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Translink Buzzer Blog

Kids ride free on buses for iWALK, October 3–7, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 10.05.17 AMFACT! The majority of school-aged children and youth in our country are not getting enough physical activity to meet the current Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

“Children and youth aged 5 to 17 spent an average of 8 hours and 27 minutes, or nearly two-thirds of their waking hours, being sedentary each day.”

Directly measured physical activity of children and youth (2012, 2013)
Statistics Canada

That is why it’s so important to encourage active transportation from a young age!logo

iWALK (International Walk to School Week) is one week out of a month-long, global event that celebrates active transportation, gets kids AND parents out of cars and introduces communities to safe routes for kids to take to school.

To support this fantastic initiative, TransLink is offering free bus travel for students in kindergarten through to grade 12 on any and all bus routes from October 3 to October 7.

Free travel will not include SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express this year.

Put your walking shoes on and get trip ready with our Trip Planner, use Next Bus or reach out to our Customer Information team on Twitter or by phone at 604-953-3333.

Please note: Regular fares apply to adults accompanying children and youth on buses.

Talk to your school or visit the iWALK website for more information.

Author: Adrienne Coling

BC Law Enforcement Memorial adds Special Constable to Honour Roll

Cst Walker at W 6th Ave & Moberly (2)

Constable Walker who, at 34 years of age, is the same age as Charles Painter at the time of his death, standing near the location of the shooting.

Transit Police as an organization is relatively new. Policing the transit network, however, dates back to the turn of the 20th century.

There have been thousands of men and women who have protected and supported the riders of transit and this is the story of one named Charles Painter. Special Constable Charles Painter, officer with the British Columbia Electric Railway Company, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1915.

One hundred and one years after this tragic event, Painter was recently added to the Honour Roll of the British Columbia Law Enforcement Memorial in Stanley Park.

Read on about this interesting piece of transit and transit police history!

In the early hours of Friday, March 19, 1915, while on duty in the area of the railway tracks at 6th Avenue and Willow Street, Vancouver, Special Constable Charles Painter spotted a man carrying a bundle of wire he believed to be stolen. While handcuffing the suspect following his arrest, a struggle took place during which the suspect grabbed Special Constable Painter’s revolver and shot him in the abdomen. The suspect ran from the area leaving the officer gravely wounded.

Special Constable Painter died several days later after providing a statement to police. Media reports at that time connected a man, later brought to trial in Seattle for a double murder, to the Vancouver shooting, but charges were never laid. Charles Painter was born in Ireland in 1881 and had served in the British Army before coming to Vancouver. He was single and had no known family at the time of his death so was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. memorial_ribbon_lg

Constable Graham Walker of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police was curious about the history of transit policing in British Columbia and while conducting research, uncovered the murder of Special Constable Painter. Further research showed that his death was not recorded on the BC Law Enforcement Memorial Honour Roll although he qualified for inclusion. Discussions are underway with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police union to fund the engraving of a suitable headstone for Special Constable Painter’s grave.

While Metro Vancouver Transit Police may be only just over a decade old, it can trace its roots back to the turn of the 20th century. Research has unearthed a great deal of information about how policing of the hydro lines and transit in those early days of the last century evolved into our modern day police service. Thanks to Constable Walker and his research, we are learning more about the evolution of the transit police organization.

The British Columbia Law Enforcement Memorial was held on September 25, 2016 at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

We honour Special Constable Painter and all of the law enforcement officers who keep us safe on and around transit and in our communities.

Improving washroom facilities for SeaBus riders

Burrard Otter - Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Burrard Otter – Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Attention SeaBus riders!

Beginning in October, washrooms at the north and south SeaBus terminals will temporarily close to undergo work, including accessibility improvements.

As part of the work, separate accessible washrooms will be built within the existing space and will include infant changing tables.SeaBus Advanced notice north side washroom closure-page-001

A temporary portable toilet will be available for customers at the south terminal by the exit, near the elevator.

SeaBus passengers are encouraged to use public facilities on the north side or travel to the south terminal.

In the coming days, you’ll see signage advising passengers of the temporary change, with construction work starting shortly after.

Improvements will be complete this winter.

Have questions?
Contact Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

The 20th Anniversary Poetry in Transit issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Another special edition of the print Buzzer is out on the system.front page

Today, and this year, we are celebrating 20 years of the Poetry in Transit!

This program began in 1996 and it’s used to promote and celebrate BC poets published in Canada.

Along with these meters of iambic pentameter and free verse, we also have our Contest Corner where we ask you to choose your favourite poem for a chance to win a free Monthly Pass on your Compass Card.

Enjoy 20 (how fitting!) poems from some really wonderful authors for you to peruse on your travels.

Here’s a little sneak peek for you:

RAIN

Sometimes I thirst to be the rain I curse
and fall into my beloved’s cup
fill it up so he will be quenched

settle like mist or a kiss
on my daughter’s face
dampen my sons’ heads
like baptism wherever they travel

and seep down into the ground
to my parents’ graves
to touch them, once again, as rain.

– Susan Telfer
@susanktelfer
(from Ghost Town by Susan Telfer, 2016, Oolichan Books)

Tap into your inner Keats and pick up one today or download it here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Poetry In Transit: Interview with Jennifer Zilm

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Courtesy of jenniferzilm.com

Poetry in Transit has been sparking inspiration and meaningful thought on transit in BC since 1996.

For those of us who adore the written –and spoken – word, (*ahem* ME), this is such a great opportunity to share the work of BC authors across the province and promote and celebrate this wonderful art form.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Zilm, one of the featured poets for this 20-year anniversary about her poem and Poetry in Transit.

Tell me about your inspiration for this poem?

It’s part of a three part poem called Spiritual Media and I was trying to take on different forms of social media. So, the first part is about Twitter with really bad hashtags because it was before I understood what hashtags were! But I love them. It’s interesting how the hashtag modifies the content of your message. The second part was about book history… but it was about Facebook and what happens when you’re talking to somebody and you don’t really know who they are or what they’re doing. The third part, the part on the bus, is only loosely connected to social media because I was interested in this therapy procedure called EMDR where you focus on light or sound while focusing on a traumatic memory with headphones in. So, it’s sort a being linked in and how what you’re linked into affects you.

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Published by BookThug – April, 2016

This poem can be found in your collection, Waiting Room. This piece is very observational, how does it compare on that level to other pieces in your book?

I would say I like to observe and write things down but I also like to work from a certain conceit. There’s a section in the book where I was working at a housing project in the downtown East side at the front desk and I know that those experiences absolutely inspired the way I wrote. I compared it to Dante’s purgatory… which is the good one, I think. Or at least, that’s my theory! But where you are and what you see of course affects how and what you write.

What makes transit a good place to gather inspiration?

I think it’s the last, great public space. I also find, personally, that it’s really hard not to do things when you’re on transit. There’s something about the bus that you get on and you just need to trust where it’s going and it forces you to be contained where you are and read or write or do whatever you need because your brain is not occupied with driving or biking. It helps me focus. It gets me down to business!

Poetry in Transit has been around for 20 years now. How do you feel being a part of this anniversary special?

If you’re from the Vancouver area, and I am, I grew up in Surrey, you remember Poetry in Transit! I remember reading Jamie Reid’s poem Prez or Stephanie Bolster’s Many Have Written Poems About Blackberries. I have memories from the beginning of this program. When you’re a person who writes poetry, it’s not always obvious to you what your career “landmarks” will be. I remember people saying, “well, maybe one day you’ll get a poem on the bus!” People don’t read poetry that much anymore and having it in a public space like transit, where you can just look up and read a piece on your bus, it connects people. It’s like a great, classic disruption. It’s not an ad for the dentist or a job college, it’s a poem!

What do you hope people take away from reading your poem on transit and the others included in this project?

You can be really idealistic and why not?! Maybe it will be inspirational? Maybe it will disturb them, but in a good way! Any time we get a chance to see something in these public spaces that aren’t market-based is really amazing. So, something like Poetry in Transit, if you’re someone who doesn’t have books in your house or visits the public library, it can be a hidden suggestion that there are other things in the world, besides what is immediately around you.

How long have you used transit? What’s your favourite mode?

My entire life! Growing up in Surrey, the Expo Line was my life blood. I rode it all the time. Now, in Vancouver, the #7 bus is my temple. It’s my thought bubble, it’s my inspiration at times. Plus, 7 is really lucky in Judaism so I feel like all around it’s my little bus home!

You can see Jennifer’s work along with the other amazing poets in this month’s special Poetry in Transit edition of the print Buzzer as well as on buses, bus shelters and SkyTrains across the system!

If you really can’t wait to see each poem on the system, you can head to the 2016 Word Vancouver Festival this weekend and hear live readings from some of the featured Poetry in Transit authors.

If you have a favourite you see on transit, snap a pic and let us know how it made you feel!
Twitter: @TransLink
Instagram: TransLinkBC

Author: Adrienne Coling

#SkyTrainChanges Q&A with Ian Fisher

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In case you missed our announcement earlier this week — big changes are coming to the way you ride SkyTrain! On October 22nd, 2016 the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will change. We took some time today with Ian Fisher, Manager, Operations Planning to get an indepth look at what the new SkyTrain changes mean and how they will change the way we ride.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

The key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Everything Evergreen: New SkyTrain operating pattern for Expo and Millennium Lines


Evergreen is coming!!

To prepare for the Millennium Line’s extension opening by Christmas, we need to get all of our riders ready for a seamless transition.

With that in mind, we are changing the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network on October 22, 2016.

For many of you, these changes won’t affect your daily commute but this still a big change for the transit network.

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Come out to TransLink’s Open Board Meeting on September 23, 2016

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You are invited to TransLink’s next Open Board Meeting!

Attending this meeting gives the general public a chance to see behind-the-scenes on matters relating to TransLink’s mandate and responsibilities

The meeting takes place on Friday, September 23 at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at TransLink Head Office in New Westminster.

Click here for more information. You can apply to speak at the meeting and find the agenda on our website.

UPDATE: Here’s a recording of the board meeting!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Investing in Metro Vancouver’s transit future: The 10-Year Vision

10 Year Vision

In Metro Vancouver today there is overcrowding on the transit network, increased traffic congestion and another one million people moving here over the next 25 years.

It’s pretty clear that our transportation network needs new investment and we need it now.

That is why our local mayors created a 10-year Vision and today, the Mayor’s Council released some more information about Phase One of this vision.

This plan sets out the new services and infrastructure needs of our region now and down the road.

Phase One of the 10-Year Vision is funded through regional funding sources to match investments by the provincial and federal governments.

Phase One details:

  • Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
  • Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
  • Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
  • Improve the region’s major road network
  • Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
  • Improve access to transit stations and stops
  • Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
  • Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.

The Phase One plan includes regional funding sources so that, if approved, we can begin rolling out new services and projects in the Vision starting in January 2017.

The goal is to reduce traffic and make transit commutes faster and more comfortable for all riders in communities across the region.

The public will get a chance to weigh in on the plan during public consultation that will take place in October.

Next Steps:

September 2016: 10-Year Vision: Phase One plan introduced

October 11–31, 2016: Public consultation on the Phase One plan

November 2016: Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board approve final plan

January 2017: Transit system improvements begin

Watch our FB LIVE stream of the press conference with Vancouver Mayor Robertson, Surrey Mayor Hepner and TransLink CEO, Kevin Desmond.

Want more information?
More details can be found in the 10-Year Vision and the press release.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Fun Poll: How do you spend your transit time?

Many riders turn to their phones on transit!

Many riders turn to their phones on transit!

Now that everyone is slowly returning to regular scheduled programming with school back in full swing and the summer months inch further away, the transit network enters its busiest time of the year.

But how do we spend our time on transit? How do YOU spend your time?

Are you a reader? A window gazer? A meet and greet commuter? A candy crusher?

Weigh in with our new poll!

Vote below to let us know how you spend the majority of your transit ride. Don’t see your choice? Select “Other” and comment with your answer below!

How do you spend your transit time?

View Results

Author: Adrienne Coling

Meet our newest contributor – Jessica!

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Welcome Jessica!

Hello hello! Although, you may have seen a few of my posts already, I’m happy to get my official introduction to you.

While I’m relatively new to the TransLink communications team, I’m not new to the organization.

Previously, I worked in communications at Coast Mountain Bus Company, where I learned the nitty gritty about the bus world. Now that I’m a quasi bus nerd, I’ve become the go-to bus expert in communications.

Like most of my TransLink peeps, I use transit ALL. THE. TIME. Although I share a car with my husband, it’s so busy in Vancouver and I absolutely hate traffic, so I much prefer to walk or take SkyTrain (hello, Mark III).

My favourite bus route is #99 – I love that I never have to check the schedule and it’s super handy for me!

My best transit memory was when I was working at Coast Mountain Bus Company, I had the opportunity to learn more about Transit Security firsthand. Read more about my experience in Bike Patrol training.

I will hopefully be posting and interacting with all of you on a regular basis.

Stay tuned to the blog so you’re in the loop on new and exciting TransLink projects.

Some of my favourite things include:

  • Chicken strips and fries (I’m 29 going on 12)
  • All things CATS!
  • Reality TV (it’s so bad, it’s good)
  • My weekend wardrobe: aka jeans and hoodies
  • Costco (my faves: peanut butter, cereal, rotisserie chickens and pot pie)

Fun Facts:

  • First job: McDonald’s, but mostly in the drive-thru. That’s where they put the all-stars.
  • First car: ‘89 Dodge Aries in maroon. The lock on the driver’s side door was broken, so I’d unlock it on the passenger side and crawl over to the driver’s seat EVERY TIME.
  • Favourite chain restaurant: Red Robin. The only place where you can get a plate of fries as an appy for FREE!

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Poll results: Saying thank you on transit takes the day!

Chart
Transit kindness for the win! What a great poll – thanks for sharing your experiences!

You voted and saying thank you to a transit employee is the most witnessed random act of kindness with 88 votes.

Hot on its heels is offering a seat to a fellow rider with 85 votes.

Returning a lost or dropped item came in with 53 votes, paying for another rider’s fare garnered 20 votes and finally, the “other” pulled in 10 votes with some great TRAK stories attached.

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Thanks for voting! Stay tuned for another fun poll this week!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Some cool photos from a friend at TRAMS

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

Angus next to a 1957 GMC bus

If you follow the blog, you’ve met Angus before and TRAMS is old hat – but oh, so awesome!

However, if this is your first foray into the transit enthusiast world, you might be unaware that old transit vehicles are HUGE for fans here in Metro Vancouver, across Canada and the world!

Angus recently sent us some great pictures (captioned by the man, himself) of an old streetcar, refurbished and being used in service on Sundays all this summer in Toronto.

He rode this streetcar as a part of a chartered tour and shared some shots from his ride PLUS some way-back-play-back pictures of transit vehicles in 1970s Toronto.

Take a look!

Thanks for thinking of us on your travels, Angus!

Do you have some interesting transit photos from around Canada and beyond?
Email us with your photos – we’d love to share them on our social channels!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Metrotown loop truss is going up!

As part of the ongoing work at Metrotown Station, construction crews will lift the second half of a massive 120 ton overhead steel structure overnight on September 10 – that’s this Saturday!

To give crews the time and space they need to safely install the loop truss, SkyTrain will not run between Patterson and Royal Oak stations after midnight on Saturday, September 10. Scheduled construction for September 9 has been cancelled.

Frequent shuttle buses will run between Patterson, Metrotown and Royal Oak stations for customers who want to travel to or from Metrotown Station, eastbound beyond Patterson Station, or westbound beyond Royal Oak Station.

Eastbound train service from Royal Oak Station will also be extended to allow connections from the last train and shuttle bus.

Customers should plan for an additional 15 to 20 minutes of travel time while the work is underway. Customers may find it faster to take the Millennium Line from Commercial-Broadway.

The loop truss is the roof of the new west stationhouse. In order to lift the 120 ton structure into place, two cranes will be used – a 250 ton crane and a 500 ton crane – yowza!

The first half of the lift was completed on August 25.

Want the latest on Metrotown Station Upgrades?
Click here or check OnTrack!

Author: Jennifer Morland

I Love Transit 2016 – Cut. Print. That’s a wrap!

I Love Transit 2016
Well, another I Love Transit week has come and gone *tear* but we’ve had a blast!

This year, we had some great events and contests plus awesome transit tales of friendship, love, LEGO and more shared by riders just like you.

Take a look at some of the #ILoveTransit because… posts from Twitter:

Don’t forget Instagram!

@translinkbc #ilovetransit because I can sit back & relax whole someone else does the driving

A video posted by Seamus Greene (@retro_wizard) on

We received lots of entries for our I Love Transit colouring contest. Here are just a few:

Colouring contest collage
And, of course, right here on the Buzzer blog, you shared your comments and transit love:

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We also got a chance to invite some lucky people to visit the brand new Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond:

HTC I Love Transit
Last, but certainly not least, we had our awesome kids I Love Transit camp!

Campers were invited to Burnaby Transit Centre where we learned about bus engines, fleet overhaul and got to see where all of our signs are made. Then we headed off to Operations Maintenance Control at BCRTC (near Edmonds Station) and checked out everything SkyTrain, including getting a spin on the SkyTrain control simulator! We even had a special, furry guest accompany Transit Security and Transit Police.

Check out the fun!

Thank you for being part of this amazing yearly tradition when we get to celebrate everything we love about transit!

We’ll see you next year! Same transit time, same transit channel.

Author: Adrienne Coling