It’s birthday time here at TransLink. Yup, it was 15 years ago this month that TransLink was formed as a multi-tiered governance structure responsible for a fully integrated transportation system across land, rail and sea!
At lot has happened over these 15 years and below are 15 interesting facts you may not know about your transit authority of Greater Vancouver.
1) At its founding, TransLink was unique among North American transportation agencies by being responsible for a fully integrated transportation system across land, rail and sea.
As the first North American transportation authority responsible for both roads and transit, TransLink is responsible for 2,400 lane kilometres of the major road network and five bridges (Pattullo, Knight, Westham Island, Golden Ears, and the Canada Line bike and pedestrian bridge).
2) Since 1999, the numbers of people using our transit network has grown dramatically – annual passenger trips have increased by 127 million. In context, the population of Metro Vancouver grew by 15 per cent while passenger trips increased by 56 per cent during the same period.
3) People board our buses, trains and ferries about 1.2 million times each weekday, making a total of 970,000 trips each day.
4) Geographically, we cover the huge region that is Metro Vancouver – there are over 2,800 square kilometers in TransLink’s service region! Our transit network includes more than 8,200 bus stops, 200 bus routes, 57 SkyTrain Stations and eight West Coast Express Stations.
5) Our buses, trains and ferries stay busy moving our customers – to work, school, medical centres, friends and family. Our transit fleet provides approximately seven million service hours in a year, and our vehicles travel about 167 million service kilometres per year.
6) Our rapid transit system was the first fully automated, driverless and unattended rail system in the world. When the Expo Line was completed in 1986, it became the longest automated driverless system globally, a title only recently surpassed by Dubai in 2011.
7) Our bridges help move goods and people across the region. Over 300,000 crossings of trucks, cars and buses cross the Fraser River on TransLink bridges each day.
8) Since 1999, TransLink has added 1,168 new conventional buses, 148 new SkyTrain vehicles, 17 West Coast Express trains and one SeaBus to make space for our growing numbers of riders. Our current fleet consists of 1,900 buses, 300 SkyTrain cars, 50 West Coast Express trains and 3 SeaBuses.
9) Since TransLink’s inception, we have expanded all modes in our transportation network. To name just a few, we have added the Millennium and Canada rapid transit lines, built the Golden Ears Bridge, launched the 24-kilometre Central Valley Greenway, and funded construction of the Coast Meridian Overpass in Port Coquitlam.
10) The TransLink logo landed at its current form in 2007, reflecting TransLink’s evolution. At inception, the logo included a reference to the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, TransLink’s original name, but was simplified when TransLink officially became the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority in 2007.
11) We manage a complex transportation network, with assets worth more than $11 billion – including roads, bridges, tracks, guideways, trolley wires, stations, vehicles and bus depots.
12) Our AA credit rating has enabled TransLink to raise $900 million from longer-term investors. These funds allow us to invest in the assets and infrastructure of the transportation system we operate. This includes buses, SkyTrain vehicles, road and bridge improvements, and many more physical assets and system upgrades which help us provide a safe and reliable transportation system for Metro Vancouver.
13) We introduced the U-Pass BC program in 2003 to 58,000 students. The popularity of the program grew from there and today 125,000 students are enrolled in the U-Pass BC Program.
14) The Buzzer blog was one of North America’s first transit agency blogs. Every month there are an average of between 15 – 35 000 page views!
15) On the social side, TransLink has over 43,000 Twitter followers, and nearly 10,000 Facebook followers. We work hard to deliver a world-class customer experience throughout our entire system, and our Customer Service Charter is our promise of quality service. We’re committed to giving our customers a service that is efficient, safe, reliable and comfortable.
Wanna know more about the last 15 years of transit and goods movement in Greater Vancouver? Take a read of our press release and follow the link to The Road Less Traveled, a look at TransLink’s journey from 1999 to 2008. We also included a short look back at the last 15 years in the March 2014 print Buzzer.