An open letter to our customers on receiving our industry’s top recognition

An open letter to our customers on receiving our industry’s top recognition

It is with great pride and humility that I share with you the news that TransLink has been awarded the prestigious American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award for 2019. While the award recognizes the work that has been done to improve our organization’s customer service, on-time performance, and efficiency – the real recognition should go to you, TransLink’s customers. 

It hasn’t always been an easy path forward. Four years ago, public confidence in the organization was at an all-time low, and you asked us to do better. To the credit of our employees, and with the support of our customers, board of directors and policy-makers, we stepped up and took on these challenges. Because of you we brought in a new culture of public accountability, holding ourselves accountable for our actions, finances, and commitments. This was a major milestone for us as we shifted our focus to the Customer Experience, ensuring customers are at the heart of every decision TransLink makes. 

Today, I’m writing on behalf of all of us at TransLink to express our deepest appreciation for sticking with us and encouraging us to do better each and every day. 

Over the last several years, we have introduced a new Compass Card payment system, extended our SkyTrain network and embarked on a plan to invest $9 billion to improve transit and transportation while investing in much-needed maintenance. At the same time, over the last three years we have seen our ridership grow by 18 per cent (2016-2018). No other transit authority in all of Canada or the U.S. has matched this unprecedented ridership growth, far outpacing growth in population and employment. 

In the midst of the largest service increase in over a decade and unprecedented growth, we improved service reliability, reaching new records for system-wide on-time performance. 

We made our system more accessible, with an industry-leading RFID faregate technology for customers unable to tap a Compass Card. We made paying for transit more convenient with Tap to Pay and the first wearable technology in North America, Compass Wristbands. 

And, we had some fun along the way, earning international media attention for our system-wide transit etiquette campaign featuring Seth Rogen. 

Throughout this period, we committed as an organization to better meet your needs as customers, to help make our region more livable and more sustainable, and to be more accountable to taxpayers and stakeholders. 

A confirmation that we were on the right track is when you gave us the highest customer satisfaction score in the 15 years of measuring, and we were recognized as the fastest rising brand in B.C. 

APTA, our industry association has recognized TransLink for these successes and others, but our story doesn’t end here. We know we have a lot more work to do. With more services, more infrastructure, and more accessible and sustainable transportation solutions on the way, TransLink will continue to push forward as a leading example of how transit can help a growing region thrive. Through this, our promise is to always put you first – your safety, your time and the connection to the people and places that matter most. 

I also want to give a shout out to our employees. This award would not have been possible without them. We have the awesome privilege and responsibility of serving the public – moving up to half-a-million customers – safely and efficiently, every single day. It is a responsibility we ought never again take for granted. 

It’s been an incredible journey together. Thank you for putting your trust in us. 



CEO, TransLink