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Translink Buzzer Blog

Getting to know TransLink – Fearghal and Jacob

2015 PR

Learn more about employees across TransLink in the 2015 People Report

This spring, TransLink released its 3rd annual People Report – a publication for us to showcase initiatives that help support and enrich our employees across the TransLink Enterprise.

A few of our nearly 7,000 employees were featured in the report and right here on the Buzzer blog.

Two of those employees are Planning Analyst Jacob Fox and Project Manager Fearghal King.

They were asked to present 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.

Not only that, but their peer-reviewed paper, Revenue and policy implications from emerging fuel sale trends in Metro Vancouver, was published this year in the Transportation Research Record, the journal of the TRB!

Let’s delve deeper into this project as Jacob and Fearghal tell us a little more about their study and findings.

Tell me about why you focused your study on work on driving behaviour and fuel trends.

As the Regional Transportation Authority, we feel it’s important to have a solid understanding of regional driving behaviour and how that is evolving over time. By analyzing these trends we can begin to explore policy options that help to reduce regional VKT (Vehicle Kilometres Travelled).

On the flip side, TransLink collects $0.17c from every litre of fuel sold in the region. Once again it’s important to understand the sustainability of this revenue source in the presence of improved vehicle fleet efficiency and fuel price competition with the US.

What are some trends that affect fuel sales in our region?

Fuel sales are predominantly impacted by the price of fuel (both here and in the US), the growth rate of auto ownership and the unemployment rate.

What data did you collect and how?

We collected odometer reading data from vehicles which went through the AirCare program from 2000 – 2010, as well as vehicle registration data from ICBC over the same time period.

We also collected data on fuel sales (from Kent Marketing), as well as population and employment densities and transit service hours, among other things.

What were your findings?

The most significant finding which we observed was a decoupling between road usage (measured by VKT trends) and the main source of road user payments (measured by fuel sale trends).

Essentially we witnessed a decline in fuel volume sales, while VKT trends continued at a steady pace. The significance here is that we saw no decline in road usage (suggesting that congestion and road maintenance costs remained problematic), while the main source of revenue from road users – fuel volume sales – did decline.

What are the implications of fuel tax, a formerly steady revenue stream, declining?

The fuel tax is the second largest source of revenue for TransLink (generating about $340 million in 2014).

As long as vehicle fuel efficiency rates continue to improve, and fuel price competition exists between this region and the US, then this revenue source (as it is currently designed) is under threat.

How can your study be used in real world parameters?

This study helps to lend some useful insight and empirical evidence to the ongoing discussions surrounding transportation funding and mobility pricing.

The study paves the way to explore the applicability of more sustainable funding mechanisms (such as distance-based road user charging, for one).

Want to know more about the people who make the transit network tick?
Read the 2015 People Report!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Oh, Canada! Celebrating Canada Day across Metro Vancouver

Photo courtesy of Colin Knowles

Photo courtesy of Colin Knowles

It may not be Canada’s Sesquicentennial (Yep, that’s what it’s called – I looked it up!) for another year but there are still so many great Canada Day events all around the region!

TransLink will be operating on a Sunday/Holiday schedule with additional service to help you get to and from your Canada Day celebrations.

Please be advised that due to events across the region, many buses are being detoured or re-routed on July 1, 2016.

Take a look at just a few events you can experience on our nation’s birthday!

Granville Island Canada Day

This celebration includes a parade, a special ceremony with cake, live performances and the free water park for the kids!

Time: 8 a.m. – Midnight
Place: Granville Island, Vancouver

Canada Day at Canada Place

This is the nation’s largest celebration outside of Ottawa! There will be live music and entertainment, a circus show, food carts, activities for the kids and a Canada Day parade!

Time: Waterfront Party: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Parade starts at 7 p.m.
Place: Canada Place – Parade starts at Georgia Street & Broughton Street.

Steveston Salmon Festival

Salmon. ALL OF THE SALMON! Also, all of the people! This annual festival takes place in this historic fishing village bringing thousands of people to enjoy over 1,200 pounds of salmon, grilled over open fire pits!

Time: 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Place: Steveston Village, Richmond

Surrey’s Canada Day celebration

This day of celebrations South of the Fraser boasts one of the biggest outdoor concerts in B.C. Food trucks, a games land, sports world, activity tents for all ages (including seniors!), lots of live music and performances.

Time: 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Place: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey

Coal Harbour fireworks

End all of your Canada Day adventures with a spectacular fireworks show at Coal Harbour. The fireworks show will be visible from northwest-side Downtown (Coal Harbour, parts of Stanley Park), West Vancouver (the seawall between Ambleside and Dundarave), North Vancouver (Lower Lonsdale).

Time: 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Place: Coal Harbour, Vancouver

There are lots more activities to do around the region including celebrations in White Rock, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Langley and more!

Remember!

You can skip the lines and crowds after your event by using your Compass Card or by purchasing an extra return ticket before your event.

Tickets are good for 90 minutes from the time they’re first tapped. Plus! You only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones on holidays!

Please be sure to use our Trip Planner and head to translink.ca/alerts and translink.ca/holidayservice to help you on your way to Canada Day fun!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Transit Police travels with you on your mobile device

See something? Say something.

See something? Say something.

Whether you are on SeaBus, West Coast Express, SkyTrain or buses, Metro Vancouver Transit Police is right there with you!

Our unique police service has a brand new mobile-friendly website to make it even easier to say something, when you see something, all with your mobile phone.

By visiting transitpolice.ca you are able to discreetly report a non-emergency police issue, contact us, download the OnDuty app or text 87-77-77 and Transit Police takes each report they receive very seriously.

Check out the safety tips section to help keep yourself and your belongings safe while on transit.

Basically, visiting transitpolice.ca means that you have Transit Police in your pocket during your transit journey on all modes at all times.

You can help Transit Police keep transit safe.  If you see something, say something!

Author: Adrienne Coling (with files from Transit Police)

Know before you go! Weekend events June 24-26, 2016

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Lots to do this weekend around the region!

Metro Vancouver festival season has begun!

This means events and community festivals are happening all over our fair region.

Due to some closures of streets for these events, there are some detours and re-routes for affected areas.

This weekend has a lot going on, take a look!

Vancouver Jazz FestivalJune 24 – 26

Closures: On Robson between Hornby and Howe and partially on Howe.
Routes: 005 service re-routed all day, all three days and all routes servicing Howe street after 9 p.m. are rerouted onto Richards southbound through downtown.

Greek Day –  June 26

Closures: Broadway between MacDonald and Waterloo is closed.
Routes: 009/014 re-routed, 099 re-routed.

Scotia Bank Half MarathonJune 26

Closures: The race will start at Thunderbird Stadium then via Wesbrook Mall, 16th to Sasamat then back to Marine Drive., 4th, Highbury, Pt. Grey, Cornwall, Burrard Bridge, Pacific, Beach to Stanley Park.
Routes: 002/022 MacDonald, 041 UBC, 041 Joyce, 84UBC, C19 Alma, C19 UBC, C21 Yaletown, C21 Beach, C23 Davie, C23 Main, C18 West Mall, and C20 Marine Drive

Like the title says, know before you go! Check out translink.ca/alerts for more details on detours and Trip Planner to map out your transit trip!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Buzzer illustrator interview: Anu Chouhan

Stitched

You can catch Anu’s illustration in the latest print Buzzer!

Another season, another print Buzzer and another great Buzzer illustration!

This June’s print Buzzer illustration was done by Anu Chouhan.

Anu created a fun, summery scene on the SeaBus.

Anu let us peer behind the scenes into her process, her inspiration and plans for future projects.

Enjoy!

What gets you inspired when you’re creating?

I draw inspiration from so many things. One day it might be a certain flower and another it might be a weird-looking cloud. I would say however I often look to fashion and music as my main sources of inspiration.

What are your favourite subjects to illustrate?

I feel like I go through phases, but I’ve always loved to illustrate ladies in fancy outfits! Lately I’ve been doing a lot of fashion illustrations, but I really savour any opportunity to draw something beautiful and detailed. I also recently started getting back into illustrating portraits, as well as dabbling in pattern design.

Tell us about your illustration for the latest print Buzzer?

My illustration features commuters taking the Seabus from North Vancouver to Downtown. I’ve always thought taking the SeaBus was kinda fun, especially in the summer months. I suppose it’s because I don’t take that trip very often so it hasn’t become routine to me — but even now I always ensure I sit at the front or back to appreciate the views!

What are your artist tools of choice?

I mainly work digitally, using Photoshop and Illustrator for commercial works. I also really like to work and experiment with traditional methods such as markers, watercolour, ink and glitter.

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

I have had the chance to work on a lot of great projects as an illustrator, but many of my favourite projects have been personal ones.

My latest portraits of some of my favourite musicians were very fun to create. I also recently created an illustration of a “Vancouver girl” whose outfit is mainly comprised of brands based in the city, which was something I had been itching to draw for a long time.

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

I have a lot of projects on the go, so follow me on Instagram for updates!

Do you have any fun summer plans?

I’ve been working pretty hard for the past little bit, so I am going to spend more time in the sunshine and make the most of summer before the cold and rain kicks in again.

Thank you to Anu for the interview and the great illustration.

Pick up the latest Buzzer on transit vehicles across the system or download one here!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Summer transit survival guide

summer bus

Hop aboard!

Summer is most definitely upon us – despite some rainy weather as of late!

If you’re like me and take transit most places all year round, being prepared for any scenario is the way to go, especially when the temperature rises!

Take a look at some general and summer specific transit survival tips to make your summer transit journeys a soft, summer’s breeze.

Your Compass Card!

Compass CardWith Compass, you can travel seamlessly across the transit network with one electronic fare card. This means transferring from bus to SkyTrain to SeaBus is as simple as a tap!

Did you know that at SkyTrain Stations, you can use your Stored Value on your Compass Card to buy a Compass product for a friend? Simply tap your card on the blue reader at any Compass Vending Machine and purchase a single Compass Ticket for the zones you need.

Layers (+ an umbrella!)

We all know what it’s like living on the West Coast. One minute you’ll need an umbrella, the next you’ll need shades, then the wind turns and you’re chilly!

Making sure you bring a variety of clothes for those summer adventures is a must and will save you in those ‘just in case’ situations.

Plus, being able to take off a few layers on a warm, afternoon bus is very handy!

water-bottle1

Drink lots of water!

Waterwaterwater!

It’s so important to stay hydrated, especially during high temperature weather —  and I know I probably sound like your mother right now, but the point stands!

Having a water bottle with a sport top is a great idea! No spills and lots of H2O goodness top keep you cool.

A mobile phone

Tweet us! Call us! Stay in the know and get to your gorgeous summer destination ASAP!

You can also visit our mobile site and have all of our transit resources at your fingertips.

Transit Map

Sunscreen beach

Protect yourself from the sun!

Sometimes technology can fail us when we need it the most!

And when all you want to do is get to the beach, the last thing you want is to get lost or get on the wrong bus! That’s why I always carry a printed copy of the transit network in my bag.

You can download entire system maps, maps by municipalities, NightBus, key transit connections and many more transit maps on our website.

A hat/sunglasses/sunscreen.

Waiting at a bus stop can often mean you are in direct sunlight and during these summer months, that sun can get oh, so hot!

So, be sure to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself.

Did you know that most bus shelters are managed by the municipality they’re found in and not TransLink? The majority of TransLink managed bus shelters are found in or around exchanges and stations.

Follow these summer transit tips and you’ll be ready for any summer adventure!

Have you taken our latest poll about your favourite summer destinations? Vote now!

Do you have some summer transit survival tips? Comment below!

Author: Adrienne Coling

The latest news from the New Westminster Station upgrades

New West east station entrance

Upgrade work continues to march forward

Construction is well underway at New Westminster Station while we upgrade the station to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security.

Project status:

After almost a year of station upgrades, New Westminster Station upgrades will soon be complete!

Here are some highlights of the work that has taken place over the past few months:

  • The east entrance fully re-opened with an upgraded staircase and a newly replaced escalator.
  • The staircase at the south entrance reopened as work continues to reopen the escalator.
  • Work progressed on the installation of the new south entrance elevator.
  • Installation of permanent lighting in the concourse area continued; most of the ceiling is now in place.
  • Benches have been installed at the platform level.
  • Construction fencing continues to be removed.
  • Painting throughout the station is 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 the short-term work that passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • South entrance escalator to reopen.
  • Installation of the south elevator to be completed and in operation this summer.
  • Ceiling panels at the concourse and platform levels to be fully installed.
  • Permanent lighting throughout the station to be completed.
  • North entrance to fully re-open this summer with an upgraded staircase and a newly replaced escalator.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to New Westminster Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project.

Have questions about the upgrades to New Westminster Station? Contact us!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information you can visit translink.ca/newwestminster or translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jordan Keim

Go car free this weekend!

Courtesy of Car Free Day Vancouver

Courtesy of Car Free Day Vancouver

It’s time for the 12th annual Car Free Day Vancouver!

This festival celebrates neighbourhoods and reconnects communities while nurturing and expanding car-free spaces.

That means large chunks of the West End, Main Street and Commercial Drive will be pedestrian only this weekend impacting bus service to these areas.

Weekend detours:

Effective June 18 from 9am until 8:30pm

5 Robson/6 Downtown Regular route to Robson and Denman then via Denman, Georgia, Burrard, Davie then regular route (as 6 Downtown).
6 Davie/5 Downtown Regular route to Davie & Burrard then via Burrard, Georgia, Denman, Robson then regular route (as 5 Downtown).
C21 Beach Regular route to Beach & Davie then via Davie, Cardero, Pendrell, Bidwell, Davie to Temporary Terminus at Bidwell.
C21 Yaletown From Temporary Terminus continue on Davie then via Denman then regular route.
C23 Davie Regular route to Davie & Cardero then via Cardero, Pendrell, Bidwell, Davie to temporary terminus at Bidwell.


Effective June 19 from 8am until 10pm

3 Main Regular route to Main & Kingsway then via, Kingsway, Fraser, 33 Ave, Main, regular route.
3 Downtown Regular route to Main & 33 Ave, then via 33 Ave, Fraser, Kingsway, Main, regular route.


Effective June 19 from 8am until 8:30pm

20 Victoria Regular route to Commercial & Venables, then via Venables, Clark, Broadway, Commercial, regular route.
20 Downtown Regular route to Commercial & Broadway, then via Broadway, Clark, Venables, Commercial, regular route.

You can find more car-free fun at carfreevancouver.org.

Know before you go! Sign up for Transit Alerts and use our handy dandy Trip Planner.

Author: Adrienne Coling

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

Much of this issue is dedicated to summer service changes. Print Buzzer front

Which means more service for popular summer destination routes! Woot!

Also in this issue, we invite you to attend Pattullo Bridge Replacement consultation events in person and online.

There is a reminder to take the Fare Review Survey before June 30 as well as a call out for YOU to become part of the team as a bus operator!

Of course, we still 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

Relocation of bus stops at UBC

Bus stop relocations begin June 17

Bus stop location changes begin June 17

Construction is underway to develop a new bus loop at UBC!

Due to the construction at the loop and along Wesbrook Mall, starting June 17, some bus stops on campus need to be relocated.

The 84 (stop #60045), 44 (stop #59936) and Community Shuttles C18 and C20 (stop #60040) stops will be relocated along Student Union Boulevard – just across the street – until September 2019.

The 480 will be temporarily relocated to University Boulevard for approximately three weeks.

This new loop will provide eight pick-up bays under continuous weather protection.

There will also be 15 layover bays integrated into the ground level of the future Gage South Student Housing.

You can download the map of the stop changes here.

Always know before you go! Sign up for transit alerts and use our Trip Planner.

Author: Jennifer Morland

Fun poll: What are you favourite summer destination routes?

Summer photo

TransLink helps you get where you need to go this summer!

“Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind…”

… And let transit get you to your favourite summer destinations across beautiful Metro Vancouver!

Some days you feel like a lazy beach day, other days a hike in a canyon might be on the agenda.

Crescent Beach postcard circa 1920s

Crescent Beach postcard circa 1920s

How lucky are we that we can enjoy all of these wonderful outdoor adventures AND they are accessible by transit?!

What routes do you like to take to where and why?

Vote below and leave us a comment regarding your favourite summer hotspots trips by transit!

What are you favourite summer destination routes?

View Results

With the delight of these gorgeous weather days, certain routes will have increased service during the summer months meaning more trips for you to enjoy the outdoors!

Be sure to check out the service changes that happen four times a year, use Trip Planner and sign up for transit alerts to be in the know, before you go!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Transit funding announcement for B.C.

Today is big day for transit in Metro Vancouver and all across British Columbia!

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier Christy Clark have announced that they have signed an agreement resulting in more than $900 million being invested – by the Government of Canada, British Columbia and municipalities – in public transit projects across the province.

So, what does this mean for transit in your community?

Take a look at the plan for the first phase of investment in our region:

Metro Vancouver TransLink Phase 1 of Investing in Canada includes:

  • The purchase of additional SkyTrain vehicles for the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines
  • A new West Coast Express locomotive
  • A new SeaBus
  • Upgrades to SkyTrain stations
  • Design and planning for Rapid Transit South of Fraser and the Millennium Line Extension along Broadway

(From the office of the B.C. Premier)

You can read the press releases from the TransLink Mayors’ Council, the province and the Federal government.

Author: Adrienne Coling

CMBC slows the H2O

A bus in the car wash at Surrey Transit Centre.

A bus in getting washed at Surrey Transit Centre.

If your buses don’t sparkle quite as much for the next few months, it’s for a good and GREEN cause.

TransLink is committed to sustainable practices across the Enterprise and CMBC is a great example!

In 2015, when water supplies were low within Metro Vancouver, CMBC voluntarily reduced, and later ceased, bus washing during the summer months.

Now, a formal procedure has been introduced to help conserve water each summer, regardless of water restrictions.

From June 1-September 30, CMBC will reduce bus washing by at least 50%!

This means the schedule will move from washing daily to once every two-three days, as weather and safety permits.

In addition, anytime Metro Vancouver introduces Stage 2 water restrictions, CMBC will voluntary stop all bus washing, except in special circumstances.

These changes will yield BIG water savings—at Burnaby Transit Centre alone, suspending bus washing translates to saving up to 35,000 litres of water each day!

Did you know?

At CMBC transit centres, the bus washes recycle water, using fresh water only for the final rinse.

These water recycling systems reduce the amount of water required to wash each bus by about 75 per cent!

Author: Pamela Findling

Update: Commercial–Broadway station upgrades

Broadway Commercial track and train

Commercial–Broadway Station is the busiest station on the network

Upgrades to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at Commercial–Broadway Station, one of the busiest stations on the SkyTrain system, are well underway.

Project Status:

  • Two new columns were constructed on either side of Broadway to support the new pedestrian walkway.
  • A steel mesh wall along with the roof structure and its support columns were installed for the new Broadway platform.
  • Concrete columns were erected in the Grandview Cut to support a widened pedestrian overpass to Platforms 1 and 2.

Upcoming work means the Broadway entrance at the south stationhouse (beside CIBC) will be closed from start of service Saturday, June 18, while crews remove three fare gates to make space for construction of the expanded station entrance.

The entrance will reopen prior to start of service on Monday, June 20.

What passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • Customers can access the station from the entrance off 10th Avenue, or from the north stationhouse on the other side of Broadway.
  • SkyTrain attendants will be present on the platform, in the concourse and outside the station to help guide customers to the 10th Avenue entrance.
  • Signs will be installed to direct customers.
  • When the station entrance reopens, there will be six fare gates, two of which are accessible gates. We know that six fare gates will be more than enough for the number of passengers who use this entrance.

Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station.

Stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project!

Looking for more information?

Learn about all of the Expo Line Station upgrades here.

More details about the Commercial–Broadway Station upgrades and project benefits can be found at translink.ca/commercialbroadway.

Got questions? We’re here to listen!
Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 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 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.:30 a.m.
translink.ca/customerservice

Author: Jordan Keim

Splash into summer Service Changes!

summer_2016_buzzer_640x340

Four times a year (spring, summer, fall and winter), we adjust transit service across the region to make our network more efficient and provide service where it is needed most.

And where do riders need extra service during these sunny, summery months?

TO THE BEACH, of course! (Along with lots of other places too). Take a look!

Service Change highlights

  • More service to popular summertime destinations like Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Buntzen Lake and White Rock Beach.
  • Improve service reliability, decrease overcrowding and improve direct connections to key destinations with modifications to the 26, 41, 43, 49, 242, and 480 routes.
  • Provide better NightBus connections and increase safety for passengers: N8, N20 and N22.
  • Accommodate the City of Vancouver’s Burrard Corridor Project with temporary service adjustments to the 2 and 22.
  • Implement recommendations as a result of the 2015 Transit Network Review: 26, 41, 43, 49, 49, 480, N6, N8, N16, N20 and N22.

Summer Service Changes begin to take effect on June 27, 2016.

Know before you go!

Sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

For more information on the summer service changes, visit translink.ca/servicechanges.

More details on the Transit Network Review can be found on our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling