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T-Comm: they were ready before the Games began!

T-Comm: they were ready before the Games began!

View of T-Comm from Duty Manager’s desk.
View of T-Comm from Duty Manager’s desk.

Here’s a great story about T-Comm, written by my delightful colleague Carol Evans for TransLink employee communications.

(If you don’t know, T-Comm is our Transit Communications Centre out in Surrey, which monitors and coordinates our entire bus system. It’s kind of like air traffic control for buses! Here’s a past blog post explaining the T-Comm centre and how they do what they do.)

There is no division or department whose name better fits the actions and behaviour of the people in it more than T-Comm. So much so we should change the official spelling changed to “T-Calm”.

For a group of people whose job it is to go from one fire to another or sometimes from two to more, they certainly appeared to have things under control 110 per cent! That was my experience on Thursday, February 18 when I dropped by T-Comm to check on “the Games situation”.

Harry, T-Comm Supervisor, (in the forefront) worked for months to have a solid snow plan in place.
Harry, T-Comm Supervisor, (in the forefront) worked for months to have a solid snow plan in place.

A Duty Manager for two years now, Susie has been with the company for 11 years, the first six of which she was a Transit Operator. When we sat down together, Susie said that all their preparations for fireworks-like crowds 24/7, preplanning shuttles, the daily conference calls and working six on/one off has paid off.

When asked what T-Comm wasn’t prepared for Susie said the lack of snow. They are very prepared for snow and surprised we don’t have any.

They worked for months to have solid snow plan in place and are all geared up and ready to go with three new trucks for de-icing the overhead trolley wires, sanding, plowing and salting the yards and are set to deal with situations like frozen doors or stuck coaches.

Nothing they can’t handle, but their phones, of all things, have been crazy busy. Sometimes one person will be on two or three phones at the same time.

T-Calm… T-Calm… T-Calm!

A monitor on one desk displays a live-cam from downtown Vancouver, so T-Comm can monitor the movements of crowds.
A monitor on one desk displays a live-cam from downtown Vancouver, so T-Comm can monitor the movements of crowds.
Still, in a room full of computers, there’s a little paper work to be completed. Here long time transit employee, Barry, assists Kuldip, trainee (whose spelling and penmanship I checked).
Still, in a room full of computers, there’s a little paper work to be completed. Here long time transit employee, Barry, assists Kuldip, trainee (whose spelling and penmanship I checked).

Normally T-Comm has seven desks covering the service for Metro Vancouver, but during the games two additional desks have been added and they are responsible for Games shuttles.

Lynn, one of several T-Comm Supervisors, said she was pleasantly surprised by the number of coaches there are available for service and how well the maintenance trucks are working. Normally if a bus needs servicing on the road a call is made to one of the depots and a maintenance crew heads out to look after the vehicle. During the Games there are several maintenance crews strategically located for easy deployment to ailing buses. Apparently they’re busy all the time and having them out in the mix of things has been a great idea!

T-Comm’s message to staff? Without hesitation – they are doing a great job out there! An awesome job! And if there is anything to take away from the Games, it is that we should be pleased with how we have worked together as departments, as a company. Everyone.