Translink Buzzer Blog

I Love Transit Week 2016 is coming! Register for kids camp!

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transit_camp_2015The week we’ve all been waiting for is almost here! I Love Transit Week is taking place from August 29 to September 2, 2016.

This is a week dedicated to all of the things that we love about Transit – like that time Jarred and Nina tied the knot on the bus or when Annie and Mike got married on the 351 Crescent Beach!

We’ve also celebrated transit through poetry, LEGO, and more!

This year, we have a bus load of fun transit love to share with you, but first we’re excited to announce that I Love Transit Kids Camp is back for its third straight year!

 

Kids! Join us for I Love Transit Camp!

I Love Transit Camp is a once in a lifetime opportunity for kids between the ages of 8 and 12 to get a behind the scenes look at TransLink operating companies’ facilities.

Kids will learn about how transit works and have some fun at the same time! Check out all the fun that was had in 2014 & 2015.

This year’s camp is taking place on Thursday September 1st.

The plan

Meet at Gilmore Station for 9 a.m. then hop on a bus and ride to Burnaby Transit Centre (BTC)!

BTC is home to little known transit operations such as fleet overhaul, where they fix and update almost everything on a bus, including the painting of buses and reupholstering of seats.

We’ll also get a tour of the bus yard with articulated and 40-foot buses!

After that, we’ll have a little lunch then say goodbye to BTC.

Next, we’ll hop on SkyTrain and head to Edmonds Station and walk down to where SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre (OMC) live.

At OMC, campers will get a behind the scenes look at the facility where SkyTrains are maintained and cleaned as well as visit SkyTrain Control! They will also get a chance to use the SkyTrain simulator, ask questions of SkyTrain staff.

Finally, a visit with Transit Police and Transit Security to tell us all about everything they do. I’m told they’ll be bringing their vehicles and a special guest if we are lucky!

We’ll wrap the day up around 4 p.m.

Throughout the day we’ll be taking breaks for fun games and more!

How to take part

Due to safety concerns for both OMC and BTC, we’re only able to take a maximum of 20 people in the camp. That means 10 kids (ages 8-12) and their guardians will be able to participate in the camp.

Interested in a fun day on transit? If you’d like to participate, we’ll need potential transit campers to tell us (in 50 words or less) what they love about transit!

If you like, you can also submit a photo and/or a video as part of your entry. Before you or your little one starts typing or writing, you’ll want to read the participation guidelines.

Send your submissions to thebuzzer@translink.ca with “I Love Transit Camp Kids” in the subject field, or you can mail it to The Buzzer, 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC, V3L 0E7.
Be sure to include the following:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Where you heard about the camp
  • The phone number and name of the guardian you wish to bring with you

The deadline for submissions is August 22.
If you are selected, participation forms are due BEFORE August 26.

Looking for some inspiration for your submission? Check out some past successful applications.

We’re looking forward to learning about why you love transit and to seeing you at camp!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Update: Check out our awesome pics from the 2016 I Love Transit camp!

The Buzzer Birthday Giveaway!!

Robert Buzzer

You may have heard that The Buzzer is celebrating it’s 100th Anniversary!

To honour this momentous occasion, we want YOU, our biggest Buzzer supporters to share a #Selfie and/or your favourite Buzzer memory on your social (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) channels with the hashtag #BUZZER100.

Entrants are allowed one entry, per channel, per day for a chance to win a Monthly Pass loaded on your Compass Card!

Buzzer100 selfie 3 edit

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Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 10th, 2016 and we’ll randomly select a winner on June 14th, 2016. Make sure to check out the contest terms and conditions for all the details on the contest.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

It’s Bike to Work Week! May 30 – June 5, 2016

Bike to work week

HUB Bike to Work Week starts today – May 30th, 2016, and it couldn’t be a better day to dust off the old bicycle and pedal your way in to work.

Not only is it fun, but it’s easy to participate in Bike to Work Week! All you have to do is:

  1. Register yourself here, and either ride solo, or join a team
  2. Log your trips online to be eligible for some awesome prizes!

Did you know that the entire fleet of CMBC buses are equipped with bus bike racks?! If your commute seems to daunting to tackle on two wheels alone, why not integrate a mode of transit for part of your trip!

Never used a bus bike rack before? No worries! They’re super simple to use, even for a newbie! Check out our Facebook live demo below, our YouTube channel, or you can try for yourself our bus bike rack demo located in North Vancouver between City Hall and the library in Civic Plaza.

 

Don’t forget these useful tips when using a bus bike rack:

 

  • Before the bus arrives, remove loose items such as water bottles, pumps, and panniers.
  • Tell the driver you want to load your bike, and then lower the bike rack by pulling on the handle.
  • Lift your bike onto the rack. If no other bike is on the rack, place your bike in the slot closest to the bus.
  • Lift the support arm up and over the front tire. On newer racks you might have to push the black button at the end of the support arm in order to release the ratchet mechanism.
  • Sit at the front of the bus and keep an eye on your bike.
  • When leaving the bus, please tell the driver that you need to remove your bike. Exit from the front door.
  • Remove your bike and raise the rack to the upright position if it’s empty.
  • Slip-covers are recommended for folding bikes.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

#ThankYou100K: Celebrating 100,000 followers with a contest!

ThankYou100KWe’ve been celebrating a lot here at TransLink! There was 40,000 followers on Twitter, then 50,000 of you following us and now you’ve helped us reach a monumental 100,000 Twitter followers!

The @TransLink Twitter account started way back in February of 2010 during the Winter Olympics, providing riders with breaking news and key service updates.

In November of 2010 we launched a one-month pilot project in an effort to better serve our customers. It was extended multiple times before becoming a permanent service in February 2011!

In fact, our Customer Information team is in such high demand, on March 14th of this year, we extended our Customer Information service hours on Twitter from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days a week to:

Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

to answer all your service-related questions and provide service updates, tips, and information to all 100,000+ of you!

Contest time!

To celebrate this excellent milestone, we’re having a giveaway (Prizing to be announced soon!) To enter, simply follow @TransLink and retweet one of the following tweets from our Twitter team:

 

Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 1st, 2016 and we’ll randomly select a winner on June 2nd, 2016. Make sure to check out the contest terms and conditions for all the details on the contest.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

It’s time to talk about transit fares

Regular blog readers have been asking about this for years and we’re super excited to announce we’re looking at our transit fares again!

Over the years, the transit system in Metro Vancouver has grown into a diverse and expansive network that now provides nearly one million rides every day. But since 1984, one thing hasn’t changed much.

With the rollout of Compass, we now have new tools to create a fare system that provides a better customer experience.

What do you like about the current fare system? What would you change? As part of the first of four phases in the TransLink Transit Fare review, we want to hear what’s important to you.

As you know, our current fare system is made up of six core components that determine how much you pay to use transit in Metro Vancouver.

  • Distance travelled
  • Transit service
  • Time of travel
  • Fare product
  • Customer group
  • Journey time

In the Fare Review, everything is on table — don’t take anything for granted and get ready to share your opinions.

Take the survey between May 24 and June 30, 2016 at translink.ca/farereview and have your say on how to improve the transit fare system.

History of Fare Systems

As noted in our 125 Years of Transit series, Vancouver’s first public transit vehicle was an electric streetcar that rolled down Main Street for the first time in 1890. Soon, it was transporting Vancouver’s early residents and visitors along nine kilometres of track throughout the city. A few months later, an expansion line was opened to New Westminster.

From its earliest days, public transit in Metro Vancouver has focused on crossing municipal boundaries to connect the region. After nearly 100 years of experimenting with zones and boundaries, in 1984 a three-zone fare structure similar to the one we have today was created. From one flat fare for all trips to over 100 fares to choose from, our transit system has tried it all.

1958: 100 Fare options

1958: An 11- zone system is introduced with 100 different fare options based on where your trip starts and ends

1958: An 11- zone system is introduced with 100 different fare options based on where your trip starts and ends

Read more »

Pattullo Bridge upcoming Thursday night closure

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Definitely not a shot taken from the SkyTrain.

As part of the ongoing rehabilitation project, the Pattullo Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic (the sidewalk will remain open for cyclists and pedestrians) overnight starting from 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 to 5 a.m. on Friday, May 13, weather dependent.

We encourage drivers to plan alternate routes to cross the Fraser River during this overnight closure. Transit customers planning on crossing the Fraser River should plan on longer travel times on the N19 NightBus which will re-route via the Alex Fraser and Queensborough bridges.

Drivers are reminded that when the bridge is open, the speed limit is 30 km/h. This ensures the safety of workers and all users of the bridge.

The Pattullo Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the region. Comprehensive deck rehabilitation work is needed to maintain road safety and bridge functionality. TransLink thanks everyone for their patience while we do this important work.

For additional information on the Pattullo Bridge, including travel resources and upcoming closures customers can:

 

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Then and Now: 30 years of Expo

Expo 86

It was 30 years ago…

May 2nd marks the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek. North America’s largest World’s Fair was a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy, notably, Metro Vancouver’s first Rapid Transit SkyTrain – the Expo Line, built for and named in anticipation of the fair. SkyTrain debuted as the first and one of the longest, fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world

“Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch” coincided with Vancouver’s centennial celebration and was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

expo prince and princess

Prince Charles and Princess Diana riding the Expo Line in 1986

 

Charles and Di

The Royal Couple

A lot has changed in 30 years, and we’ve summarized some fun facts below about SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, and BC in general.

  1986 2016
Main line track (km) 21 58
Stations 15 33
Annual boardings (millions) 20 (1987) 80
Fleet (cars) 114 258 (+28 by mid-2016)
One-zone cash fare (at Jan 1) $1.15 $2.75
Metro Vancouver population 1.38 million (census) 2.54 million (BC Stats projection)
Detached home price $130,800 $1,816,487
Minimum Wage (per hour) $3.65 $10.45
Expo 1986

Can you spot the station?

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Do you remember these tickets?

expo 86

The very first Ticket Vending Machines

Do you have an Expo ’86 memory you’d like to share? Did you take SkyTrain when it first launched?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink is going LIVE! Facebook Live!

Facebook Live

Today is an exciting day for the TransLink Social Media team, as we will be streaming LIVE for the first time from Facebook at 2:00pm PST. For our inaugural stream, we will be doing a demo of how to take your bike on the bus! After all, Bike to Work week is coming soon!

Make sure to tune in and learn how you can take advantage of the great weather we’ve been having in the Metro Vancouver area, and perhaps make your commute multi-modal!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

UPDATE: Here’s the recording of our first Facebook Live!

Earth Day 2016 – Doing our part for the earth

Earth Day

Earth Day takes place annually on April 22, and is celebrated globally with the goal of encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly. The TransLink family takes sustainability seriously and works hard daily to protect the environment!

Here are a few examples of environmentally-focused projects from across the TransLink enterprise in 2015. 

Cutting back on washing to save water

In 2015 we all saw a record breaking long, hot and dry summer. When the region experienced water shortages we voluntarily suspended our regular exterior bus washing and exterior SkyTrain washing at the end of each service day, despite the fact that our bus wash system uses reclaimed water for the majority of the wash cycle.

To give you an idea of how much water was conserved, at Vancouver Transit Centre (CMBC’s biggest bus depot), they saved 30,000 litres each day! Across the bus network, we saved a total of 5.7 million litres of water from July to September. If there is another shortage this year, we will happily do our part to conserve.

Driving the benefits of compressed natural gas

CMBC started operating 31 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in 2015. The quieter CNG buses – with reduced carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs – replaced 45 diesel buses that were retired from operation at the end of their service life. The New Flyer Xcelesior buses started on routes in the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody) and operate out of the Port Coquitlam Transit Centre, which is equipped with CNG refueling stations.

Going platinum

Last year, TransLink moved up from gold and became the first Canadian transit organization to gain platinum level status for sustainability from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Since 2010, 58 separate projects reduced waste by nine per cent, water use by 10 per cent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent in its facilities. The bus fleet alone has had a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. CMBC also reduced energy consumption by more than seven per cent. 

How are you going to celebrate? You could turn an eye to increasing the amount you recycle, volunteer for a local green project or install a rain water collection system at your home.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink’s family of companies and unions raise over $275,000 for a second year in a row

United Way of the Lower Mainland

Photo: (Left to right) David Black (MoveUP – COPE local 378), Kathy Pereira (CMBC), Brenda Aynsley (United Way), Cathy McLay (TransLink) and Kevin Desmond (TransLink).

Thanks again to the hard work and dedication of employees in the TransLink family, for the second year in a row, our donation to United Way of the Lower Mainland exceeded $275,000!

“I am extremely proud of the commitment employees across the TransLink enterprise display to our United Way campaigns each year. We have been strong supporters of United Way for many years because they have the ability to help the people who live in the communities we serve,” said Cathy McLay, CFO and EVP, Finance and Corporate Services, Translink.

Employees from TransLink, B.C. Rapid Transit Company, Coast Mountain Bus Company, Transit Police, MoveUP (COPE local 378), CUPE 4500, CUPE 7000, Unifor 111, and Unifor 2200 contributed their time and generously donated to support United Way’s programs and services.

“United Way works with over 150 community partners and builds strong relationships with government and social services to deliver programs, help people understand issues and create change. These are initiatives our union and members support,” added David Black, President, MoveUP (COPE local 378).

For more information on how contributions to United Way are helping make a difference in the lives of so many in our community, visit United Way of the Lower Mainland online.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

2016 Holiday Transit Service for Good Friday & Easter Monday

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The social team will be back on Tuesday!

Easter weekend is upon us!

Tomorrow is Good Friday and that means transit will be running on Sunday/Holiday service for bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus, West Coast will not be running.

Don’t forget! Friday is a statutory holiday so you only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!

Monday, March 28, 2015, is Easter Monday.

That means bus service will be operating on a modified weekday schedule and regular fares apply.

However, there’s reduced AM and PM peak period service for SkyTrain. SeaBus will operate regular weekday schedules. West Coast Express will be running trains W1, W3 and W5 westbound and E1, E3 and E5 eastbound. TrainBus will operate its regular weekday schedule.

More information can be found on our Holiday Services page.

The social team will also be off for the long weekend, returning on Tuesday, March 29th.

Have a safe and hoppy Easter weekend everyone!

Know before you go!

Use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times prior to leaving. Customer Information can be reached at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

Are you planning on taking transit to an Easter event this weekend?
Comment below and let us know where you’re headed!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Transit in the News— August 21, 2015

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

Newspaper

Go Hillsborough puts one-cent transportation sales tax back in play.

D.C. students will be riding Metro for free this year.

NJ Transit Bus Terminal Tombstone Mystery Solved.

Edmonton Transit’s ‘Cool Bus’ Video is Hippest Ad for the Bus Ever.

Edmonton Transit Campaign Uses Blunt Posters To Fight Harassment.

Mayor hires transit expert to oversee rail project.

New proposal rule to create Public Transportation Safety Program.

GO Transit to boost train, bus service in September.

Pressure on Access Transit grows in Saskatoon.

 If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Transit in the News— August 14, 2015

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

Newspaper

Washington Metro boosts video surveillance on buses to fight assaults on drivers.

Quick thinking MBTA worker hailed as hero for using bus to slow car with unconscious driver.

Dump truck crashes and dangles from 1-80 bridge over NJ transit Line.

New transit world coming with Compass Card.

Entrepreneurs want to build transit pods to ease traffic .

Amazon looks to mass transit for package pickup.

Halifax transit bus to become a weekly mobile food market.

Calgary transit worker rescues escaped lovebird.

Trip times a deterrent to public transit.

Federal administration seeks new mass transit safety role.

MGM National Harbour changes stance on transit; will allow Metro buses on site.

GO Transit Delays: Daystarter Traffic.

Calgary Transit riders sweltering in hot Ctrain cars pumping in heat during heat wave.

 If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

5 Transit trips to make this weekend

Cambie and Broadway

The forecast is in, and it’s looking like grey sky and rain for this weekend. Don’t let the gloomy weather stop you from getting out and enjoying all that Metro Vancouver has to offer. Here’s a quick list of five fun transit accessible activities to get you out of the house.

1. TravelSmart to the Art – Show your validated TransLink fare and receive a discounted admission to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

2. Dine Out Vancouver Festival – Check out Canada’s largest food and drink festival. With over 277 restaurants participating, there’s something for everyone with many restaurants located on, or just off the SkyTrain line!

3. Ice Skate at Robson Square – This free (fee for skate & helmet rental if required) activity is located just steps away from Expo/Millennium and Canada Line stations. Psst! Robson Square is also steps away from the Vancouver Art Gallery! Why not make a day of it by doing both!?

4. Gluten Free Expo – Located at the Vancouver Convention Centre East, just steps from Waterfront Station (terminus for the SeaBus, West Coast Express, Expo/Millennium, and Canada Lines) this event is the perfect opportunity to discover, sample, and save on hundreds of gluten free products.

5. Hot Chocolate Festival – Get your chocolate fix at the 5th annual Hot Chocolate Festival. Twenty-four different venues and 57 different flavours! Check out the website for a walking map to assist you in getting around.

Know before you go!

Use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times prior to leaving. The information noted here is subject to change. For the latest and most up-to-date information, bookmark translink.ca on your mobile device so you can know on the go. Customer Information can be reached at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

Are you planning on taking transit to an event this weekend? Comment below and let us know where you’re headed!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TravelSmart to the Art! January 12 – February 13, 2015

TravelSmart to the Art photo

Vancouver has no shortage of diverse events and activities to experience at any given time. Now, thanks to a partnership between Travel Smart and the Vancouver Art Gallery you can TravelSmart to the Art to your event calendar!

By taking any mode of public transit to the Vancouver Art Gallery between January 12 – February 13, 2015, you will receive a discounted Gallery admission ticket and a beautiful, limited edition Emily Carr poster!

To take advantage of this offer, show your validated TransLink single fare transfer, FareSaver, Monthly Pass or Compass Card at the Gallery ticket desk to receive your discounted ticket. Discount is tiered depending on which fare media was used to travel.

Regular Fare Tickets: The discount amount will be equal to the exact the cost of the customer’s transit ticket (1 zone – $2.75, 2 zone – $4, 3 zone – $5.50).
DayPass: $5.50 off admission.
Monthly Pass/Compass Card: $3 off admission.
West Coast Express tickets: $3 off admission.

How to get to the Vancouver Art Gallery?

SkyTrain:

  • Take the Canada Line to Vancouver City Centre Station
  • Take the Millennium or Expo lines to Granville Station

Bus:

  • Take the 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 16, 50, 240, 241, 242, 246, 247, 250, 253, 254 or the 257 to the bus stop at Howe and Georgia.

For more information check out the TravelSmart Blog, and follow on Twitter & Facebook  

 

How will you TravelSmart to the Art? Leave a comment below telling us how you’ll get to the VAG.

Author: Sarah Kertcher