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Translink Buzzer Blog

TransLink launches Compass Mini

Adult and concession Compass Minis go on sale on December 6 at Stadium–Chinatown Station’s Compass Customer Service and Waterfront Station’s West Coast Express office.

Tapping with Compass has never been more convenient! We’re introducing Compass Mini as another way to pay for transit in Metro Vancouver. Compass Mini looks just like a small Compass Card that attaches easily to keychains and backpacks.

“The launch of Compass Mini is a part of our commitment to enhance the customer experience,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Compass Wristbands have been a real hit and I’m sure customers will enjoy the convenience and practicality of the new Compass Mini.”

Compass Mini works the same as the Compass Card and Compass Wristband. Tap in and out when travelling on transit and reload online at a Compass Vending Machine, by phone or in person.

During its initial release, 5,000 adult Compass Minis and 2,500 concession Compass Minis will be available starting on December 6. Read more »

Read the Transport 2050 Phase One Engagement Report

TransLink is releasing the report from the first phase of public engagement for Transport 2050, Metro Vancouver’s blueprint for the next 30 years of transportation. With input from every jurisdiction in the region, the engagement results will help shape the priorities identified in Transport 2050 when released later next year. This round of engagement had a record-breaking 31,700 responses and over 4,000 ideas submitted.

Most frequently submitted idea:

  • Transit expansion to the Fraser Valley

Most “liked” idea on Transport 2050 ideas board:

  • Gondola to Burnaby Mountain

Idea most commented on:

  • Mobility pricing

Read more »

Reindeer Bus lights up Metro Vancouver streets

The Reindeer Bus rolls into service today, continuing a beloved holiday tradition in Metro Vancouver. In addition to spreading Christmas cheer across the region – the red-nosed reindeer will deliver donated toys as part of the Toys for Tots initiative, which has been operating for more than three decades.

“The Reindeer Bus is one of our proud traditions,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Whether it’s the volunteer decorators, the operators behind the wheel, the passengers in the seats, or the kids on Christmas Day – the Reindeer Bus brings us all together and brings a smile to every street corner!”

Led by Coast Mountain Bus Company, the Reindeer Bus is equipped with an animated Christmas tree, responsive lighting, a flashing nose, holiday carols, and an inflatable Santa Claus to deliver season’s greetings. Read more »

TransLink releases details of Winter Plan 2019/20

New initiatives and improvements to prepare for the season ahead

New initiatives and improvements to prepare for the season ahead

TransLink is releasing details of new initiatives and improvements to prepare for any adverse weather events this winter.  This comes amid the launch of a new winter marketing campaign aimed at promoting safety for transit users this season.

“Our initiatives this winter are focused on increasing safety and customer communication at stations, bus exchanges, and throughout our online channels,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.  “We’ve learned from previous seasons and have been working hard to ensure customers are kept informed of any significant delays or issues on our system.”

Last month, TransLink also hosted a meeting between Metro Vancouver municipalities to share and discuss winter preparedness plans.  These regional partnerships are crucial to ensuring that any issues can be swiftly dealt with, in order to limit the impact on transit and transportation. Read more »

Metro Vancouver transit strike: carsharing and carpooling options

We’re beyond pleased to share that Coast Mountain Bus Company, and Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 have reached a tentative agreement! We’re working towards providing regular schedules for all transit modes.

Evo at Braid Station

The reserved parking stalls for Evo cars at Braid Station.

While the SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART will continue to operate during the anticipated three-day strike, we recognize it will be a challenge for the our 350,000 customers who rely on bus and SeaBus services each weekday to get around.

That’s why TransLink’s doing what we can by facilitating options so commuters can reach their destination or connect to transit that’s operating regular schedules. It’s our job to keep the region moving. We’ve reached out to our partners to help give some relief. Read more »

Record-high 31,682 responses for Transport 2050 Phase One engagement

Three of the more than 4,000 bold and creative ideas submitted as part of Transport 2050: Phase One engagement.

Expanding and improving Metro Vancouver’s transit system is a top priority for residents regardless of whether they drive, cycle, or take transit. That is one of the conclusions of the first phase of engagement with Metro Vancouver residents as part of Transport 2050.

To help develop the next 30-year blueprint, TransLink asked the region to share its priorities, concerns, values, and ideas. Through the first phase of public engagement, TransLink reached 159,000 people and received a record-breaking 31,682 responses through its survey. Respondents also submitted over 4,000 ideas for the future of transportation.  Read more »

The 160 bus: perfect for seniors

The 160 Port Coquitlam Station / Kootenay Loop bus is one of the most versatile routes in TransLink’s entire network. It connects communities and municipalities from Burnaby all the way to Port Coquitlam, allowing riders to cross three zones with a single tap.

One group that finds the 160 particularly helpful in their day-to-day lives is seniors, so we decided to take a group out on an expedition along the bus route, so they could show us how they use the route and tell us a little bit about what transit means to them. Read more »

Compass Card taps into new modes of transport

Compass Cards will soon be used to pay for and unlock travel with TransLink, Modo, Evo, and Mobi by Shaw Go, as part of a limited pilot program launching today.  The Shared Mobility Pilot Program will see select Vancouver-based employers provide their employees with co-branded Compass Cards for use on trips with any of the four transportation providers.

“The Shared Mobility Pilot Program is ultimately about providing more choices and more convenience for customers,” says Kevin Desmond, TransLink’s CEO.

“Those participating can take transit on their morning commute, cycle to meeting locations throughout the day, and unlock carshare services for the journey back home. These individual trips will now all be possible with one easy and seamless payment method.” Read more »

More reasons to take the 160 bus: weekday, daytime offers!

If you’re here, you probably already know that TransLink provides one of the fastest, most convenient and affordable ways to zip around Metro Vancouver. We connect you to everything. Your errands, like grocery shopping and going to the pharmacy. Transit connects your social life, like restaurants and coffee shops. And your me-time, like exercise studios, parks and beaches. You can take transit to get anywhere and do anything – and one of our most versatile routes is the 160 Kootenay Loop / Port Coquitlam Station bus.

The 160 bus can take you from East Hastings Street in Vancouver all the way to downtown Port Coquitlam. Zoom through up to three zones with a single tap! Even if your destination is just a little further away, the 160 Bus connects you directly to the 95 B-Line into downtown Vancouver, as well as SkyTrain’s Millennium Line at Moody Centre, Inlet Centre, Lafarge Lake–Douglas, Lincoln and Coquitlam Central stations.

Along the route you’ll find everything you need for a productive day. The bus comes every 15 minutes during the daytime to ensure you’re never waiting too long to get moving. And since the 160 stops every few blocks, you’re never too far from your destination. It’s the next best thing to having a private driver to take you directly to where you’re headed. Once you’re on board, you’ll notice there’s plenty of space and plenty of seats, so you can settle in for a more comfortable ride.

If that’s not enough, there are five more great reasons to take the 160 bus. In partnership with some of the great cafés and restaurants along the route, we’re offering special deals when you show your Compass Card, Compass Ticket or bus transfer. Take advantage of these great offers with the 160 on weekdays, between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., until December 31, 2019.

So, stop thinking about traffic, parking, and all the hassles that come with it. Take the 160 bus to your destination – it’s your ticket to the neighbourhood!

SkyTrain Assistance Counter opens at Commercial–Broadway Station

The SkyTrain Assistance Counter at Commercial–Broadway Station will help customers with directions, system maps, brochures, and in-person service.

Customers travelling through Commercial-Broadway Station will have easier access to transit advice and services, with a new SkyTrain Assistance Counter opening today.  This is the first SkyTrain Assistance Counter on TransLink’s network and will be staffed by SkyTrain Attendants during all station operating hours.  Customers will be able to use the counter for directions, system maps, brochures, and in-person service.

“Commercial-Broadway serves as a key transfer point for our customers, connecting the Expo Line, Millennium Line, and 99 B-Line,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The central location of our new counter will ensure customers have easy access to the most up-to-date transit information. Today’s opening is another important step toward improving customer service and comes as we wrap up I Love Transit Week.”

Commercial-Broadway Station facts:

  • More than 8 million boardings on SkyTrain last year.
  • 30,000 transfers between Expo and Millennium Line on an average weekday.
  • 20,000 transfers between SkyTrain and bus on an average weekday.
  • Terminus of the 99 B-Line, the busiest bus route in Canada and the U.S.
  • 17,000 average weekday bus boardings.

The Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Assistance Counter is in addition to the Stadium-Chinatown Compass Customer Service Centre, which remains the primary location for Compass enquiries.

I Love Transit 2019: 3 Reasons Why

I Love Transit 2019

It’s I Love Transit week, October 7–11, and we’re bringing you stories about our customers, staff, transit enthusiasts and all things we love about transit. 

TransLink’s a team of nearly 8,000 employees. We’re all united in support of our customers — all 500,000 of you — who depend on us to get to and from work, visit an old friend and everything else in between. We asked another employee, Mariee Devereux, to share why she loves transit. 

Mariee on the left!

By Mariee Devereux, Transportation Demand Management Officer at TransLink

When I first heard about, I Love Transit week, I thought it was a joke. I didn’t think anyone could LOVE taking transit. I was mistaken! In the past eight years, I’ve fallen in love with transit too (and it’s not just because I work for TransLink). Here are the top three reasons that I love transit:

Secret Exercise

Every transit trip starts with a walk or a bike ride. In a world where sitting has become the new smoking, taking transit helps me get 10,000 steps in a day and I always feel better for it.

More ‘Me’ Time

Taking transit means that I’ve got more time to read, to text my friends, or to just relax and get things sorted without having to worry about the ‘car-stipation’ situation’ on congested roadways.

Climate Champion

You don’t need to own an electric car to enjoy a zero-emissions trip. My commute is already zero-emission in that it combines a trolley bus trip with SkyTrain. It feels good to get where I need to go in a climate friendly way. Did you know that over half of TransLink’s fleet are already powered by clean and renewable energy sources? By 2050, the entire fleet is set to be zero-carbon.

Those are three reasons that I love transit, what are some of yours? Share your stories with us via email at thebuzzer@translink.ca with the subject “I Love Transit Stories” or share using the hashtag #ILoveTransit for a chance to have your story featured in the Buzzer blog!

I Love Transit 2019: Mapping it all out for the customer

I Love Transit 2019

It’s I Love Transit week, October 7–11, and we’re bringing you stories about our customers, staff, transit enthusiasts and all things we love about transit. 

TransLink’s a team of nearly 8,000 employees. We’re all united in support of our customers — all 500,000 of you — who depend on us to get to and from work, visit an old friend and everything else in between.

We asked one of our employees, Jada Stevens from our wayfinding department, to share why she loves transit and what she loves most about serving you, our customers. Wayfinding designs the maps and directional signage you find at transit stations. 

Jada Stevens, Wayfinding Planner at TransLink

By Jada Stevens, Wayfinding Planner at TransLink

What I find fascinating about working in wayfinding is that this field encompasses three of my personal interests: graphic design, urban design and using transit to get around the city.

I am a lifelong transit user who has made the decision to use transit as my primary form of transportation. As a child, taking transit was my first introduction to independence in the city, and as an adult I see transit as being an affordable and environmentally sustainable alternative to car use.

From a young age, I have been curious about cities and how people use shared spaces and public amenities like parks, streets, and transit. I like to observe changes happening in the city and I try to understand how urban planners, elected officials, and community groups are transforming our cities to better serve the people who live in it.

This same curiosity extends into my profession. I’m fascinated in learning how our customers use and experience the transit network – where are they going, what transit services are they connecting to and what information they need to make that connection. Read more »

I Love Transit 2019: Enter to win a Monthly Pass!

I Love Transit 2019

These students from SFU's School of Contemporary Arts love transit because it gets them to dance!

These students from SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts love transit because it gets them to dance.

I Love Transit is here and we love that you love transit! That’s why we want to give you the chance to enter to win a Monthly Pass on your Compass Card. Read more »

This is how teachers can win a TransLink field trip for their class

I Love Transit 2019

I Love Transit Week is back this year, October 7-11, and our theme is A Greater Vancouver — the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver. Teachers, unleash your inner explorer and take learning beyond the classroom! We have two exciting contests for you and free bus travel for your students:

Win a Field Trip (Grades 3–12)

I Love Transit Camp 2019

We call it I Love Transit Camp! It’s a unique opportunity for kids (along with their teacher and chaperones!), grades 3 through 12, to get a behind-the-scenes field trip to TransLink where they’ll learn how transit works and have some fun at the same time.

One winning class will get the opportunity to attend I Love Transit Camp in early November (exact date will be determined with the winning teacher). Watch the video above, and check out all the fun that was had in 2014201520162017 and 2018.

We’ll pick up the winning class from their school in a transit bus, equipped with snacks to fuel your day, around 9 a.m. We’ll visit a bus depot — the place where our buses sleep at night — and SkyTrain Control, which is the heart of our automated SkyTrain network, before returning you back to your school by 4 p.m.

The day will include snacks, a pizza lunch, prizes, t-shirts and a chance meet some of the key people (and the Transit Police dog!) that help TransLink move close to a half-a-million people a day and plan for the future. Read more »

Take it slooooooow, says the sloth!

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We got places to go and people to see. Whether that’s to and from work, a visit with an old friend, or a hockey game at Rogers Arena, TransLink will get you there!

While you’re riding with us, we want you to have a safe and pleasant journey. That means following transit etiquette and holding on because safety is fundamental — and it starts with you. Scroll through the slideshow above to see what the tips are.

We’re also excited to launch a new experiential marketing campaign on transit — featuring octopuses, monkeys and sloths — reminding everyone to be safe! You’ll see wrapped buses, as well as decals in interesting places such as the ceilings, poles and straps of buses, on windows, and staircases at SkyTrain stations.

Here’s a sneak peak! Want to spot ’em? The fleet numbers are #2510, 2511, 2110, 8150 and 16001.