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My TransLink – February 7, 2017

Another edition of My TransLink coming atcha’!

ICYMI: My TransLink is a rider-focused series where we want you to share your transit photographs from across the system on social media and in turn, we share your amazing pics right here on the Buzzer blog. Basically, this is all about you!

Let’s see what you’ve captured over the last few weeks!

The daily commute 🛳 #mytranslink

A photo posted by Jaemie Sures | 📍Vancouver (@jaemiesures) on

I’m in love with this photo #95 #bline #95bline #135sfu #mytranslink @translinkbc

A photo posted by Damien (@rainyday59) on

55 #sfu #burnabybc #burnabymountain #winter #snow #britishcolumbia #mytranslink

A photo posted by Vancouver, Persian Style (@persianyvr) on

Want to be featured on the blog? You know you do! It’s easy!
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

My TransLink – January 24, 2017

Welcome to the first official post of My TransLink!

A couple of weeks ago, we asked you to be our photographers on your commute and share with us your transit pics from across the system on social media.

The social team wants to share your content, your views of transit and our community.

Here are just a few from the first installment – including some very snowy scenes!

As seen from the Skytrain.

A video posted by Trevor Jansen (@tr3vorjans3n) on

The next station is… Inlet Centre.

A photo posted by Juan M. Sanchez (@jmsuncheese) on

the night shift #TransLink #Buses #NightRides #Vancouver #SFU #burnaby #mytranslink

A photo posted by Kobie Huang (@kobiehuang) on

Thanks to everyone for their photos. Keep them coming!

Want to be featured on the blog?
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

My TransLink Photo Fun: A new series with YOUR content!

Introducing #MyTransLink photo fun!

Our riders and community neighbours take some of the best photos of our region and transit and we love to share them on across our social channels.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Use the #MyTransLink hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to get our attention.
  • Tag @TransLink (Twitter) and @TransLinkBC (Instagram)
  • Make sure that your profile is public so we can see your post.
  • Every few weeks we will post right here on the Buzzer blog some of the best shots from around Metro Vancouver.
  • Please note: Profanity or inappropriate content will not be shared.

That’s it, that’s all!

This is simply a way to showcase the wonderful creativity and keen eyes from all of the budding shutterbugs so get out there and get snapping!

Share your pics!
Twitter: @TransLink
Instagram: @TransLinkBC
Email: thebuzzer@translink.ca

Author: Adrienne Coling

#MyTransLink – April 25, 2017

Ok transit shutterbugs, it’s that time again!

It’s time to feature some of the latest, awesome pics in our social photo series #MyTransLink!

#288 #🌈 #translink #skytrain #citylights #vancouver #scienceworld #nightphotography #mytranslink

A post shared by Linda & Christopher (@oneyearcanada) on

Sea Bus

A post shared by Philipp Postrehovsky (@philpostro) on

SkyTrain. #TheTraveller #Vancouver #TransLink #Canada #Sky #Train #mytranslink

A post shared by Channy Anand (@channyanand) on

Keep those Instagram #MyTransLink posts coming. Get snapping on your commute and you could be featured on our social channels, too!

Author: Adrienne Coling

#MyTransLink – April 4, 2017

You Metro Vancouver transit riders and enthusiasts don’t seem to disappoint with your amazing transit shots! Since we started this social media photo series, you’ve shared over 400 photos with us across all platforms!

Amazing!

Let’s check out what you guys have captured since last time!

Huge thanks to all of our latest transit photogs! Keep snapping and sharing!

Want to be featured on the blog?
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

#MyTransLink – March 21, 2017

It’s that time again! We’re back featuring content from you – our riders!

Check out what our transit travellers have snapped lately…

“Explore more” – – Photo – 56 of 365 #photography #photo365 #mytranslink

A post shared by Jamie Taylor (@cryptic_photos) on

Visions📷 – Westcoast Express X Skytrain 🚅 – Have a great weekend🔥

A post shared by Ibrahima Cisse 👓 (@thevancityphotographer) on

Foggy bus windows on chilly days. #mytranslink

A post shared by Julie Ratcliff (@juliemratcliff) on

Thanks to all of our latest transit photogs!

Want to be featured on the blog?
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Sarah Kertcher and Adrienne Coling

#MyTransLink – March 6, 2017

Another #MyTransLink post means another chance to feature our riders’ awesome commuting and transit pictures from across our system and region!

Let’s see what you’ve captured this time around…

A post shared by Richmond BC Canada (@100ave) on

#SeaBus #MyTransLink #CMBC #TheView @translinkbc

A post shared by Elfren Ordanza (@metroelfren) on

Thank you to all of our latest contributors!

Want to be featured on the blog? It’s easy!
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

#MyTransLink – February 20, 2017

Hey Buzzer readers! We’re back with another edition of #MyTransLink, sharing your photos from around the system!

With a transit network spanning land, sea, and Sky(Train), it’s no surprise that you, are riders are able to capture some of our best photos.

Here’s what you shared this week!

 

[=]’These are the days we’ve been waiting for’ [=] #vancouver #burnaby #SkyTrain #MyTranslink

A post shared by Kobie Huang (@kobiehuang) on

Bridge life #newwestminster #mytranslink

A post shared by Rich Elliott (@therichelliott) on

This is why i love #beautifulbritishcolimbia.. taken from #carvolthexchange in #langley.. @translinkbc

A post shared by FerretLover (@atomikangel69) on

Want to be featured on the blog? You know you do! It’s easy!
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink prepares for stormy weather

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Storms, they are a-brewin’!

As always, TransLink’s top priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. So, in preparation for the inclement weather set to hit our region over the next few days, we are taking a number of steps.

Our Emergency Management group is participating in Emergency Management BC and Environment Canada conference calls to stay apprised of the forecast and expected outcomes as well as communicating within the organization to ensure necessary preparations are made.

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Tree branches falling into our trolley overhead wires can be an issue during high-wind conditions, so we are checking known risk locations to prepare.

We also sometimes face road debris, which can result in detours for our bus service. Transit Supervisors and other support staff out on the road, such as Transit Security, in order to proactively identify such problem areas and communicate them out. Once identified, we can react quickly by contacting the municipality responsible for clearing the trees or debris.

SkyTrain

In case of high winds, SkyTrain service over the SkyBridge between New Westminster and Surrey may operate at reduced speeds.

If wind speeds exceed 100 kph, service could be temporarily suspended.

We’ve also proactively reached out to construction projects adjacent to SkyTrain to ensure items are properly secured, to prevent anything being blown onto the tracks.

Here’s what you can do to prepare yourself:

  • Sign up for Transit Alerts so we can let you know if there are any service issues or changes
  • Follow our fabulous Customer Information team @TransLink on Twitter or phone 604-953-3333.
  • Plan ahead with our Trip Planner and give yourself extra time on your commute
  • Be aware! More people than usual tend to take transit during nasty weather – common transit courtesy applies even more on days like these!
  • Be visible! A bus operator has a lot to be aware of in AND outside of the bus. Make yourself visible to them! Wear bright, reflective clothing and stand close to the bus stop poll.
  • Be patient! Traffic lights may not be working properly that could cause detours for buses, same goes for debris on routes.

We will continue to monitor the weather and get the word out to all customers if there are any service impacts. Until then, stay safe, stay dry and happy transiting!

Author: Adrienne Coling

#WhatsTheLink: TransLink helps with goods movement and the economy

"The Goods"

“The Goods”

For this latest week in the #WhatsTheLink series, we’re looking at goods movement in the region.

TransLink helps 418,000 people get where they need to go and 107,000 cycling trips in Metro Vancouver possible each day.

How do we do this?

We provide a hard working and reliable transit system2,300 lane kilometres of major roads, five bridges, as well as cycling and walking infrastructure that has shaped communities!

#WhatsTheLink between everything? A part in Metro Vancouver’s economy – ensuring goods and people get where they need to go!

Miss 604: TransLink Helps to Make our Regional Economy a Thriving One

Have you ever wondered about the journey the coffee you drink took? If you’re like many in Metro Vancouver, you probably haven’t.

That’s because the goods we use each day are usually readily available on the shelves, and we take it for granted. One of the reasons we don’t have to worry about finding fresh milk, fuel for our vehicles or materials to build our homes is because of the efficient movement of goods and people in our region.

Sany Zein

Sany Zein

Although Metro Vancouver’s ports have been identified as a gateway to Asia, Sany Zein, Director of Infrastructure and Network Management for TransLink explains many of the trucks we see on the roads are serving the local economy.

“While gateway-oriented goods movement is a very large part of our economy, most of the trucks we see on the roads are serving the local economy,” says Zein.

“Almost everything we have in our homes and businesses is delivered by truck. Without an efficient Major Roads Network, we wouldn’t have a thriving economy.”

These trucks not only rely on the Major Roads Network, but an efficient transit system as well.

Wait…what?!? Trucks depend on an efficient transit system? Yup!

Vancity Buzz: 3 Ways TransLink Helps Free Congestion in Metro Vancouver

"Count on it!"

“Count on it!”

Besides being an important mode of transportation for people in the region, transit helps free up congestion on the roads.

By moving trips away from the road to SkyTrain, West Coast Express, SeaBus or bus, TransLink helps the region avoids huge traffic congestion problems.

Did you know? Six out of 10 people in Metro Vancouver take public transit to work or school!

When truckers aren’t using the Provincial roads network, they look to the Major Road Network to get them where they need to go. It is the backbone for the movement of goods in the region.

This year, TransLink is providing $42 million dollars towards the Major Road Network.

Infrastructure projects funded by TransLink such as the Golden Ears Bridge and Roberts Bank Rail Corridor are important too! They help alleviate congestion and bottlenecks on the roads network.

Providing an efficient public transportation system, managing the Major Roads Network and funding major infrastructure projects are three ways TransLink helps get you and goods we all need moving around the region.

Author: Allen Tung

TransLink on the Move: Evergreen means Go!

TransLink on the Move Evergreen

Last week marked the start of our TransLink on the Move series where we’re breaking down some of the highlights of our 2016 Annual Report.

This week, we’re featuring the long awaited Evergreen Extension!

The opening of the Evergreen Extension was a milestone event for TransLink and for Metro Vancouver. This significant expansion of our integrated transit network brings us to 79 km of SkyTrain meaning that TransLink now operates the world’s longest fully-automated rapid transit system!

Included in the Evergreen Extension is a two-kilometre Tunnel (the longest in the SkyTrain network) connecting Coquitlam to Port Moody, a new SkyTrain operating pattern and six new stations connecting riders to more destinations in our region.

The Evergreen Extension boasts beautiful new open concept stations with plenty of glass allowing for natural light, picturesque views and beautiful public art.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the new stations, have a look at some of the shots captured by transit enthusiast Ivan Chan. Or better yet, become your very own #EvergreenExplorer by checking out some of the great java stops along the new route.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink’s Cathy McLay named one of Canada’s most powerful women of 2016!

Cathy 640

Growing up as the only girl among four brothers and working in traditionally male dominated sectors hasn’t stopped TransLink’s CFO Cathy McLay from reaching top jobs and being recognized as an inspiring leader.

“I remember when I was working in forestry and I was at an executive dinner. One of my colleagues leaned over and asked me if I was ever uncomfortable working with all these males. That’s when I realized that I was the only female at the table,” says McLay who is one of 100 women from across Canada from various disciplines to be named 2016’s Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Exchange Network (WXN).

Cathy’s refusal to let her gender dictate her career is something she attributes to the strong work ethic she learned from her mother and grandfather. When McLay was living in Prince George and a mother of two small children she completed her Accounting designation by correspondence without any outside help. Her tenacity lead to her quickly rising the ranks during her 15 years in forestry and later in transit.

This latest award is one of many McLay has won over the years. One of them being a BC CFO of the Year award for her efforts in corporate growth, strategic decision making, solid business principles and overall performance excellence and financial reporting.

When asked if she had any advice for women who want to follow in her footsteps McLay replied with some words of wisdom,

“Women need to take calculated risks. When we [women] look at taking on new responsibilities we sometimes look at the things we have deficiencies in, rather than the strengths we can bring to the job. I would encourage women to value the contributions that we bring and know that we need to allow ourselves the luxury of learning along the way.”

I hope you can join TransLink in congratulating Cathy in another well deserved honour!

Author: Robert Willis

TransLink hosts Iceland, Shanghai and more delegations from around the world!

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TransLink’s Chris Chan speaking with delegates from the Shanghai Transportation Commission

Every year many delegations from around the globe visit TransLink because of our international reputation for delivering quality transit services and transit-oriented communities.

What’s a transit-oriented community? I’m so glad you asked!

Basically, the term refers to creating communities within a region that, because of their design, opens up opportunities for people to drive less and therefore bike, walk and take transit more.

These communities mean utilizing higher-density, mixed-use and pedestrian friendly development within walking distance of frequent transit stops and stations.

Just two weeks ago we had the Shanghai Transportation Commission Delegation visiting as they studied multi-modal integration and transit-oriented communities.

Last week mayors from around Reykjavik in Iceland were on a worldwide trip, with a stop here in Metro Vancouver, to visit transit agencies and see what they could take back home to their own cities – including rapid transit like our dear SkyTrain.

These visitors are nothing new for TransLink. In fact, we host many delegations from around the globe each year.

DID YOU KNOW?

In 2015 alone, we had 16 delegations from eight different countries!

  • Peoples Republic of China: China Southern Railway; Huangzhou Metro; Shenyang Metro and China Development Research Foundation
  • Canada: Senior Funding Partners; City of Calgary and Western Canada Engineering Competition
  • New Zealand: Council on Infrastructure Development; Auckland Transport
  • USA: UCLA Transportation Planning School, Stanford University
  • Netherlands: Academy for Urban Development, NHTV Breda – University of Applied Sciences
  • Australia; New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight
  • Finland; Tekes – the Finish Funding Agency for Innovation
  • Norway: Oslo Traffic Management Centre

TransLink continues to open its bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express doors to visitors who want to learn more about how we plan and run our system.

Plus, we get to meet some pretty amazing people from some pretty amazing places!

Author: Adrienne Coling

My day with Mika: Understanding accessible transit

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Mika waiting for the bus on Main St.

This past spring I had the immense pleasure of tagging along on a filming request on our system and spent the afternoon with Kaz and Mika who wanted to showcase the accessibility of our system for a Japanese audience.

Kaz owns Motion Pla-net Productions that often produces work for NHK, Japan’s National public broadcasting organization.

Mika is a lovely woman who lives in downtown Vancouver and takes transit all the time in her fabulous pink wheelchair.

We spent the afternoon riding the bus and SkyTrain while Mika explained in Japanese to the camera all of the fittings and equipment TransLink offers on the system for those who need it.

Part of the filming also included speaking with TransLink’s Access Transit Coordinator, Sarah Chung about why TransLink has been so proactive in promoting the accessibility of transit services for people with disabilities.

“Public transit should be a safe and convenient way to travel, which means our infrastructure, policy and customer service are all impacted by accessibility. There are a number of different needs among our customers that we try to balance so we have to make sure the solutions we provide are sustainable and won’t hinder other people.

One of our key challenges is finding solutions that strike a balance between the diverse range of needs. We need to be financially responsible to the taxpayer as well, and have to prioritize our initiatives. Other challenges happen with the nature of the region, such as the geography making it difficult to make all bus stops wheelchair accessible.”

Mika says that the greatest strength of the system is that people with disabilities have choice.

“I know I can travel on bus, on SkyTrain, on the water on SeaBus and I will be able to get on there myself and be safe. Also being able to get to the airport without calling a taxi is great!”

I learned a lot travelling through the eyes of someone who faces accessibility challenges in her daily life.

On each part of our transit trip, I thought about space on buses, location of elevators, fare box heights, even something as simple as getting on and off a transit vehicle while others are trying to do the same.

These are things as an able-bodied person, I admit, I sometimes take for granted. Perhaps we all do. But it’s important to see through the eyes of others to really understand the world beyond ourselves.

As for the future, Sarah Chung says as an organization, TransLink is constantly growing and adapting our system to meet the needs of our customers.

“We are always looking at improvements to make the system as inclusive as possible. For example, we have a high percentage of wheelchair accessible bus stops, and have introduced a pilot project to make bus stops more accessible for people who are blind or partially sighted. The pilot includes tactile information panels and tactile walking surfaces to help people identify stop information and locations. As a region, we have recently transitioned to a contactless smart card payment system and are continue to work with partners to develop solutions for customers who have limited or no arm mobility.”

Have a look at some pictures from our day together.

Author: Adrienne Coling

I Love Transit: LEGO my SkyTrain!

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For 80’s kids (and decades either side), LEGO was a way of life.

You’ll remember building the next Empire State Building, CN tower or the complete Star Trek Enterprise and, of course, the sound your parents made as they stepped on the extraordinarily painful blocks!

William Fong was a childhood fan as well but didn’t actually buy LEGO until he decided to make a SkyTrain!

We got a chance to ask Will some questions about this intensely detailed project.

Take a look!

What made you want to make a SkyTrain?

As someone who is a daily user of the transit system, and as someone who has a minor interest in design in general, I found that the 2009 Skytrain stock extremely intriguing. It’s the most modern and well designed piece of equipment in the fleet (although Xcelsiors are pretty excellent buses and the new Bombardier 300’s probably trump that claim, too).

The colour scheme of the exterior and interior, streamlined shape as well as adding user friendliness, like destination boards, updated system maps, better seat layout and air conditioning. Everything was done right on the 2009 trains!

I think the main reason I wanted to recreate some of the great design features in LEGO was because I had the passing realization that there were some new LEGO pieces that had striking resemblance to the angles on the trains. I designed the LEGO train mostly around the windscreen due to its identical curved shape to the real life train. I didn’t start building it until I was satisfied with the accuracy of the curvature of the roof as well as finding a way to have doors that could slide open. I also chose this specific train because of the number of seats. Three seats and an aisle is about as wide as you can make a train in LEGO before it starts looking too wide.

The details are so perfect, how did you get the stickers and other minature details of the actual train ON the LEGO model?

I made the stickers in Photoshop. Interior graphics like the system map and the safety and security sign were entirely drawn from scratch using photos as a reference. I didn’t want to print photos as stickers because they didn’t scale to the LEGO very well.

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The exterior livery was based off of and extremely altered from the information sheet that was shown alongside the 2009 presentation of the new Mark II stock, which I found online. The corporate and government logos as well as official fonts were found on the internet. I then sent the artwork off to a printing company named Model Decal Depot at Adlion Printing to have the graphics put onto vinyl stickers. The stickers are especially important because they complete the train more than people may realize, mostly because the doors are stickers that have been applied onto LEGO window panes.

What are some of the cool features of your model?

The model is as accurate to real life as I could build it. It has an identical seat count to its real life counterpart. Curved handrails, which may not seem remarkable, but when building out of lego, it is! It has an articulated corridor joining the two cars. It has the same number of ceiling lights as in real life. Orange “Door open” lights in the door jambs that can be toggled on the left or right doors. The doors can also be slid open and are not just decorative placeholders. Directional lights, so that when the headlights are on at one end of the train, the taillights are on at the opposite end. The advertising boards are illuminated using something called electro-luminescent tape (a strip of copper that is coated with phosphorus and glows when an alternating current is applied to it).

It’s also not just a stationary model. Each train is also powered by two 9V DC motors, so it can move along track. Hopefully by next BrickCan, I’ll have built enough elevated guideway for it to run a decent length.

How long did it take you to create?

I think I finished the digital model in 2011. I wasn’t satisfied with the accuracy until late 2013 and held off building it until early 2014.

The digital model continued to go through several revisions which slowed me down, but it was mostly the cost of the model that made me build it on and off for a while. Building one car was costly enough, but when I found out that there was going to be a LEGO convention in Vancouver, I decided to spend the extra money and twin the first car and build some overhead guideway for it to sit on. It wasn’t right up until April 2016 during BrickCan that I completed both cars and the two sections of track.

Technically, I’m still not done yet. I just finished gutting and reinstalling all of the electronics this month. I want to reprint the stickers to more closely match some colours in the livery as well as correct some inaccuracies. I’m also going to install digital destination boards, although I’m running into technical issues with the hardware for that right now. Maybe later on, I’ll also install speakers inside the train, too.

How many pieces are involved?

Each train car has approximately 1900 lego pieces and 60 LEDs. 2000 pieces for the track and supports.

Have you done any other notable Metro Vancouver model recreations?

This is my first ever model, but I am planning to build others in the future. Next one might be a trolley bus from Vancouver’s not-too-distant past. I’m also trying to figure out how to recreate the new Innovia 300, but it’s been tough to get started because the angles are so different.

What is the most complicated project you’ve made out of LEGO?

This train. From trouble shooting how to cram in all the wires to trying to find workarounds for discontinued and extremely expensive pieces, it was a headache. Not to say that I won’t build something again. Maybe just something cheaper that is less technical. At least I semi-know what I’m doing now. Prior to this, I hadn’t picked up a soldering pen since grade 8.

Thank you to Will for letting us share his fantastic (and extremely detailed!) SkyTrain model! We can’t wait to see what he blocks up next.

Author: Adrienne Coling