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Unleash your creativity and love for transit at Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks

Immerse yourself into LEGO® Wonderland at the Science World’s newest exhibition! Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks presented by Concert Properties and White Spot restaurants and supported by TransLink spotlights 20 of world’s most stunning skyscrapers and TransLink’s very own MicroCity 2050, an animated model of Metro Vancouver’s transportation and transit past, present and future. The exhibition is a 5 minutes walk from Main Street-Science World station. Don’t forget to bring your Compass Card to receive 20% off the general admission. 

Build your own LEGO® masterpiece at hands-on construction area.

The towers built in 1:200 scale from half a million LEGO® bricks will impress you with their architectural accuracy and detail from Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Chicago’s Willis Tower and Toronto’s CN Tower and others.

You too are encouraged to unleash your creativity and imagination by building your own creations in the dedicated hands-on construction areas with over 200,000 lose LEGO® bricks.

The exhibition also features TransLink’s animated 3D model of the Metro Vancouver’s Transport 2050 MicroCity, a dynamic show that seamlessly weaves in the light, narration, sound, and music to showcase the history of the region across several different time periods.

The experience will encourage you to think about the future of transportation in our region – a particularly timely topic, as we are in the process of designing the transit system for the next thirty years. To leave your feedback and learn more head over to www.transport2050.ca.

Imagination is your only limit! So what are you waiting for? Make sure you check out the exhibition and add your own creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the Science World.

 

A Love Connection that was nearly missed

How many coincidences are you allowed before it’s considered fate? Robyn and Josh met on the SkyTrain, by squishing into a packed train during rush hour (who hasn’t been there). But there was a special connection between the two… to find out what happened check out our interview with Robyn below.

How did you two meet?

Robyn: That’s kind of a long story, it took over eight months. The first time we met, I was dragon boating at Science World, and he worked at a visual effects studio in the area. When I was done my dragon boat practice he was just coming off of work. I was on the Main Street-Science World platform and he was standing and the SkyTrain came up and everyone had just started leaving from work, so it was jam packed. And there wasn’t much space and I had my big sports bag. So, we kind of looked at each other and the doors open, and he said, “Oh, you go ahead, I’ll wait for the next one.”

 

And I said, “Oh, no, no, no, I’m not going to make you wait, we can squish.”

 

So, we both squished on to the SkyTrain and I was crushing him with all my bags. He went, “Oh, are you just coming from school, like what’s going on?”

 

I said, “Oh no, like, I’m coming from dragon boating, the sport that I play.” He got off two stops later. And I just thought, wow, that was a nice guy.

 

So, that was in October. In November, I hadn’t seen him for a month, so I had not thought about him but, like, what are the chances of meeting someone again, that you just met randomly on the SkyTrain.

 

Now it’s November, and I went up to the Main Street Science World after I was finished dragon boating, and lo and behold, he was heading up the platform and I was shocked. He came up to me and said, “Hey, how’s dragon boating going?”

 

I was taken aback that he had remembered the obscure sport that I did.

 

We both went on to the train and we started talking and he rode all the way with me to my stop which was way farther than mine I found out later. He would just ride all the way to my stop and one stop past so it didn’t look like he was creepily following me. Then he would walk across the platform and take the train back to his stop.

 

So yeah, that was the second time we met, and we just had a great conversation. I found out that he was close to the school that I was going to in the fall and his sister was in the same program I was going into. He volunteered at a church and was involved in summer camp which I was big in. He was just an amazing guy, but of course like he’s a stranger on the SkyTrain, so I’m not going to do anything about it. But I got off at my stop and I called my best friend, and I told her that I met him again, and she goes, “Robyn! Okay, like, did you get his number?” and I said no. She said, “Did you get his name?” and I said no. And she goes, “Robyn! What are you doing? You don’t just bump into people like that on the SkyTrain, like what are you doing?”

She said, if you see him next time, it’s meant to be.

 

So, six months go by, and I’m still dragon boating. I’m still taking the train, a couple times a week, down to the docks at Science World and for six months didn’t see him. At that point I had kind of given up and I went well, I just missed my shot. Oh well.

 

But it was the first day of May, I walked out of dragon boating. We’re not even on the SkyTrain yet and my friend and I were just on the sidewalk, walking from the docks, up to the SkyTrain platform. And he was just walking by on the sidewalk and we saw each other after six months and our jaws both just dropped, like we had no idea what to do. So, finally, he asked for my name and said, “Oh, are you going up to the SkyTrain?”

 

I said yeah, and he said, “Oh, I’ll take you there.”

 

So, we went up to the train, just talking the whole time, he was super nice. We’re getting closer to my stop and I’m thinking, I’ve got to do something or I’m never going to see him again. What are the chances that I’ve seen him three times in Vancouver, on the SkyTrain? But I couldn’t do anything, so I walked off and I went well. That was it, like, that was it.

 

And then the next week, after practice, I went up to the SkyTrain and I was looking around for him. He wasn’t there, and I waited for a couple of SkyTrain’s and he still wasn’t there. And so finally I thought, I have places to go, things to do – I have to get on a SkyTrain and go. So, I got on and I took out my book. Then two stops before my stop, I felt a tap on the back of my shoulder and I looked around and there was Josh and he goes, “Hey Robyn!”

 

And, oh my goodness, my mouth just fell open. I could not believe that he was there. But I was thinking, “Oh, no, we only have two stops left, what am I going to do?”

 

We got to my stop and I thought, “Oh, brilliant, I’ll forget to get off and that’ll give us some more time.”

 

The train stopped and I’m pretending not to pay attention, the doors close, and the train starts to go and I’m like, “Oh, dang it! That was my stop, whoops!”

 

So, I get to the next one and I have to walk across the platform and catch the next train to go back to my stop and he goes, “Oh, I’ll take you!” And we both went back to my stop and I thought he needed to get back onto the other train to go the way we were originally going, but I really threw him for a loop, because he had to pretend to be going that way and then loop back again. He really thought it out.

He needed to rush across because the trains came up at the same time. So, we got off one train and he was going on to the next end. But, I missed the chance and he looks at me and says, “Do you want to do something some time?” And I thought my heart was going to fall out of my stomach!

 

I said of course, and I had my phone and I said, “Do you want to go put your number in?”

 

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out this little piece of paper and gave it to me, didn’t say anything, gave it to me, smiled and then walked onto the other train.

 

And I opened it up. I felt like, like in a movie you know what everyone else is rushing by and one character is just standing still. That’s exactly how I felt. And I opened this little piece of paper, that I learned later, he had been carrying around his number, on this little slip of paper, for the next time he saw me.

Then, two days later, we went on our first date, and now we’ve been dating for two years.

Have you seen the Netflix show ‘You’?

I have not, and I did realize the situation could be sketchy.

On the first date, I made sure to text my friends every half hour, I didn’t get into his car for the first month that we were dating. But, the second time we met, I knew that he went to church and volunteered, not that you can’t make that stuff up. He was just a genuine guy and I did realize it was, you know, not the usual way people meet. But, he was also really aware of the fact, and he put in the extra effort to just be a gentleman.

The first couple months, he was on his best behavior, just to make sure that I was comfortable. We had all our dates in public, we never went anywhere private. He really sought that out too and made sure that I was comfortable because I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall, and he’s a random guy I met on the SkyTrain!

So, when you tell people you guys met on the SkyTrain, what’s their reaction like?

Definitely like, “What kind of person are you, just picking up random people of the SkyTrain?” Because there is a stigma that you get all kinds of people on public transit.

But when I tell people like, “Yeah, we met on a SkyTrain,” they’re taken aback. And then they go, “Okay, I want to hear the story, I want to know everything.”

 

It’s been a big conversation starter and people who I told, who I wouldn’t remember telling, they’ll come up to me like, “Hey, how’s SkyTrain boy?”

People are just so much more invested because of the unlikelihood of how and where we met.

Would you have ever expected to find your partner on public transit?

Not at all. No, and I’ve always grown up being like, don’t talk to strangers, and especially on public transit.

 

Josh’s dad actually works for SkyTrain and I know that TransLink does so much to keep people safe. I feel safe when I’m on transit, but it’s still not necessarily smart to go up to everyone you meet on the SkyTrain or a bus and start up a conversation like that and then start dating. Yeah, I definitely wasn’t expecting that!

Do you have a transit love story to share? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Valentine’s Day from us at TransLink!

Canada Line still winning ridership gold

TransLink celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Vancouver Winter Olympics

TransLink celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Vancouver Winter Olympics

New figures show that after 10 years in service, ridership on the Canada Line is still breaking records. The Canada Line had more than 50 million annual boardings for the first time in its history last year, representing a 30 per cent increase in ridership since 2010.

Originally projected to reach 120,000 daily boardings by 2025 – the Canada Line has continued to outperform projections with 150,000 actual boardings on an average 2019 weekday.

“We are proud to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Olympics today with the region,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “With 1.58 million trips taken each day during the Olympics, transit was an integral part of how the world experienced the Winter Games. The Olympics were a time when many people realized just how convenient public transit is.”

To help meet the growing ridership demand, TransLink increased capacity on the Canada Line by 15 per cent in January this year and will increase total capacity by 35 per cent this spring with the addition of 12 new trains.

Canada Line by the numbers:

  • There were approximately 230,000 daily trips on the Canada Line during the Olympic Games
  • It took four years to build the Canada Line
  • The Canada line cost approximately $2.1 billion
  • The Canada Line is a 19-kilometre route with 16 stations, two bridges and nine kilometres of tunnel
  • 21 per cent of all YVR passengers use the Canada Line for their journey to or from the airport

It’s Sedin Week! Take transit to the Canucks games at Rogers Arena

Dear Daniel and Henrik, THANK YOU! Thank you for 18 years of awesome hockey. Thank you for 18 years of Sedinery on the ice. Thank you for all you’ve down for our community. Thank you for being an inspiration to hockey players and Vancouverites all over. This week, Sedin Week, is your week and an opportunity for all of Metro Vancouver to once again come together to celebrate your amazing careers. Congratulations, Hank and Danny!

To honour the Sedins, the Vancouver Canucks are taking this week’s slate of home games at Rogers Arena to make the most of every opportunity to celebrate them. So, knowing that everyone wants to be there to relive the memories, we’re taking measures such as delaying rail replacement work to accommodate for crowds. Not only that, there are many systems in place to make your trip to celebrate the twins easier. Tap to Pay is one such option; if you don’t have a Compass Card, you can use your Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit cards to pay your transit fare. Just remember, tap your card not your wallet!

Another useful option is Park and Ride. There’s two in Surrey – Scott Road and South Surrey, plus many along the West Coast Express including at Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows. You can also use the Park and Ride facility at Carvolth Exchange in Langley, if you’re travelling from there to celebrate the Sedins. Here’s where you can find a full list of Park and Ride facilities, including the cost of parking at each: https://www.translink.ca/Getting-Around/Driving/Park-and-Ride.aspx

Regardless of where you go and how you choose to celebrate Sedin Week, there are lots of options to get there, so figure out the best route, plan a bit ahead, and give yourself some extra travel time – there will be a lot of fans like you wanting to join in on the celebration!

Congrats again, Daniel and Henrik!

Lonsdale Quay Exchange begins final phase of upgrades

Upgrades to the Lonsdale Quay Exchange are nearing completion and entering the final phase of construction. The improvements will enhance the experience of a growing number of customers coming in and out of the exchange each day. This is the first upgrade to the exchange since it was built in the 1980s.

Construction begins next week on the west side of the bus exchange, opening the upgraded east side to customers. Customers will now benefit from the completed improvements such as new pavement, improved lighting, more space, better accessibility, and tactile walking surface indicators.

The upgrades are projected for completion in the spring of this year, key improvements include:

  • Adapted bus bays for the R2 Marine Drive RapidBus
  • New pavement throughout the exchange and the passenger hub
  • Improved accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers
  • A new ceiling above the exchange to provide better lighting
  • Tactile walking surface indicators at bus stops and passenger crossings for customers with vision loss
  • New public art installation

The $14.7 million budget for improvements is paid for through contributions from the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and TransLink.

Quick facts:

  • Lonsdale Quay Exchange is the second busiest transit hub on the North Shore
  • Over 5,000 customers catch a bus at the exchange on an average weekday
  • 12 bus routes serve the exchange travelling to Vancouver, West Vancouver and the District and City of North Vancouver
  • 20,000 SeaBus trips are taken each weekday

SkyTrain announcements now include which side doors open on

“The next station is … Columbia. Doors will open on the right.”

When riding SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium Lines, you might have noticed that our “next station” announcements are a little different now — they now announce whether doors will open to the left or right when the train arrives at the station.

It will make an announcement, voiced by Laureen Regan, that’s a variation of, “The next station is … Edmonds. Doors will open on the right,” depending on the station the train’s at.

It’s all part of our effort to make transit more accessible for everyone, and a little bit easier for customers with sight loss as well as those who are new to riding SkyTrain.

These accessibility improvements were the result of advice and feedback from TransLink’s Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee (UAC) and other stakeholders. The UAC provides ongoing advice on TransLink plans, programs, and initiatives, making sure that accessibility issues are always considered.

But, that’s not all — we’ve also shortened our boarding announcements on the Expo Line to make it simpler and more succinct. Now, at most stations, you’ll no longer hear, “This is an Expo Line Train to King George,” but rather a simple “Train to King George.”

Have you heard the new announcements? If so, let us know what you think!

Related Stories:

Electric bikes can now ride the bus too!

Electric bikes are now allowed to ride the bus!

As Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority, we’re more than just transit! Among our responsibilities is providing cycling options in the region and supporting the more than 107,000 bike trips that happen daily.

We know cycling with a little help from an electric boost is becoming more popular. That’s why we’ve updated our rules to allow electric bikes to be placed on our bus bike racks.

There are a few conditions though, the electric bikes must:

  • Weigh less than 25kg (55 lbs.)
  • Wheels fit properly in bike rack
  • Include a lithium battery
  • The customer removes the battery and brings it onboard the bus

There are a few electric bikes that are still not allowed on bike racks such ones that are like a scooter. They weigh too much and don’t fit properly in our bike racks.

Electric bikes are also welcome onboard SeaBus, SkyTrain and the West Coast Express.

If you have any questions, please ask transit staff before boarding or contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333. Visit translink.ca/bikesontransit to learn more about how can you incorporate cycling into your commute.

Happy cycling!

TransLink celebrates Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year-wrapped bus will make its debut at the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade and will start serving customers this coming Monday.

The Lunar New Year-wrapped bus will make its debut at the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade and will start serving customers this coming Monday.

TransLink is joining Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend by participating in the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade on Sunday with a specially themed Lunar New Year Bus.

“The Lunar New Year is a time to celebrate the diverse communities who live together in Metro Vancouver,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We are proud to participate in the parade with our Lunar New Year bus which celebrates the beginning of a new year.”

The new year will be the year of the rat, a symbol of wealth and good fortune. The Lunar New Year bus livery features the rat on both sides with lanterns signifying life and prosperity.

After the parade, the bus will enter service on various Metro Vancouver bus routes.

Due to street closures on Pender and Keefer between Cambie and Gore, some bus routes will be temporarily diverted during the parade. To find out if your route is affected, sign up for Transit Alerts (translink.ca/alerts), follow TransLink on Twitter (@TransLink) or call Customer Service at 604-953-3333.

New Canada Line trains increase service for customers

First wave of new trains will carry up to 800 more people per hour at peak times. (left to right: Scott Norris, YVR’s vice-president of commercial development; Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament, Vancouver Centre; Malcolm Brodie, Mayor, City of Richmond; Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink; and Kevin Desmond, TransLink’s CEO)

Four new Canada Line trains begin service today, increasing customer capacity by 15 per cent during peak hours. The brand-new trains will provide more space, frequency and comfort to customers.

These are the first of 12 new trains, which are being rolled out as part of Phase One of the Mayors’ 10-Year Transit Expansion Plan. Once more trains are in service later this year, there will be a total increase in capacity of approximately 35 per cent compared to 2019 service levels.

Delivered through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), this $88 million investment is funded 50 per cent by the Government of Canada, 33 per cent by the Province of British Columbia, and 17 per cent by TransLink.

To support this increase in service, the Canada Line Operations and Maintenance Centre was upgraded and three additional escalators were installed at Canada Line Stations in 2019. This $36 million investment was also funded through PTIF.

The remaining trains are in the process of being delivered from Hyundai Rotem in South Korea. Upon arrival, the new trains will go through testing and commissioning before being certified for revenue service later this year. Read more »

New maps and signs help improve wayfinding at YVR–Airport Station

New bilingual signs at the YVR–Airport Station letting customers they can head straight for the faregates if they have a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

New bilingual signs at the YVR–Airport Station letting customers they can head straight for the faregates if they have a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

We’ve made it easier for tourists, many who are first-time transit users in Vancouver, to find their way from the Canada Line’s YVR–Airport Station!

We want to be the best hosts that we can be, so that’s why we teamed up with YVR to improve signage at YVR–Airport Station to help customers decide what transit fare they need and how to pay for it. There’s now:

  • Bilingual awareness signage conveying Tap to Pay benefit for travellers
  • Maps with colour-coded fare zones
  • Signage with fares to popular tourist destinations

With better signs, our hope is more customers will skip the lines for a Compass Vending Machines, head straight to the faregates and use Tap to Pay option to pay their transit fare using a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card. For customers who are purchasing a fare from Compass Vending Machines, new colour-coded maps help with identifying fare zones for popular destinations such as the outlet mall, ferry terminals and cruise ship terminals.

New colour-coded maps on Compass Vending Machines makes trip planning easier for transit users at YVR–Airport Station.

New colour-coded maps on Compass Vending Machines makes trip planning easier for transit users at YVR–Airport Station.

New colour-coded maps on Compass Vending Machines makes trip planning easier for transit users at YVR–Airport Station.

Previously, Canada Line Attendants would sometimes have to help customers calculate the fare to popular tourist destinations such as downtown Vancouver, Canada Place and the ferry terminals. Now, with better signage, it’s clearer and all our customers can have a better experience at the YVR–Airport Station – and we’re still always there to help!

But the best part of all? The new signage was installed December 17th, 2019 – so we were ready for all of our city’s visitors this holiday season!

Author: Mohak Sood

Your questions answered about snowy weather preparations

Today is an extreme travel day and our transit system hasn’t escaped the impact of the snow.

We’re receiving a high volume of enquiries about transit conditions, so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by you, our customers, on social media.

Don’t forget! Sign up for Transit Alerts to be notified about updates, changes, and disruptions to the transit services you take:

Q: How’s SkyTrain preparing?

A: SkyTrain Attendants are onboard all trains monitoring the tracks to improve reliability on the system by limiting emergency braking triggered by heavy snowfall. We also run trains throughout the night to keep the tracks clear and used a special train to spray de-icer on the power rails. On the Millennium Line, we’re operating four-car trains instead of the usual two-car trains to increase capacity, but that will mean longer than usual waits for customers.

Read more »

Smart lockers coming to SkyTrain stations

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker at Stadium–Chinatown Station could look like.

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker at Stadium–Chinatown Station could look like.

TransLink has selected PigeonBox, a smart locker service, as the first winner of the 2019 Open Call for Innovation on Customer Services and Amenities. The Open Call for Innovation solicited proposals for new services for customers as they travel through the transit system.

With the new PigeonBox smart lockers, beginning this spring, customers can have their deliveries sent to lockers at three SkyTrain stations: Joyce-Collingwood, Stadium-Chinatown, and Commercial-Broadway.

“We are always looking at creative ways to utilize our transit spaces so that we can better serve our customers,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The last round of submissions received many thoughtful proposals and I’d like to congratulate PigeonBox for their successful pitch. Having secure lockers for pick-ups at transit stations will reduce unnecessary trips and simplify the lives of our customers.”

How does it work?

First, customers need to sign up to use a locker on the PigeonBox website or PigeonBox App. Customers can then use the provided PigeonBox address as their mailing address when making any online purchase. Once the order is complete and delivered, PigeonBox will send the customer a locker number and access code for a smart locker.

“The PigeonBox dream is to make every online delivery experience as seamless as possible,” says PigeonBox CEO Seunghwan Son. “We’ve built our smart lockers for those who want to protect their online orders and pick up their packages with ease. When we first launched PigeonBox, our customers told us they wanted to see us grow and expand at our transit stations. We are excited to finally launch this partnership with TransLink.”

This initiative is a one-year pilot from the TransLink Tomorrow program to test the demand for smart locker services on the transit system. The continuation and expansion of this service will be determined by the results of the pilot.

About Open Call for Innovation

There were 45 proposals submitted in TransLink’s second annual Open Call for Innovation to help innovate and enhance customer journeys. The 2019 finalists were selected through an internal panel. Other successful ideas will be announced in the coming months. Previous winners include a shared mobility service with Evo, Modo, and Mobi, and a partnership with carpooling company, Poparide.

The Open Call platform is an opportunity to partner with industry leaders, innovators, academics and policymakers to collaborate on new mobility solutions that will help enhance the livability of Metro Vancouver and address transportation-related challenges that we face as a region.

TransLink activates snow plan to keep customers moving

Customers should plan ahead for potential weather-related delays

Customers should plan ahead for potential weather-related delays

With the likelihood of snow in the early morning hours tomorrow, TransLink is activating plans to ensure transit service stays as reliable as possible.

Environment Canada is forecasting late night rain, followed by snow through the morning commute. This sequence of precipitation will not allow for early salting and sanding as the materials will wash away before snow hits. We are encouraging customers to dress for the elements and use proper footwear to avoid slips and falls.

Customer information will have extra staff on hand, but customers should expect larger-than-normal call and social media request volumes.

Here’s what we’re doing right now

  • Calling in extra staff to assist customers and coordinate service.
  • Coordinating with municipalities on snow clearing if priority routes are impacted.
  • Coupling Millennium Line trains into 4-car configurations to increase capacity while SkyTrain attendants monitor guideways.
  • Deploying special trucks to spread anti-icing solution on trolley wires.
  • Installing brass “cutters” on some trolley buses to cut through ice on trolley wires.

Read more »

TransLink launches new RapidBus service

TransLink launches RapidBus on four routes – bringing customers up to 20 per cent faster bus service with higher frequencies, fewer stops, dedicated bus lanes, bus priority changes to intersections, and all-door boarding.

RapidBus provides a more reliable bus service that can move more than 10,000 people per hour at peak times. The new service is made possible through investments from Phase One of the Mayors’ Vision, the Government of Canada, and the Province of BC.

“We’re stepping up our bus game,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “RapidBus is a crucial part of improving the region’s bus service through the Mayors’ Vision. These RapidBus routes will benefit eight communities and bring our customers a more reliable bus service that they deserve.” Read more »

I Love Transit 2019: Wrapping up a decade of I Love Transit

2019 was another busy year for TransLink. We celebrated many milestones including 10 years of I Love Transit!

This year’s celebrations included, among other things, a free week of bus rides for K-12 students, an interview with one of our favourite retired bus operators, a chat with one of Metro Vancouver’s favourite Wayfinding experts, contests and so much more!

Read more »