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Translink Buzzer Blog

SeaBus 40th Birthday Kick off

Some celebrate their birthday over the course of a day, or even a week but here on The Buzzer Blog, we’re kicking off June with the start of a month long celebration for the SeaBus’ upcoming birthday. On June 17th, the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was first named) turns the big Four-O! That’s right, four decades of SeaBus service through the Burrard Inlet between North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver.

To celebrate fabulous fourty, let’s throw it back to this amazing retro rarely before seen video from the archives!

Or take a more recent trip on the Burrard Otter II with SeaBus Captain Marvin Warnock!

Whether you rode the SeaBus way back then, or ride it today, we want to hear from you! Help us celebrate the berth of SeaBus by sharing your memories, new and old!

Share your SeaBus photos or stories, write a poem, draw a picture, or sing a song! It’s up to you, but if you share it on social media make sure to tag TransLink and use the hashtag #SeaBus40.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Take the Commuter Challenge from June 4 – 10 and be less driven!

Commuter Challenge
First we had the Rush Hour Challenge, followed by Spring Bike To Work Week.

Now, it’s time to continue the sustainable transportation celebration with the Commuter Challenge!

What is the Commuter Challenge?

The Commuter Challenge is a week-long event held in conjunction with Canadian Environment Week, June 4–10, 2017.

This fun and friendly competition challenges Canadian cities and workplaces to leave their cars at home in favour of walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit and telecommuting.

Commuter Challenge BCHow to register

1. Register for the Commuter Challenge as an individual (or join an existing workplace team), workplace, or region.
2. Walk, cycle, carpool, take transit or telecommute during the event week (June 4 – 10).
3. You log your commutes online and watch your impacts add up!
4. Share your progress on social media using the hashtag #CommuterChallenge.

Join the multi-modal movement and celebrate, compete and win some great prizes while boosting both your physical and mental health!

Looking for additional multi-modal fun from May 29 – June 8? Take part in the City of North Vancouver Walk-Bike-Bus Scavenger Hunt! Check out the City of North Vancouver website for full details, and to download the passport.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

#MyTransLink – May 30, 2017

Welcome back to another week of #MyTransLink, a reader curated photo series featuring on-the-go transit shots from around Metro Vancouver. This week captures summer making it’s appearance around the region! Cityscapes, blue sky’s and sunsets on the horizon are just some of what you found interesting on and around the system this week. Check out all the snap happy shots below!

Dont know what to caption this… #photography #like4like #skytrain #vancity #mytranslink

A post shared by Francesca Ibay (@pinkypieeater) on

. . . . #seabus #sonya6000 #sonyalpha #silhouette #vancouverisawesome

A post shared by Paul H. Paulino (@paulhpaulino) on

Welcome home. #NewWestminster #skytrain #bridge #landscape #cityscape #mytranslink

A post shared by Cliff Blank (@cliffblank) on

Once again, thanks to all of our latest transit photographers for snapping and sharing your shots with us! Keep them coming!

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

Author: Sarah Kertcher

 

Westham Island Bridge repair work starting Monday, May 29, 2017

Westham Island Bridge

**UPDATE** June 1, 2017 – The repair work on Westham Island Bridge that was scheduled for between May 29 – June 23 has been deferred until fall 2017.

**UPDATE** May 30, 2017 – Construction work has been postponed until further notice. Please stay tuned for updates! 

We’re doing repairs to one of TransLink’s oldest assets, and possibly the Lower Mainland’s oldest car bridge, the Westham Island Bridge.

The 107-year-old swing bridge officially opened on March 29, 1910, and is the oldest of the five bridges TransLink owns and operates! This bridge is also the narrowest TransLink bridge and one of few remaining bridges containing wood components in Metro Vancouver.

This historic bridge connects Westham Island to the rest of Delta “closing” routinely to vehicle traffic when marine traffic passes underneath.

Beginning May 29th, and continuing for approximately 10 weekdays, the Westham Island Bridge will require no more than two brief closures per day of up to 30 minutes at a timebetween 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m while construction crews work on the underside of the bridge. Information about the closures will be posted on roadside signage a day in advance.

To minimize disruptions, the closures will be similar to the stoppages that occur when the swing span opens for marine traffic.

Customers planning to use the Westham Island Bridge should allow 30 minutes of additional travel time to accommodate the work.

We understand the bridge is the only crossing to the island and we thank our customers for your patience while we do this important work to ensure the bridge remains safe and in a state of good repair.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Victoria Day Holiday Service

customer alert skytrain

Monday, May 22nd is Victoria Day, better known as the May Long Weekend, May Long, May Two-Four, or May Run (really?!) – a Canadian public holiday in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday.

So, what’s this mean for transit users?

This means we’re bringing you holiday service!

SkyTrain, Bus, and SeaBus services will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule.

Expo Line passengers should allow for 15-20 minutes extra travel time. Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.

West Coast Express service will not operate.

The Compass Customer Service Centre and Lost Property Office will be closed.

Holiday fares will be in effect, which means a one-zone fare will get you to your destination regardless of zones!

Regular week day service returns for all modes on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

Know before you go!

Use our handy 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.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink on the Move: Transportation Improvements

TransLink on the Move Transportation Improvements

Today wraps up our TransLink on the Move series. Over the past five weeks we’ve shared bite sized pieces from our 2016 Annual Report – Mark III SkyTrains, Evergreen Extension Stations, Ridership numbers, Compass, and now Transportation Investment.

You’ve likely heard about The Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year-Vision. Implementing this plan was the first step towards bringing Metro Vancouver the biggest transportation expansion in nearly a decade. With $2 Billion invested in transportation services, Phase One of the plan addresses some of our biggest rider complaints and aims to both reduce overcrowding on our transit system and ease congestion on our roadways. But there’s more to Phase One than new transit services and improvements. This first phase has additional region-wide impacts to alternative travel modes like cycling and walking paths, that brings real improvements to the way Metro Vancouver residents travel.

The next 10 years promise big things for transportation in Metro Vancouver and we hope you come along for the the ride.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink on the Move: Compass points the way

TransLink on the Move Fare gates

TransLink on the Move is back again with more info unpacked from the 2016 Annual Report. It’s amazing the changes a year can bring! Today, May 8th marks one year and one month since the full closure of all fare gates at SeaBus and SkyTrain Stations across the system. With Compass in full operation we now have 463 fare gates closed, including the recently opened, or rather closed, permanent Compass fare gates at Metrotown Station!

In year one, Compass celebrated 1 Million active Compass Cards on the system, as well as full integration into our two secure bike parkades! One card loaded with Stored Value gets transit travel and bike parking all in one!

You asked, we listened! Earlier this year, due in part to overwhelming customer demand, we lowered the minimum Stored Value requirement on your Adult Compass Card from $10 to $5, making transit more accessible to more customers.

And that’s not all on the Compass front! Our recent partnership with United Way Lower Mainland brought five Compass Donation Kiosks to SkyTrain Stations across Vancouver giving customers the ability to donate their unregistered Compass Cards to a great cause.
Year one has been chock-full of great Compass News, and we’re excited to see where the future of Compass takes us!
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

Ridership is on the rise: Q1 2017 reports continued growth

Q1 2017 Infographic

The annual trend of breaking ridership records continues through the first quarter of 2017. A 5.6% increase in individual Boardings, and a 5.1% increase in Journeys (number of start-to-finish trips taken on transit) shows transit ridership growing significantly compared to the same period last year.

Contributing to the growth is an increase in the number of average weekday Boardings for all modes with the exception of West Coast Express which saw a slight decrease.

  • Expo/Millennium Line – up 13.8%
  • Canada Line – up 7%
  • Bus – up 4.6%
  • SeaBus – up 3.6%
  • West Coast Express – down 5.8%

Explanation of growth

Various key factors play a role in ridership growth. We have identified some of the biggest players:

Transit Service Hours – Overall increased service hours in 2017 including the implementation of the Evergreen Extension.

Number of working days – There were 2 more working days in Q1 of 2017 over the previous year.

Weather – Metro Vancouver saw unseasonably cold and snowy conditions this winter. While the impact of weather on transit is not clear, data shows that commuters often substitute modes from walking/cycling to transit/driving during inclement weather.

Fuel Prices – Fuel prices in Q1 of 2017 averaged 15% higher than during the same time last year, and is a likely cause for commuters to park their vehicles and hop on transit.

Transit Fare Prices – With no change in transit fares over the past year, transit remains an attractive option.

Economic Growth & Activities – Various economic factors have contributed to growing ridership such as highest new housing starts, increased tourism, increased retail sales, and increased population and employment.

For more information check out our Accountability Centre.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink on the Move: Looking back on record ridership

TransLink on the Move Ridership

For TransLink on the Move this week, our five week series where we look at some of the many highlights from our 2016 Annual Report, we’re taking a look back on ridership from 2016 where we logged 384.83 million boardings! Our highest ever!

Last year saw an increase of 4.5% over 2015’s ridership levels, and we have YOU, our riders to thank for that! Thank you for helping us build and maintain momentum. We are proud of the work we do, and strive to continue improving with a commitment to focus on what matters to our customers.

Snapshot

In 2016, we launched our new Accountability Centre, a one-stop-shop in tracking performance of our regional transportation system, as well as customer satisfaction to ensure we’re meeting our goals and satisfying customer needs.

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

Capturing Art on Public Transit – 2017 Capture Photography Festival

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with British Mexican photographer Alinka EcheverrÍa, a featured artist in the 2017 Capture Photography Festival.

The Capture Photography Festival is an annual not-for-profit festival that strives to nurture emerging talent, engage community and spark public dialogue about photography as an art form and a vessel for communication.

This year, Capture has once again partnered with TransLink, this time on an art installation on the SkyTrain system.

This series titled Nicephora, is installed at Stadium–Chinatown Skytrain Station and can be viewed until 2018.

Alinka Echeverria
Precession of the Feminine
(2015), which is part of the larger series of works entitled Nicephora, was born during EcheverrÍa’s BMW Residency program at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in France, a museum named after Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography.

Capture Photography Festival
The Capture Photography Festival runs from April 1 – 28, 2017.

For more information, head to capturephotofest.com
Be sociable! Check out Capture’s Facebook and Instagram.

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

Earth Day 2017 – Driving green across the region

April 22nd is Earth Day! A day observed globally with the aim of encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly. The TransLink enterprise takes sustainability seriously and works diligently in our daily operations to protect our Earth!

TransLink has taken part in a variety of environmentally-focused projects in 2016 – here are a snapshot of some of these initiatives:

apta platinum logo

Going platinum

In 2015, 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.

Cutting back on washing to save water

In 2016, CMBC committed to reduce bus washing by at least 50% each summer between June and the end of September! In addition, anytime Metro Vancouver introduces Stage 2 water restrictions, CMBC voluntary stops all bus washing, except in special circumstances. These changes yield BIG water savings! At Burnaby Transit Centre alone, suspending bus washing translates to saving up to 35,000 litres of water each day! Additionally, all transit centres, use recycled or “wastewater” for the wash and fresh water is used only for the final rinse. These water recycling systems reduce the amount of water required to wash each bus by about 75 per cent!

Building with the environment in mind

TransLink’s newest building, Hamilton Transit Centre in Richmond is our most energy-efficient facility yet! It boasts a LEED Silver certification thanks to features that include LED lighting, radiant in-floor heating, waste water treatment, and a heat-reflective roof. Many of these sustainable features help to reduce operating and maintenance costs in addition to being green in other ways.

Hybrid Artics

Driving the benefits of alternate fuels

TransLink is rolling out 26 new hybrid diesel-electric articulated buses, bringing our bus fleet to 252 hybrid, 116 compressed natural gas (CNG) and 262 Trolley buses. This means almost half of our CMBC bus fleet uses some form of cleaner technology – either CNG buses or hybrid electric buses. These hybrid buses use 17% less fuel than equivalent diesel-powered models. The quieter CNG buses – with reduced carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs – continue to replace diesel buses as they retire from operation at the end of their service life. We also have one of the largest electric trolley fleets in North America and continue to explore the possibility of adding electric-battery buses to our existing fleet.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink on the Move : 7 new Mark III trains rolled into service in 2016!

TransLink on the Move

We’ve recently posted our 2016 Annual Report. For those of you who are unable to comb through it, we’re picking out some highlights among many for our TransLink on the Move series. First up, new SkyTrains!

Last year was a big year for transit in Metro Vancouver. One of the improvements we made was adding seven new Mark III trains to our fleet! That’s 28 additional SkyTrain cars on the system. Our passengers can now enjoy an enhanced transit experience with a more spacious ride, less noise and more natural light. The new Mark III SkyTrain cars are equipped to hold more passengers with extra space for wheelchairs, bikes and strollers than their Mark I & Mark II counterparts.

The Mark III’s journey started back in October of 2015 when they left the Bombardier facility in Ontario to begin the cross country journey out West to our SkyTrain OMC yard in Burnaby.

Mark III

After their arrival, much of the summer was spent in testing to ensure the new SkyTrain cars were rail ready for our passengers.

The big day arrived on August 18th, 2016, with all of the anticipated fan fare! The first Mark III car entered service with SkyTrain President & General Manager Vivienne King and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond on board, among a host of excited transit enthusiasts.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016? We’ll be posting one a week for the next four weeks.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

#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

Secure bike parkades secure top spot at HUB awards!

HUB Bike Parkade Award

HUB Cycling recently hosted their 4th Annual Bike Awards – a celebration of organizations, individuals, schools and municipalities who have led the way in increasing biking across Metro Vancouver.

This year, we took home more than just our bikes! TransLink was awarded Best Public Bike Parking Facilities for our King George Station and Main Street Station Secure Bike Parkades!

TransLink is a big supporter of multi-modal transportation (did you know that our entire bus fleet is equipped with bus bike racks?) and participate annually in Bike to Work Week.

All of our secure bike parkades are Compass enabled, and easy to use! Check Jess out in action!

Thanks to HUB Cycling for this awesome award!

Author: Sarah Kertcher