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Translink Buzzer Blog

Poll: How can we best communicate with you in 2014?

Tell us how you want us to communicate with you.

Tell us how you want us to communicate with you

It’s a new year and time to start fresh. When I look ahead to what’s on TransLink’s to do list this year, saying it’s a busy year is an understatement.

For one thing, Compass Card integration to the entire system will be in full swing in 2014. If fundamentally changing how people use transit in Metro Vancouver wasn’t enough, we’re also continuing to upgrade our Expo Line stations, rolling out more service optimization to best use the resources we have and change some schedules during our four annual service changes. Those are just a few items that TransLink needs to tackle this year and communicate to you our customers.

In an effort to make sure we’re doing all we can to inform you the customer about the above items as well as service disruptions and other factors that affect the movement of people and goods in Metro Vancouver, we’d like to know how you would like TransLink to communicate with you so that you feel informed.

There are 1.2 million transit trips on our system every day. We know you rely on our transit system to get to work, school, medical centers, friends and family. So, we want to make sure you have the information you need to get to where you need to go quickly, efficiently and safely.

Below is poll we’d love for you to take, share with your family, friends, colleagues and whomever else you think would benefit from hearing from us. We’ll use these poll results and any comments you leave to help us administer our communications resources more effectively.

When considering the options, think of your typical commuting day. Where are you and what are you doing if there is a service delay on a bus, SkyTrain or TransLink operated road or bridge? How do you usually find out about TransLink and the services we provide? We’re excited to read you answers!

How can we best communicate with you in 2014? (note: you can select up to three answers)

  • Through posts and tweets (34%, 100 Votes)
  • Posters, ads on the system (23%, 69 Votes)
  • In person help at stations and stops (21%, 62 Votes)
  • Through journalists and media reports (18%, 53 Votes)
  • Other (4%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 145

Some of the bigger projects in 2014 we want to communicate to our users

Some of the bigger projects in 2014 we want to communicate to our users



  • By mike0123, January 15, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

    The most annoying and useless way that you communicate is with pre-recorded audio announcements on trains and in stations. Real-time audio announcements of service delays and disruptions are useful and important. Information about how to use the system belongs at entrances to stations and on the website, not on the public address system.

    The over-use of audio announcements, most of them pedantic, convey the wrong message: that there’s no need to pay any attention to audio announcements on trains and in stations.

  • By Joe, January 15, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

    The new trend of canned audio announcements on Skytrain has made me start to just completely tune them out because they never say anything helpful whatsoever. Save audio announcements for actual information, not “No smoking” and “don’t sell your tickets” and “throw away your garbage”. It’s bad enough on the Canada Line with the constant announcements every 10 seconds, don’t need it on the Expo and Millenium Lines too.

  • By Mike, January 16, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    I agree with Joe entirely. I’ve started to ignore the announcements because the ones I keep hearing are about track maintenance and transit etiquette. I used to unplug my headphones to hear the announcements, but now I’m ignoring them. Keep the announcements for important, topical transit alerts.

  • By Bobo, January 16, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    Totally agree about the Skytrain announcements. I really think they are completely useless in terms of getting people to follow the instructions (people at the stations still block people getting off the train!) Combine that with the fact that they make people likely to ignore important announcements, they really do more harm than good. Never mind how annoying they are for daily riders.

  • By Mike, January 16, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

    Agreed about the announcements. Although I think some of them (i.e. don’t sell your tickets) can be useful if played around the ticketing level and near the entrances as opposed to on the platform level.

  • By Sheba, January 17, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

    I agree with everyone above. There are too many non-essential announcements on the trains. Even announcements in the station are problematic, as I’ve heard many announcements from almost a block away. Admittedly I live in a quiet area, but I still shouldn’t be able to hear it that far away.

    I wish the station announcement we hear on the train had “please allow passengers to leave the train at (station name)” again. Since that was removed the number of people crowding the doors has gone up. I stand off to the side when the doors open but a lot of people don’t.

  • By Victoria, January 18, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

    Canned audio announcements are irritating garbage.

    IMO this is how it should go:

    1) Make a Translink app
    2) Integrate Twitter with said Translink app
    3) Offer push updates for service failures on subscribed routes (ie. subscribe to “Canada Line”, and not “Millennium Line” for relevance to commuter)

  • By ???, January 18, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

    I think it’s time Translink information should be available in other languages in such a multi-cultural city. Klingon is not necessary, but we should include the top 5 languages. I would like to see the Etiquette guide visible to all non-English riders in signage.

  • By Eugene Wong, January 21, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

    @ Robert & Translink

    I assume, but don’t sense, that you are trying to be kind and to open a line of communication.

    I am actually kind of offended. A while ago, I mentioned that Translink shouldn’t be mixing important updates with spammy advertisements and redundant information in the Twitter feed. Instead of doing what I suggested, Translink went ahead and made more spammy announcements over the speaker system.

    With almost every channel you have to communicate with us, you have our undivided attention, but instead of treasuring our attention, you add repetitive information that we have no need of or interest in.

    My grandparents were born in China [Kind of off topic, isn’t it?? We also don’t like it, when you post off topic stuff on Twitter.].

    Translink really needs to examine its attitude towards communicating.

    Translink really needs to examine its attitude towards communicating [Did you read both copies of the sentence? The second copy was kind of unnecessary, wasn’t it?].

    I noticed that Jhenifer commented on how difficult it would be to do what I suggested, but really, the correct attitude is to not post junk on the Twitter feed and to not make unnecessary speaker announcements. After that, you can find an alternate way to tell people the stuff that they have no interest in hearing.

    If people respond to the Twitter feed, then respond to them via direct message, or through some other means.

    Have some of your SkyTrain staff reinforce what the public is all ready saying and doing. This shows solidarity between the staff and the well behaved public. When staff tell the bad people to stop bad behaviour, then it is more meaningful that just broadcasting a message over the system.

  • By Anonymous, January 21, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    The best way to communicate with you is no longer available: a year or two ago you disabled from being accessed by the general public. This means we can no longer send emails to staff with the domain. Why did you disable this? It was much easier and useful to discuss with an actual staff member about routes, schedules, etc. They are the experts, not the so called social media staff.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, January 23, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    mike0123, Joe, Mike, Bobo, Sheba: Thanks for your thoughts on the announcements everyone. I too have been curious about these. I’ll do some digging and comment soon.

    Victoria: Thanks for the suggestions. Especially 3). As you may know, we have a mobile website – which integrates Twitter.

    ???: You’re not the first person to suggest this and I think it’s a great suggestion. Having inquired about this in the past, I do know resourcing to do such work is an issue. A comment in the past mentioned the possibility of crowd sourcing translations which I think is an interesting idea that could warrant more investigation.

    Eugene: Thanks for you points given here. Can you elaborate on this line please – “If people respond to the Twitter feed, then respond to them via direct message, or through some other means.”? I’m not following your meaning.

    Anonymous: Thanks for you comments. As you may be aware, the CMBC website was rolled into the TransLink website last year – . The reason for this was that content needed to be updated on the site. If you go to it redirects to the CMBC section of the TransLink website which has up to date information about CMBC. Regarding your comment about emails, still exists and nothing has changed. As for experts answering questions, this blog connects riders and users of TransLink assets to experts across the enterprise including CMBC.

  • By Kyle Z., February 2, 2014 @ 12:33 am

    The absolute best way to connect is through video. Make videos in different languages (especially chinese), because videos really explain processes well (like how to use compass). If you need somebody to make videos, please let me know: I’d be glad to volunteer for TL making homemade videos on transit. I’ve already made videos for HUB (cycling connection).

  • By Anonymous, February 11, 2014 @ 9:27 pm

    Instead of annoying, I would say it is quite funny to hear the platform announcement on Canada Line. It sometimes says someone has been detected on the rail, while it happens you are the only visible human being on the platform level in early morning or late night.

  • By Eugene Wong, February 23, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    @ Robert

    I’m surprised that I didn’t see your response until now. I hope that you weren’t waiting specifically for me. :^D

    When I said, “If people respond to the Twitter feed, then respond to them via direct message, or through some other means.”, I meant that interactions should be kept as private as possible. Currently, Twitter allows people to communicate via direct message. When customers ask questions, then it would be better for Translink to reply via private message [a.k.a.: direct message]. If there other methods of communicating, then those methods should also be considered.

    The main idea is to remove as much chatter from the main Translink Twitte news feed.

    A way to check if your chatter is relevant to other people is to ask a question like, “Would a person in Lions Bay really want to be interrupted to be shown this particular discussion between Translink and this customer, assuming that this customer is hypothetically from Aldergrove?”. In most cases, the answer is “No.”, so that means any Aldergrove discussions should carry on in another area of the internet, so as to not disturb the Lions Bay customers.

    Please let me know if that makes more sense. I’d love to explain it again, if it would help.

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