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Translink Buzzer Blog

Bus Services staff helping to keep transit clean

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Keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been our priority. Across the system, we’ve enhanced our cleaning procedures, equipped buses with temporary barriers and reinforced physical distancing measures.

The Servicepersons on our Bus Services team have been fundamental in this effort – their dedication, adaptability and incredible work ethic have helped Coast Mountain Bus Company deliver transit services to thousands of people who rely on us.

“We’re dealing with a lot of health care workers who take transit to get to work and we want to protect them prior to going into their environment,” explained
Valerie Clarke, Serviceperson at Vancouver Transit Centre (pictured below). “I want to make sure when anyone rides a bus, they feel protected.”

Before and after COVID-19

Prior to the pandemic, Valerie explained that her team’s job was to get the buses out in the morning and prep them for the afternoon rush. This involved driving the buses around, sweeping and mopping the floors, tidying up the Operator’s area, taking them through the bus wash, conducting a pre-trip inspection and re-parking them for the afternoon rush hour.

“Since the pandemic began, there’s been a greater emphasis on disinfecting the buses, so our jobs have changed a bit,” added one of the Servicepersons. “We’ve focused more on cleaning the inside of the bus.”

Extra attention is given to high-touch surfaces on the bus, such as the stanchions and the Operator’s area. While cleaning, Servicepersons wear gloves, masks, eye goggles, coveralls over their clothes, and use a safe, hospital-grade disinfectant.

Taking health & safety seriously

The Bus Services team has continued to implement specific initiatives to enhance regular cleaning procedures and protect employees, including:

  • Daily disinfectant spraying of staff areas: bullpens, change rooms, lunchrooms
  • Daily disinfectant spraying of garage vehicles: yard trucks, mobile mechanic vehicles
  • Increased disinfection of high-use areas: Shop and Parts counters, bulletin boards, door handles, light switches
  • Spraying buses with disinfectant
  • Installation of physical distancing signage
  • Cleaning windshields

Showing appreciation

The hard work of our Bus Services team hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“A lot of operators who see us wave and say thanks. They appreciate it,” one of the Servicepersons relayed. “They see us in the yard cleaning the buses and they get excited knowing that their work environment is clean, and they’ll be safe when they go on the road. They’re not going into an unknown area where someone could have coughed or sneezed.”

Valerie concurred: “It’s kind of rewarding when an operator gets on after you’ve cleaned their bus and they tell you it’s so clean and smells nice. I think it’s very important for all of us to be here. A lot of us work really hard to keep the buses as clean and presentable as possible. It’s important to protect all of us. We’re all one family and we all work together.”

Sending our sincerest thanks to our Bus Services team for their enthusiasm and dedication throughout these challenging times!

Written by Rebecca Abel 

Bus operator wrangles geese away from busy intersection in Vancouver

Photo: Mathew Bond

If you’d told bus operator Kelly Podlubny he’d be escorting a gaggle of geese across the busy intersection of Main and Terminal during his shift on July 6, he wouldn’t have believed you.

In a video posted to Twitter by Mathew Bond, a District of North Vancouver councillor, that has gone viral with more than 10,500 views, Kelly is seen clapping his hands to herd the geese away. Read more »

SeaBus service increasing to meet growing demand

Sailings to occur every 15-minutes during peak hours

Beginning Monday, weekday SeaBus departures will occur every 15 minutes between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. and between 3:00 and 6:30 p.m. This boost from sailings occurring every 30-minutes will help to accommodate demand and provide more space for customers during peak hours. Demand is expected to continue increasing as B.C.’s economy re-opens and as British Columbians undertake more travel within the province this summer. Read more »

How roommates on the Customer Information team help keep transit moving during COVID-19

Remote work has become a new norm for many of us in the era of COVID-19. For our Customer Information (CI) team, this meant leaving a small but bustling hive at the North Surrey Office, where real-time alerts are sent out, updates are received, and hundreds of customer questions are answered.

Working from home (WFH) was quite a readjustment for the team in numerous ways. For Michael Robertson and Cam Muirhead, Customer Information Work Leaders, one thing has remained constant – a good daily face-to-face dose of work banter and chuckles with a desk buddy, which, we’re sure, many of us missed so much. The thing is Mike and Cam are roommates!

We of course couldn’t miss the chance of talking to this awesome CI duo about their ‘co-working at home’ experience and how CI worked during these most uncertain times.

Mike and Cam met while working at Coast Mountain Bus company (CMBC – the bus company that’s part of the TransLink enterprise)  in 2013. They’ve always gotten along in-and-outside of the workplace, so when in the end of 2019, Cam was looking for a new place to stay and Mike was in need of a roommate, they decided to team-up for a mutually beneficial living arrangement.

Mike (on the left) and Cam (on the right), customer information work leaders

How was your experience working from home as roommates during COVID-19?

Cam: COVID-19 was first announced as a global pandemic on March 11th. Initially, like everyone else, we couldn’t anticipate what this would entail. Read more »

Enter the draw for a chance at a TransLink-branded face covering

Our street teams have wrapped up giving away face coverings at SkyTrain stations and bus loops — for now. For those who didn’t get one, we’re giving away a few more on our social media channels!

All you have to do is enter a draw. Keep reading to find out how. Read more »

Things to do on Canada Day: take an adventure by transit

This year, we’re going to have to celebrate Canada’s 153rd a little differently. The Government of Canada’s hosting a virtual celebration and you can read this Vancouver Sun article for a list of local virtual celebrations.  

But if you haven’t made plans yet and prefer something a little more hands-on, we have a last-minute Canada Day adventure by transit for you!   Read more »

June 27 marks 130 years of public transit in Metro Vancouver

Laying the line for streetcars at Granville and Robson, Vancouver (Photo: City of Vancouver Archives) 

Metro Vancouver’s first public transit vehicle was an electric streetcar that rolled down Main Street in the City of Vancouver for the first time on June 27, 1890.

That makes June 27, 2020 the 130th anniversary of public transit in Metro Vancouver! Read more »

TransLink completes Bike Parkade Expansion Project

The Bike Parkade at Maple Meadows Station opens on June 26, marking the completion of the expansion project.

The Maple Meadows Bike Parkade opens to customers today, marking the completion of TransLink’s Bike Parkade Expansion Project. With 11 total indoor Bike Parkades on the TransLink network, Metro Vancouver now has the largest transit-integrated Bike Parkade network in Canada.

Indoor Bike Parkades are glass-walled facilities that provide a safer place for customers to store their bikes. Each new indoor parkade includes:

  • Video surveillance
  • Bike repair stand
  • Air pump for bike tires
  • Storage space for 45 bikes
  • Oversize parking stalls for cargo bikes, bikes with trailers, and recumbent bikes

Since 2017, TransLink has added six new indoor Bike Parkades and two new sets of bike lockers to Metro Vancouver’s transit system through The Bike Parkade Expansion Project. This $5.3 million investment was partially funded by The Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) with a $2 million investment from the Government of Canada, a $1.4 million investment from the Government of British Columbia, and the remainder funded by TransLink. Read more »

Stefan and Carolini sail into each other’s hearts aboard the SeaBus

Stefan and Carolini met on the SeaBus five years ago. Now, they’re engaged after Stefan popped the question onboard the SeaBus last week.

There’s a saying that love happens when you least expect it.

For Stefan and Carolini five years ago, it was an ordinary day riding the SeaBus from Waterfront to Lonsdale Quay — a quick, albeit often uneventful, 15-minute trip they’ve made countless times. Unbeknownst to them at the time, it would become anything but. It would be the day they meet.

So naturally, a return to the SeaBus was in the books to pop the question five years later. Stefan reached out to us help him pull off the surprise proposal onboard the 7:02 p.m. sailing from Lonsdale Quay to Waterfront Station on June 17. Read more »

Bringing Transit Home: Authentic transit maps coming to TransLink Store

Starting on Thursday, June 25, you’ll be able to bring TransLink maps from the system to your home!

The discontinued maps and wayfinding that were once found at our stations and facilities will be available for purchase at TransLink Store. Read more »

All buses begin operating out of the Lonsdale Quay Exchange again

Lonsdale Quay Exchange, picture of the Seabus Terminal

The upgrades to the Lonsdale Quay Exchange are almost complete! Starting on Monday, June 22, all buses will begin operating out of the Lonsdale Quay Exchange.

The entire bus island has been upgraded and is now complete. This means that the temporary stops along Carrie Cates will no longer be required and customers can now catch and disembark their buses inside of the loop. Read more »

This your guide to celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21

 

On June 21, it’s National Indigenous Peoples Day – a day recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. On this day, relationships are about listening, learning and connecting to the Indigenous culture and peoples of Canada.

The pandemic means we’re going to have to celebrate a little differently this year. We have put together a list of places to visit, such as public art pieces, installations and sculptures, restaurants, music and arts, virtual events, movies and documentaries, as well as books and literature. Read more »

TransLink inviting new ideas for transit recovery

TransLink is calling for new ideas to make public transit even safer and cleaner as people return to using the system. TransLink’s 2020 Open Call for Innovation will be open to proposals from local businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators of all sorts to submit their ideas for ways to improve the health and safety of customers and employees on transit. 

TransLink will fast-track the review process by evaluating proposals as they come in and accelerate the implementation of successful ideas. Read more »

Smart lockers now available at SkyTrain stations

Starting today, you’ll be able to collect online deliveries from smart lockers situated at three SkyTrain stations. PigeonBox, the winners of the 2019 Open Call for Innovation, are bringing smart lockers to Joyce-Collingwood, Stadium-Chinatown, and Commercial-Broadway stations.

“One of our core and consistent objectives has been improving the customer experience on transit,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “In addition to providing a new and convenient option for our customers, this initiative can also help to reduce the number of trips people take to collect packages.”

Read more »

TransLink launches ‘Wearing is Caring’ campaign

TransLink is today launching a new campaign aimed at promoting the use of face coverings and non-medical masks on Metro Vancouver’s transit system. As part of the ‘Wearing is Caring’ campaign, more than 15,000 TransLink branded masks will be handed out at key transit hubs over coming weeks. Read more »