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Translink Buzzer Blog

Pender Street bus reroutes will be starting next Monday!


Starting next Monday, August 10th, buses running along Pender will be rerouted onto Hastings St. The reroute, due to water main construction, is expected to last approximately 10 months.

So if you ride the #4,#7, #19,#22,#209,#210,#211,#214, N8, N15, N19, N22, N24 or the N35 take note of these reroutes!

#4 & #7:
Westbound – Regular route to Main and Powell then left on Main, right on Hastings, left on Granville, and then continues on regular route.

Eastbound – No change.

Westbound– Regular route to Main and Pender then left on Hastings, left at Richards, right on Pender and then continues on regular route.
Eastbound – Regular route to Pender and Homer then left on Homer, right on Hastings, right on Main and then continues on regular route.

Westbound – Regular route to Gore and Pender then continues along Gore, left on Hastings, left on Burrard, continue along Burrard and turn right on Hastings.

Eastbound – Regular route to Pender and Hornby then left on Hornby,  right on Hastings, right on Gore and then continues on regular route. Note: the #22 Eastbound will no longer be able to use stop #50076 and the signage will be changed accordingly.

#209 – #214:
Westbound – Regular route to Main and Powell then left on Main, right on Hastings, left on Howe, and then continues on regular route.

Eastbound – No change until construction reaches Pender (we will be sure to update you before this reroute takes effect!).

N8: Regular route to Hastings and Granville then left on Granville, right on Pender, and then continues on regular route.
N15: Regular route to left on Seymour, right on Hastings, right on Cambie, and then continues on regular route.


Westbound— Regular route to Main then continue Main, left on Hastings, left on Howe, and then continues on regular route.
Eastbound— Regular route then left at Seymour, right on Hastings, right on Main, and then continues on regular route.

N22: Regular route to Hastings then right on Granville, right on Pender, and then continues on regular route.

N24: Regular route then right at Burrard, right on Hastings, right on Cambie, and then continues on regular route.

N35: Regular route to Hastings then left on Granville, right on Pender, and then continues on regular route.

Have questions? Let us know in the comments section!

Author: Laura Tennant

Transit in the News – August 7, 2015

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or email us.Newspaper

LRT rider takes Calgary transit to task for its handling of police incident.

A win for Pittsburg public transit.

Uber and public transit are trying to get along.

Public transit fleet: to own or to lease?

Transit and infrastructure cash make mayors federal wish list.

Bay area’s disjointed public transit network inspires a call for harmony.

Victorian government on track to deliver weekend 24 hour public transport to Melburnians.

Voters in Kalamazoo Saginaw back public transit taxes.

New service helps plan trip on public transit in the midstate.

Coming soon to America: one fare card for all transit.

Lack of public transit cited in dreamer license case.

Southwest light rail hits another budget snag.

High-speed rail line to Rochester on slow track.

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share? Comment below or email us.

Author: Laura Tennant

This Summer’s Special Issue of the Buzzer is Now on the System!

I Love Transit

The Special Edition Buzzer is now on the system!

This edition is dedicated to celebrating both our love of transit and the 125th anniversary of transit in the region!

Acting as a hybrid issue, one side takes a look at the last 125 years of transit in BC and the other is devoted to I Love Transit Week running this summer from August 31st to September 4th!

Just like I Love Transit issues of years past, half of the edition is yours to colour! And if you take part in the colouring contest and send a coloured copy our way, you could win one of two fare cards drawn on September 9th.

If colouring isn’t your thing, but you still want to participate, you’re in luck because we have a few more activities up our sleeves!

During I Love Transit week there will be contests, transit camps and opportunities to share your I Love Transit stories!

Transit camp details and how to share your transit stories are inside the issue, but you will have to check back on the blog for contest info.

Finally, this issue also includes a back issue, TransLink contact information as well as information on where to send your Compass Card questions.

Happy reading! Pick it up today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or you can download it here.

The regular issue of the Buzzer will be out later in August!

Author: Laura Tennant

Compass Card is on its way! Bus fare changes too!

Ready, set, tap!

Come this fall, more TransLink customers will be making the move to the Compass Card!

Joining the 130,000 customers already tapping on the system, riders will continue to see Compass roll out in phases until the fall when everyone will start tapping.

Compass Vending Machines (CVMs) will be activated in August to prepare for the switch over. Working station-by-station,  it will take approximately 8 weeks to get all the machines up and running!

When all CVMs are ready to go, riders will then be able to start buying single-use tickets from CVMs at SkyTrain and SeaBus terminals.

By late October, Compass Cards will be available to the general public to buy for use on all transit services — just in time for monthly pass holders to load November’s month pass on their Compass Card!

After this date, Compass Cards will be available from CVMs, by mail, online, phone request and in person at the Compass retailer network or Compass walk-in centres.

But Compass Card is not the only fare payment change in the works!

Starting October 5th, bus-only trips — no matter the time of the day— will only cost you a one-zone fare. So if you are an adult, your bus fare will cost you $2.75 no matter which bus you are on, the day, the time or number of zones travelled.

This change in bus fare is all in the name of helping our customers adjust to the tapping system. Trips made by bus will now only require one tap at the beginning of travel. In other words, you don’t have to tap off the bus!

This shift will ensure customers only pay for the travel they’ve taken, even if they forget to tap out as they exit the bus.

In case you’re wondering, fares will remain the same for SkyTrain, SeaBus, Canada Line and West Coast Express travel. Tapping requirements for trips made by these services will still require tapping at the beginning and end of travel.

If you think your tapping skills may need some work or if you have  some Compass Card questions, don’t worry we got you covered.

As a part of our Compass public education program, staff will be out at stations later this month to support the switch to CVMs.

Staff will help customers learn how to use the new machines and understand the ins-and-outs of tapping as well as answer your questions and provide support. And don’t forget!

Who’s ready to get tapping?


UPDATE: Hi folks. In an effort to make these changes clearer, here’s the three things you’ll need to know about Compass and bus fares this fall and winter:

1. All buses are one zone fare.

2. If your trip includes rail and/or boat modes of travel (SkyTrain incl. Canada Line), SeaBus, West Coast Express) you will continue to pay for the zones you travel – the same as you do today.

3. While Compass cards continue to be distributed this fall/winter via terminals, having the card sent by mail, and at vendors etc., both the existing fare media (single ticket, transfers, FareCards etc.) and Compass Cards can be used on the entire transit system. Not until all the rail and boat mode stations are at a stage where they can close their gates will the use of non-Compass fare media be phased out.

I hope that makes things clearer. Let us know if it doesn’t. Here’s a link to the press release.

UPDATE: Cathy McLay, CFO & Executive Vice President, Finance and Corporate Services for TransLink, announces the latest updates to Compass Card and bus fares in Metro Vancouver

Author: Laura Tennant

You Keep Us Moving— Derek Zabel


As a Duty Manager at Coast Mountain Bus Company, Derek Zabel helps manage the day-to-day operations for CMBC.

Describing his job as air traffic control but for buses on the ground, he makes sure that service is prepared for whatever the day may bring.

Derek and his team communicate directly with Customer Relations to let riders know where buses are on the road.

Derek’s favourite part of the job?

He says it’s getting to work with so many different people and interacting with all of CMBC’s departments!

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the  #Transit125 or #YouMoveUs hash tags.

Author: Laura Tennant

Burnaby Village Museum Interurban Anniversary


B.C. Electric’s interurban train 1223 circa 1930. Image 204-375 courtesy of the City of Burnaby Archives.

Repost: Written by Jhenifer Pabillano and originally published September 18, 2012.

We’re very pleased to welcome Lisa Codd back to the blog. Lisa is the fantastic curator at the Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel. Readers of the blog will remember Lisa from her great help with the past posts on women in transit, interurbans and the history of the Pattullo Bridge.

A Century of Service: Four Metro Vancouver transit artifacts celebrate 100 years – by Lisa Codd

A century ago, in 1912, the B.C. Electric Railway Company placed an order with the St. Louis Car Company in St. Louis, Missouri to purchase 28 passenger cars for use in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions.

The BCER had been operating in this region since 1897, when it bought out a group of investors who owned streetcar lines in Vancouver and New Westminster, and an interurban line built in 1891 that connected the two cities. The BCER invested in expansion of the system, and by 1912, this region’s street railway was by far the largest in the country, with over 200 miles of track (Winnipeg was a distant second with 80 miles).

Up until 1912, the BCER had built their cars locally in a shop in New Westminster. But in 1912, they decided to purchase the cars rather than build them themselves, probably because their shop was not set up to build steel-framed cars, which provided more safety to passengers in the event of an accident.

The St. Louis Car Company was a major manufacturer of streetcars and interurban trams from 1887 to 1973. They built vehicles for some of the major transit systems in North America, including New York City and Chicago.

The cars entered service in 1913, and ran throughout the Lower Mainland for 45 years. In the 1950s, electric railway service was replaced by buses. The 1223 was retired from service in 1958. It was one of only ten B.C. Electric Railway cars that were saved from destruction. The 1223 became the property of the Burnaby Historical Society, who put it on display at Edmonds Loop. Today, the restored tram car is housed at the Burnaby Village Museum.

Sister cars to the 1223 include the 1225 owned by the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, the 1231 operated by the Transit Museum Society in Vancouver, and the 1220 are currently being restored by the Richmond Museum.

Joy is Riding the Bus and Helping Those in Need!

Joy Clapper and Bus Operator Glen Foster hold knitted items that will be donated to the Helping Hand charity

Joy Clapper and Bus Operator Glen Foster hold knitted items that will be donated to The Great Helping Hand charity


Wonderful friendships begin on transit. Just ask Joy Clapper and Glen Foster.

For years, 83 year-old Joy has been riding Glen’s C12 shuttle to Lions Bay. Making the trip every Friday morning, sometimes simply to take in the sights, she stays on the bus as it loops back through Horseshoe Bay.

But Joy doesn’t just sit and stare out the window, she knits. In fact, she’s always knitting. And it was her passion for this hobby that first compelled Glen to ask just how many hats she reckons she’s made over the years. When Joy responded that her hat making numbers totalled into the hundreds, Glen told her about the charity he volunteers for called The Great Helping Hand.

Started by fellow West Van Blue Bus operator David Rai, the charity came about after David was moved by the poverty he saw while driving buses in the Downtown Eastside. Initially making sandwiches with his wife to give to those in need, he eventually expanded and developed the Surrey-based charity to distribute food and clothing on a broader scale.

It’s safe to say that Glen’s story inspired Joy. Having always given her knitting away to friends and family, she started to pass on finished hats, scarves and the occasional baby blanket to Glen, who would then pass them on to David at The Great Helping Hand.

Pretty neat, huh? Glen drives, joy knits and the charity receives handmade garments to help those in need.

There’s more though. Through this giving, Glen and Joy have become great friends, a tight knit pair if you will.

Calling herself Glen’s “Horseshoe Bay mom”, the two sometimes go for lunch or grab a coffee when Glen’s not working. Joy has even met Glen’s family and loves to tune in and watch his daughter, Jennifer Foster, compete with the Canadian Show Jumping Team. Joy is particularly excited to watch when Jennifer competes in this upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janiero.

As a senior living alone in Lions Libby Lodge, Joy says she’s happy to see her knitting go to a good cause.

We are too.

Update! The Vancouver Sun recently ran an article about Joy and Glen’s charity work. You can check it out here

Author: Laura Tennant

Transit in the News — July 31

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or email us.Newspaper

Vix awarded AU$27m contract to build Malaysia transit ticketing system.

As an MP Chow was a passionate advocate for public transit.

Regional Transit Authority asks for public input at Rochester forum.

Atlanta Bus Journal calculates how much you could save by taking public transit in Atlanta.

Before buses Ohio’s public transit consisted of electric trains: Vintage Photos.

MARTA: misbehavior private concert on public transit.

Dubai Metro: mass transit done right.

Transportation amendment would help Iowa public transit advocates say.

Feds add financial fuel to future of Calgary’s public transit.

Grants to cut emissions encourage public transit.

Metrolinx rail bridge plan angers Davenport residents.

State under pressure to put rail services up for tender.

Milton fire crews battle blazes along CN rail line.

Bombardier denies report of rail merger with Siemens.

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or email us.

Author: Laura Tennant

Bus Operator Bronco Hyrman receives 100th commendation!


“Good evening folks, it’s 18 degrees and it looks like we’re in for a beautiful sunset!” This is something you might hear over the loudspeaker if Bronco Hyrman is behind the wheel.

A bus operator at Coast Mountain Bus Company for the last eight years, Bronco is known for his mini-news update when leaving a bus exchange. Often researching current events and weather before his evening shift (he drives highway routes between Bridgeport and Tsawwassen and White Rock), Bronco’s energy and personal pizazz has made him a passenger favourite. But don’t take it from me, here’s what a customer had to say:

“He greeted every single person that got on the bus with a smile and lots of energy. After such a long day coming from work, it was super sweet to a see a very positive individual make a change just by smiling and having a great attitude. He made me feel special and greeted every single person differently and thanked everyone when they got off! He made this bus ride a great experience for me and others and I really hope you let him know his work was greatly appreciated!”

Guess how many commendations like these Bronco has received? As of this May, he’s had 100!

But Bronco isn’t in it for the awards. He just wants to give his riders the best possible trip.

Here’s how he sees it:

“I like to make the drive pleasant, entertaining and make it a nice experience. I greet everybody. Shortly after I started driving I realized how we can affect people’s experience on the bus – we can make their day start or end on a good note.”

Recently, Bronco took some time to fill us in on what it’s like behind the wheel.

Q: Being on the front lines is a tough job. How do you stay so positive?

A: Knowing people appreciate what I do keeps me going. I used to perform onstage and feed off the environment. Seeing people in a good mood is a great reward. It’s worth it to put the effort in.

Q. What do you do when you come across people who are negative?

A. If customers are negative due to an issue with transit, I explain to everyone over the PA what the issue is. I see it through the passenger’s perspective. I believe in a human factor – show some empathy and you feel for them and know what they are going through.

If I see someone running for the bus I wait when I can and when it’s safe to do so. It isn’t always possible, but it gives us that human touch instead of calling everyone TransLink.

During our interview we also learned that in addition to English, Bronco speaks basic German, Russian and is fluent in Czech!

We should have asked him if he plans on giving news updates in all four languages during tourist season!

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Thanks for giving it your all, all of the time, Bronco!

Author: Laura Tennant

You Keep Us Moving — Carolyn



Our transit system is one of the largest in all of North America!

Carolyn is helping riders connect from point A to point B across 1,800 square kilometres as an operator with CMBC.

She is trained in everything from fares to air brakes; customer service to operating trolley buses.

Carolyn loves people and loves driving!

Her job is all about getting people where they need to go safely and efficiently.

You keep us moving. Thank you!

Join in the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #YouMoveUs and #transit125.


Author: Laura Tennant

Doug Allen on Voice of BC!

You may have heard, that come early August, our Interim CEO, Doug Allen will be leaving.

At this time our current CFO Cathy McLay will become Acting CEO as we continue our search for a permanent replacement.

With just a few weeks left until Doug bids us adieu, he joined Vaughn Palmer on “Voice of BC” to discuss his six-month stint at TransLink.

Chatting with Vaughn about the search for a new CEO, the transit plebiscite and TransLink governance, Doug spoke to a number of important transportation issues.

Growing transit and transportation needs in the Metro Vancouver were also apart of this conversation, as was the exploration of potential funding options.

All in all, the video gives you a good look at Doug Allen’s role over the past six-months at TransLink and his take on current transit matters!

Author: Laura Tennant

16th Avenue Corridor Study is Ready for Your Review!

16th Avenue Corridor

16th Avenue Corridor

The 16th Avenue corridor study through Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford has been completed!

In this study, all three municipalities as well as the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, ICBC and TransLink reviewed current and potential future plans for transportation along 16th Avenue.

Examining an area extending 29 km from Highway 99 in South Surrey to Marshal Road in Abbotsford, the study looked at current issues with the corridor, its primary functions as well as ways in which 16th Ave could be improved.

Now that the study is completed, your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Here’s how you can have your voice heard:

1)     Review the 16th Avenue Corridor Study here.

2)    Complete the survey and tell us what you think!

The survey will only be available until Monday, July 27.  Don’t miss your opportunity to participate!

Author: Laura Tennant

Extra Transit Service to Get You to the Celebration of Light!


Celebration of Light fireworks

Celebration of Light fireworks!

Heading to the Honda Celebration of Light this Saturday? There’s extra transit service scheduled for this weekend’s event as well as for the fireworks on July 29 and August 1st!

To get you to the fireworks at English Bay in the safest and most convenient fashion, the following additional bus and train service has been added:

Bus service will be extended to accommodate increased customer demand. Transit supervisors will monitor service and deploy additional buses as needed. Some buses will be detoured, including, but not limited to, the C21, C23, 5, 6, and 22 routes. The 250, 250A and 257 buses will also see additional service before and after the events.

SkyTrain Expo/Millennium/Canada Lines will run additional trains beginning mid-afternoon, lasting well past the event end. The last train on the Expo/Millennium Line will leave Waterfront for King George at 1:16 a.m. The last Canada Line train will leave Waterfront for Richmond-Brighouse at 1:15 a.m.

To avoid lineups at ticket vending machines after the events, SkyTrain customers can pre-purchase return tickets at King George, Scott Road, Granville, Burrard, Bridgeport, Yaletown-Roundhouse and Vancouver City Centre stations. These fareboxes only accept exact cash and tickets are valid until the close of service.

SeaBus will provide extra and extended service for each of the Celebration of Light events.

  • July 25: service every 10 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.; every 15 minutes until 11:30 p.m.; and every 30 minutes after 11:30 p.m. until the last sailing at 1:22 a.m. from the South Terminal.
  • July 29 and August 1: service every 15 minutes until 11:30 p.m. and then every 30 minutes until the last departure from the South Terminal at 1:22 a.m.

West Coast Express will offer a special train on August 1 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m., arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15 p.m. The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City approximately 1:15 a.m.

Before, during and after the events SkyTrain stations will remain open, but some will have modified access to ensure customer comfort and safety. Passengers will not be permitted to board SkyTrain with bikes after the events until crowds are clear.

  • Waterfront Station: After 10:30 p.m., all Canada Line and SeaBus customers, and Expo and Millennium line customers who need an elevator, can access the Waterfront Station through the Cordova Street entrance. Expo and Millennium line customers who do not require an elevator may only access the station from the Howe Street entrance, north of Cordova. The Granville and Hastings entrance will remain fully accessible for Canada Line customers.
  • Granville Station: Customers can enter the station from Dunsmuir Street only, after 10:30 p.m. Also, there will be no access to Expo and Millennium trains heading towards Waterfront Station after this time.
  • Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance from 9:00 p.m. onwards, until the expected crowds have cleared. There will be no customer access to Expo and Millennium trains towards Waterfront Station after 10:30 p.m.

TravelSmart continues to sponsor BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer cyclists free, secure temporary bike storage at all three Celebration of Light events. If you plan on enjoying the festivities, you can valet your bike at Sunset Beach on the grass next to the roller sports rink from 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Make sure to keep these service changes in mind when planning your route to the fireworks!

Service adjustments for other summertime events can be viewed here.

For transit service information including bus re-routes during the Celebration of Light, sign up for Transit Alerts, follow us @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Laura Tennant



The Low Down on Sea Island’s $5 return AddFare

A ticket vending machine on the Canada Line.

A ticket vending machine on the Canada Line.

Whether you are returning to Vancouver from the YVR Airport or the New McArthur Glen Shopping Centre this weekend, don’t forget about the $5 AddFare!

The AddFare is nothing new, but if you’ve never travelled from any of the three stations on Sea Island before, the extra $5 fare may come as a surprise.

Since January 2010, the AddFare has been in place to bridge the $55 million gap in funding for the Canada Line Construction.

Determined as the best funding option with the least impact on transit growth in the region, this AddFare was a part of the agreement with the Airport Authority who contributed $300 million towards construction of the Canada Line.

The Airport Authority actually owns all three stations on Sea Island (YVR-Airport, Sea Island Centre and Templeton) with travel between these stations being free for all passengers.

And although the free ride was originally intended for YVR staff to travel between the three stations, now that the shopping centre is open, more passengers are able to take advantage of the free ride between Sea Island stops.

When is the $5 AddFare required?

Although travel is free between the three Airport Authority Stations, if you are heading to Bridgeport and beyond, the $5 AddFare is required (in addition to your regular fare) if you are starting your trip from Sea Island.

It is important to note that the YVR AddFare only applies to passengers buying fares from the ticket vending machines at YVR Airport, Sea Island Centre and Templeton station.

However, this will change when Compass is launched to the general public. At that time those with Stored Value (Compass version of FareSavers) will be charged the $5 AddFare when they tap in at one of the three Sea Island stations and tap out at Bridgeport Station or beyond.

Who’s exempt from the AddFare?

Riders with a Monthly Pass, DayPass, FareSavers, WCE Fare, U-Pass and BC Bus Pass are exempt from the AddFare. Sea Island residents and YVR employees are also not required to pay the additional fare.

Also, if you a purchase a ticket before travelling to one of Airport Authority stations, and return within the 90-minute fare expiry window, then you are also off the hook for AddFare.

If you are still uncertain whether your trip will cost you an extra $5, there is information about the AddFare posted at the three Airport Authority stations.

You can also check out TransLink’s online Trip Planner! All travel shown on this site includes the  AddFare fee in trips leaving Sea Island stations.

Author: Laura Tennant



Sign-up 101: How operators choose their work

Have you ever wondered how Transit Operators pick their bus routes? With six transit centres and 157 conventional bus routes to choose from – how could one pick?

I had the opportunity to visit the Vancouver Transit Centre (VTC) during a local sign-up to find out more about how depot staff, union reps and operators work together to assign operators to specific routes.

How does it work?

Four times a year (April, June, September and December) service level or sheet changes occur. At this time, adjustments are made to routes and schedules to ensure we continue to provide reliable, efficient and safe transit service to get our customers where they need to go. These schedule changes can be either permanent or seasonal depending on the route.

Once the schedules have been determined, operators then sign up for routes. Sign-ups occur about three weeks before a new sheet is in effect. There are two types of sign-ups. A local sign-up allows operators to sign for work in their own depot and a consolidated sign-up  (occurs once a year) gives operators the opportunity to choose work at any depot.

The consolidated sign-up lasts for four weeks with sign up dates being determined by seniority. During this process, operators choose the depot they want to work at as well as their weekday, weekend, and holiday shifts. Operators can opt to sign up for regular work or can choose to be on the spare board in which they receive work assignments on a day-to-day basis.

Who does what?

Depot Coordinators, given leave from their regular duties, ensure correct operator data is entered into the system—they are instrumental to ensuring a smooth sign up!

Bus operators, with the help of an online sign-up planner, can review new routes, availability as well as ensure that they select work that is compliant with the Safety Code limits on driving hours, overtime, rest time and more.

Unifor representatives and depot staff then double and triple check work selections to avoid mistakes.

Depot Coordinator, Rita Barha says “I’ve worked in different areas in the depot and even after 10 years, there is always something new that you haven’t seen before.” She says “I learn something new every day”.

Why paper?

In the age of apps, smartphones and real-time updates, it seems that paper would be the way of the past.

However, for CMBC, the operator sign-up process is so complex that a significant business technology project will be required for automation. Also, training for all of our staff will be needed to ensure the transition from paper to online is seamless.

The move to automation is important for CMBC. Although preliminary discussions are underway to transition to online sign up in the future, with the number of current projects on the go such as Compass, we’re waiting for the resources and time to develop the sophisticated software to meet our needs.

Want to know more about the service our operators who sign up for work provide? Read more about our seasonal service changes here!

Guest post by Jessica Hewitt, Internal Communications Advisor at Coast Mountain Bus Company.