented by a mammoth? Because workers discovered the remains of one while excavating the site!mammoth»   Our region is hot. I mean H-O-T! Especially when it comes to transit. Check out how we show up on this heat map of Metro Vancouver transit users!

»   The man who voiced the “mind the gap” announcements in London’s Underground has passed away. But his wise yet stern voice will remain helping tube riders for generations to come!

»   Death Star transit realness. “Alert all commands. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory!” 

»   Looking to rent in NYC? Then have a look at which subway stops will save you $$! (ps. A one bedroom for $4000 a month? YOWZA! And I thought Vancouver was pricey!)

»   What an amazing tool! All Transit allows you to gauge how well-connected any spot in the United States is by public transit!

»   It’s a museum! It’s a nuclear bunker! It’s North Korea’s subway system!

NK subway

Puhung Station was one of only two metro stations foreign visitors were allowed into before 2010.

»   New Subway ads that KNOW who is looking at them. Creepy or cool? You decide!

Author: Adrienne Coling

How you can help those affected by the fires in Northern Alberta

Red Cross

Photo Courtesy of Canadian Red Cross

The devastating fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta forced the province to call a state of emergency on Wednesday.

More than 88,000 residents had to leave their homes in and around the Fort McMurray area, sending evacuees to nearby communities for aid and shelter.

Because of this widespread disaster, TransLink in partnership with NEXTEXT is text screenproviding donation opportunities for anyone who texts “33333” for the next two weeks to donate $5 to the Red Cross relief efforts for Fort McMurray.

All you have to do to donate is text “REDCROSS” to “30333” from your phone.

About $11 million has been already donated to the Red Cross and both the Alberta provincial and federal governments have committed to match individual donations.

Please help us support our fellow Canadians in distress by donating today.

To donate online through the Canadian Red Cross click here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Communicating bus stop relocations and closures in a new way

Bus Stop

Bus operators will now have up to date info on moved or closed bus stops

Bus stops can get cancelled or have to be relocated for a variety of reasons.

Construction, motor vehicle accidents, special events, police incidents and more.

To help our bus operators and riders have the most up to date information, operators will now be informed about any bus stop changes at the beginning of the route trip and again one bus stop before the closed or relocated stop.

This measure allows for a text to be sent to operators about bus stops that have been moved or closed.

“This is great for our customers. Closed stops won’t be announced as ‘next stop” any longer, so there’s less confusion and better communication for everyone,” says Louise Hearty, CMBC’s Director of Service Support and Security.

When a bus stop is moved, the stop will remain in the system and still be announced to riders and the operator will verbally tell passengers the new location.

When a bus stop is closed (not relocated), the stop and announcement will be removed from the system.

I actually just experienced this on my route this week! It was great to see this practice being put into action to help out riders be aware of changes to the stops on their route.

Has anyone else noticed this change? What are your thoughts?
Comment below and let us know!

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink Facebook reaches 20,000 likes!

Here's to the next 20,000!

Here’s to the next 20,000!

Twenty grand. Likes, that is.

We are so pleased to announce that the TransLink Facebook page has officially reached the milestone of having 20,000 likes. Actually, right now we’re at 20,323 and climbing!

We strive to make our Facebook page accessible, transparent, informative and a whole lot of fun!

Therefore, in honour of our growing online community, we’d like to take a look back at 20 of our favourite Facebook posts.

If you have favourites that aren’t featured here, be sure to comment below!

Enjoy!

Check out the story behind SkyTrain chimes – November 2010

Customer Information on Twitter started out as a pilot project – December 2010

An Olympic look back one year later – January 2011

Pet Peeves Battle Royale – November 2011

SkyTrain photo project by Alejandro Mejía Greene – December 2011

A dress made out of nearly 3,000 fare transfers? YEP! – May 2012

Early edition print Buzzer cartoon – October 2012

Bbbb…rrrraaaaiiiinnnnsssss…I mean, bus operator zombie – October 2012

They found love in a transit place – August 2013

Happy 5th birthday, Canada Line! – August 2014

Our annual I Love Transit Camp – August 2014

Cutest. SkyTrain. Ever. – November 2014

Sparky the Elf, Mr. and Mrs Claus and a Reindeer Bus! – December 2014

Rocky loves transit so much he wants to ride the bus! – March 2015

Transfer throwback – March 2015

A surprise serenade at Burrard Station from PALS Chorus – May 2015

Compass 101 video – Where to get a Compass Card – October 2015

Our region’s SkyTrain riding, celebrity crow, Canuck – December 2015

Compass gates are closing! – March 2016

Be a SkyTrain VIP! – April 2016

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink in the Media: TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond, speaks with the media

Kevin Desmond has only been at the CEO of TransLink job for six weeks, but he’s already done a host of media interviews and events.

Last week he addressed media after speaking at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Transportation Summit (audio below).


Next up was the Lynda Steele Show on CKNW (Video above) follow by On the Coast on CBC Radio One for a ride on the 99 B-Line and more with Stephen Quinn yesterday (Skip to 2:06:30 to hear Kevin and Stephen).

 

UPDATE: Kevin was also on Global News! (May 5, 2016)

We’re sure Kevin will be doing more media in the future and we’ll keep sharing them with you.

Then and Now: 30 years of Expo

Expo 86

It was 30 years ago…

May 2nd marks the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek. North America’s largest World’s Fair was a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy, notably, Metro Vancouver’s first Rapid Transit SkyTrain – the Expo Line, built for and named in anticipation of the fair. SkyTrain debuted as the first and one of the longest, fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world

“Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch” coincided with Vancouver’s centennial celebration and was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

expo prince and princess

Prince Charles and Princess Diana riding the Expo Line in 1986

 

Charles and Di

The Royal Couple

A lot has changed in 30 years, and we’ve summarized some fun facts below about SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, and BC in general.

  1986 2016
Main line track (km) 21 58
Stations 15 33
Annual boardings (millions) 20 (1987) 80
Fleet (cars) 114 258 (+28 by mid-2016)
One-zone cash fare (at Jan 1) $1.15 $2.75
Metro Vancouver population 1.38 million (census) 2.54 million (BC Stats projection)
Detached home price $130,800 $1,816,487
Minimum Wage (per hour) $3.65 $10.45
Expo 1986

Can you spot the station?

ticket1986

Do you remember these tickets?

expo 86

The very first Ticket Vending Machines

Do you have an Expo ’86 memory you’d like to share? Did you take SkyTrain when it first launched?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Update: Joyce–Collingwood station upgrades

JoyceStation13

Joyce–Collingwood Station at Joyce St and Vanness Ave

If you use Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain station as much as the rest of the region (it’s the fourth busiest station outside of downtown, you know!) you may have noticed that upgrade construction has begun!

So, what does this improved design give you?

Upgrades include a new elevator, up and down escalators in the East stationhouse, better lighting and visibility and better integration of the transit system into the Joyce–Collingwood community.

Project status

Beginning May 7, the east station entrance will close and work will begin to construct a new elevator and up and down escalators.

The east entrance will remain closed until upgrades are complete in fall 2017, when the project is expected to be complete.

What to expect

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees and contractors.

Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Below is a summary of what customers can expect during this upgrade work:

  • During this time, customers can access the station through the west station entrance on the other side of Joyce Street.
  • Customers will be able to use the new temporary staircase to exit east stationhouse (exit only, no entry access permitted).
  • Signs will be in place to direct customers to appropriate entrances and exits.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to the Joyce–Collingwood Station.

Got questions? We’re here to listen!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit: www.translink.ca/joyce or www.translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jordan Keim

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.