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Translink Buzzer Blog

#MyTransLink – February 20, 2017

Hey Buzzer readers! We’re back with another edition of #MyTransLink, sharing your photos from around the system!

With a transit network spanning land, sea, and Sky(Train), it’s no surprise that you, are riders are able to capture some of our best photos.

Here’s what you shared this week!

 

[=]’These are the days we’ve been waiting for’ [=] #vancouver #burnaby #SkyTrain #MyTranslink

A post shared by Kobie Huang (@kobiehuang) on

Bridge life #newwestminster #mytranslink

A post shared by Rich Elliott (@therichelliott) on

This is why i love #beautifulbritishcolimbia.. taken from #carvolthexchange in #langley.. @translinkbc

A post shared by FerretLover (@atomikangel69) on

Want to be featured on the blog? You know you do! It’s easy!
Simply follow us on Twitter and Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #MyTransLink.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Donate your Compass Card to a great cause!

Compass Card Donation Bins

Moving people is what we do, and now through a new initiative with a long standing partner, the United Way Lower Mainland (UWLM), you can help!

Simply donate your new or semi-used, unregistered Compass Cards into one of our donation kiosks located around Vancouver. There are currently five donation kiosks for customers to donate their unregistered Compass Cards:

Canada Line kiosks

  1. Waterfront Station
  2. Vancouver City Centre
  3. Broadway–City Hall

Expo Line kiosks

  1. Granville Station (Dunsmuir exit)
  2. Compass Customer Service Centre (Stadium–Chinatown Station)

We hope to install more donation kiosks in the coming months at key locations around Metro Vancouver where customers are likely to tap in to their generosity and support this program and the United Way.

Transit plays an important role in helping people live full successful lives, whether it’s going to work,  job interviews, healthcare appointments or other activities that enrich their lives.

“Some of the region’s most vulnerable populations are reliant on both United Way funded programs and services – and on TransLink,” said Cathy McLay, CFO and EVP, Finance and Corporate Services, TransLink. “I am extremely proud of this new initiative and the ongoing commitment employees across the TransLink enterprise display to our United Way campaigns each year.”

To donate a Compass Card, simply deposit the unregistered Compass Card into your nearest donation kiosk. You can unregister your existing Compass Card by calling Compass Customer Service at 604-398-2042 or by visiting the Compass Customer Walk in Centre. Both the deposit and balance of unregistered Compass Cards will be converted to Compass Tickets for distribution by UWLM to selected agencies working directly with those in need.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Compass Stored Value Minimum Load Drops to $5!

You’ve asked, and we’ve listened!

We’re happy to announce that we have lowered the minimum Stored Value load amount for Adult Compass Cards at Compass Vending Machines (CVM)! Customers can now load Adult Compass Cards at a CVM and select a minimum Stored Value of $5! This change was based on feedback received from you, our customers, requesting a lower minimum Stored Value than the original $10.

This change applies only to Stored Value at a Compass Vending Machine. When loading Stored Value online, customers can choose from a number of set options starting at $10, or can choose to “pay balance” to bring a negative balance back up to zero. Minimum Stored Value load amount for Concession Compass Cards remains at $5.

For customers wishing to load an amount outside of the set CVM, online or phone parameters, a Compass Customer Service staff member at our walk in centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station can help. For added convenience, customers add AutoLoad to their Compass Card directly from their bank accounts to automatically renew monthly passes or to top-up Stored Value using this form.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Thank you for your patience during recent Canada Line service disruptions

Canada Line North Arm Bridge

There is no denying that Mother Nature has not been kind to Metro Vancouver roads this winter season. Our Public Transit system has been no exception to this. Part of the TransLink mission is to provide a sustainable transportation network for our customers and this has proven challenging of late.

The past few days have been tough on commuters across Metro Vancouver, but for Canada Line passengers impacted by recent major delays, we know that a tough commute has been made even more difficult. We extend our sincere apologies to our customers for those service disruptions.

The unprecedented weather patterns and environmental conditions have presented us with many challenges, including in a particularly steep area over the Fraser River (the North Arm Bridge). Because of the steep grade, trains require full power when travelling through this section of the bridge, and Canada Line believes ice buildup on the power rail is the likely cause of the disruptions.

With more wintry weather in the forecast, we’re working diligently to reduce the likelihood of this issue repeating itself. Please be assured that we remain committed to dedicating the necessary resources in doing everything possible to prevent recurrence.

Once again, we apologize for the delays and appreciate your patience and support as our teams work to keep you moving through this weather.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

More snow is on the way for Metro Vancouver

When I was young, I thought these were the cat buses in Totoro ??

A photo posted by JASON YEH (@jsonyeh) on

Despite the fact that Wiarton Willie and Shubenacadie Sam both predicted an early spring this Groundhog Day, our local weather forecast is calling for snow Friday morning.

With the possibility of two to five centimeters of snow falling tomorrow and possibly into the weekend, here are some of the ways our operations team is preparing to keep you moving through snow and slushy wintry conditions:

  • We work closely with our municipal partners to have bus routes plowed first.
  • If a street is not plowed, operators may refrain from pulling into bus stops to avoid getting stuck. In these cases, operators will stop in an area that is safe and accessible for riders.
  • Trolley de-icer trucks will spray the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice.
  • SkyTrain power rail and collector shoes on the trains will be de-iced, and de-icing stations set up in covered areas and tunnels.
  • Measures are also taken to ensure rail switches are protected from freezing.
  • During times of heavy overnight snow, SkyTrain will run throughout the night to keep tracks clear.
  • Where possible, articulated buses are replaced by traditional coaches as they’re more agile and better equipped to handle hills or streets with poor conditions.

Check out our posts from earlier this season with some excellent transit tips to manage inclement weather, an in depth look at 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather, and what role Transit Supervisors play when the snow falls.

Know before you go.
If there’s snow or ice, ensure you plan ahead with Trip Planner or  m.translink.ca on your mobile device, and make sure to allow yourself extra commuting time.

Sign up for transit alerts so you’ll be the first to know if there are changes in the transit schedule.

Follow our customer information team on Twitter (@translink) and save their number (604) 953-3333 on your mobile device.

Step Carefully

Snowy floors can become slippery floors. Where possible, kick the snow from your shoes before getting on the your chosen mode of transit. Use handrails and please be courteous to other passengers and don’t put your feet up on open seats.

Dress Warmly

While your ride will be climate controlled, we can’t control the temperature outside of our vehicles. Make sure that you’re dressed warmly for your trip to and from your stop.

Be Courteous

Please remember that transit is a popular choice on snowy days, therefore you may see more people out than usual. Always use your common transit sense to ensure a comfortable ride for everyone.

Are you ready for spring, or excited for this wintry rewind?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

So, you wanna be a bus operator? Come to our Reddit AMA!

 

asktranslink

If you haven’t heard, we’re currently looking for busloads of new operators to help us move the region.

Being a Coast Mountain Bus Operator is an amazingly rewarding career. With over 1,300 Conventional buses and 140 Community Shuttle buses in our fleet, we’re once again adding drivers to keep the wheels on the bus going ’round and ’round.

Our Transit Operators play a vital role in keeping our region moving, literally, and with ridership in the region growing at a rapid pace, and we’re looking for motivated, energetic and customer-centric people like you to hop on board!

Bus Operator AMA

Want to get an inside look at what it’s like to be a Bus Operator? Join us this Friday, February 3rd, 2017 at 1:00pm PST on Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with one of our very own seasoned Bus Operators! Come prepared with your questions about what it’s like moving people each day, how you apply, or anything else related to what it’s like to be a Bus Operator. If you can’t make it to the AMA, post your question below and we’ll do our best to answer it during the AMA.

If you’re interested in applying online, check out our video tutorial on how to use our careers page!

 

Author: Sarah Kertcher

A heartwarming transit story

HUGS Random Acts of Kindness

If you’ve lost faith in the kindness of strangers, this story is for you!

One of our riders, Kajal, shared with us a heartwarming story of an elderly lady sharing kindness and “hugs” on a recent transit trip.

I was on the 4 bus on Tuesday around 1pm when a lovely old lady with a walker came and sat beside me. She struck up a conversation with a gentleman sitting across from him who was offering his seat up for her so she could be more comfortable. Refusing, she in turn responded that she wanted to give him something.  

Seeing his confused look, she pulled out a stack of these little cards with “hug” expressed in bold red letters. Laughing, she began distributing cards to everyone on the bus. Soon, everyone on the bus had received a hug save for me. 

When she saw me sitting beside her laughing, she exclaimed “did you get a hug? You didn’t! You have to holler at me, I’m 92 years old so I don’t hear very well!” and with a beautiful smile, she passed a card to me.  

As I exited the bus, I could hear her spreading joy among strangers who felt like familiar friends. Days like these I appreciate Vancouver more and more. 

After sharing this story on our Instagram Channel, we quickly realized that Kajal’s story is not unique! Azalea also met our lovely “hugs” lady, and knows her by the name of Anne, a 90 something transit rider who loves the bus and a good pizza from Main & Hastings!

“Anne” has been spotted riding the number 004 – POWELL/DOWNTOWN/UBC, 020 – VICTORIA/DOWNTOWN, and at the SeaBus.

Have you seen Anne the hugs lady? We want to catch up with her!

If you’ve seen Anne, or received a “hug” of your own, please share the details below in the comments section!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Evergreen Explorer: Caffeinate your Commute

Evergreen Explorer

Coffee and commuting go hand in hand, no? If you’re anything like me, your go-to travel companion is your to-go coffee mug. Whether you’re making your daily commute, or just looking for a transit friendly stop for coffee with a friend, here’s a list of locations along the Evergreen Extension to get your daily grind.

Production Way–University Station – Looking for coffee at this stop? Look no further than Mac’s Convenient Store. It’s no gourmet coffee shop, but if you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up, this location is just a few steps outside the station!

Lougheed Station – For an extra special latte, look no further than Coffee Monster. Their latte’s are amazing, but their latte art puts them over the top — you wont be disappointed. Located on North Road, just down the street from Lougheed Station this is the perfect stop to perk you up! Bonus! If you have a 2017 Entertainment Book, check it out for valuable coupons! Lougheed Mall is home to Starbucks Coffee, Tim Horton’s, and a David’s Tea.

Coffee bar at Connected Minds Cafe & Roastery

Burquitlam StationConnected Minds Cafe & Roastery boasts fresh coffee as unique as you. Get your custom roasted coffee, roasted right before your eyes in 20 minutes! Delicious pastries and other treats can also be found here.

Evergreen Explorer

Moody Centre – Try something different by visiting the Lazy Den Tea House for a bubble tea to go. Known for their amazing pies, Gabi & Jules does more than one thing right! Visit this cafe on Clarke Street in Port Moody and enjoy you java with a slice — or the whole pie! Gabi & Jules gives back with a portion of all pie proceeds to two not-for-profit, volunteer organizations have been advocating for support services for families dealing with Autism.

Inlet CentreGallagher’s Coffee Bar and Starbucks are a short jaunt down the way into Newport Village. A unique village with quaint shops and a variety of watering holes.

Coquitlam Central – If you’re in a rush, Creekside Coffee Factory is unlikely the place to go. Not for a lack of service or timeliness, but like a good cuppa-joe, you’re going to want to sit and enjoy this place. There is almost always a rush and buzz of people at Creekside Coffee Factory, and while it could be for their delicious beverages and treats, I personally think it’s for their well known stuffy mascot Bearicano!

Caffe Divano

Lincoln Station – This is the most convenient station to Coquitlam Centre Mall, home to Starbucks, David’s Tea, and Tim Horton’s. Also just down the street from Lincoln Station is Him & I Cafe. This quaint location has ample seating and big bright windows perfect for nestling in with a good book, catching up on your studying, or people watching! Their homemade pastries and cakes are to die for. Try the Black Forrest Cake!

Lafarge Lake–Douglas – A short walk from the terminus station you can find one of three Caffé Divano locations (also located in Burnaby and Port Moody). Fun Fact: Owners Patrick and Lisa Beecroft also own Gabi & Jules located near Moody Centre! Bonus! If you collect Belly rewards, Caffé Divano is a participating member. If you’re craving a Canadian Coffee & doughnut fix, Douglas College just up the street is home to a small Tim Horton’s.

Where is your favourite place to caffeinate along the Evergreen Extension?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

More wintry weather is on the way for Metro Vancouver

Wintry weather

It’s snow joke folks — the forecast is calling for more of the white stuff this week and into next. We’re diligently working behind the scenes and on the front lines to ensure that our entire operations are as prepared as can be for the impending snowfall.

A photo posted by Richmond BC Canada (@100ave) on

When snow starts to fall, Transit Supervisors play a crucial role in overall transit operations. A valuable mobile resource for bus operators, Transit Supervisors are in the know about problem areas and ensure they stay accessible as long as possible. When buses get stuck, and unfortunately they will during extreme weather, it’s the Transit Supervisors that help to dig them out.

Safety is a priority for Transit Supervisors, as they work to keep our property well plowed and salted to help minimize the risk of falls and injury, often doing the work themselves. Many stay well past the end of their shift, working in sub-zero temperatures to make sure that customers are able to safely get to where they need to go. We are committed to keeping walkways on our properties clear, however if you do notice an area requiring attention, or are unsure who is responsible for an area, please tweet us @TransLink , or contact Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

Check out our posts from earlier this season with some excellent transit tips to manage inclement weather, as well as an in depth look at 6 things TransLink is doing to prepare for more wintry weather.

Are you ready for the snow?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

2017 Transit resolutions

2017 Transit Resolutions

With 2016 in the rear view mirror, your 2017 New Years resolutions should be in full swing. If by chance you’re still humming and hawing for a resolution that resonates with you, consider making your way through 2017 with some of these goals.

    1. 1. Get Active
      Metro Vancouver is a beautiful region full of near endless areas to explore. Just steps from TransLink’s Metrotown station is Burnaby’s Central Park, home to scenic walking/running paths, an outdoor fitness circuit, and playground. And for when the snow melts, enjoy tennis courts, horseshoe pits, golf, lawn bowling and more.

 

    1. 2. Try Something New
      Whether your interest lies in learning a new language, hobby, sport or otherwise, transit connects you with a host of enriching opportunities. The Evergreen Cultural Centre, now easily accessible from the Evergreen Extension, offers improv classes, art direction, or even tickets to a show! If food is your jam, try some new eats at one of Daily Hive’s 45 places to eat along the Evergreen Extension.Metro Vancouver, and our local ski hills, have been inundated with snow this season. Now’s a great time to get out and enjoy some Nordic or Alpine skiing or riding, snowshoeing, tubing or tobogganing — with daily trips to Grouse Mountain, there’s no reason not to!

 

    1. 3. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
      At TransLink, we care about the environment! Did you know that CMBC operates many CNG buses in order to reduce carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs? Consider parking your car and taking transit and be a little greener this year. If parking your car indefinitely isn’t an option for you, consider a multi-modal option like riding your bike part way! Every bus in the CMBC fleet is equipped with bus bike racks to help facilitate your multi-modal journey. Various car sharing and bike sharing options are also available within a close proximity to most SkyTrain stations.

 

  1. 4. Save Money
    Did you know that Stored Value on a Compass Card never expires? If you’ve been travelling with single use, or paper fare media, now’s the time to make the switch to Compass. Not only does your stored value never expire, you have access to other great features and benefits such as Auto Load and Balance Protection. Additionally, travelling with a Compass Card gives you a discounted per trip price as well as full transferability across all modes of travel!

     

  2. 5. Unplug
    We know that many Buzzer Blog readers use their time on transit to listen to music, read, play games, and even “zone out”, but what if you put down the smartphone for any, or all of your commute and took the time look up and be present! You never know, you might just even find love!

Do you have a New Years Resolution for 2017?Let us know in the comments section!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Vancouver Technical Secondary students warm hearts and bellies of bus operators!

Vancouver Technical Secondary

Not even the Grinch could keep Vancouver Technical Secondary Students from warming the hearts, and bellies, of our bus operators on the last day of school before the holiday break!

For 20 years now, VanTech students have been braving the rain, the snow, and this year, the extreme cold to show their appreciation for our bus operators.

Students arrive at the crack of dawn outside the bus stop in front of their school to set up their beverage station.

Bus operators are greeted with a smiling face and a carol or two, a hot chocolate and a small token of students appreciation.

Vancouver Technical Secondary

Read more about how this annual tradition began on our post from 2011.

There may have been a chill in the air, but the enthusiastic holiday cheer was truly heartwarming.

A very special thank you to all off the Vancouver Technical Secondary students who took part and helped to make this another wonderful event and for treating our bus operators to some holiday cheer!

If you missed watching the event unfold live on Instagram Stories, you can view it below!

Take a look at our previous posts of this event from 2012, 20132014, and 2015, or check out our full photo gallery below.

Happy Holidays!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Transit tips to manage inclement weather

Transit tips to manage inclement weather

We might be getting snow soon in Metro Vancouver sometime soon. Here are some transit travel tips that can help make your ride more comfortable for you and your fellow commuters.

Know before you go.
If there’s snow or ice ensure you plan ahead with Trip Planner or  m.translink.ca on your mobile device, and make sure to allow yourself extra commuting time.

Sign up for transit alerts so you’ll be the first to know if there are changes in the transit schedule.

Follow our customer information team on Twitter (@translink), Facebook (TransLink) and save their number (604) 953-3333 on your mobile device.

Step Carefully

Snowy floors can become slippery floors. Where possible, kick the snow from your shoes before getting on the your chosen mode of transit. Use handrails and please be courteous to other passengers and don’t put your feet up on open seats.

Dress Warmly

While your ride will be climate controlled, we can’t control the temperature outside of our vehicles. Make sure that you’re dressed warmly for your trip to and from your stop.

Be Courteous

Please remember that transit is a popular choice on snowy days, therefore you may see more people out than usual. Always use your common transit sense to ensure a comfortable ride for everyone.

We’re doing our part too! Here’s what we do on our end to ensure service runs smoothly during inclement weather:

Consistent monitoring

Winter weather forecasting means more staff, buses and SkyTrains can be quickly deployed to keep riders moving.

Slow and steady

During adverse weather, operators are instructed to drive slower and with added caution to keep riders safe. Additionally, operators have a snow/ice switch which gives the bus tires better traction in the snow.

Play it safe

If a street is not plowed, operators may refrain from pulling into bus stops to avoid getting stuck. In these cases, operators will stop in an area that is safe and accessible for riders.

Trolley de-icer trucks will deploy spraying the entire trolley overhead system if there is a forecast risk of frost or ice. SkyTrain power rail and collector shoes on the trains will be de-iced as well as de-icing stations will be set up in covered areas and tunnels to prevent ice and snow compacts on the trains. Measures are also taken to make sure switches are protected from freezing.

During times of overnight snow, SkyTrain will run throughout the night to keep tracks clear.

If needed, articulated buses will be replaced by traditional buses as they’re more agile in and better equipped to handle hills or on streets that have poor conditions.

Canada Line trains are equipped with new breaking modes for train cars, similar to the ABS systems you find on some vehicles.

What are your tried and true snowy weather commuting tips?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Moving Forward with Phase One of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision

Yesterday was a big day for Metro Vancouver!

It was a resounding, unanimous yes vote by the Mayors’ Council during their joint meeting with the TransLink Board as they officially approved Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation.

This major milestone will allow us to deliver the improved transit service for which our customers have been so eager.

These changes will help relieve overcrowding and pass-ups on our transit system and address the excessive gridlock our commuters face.

This plan includes $2 billion in transit and road improvements for the region.

Phase One improvements in 2017, 2018, and 2019 include:

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service
  • New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few or no transit options today
  • Safer walking and cycling routes
  • Reduced traffic congestion by fixing bottlenecks on major roads

We’re very excited about this milestone for the region and what it means for our customers!

Watch the Q&A period with Barry Forbes, Board Chair; Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Mayor; Linda Hepner, Surrey Mayor; and Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO.

Watch the replay of the joint TransLink and Mayors’ Council Board Meeting on Facebook or Periscope.

Full details are also available in the press release here.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

(Video) New Westminster Station upgrades are complete!

On Friday we announced the official completion of New Westminster Station upgrades taking the total completed stations from two to three. This was the latest of seven key SkyTrain stations and exchanges across the transit network that TransLink is currently in the process of upgrading.

The completed upgrades at New Westminster Station include:

  • A new elevator and escalators to improve access for customers with disabilities
  • Improved lighting throughout the station
  • Glass panels to replace the mesh screens and improve station visibility from street level
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system
  • New public art that improves the experience of riders

These upgrades mean improved passenger capacity, accessibility, safety and overall customer experience for our customers.

New Westminster Station Upgrades

Knight Street Bridge Inspection

Kinght Street BridgeCustomer Alert

Heads up to all late Knight Street Bridge users! From Nov. 1 to 5 10 15/16 and Dec. 5 to 7 the Knight Street Bridge will undergo inspections to ensure a state of good repair. The bridge will remain open during the inspection however some lane closures will be required between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m on the following days (Please note dates and times have been updated, and all work is tentative due to being dependent on weather):

**UPDATE NOVEMBER 17:

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016
    – One night, slow/curb lane closure northbound over the length of the north brance structure and Marine Drive Overpass
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016
    – One night, slow/curb lane closure northbound 230 metres of the south branch structure
  • Thursday, November 17, 2016
    – One night, slow/curb lane closure northbound 230 metres of the south branch structure

November 1st and 2nd – single lane closure southbound (completed)

November 3rd and 4thsingle lane closure northbound slow/curb lane closure southbound over the length of the south branch structure (tentative)

December 5th to 7th – Two nights, slow/curb lane closure for entire corridor length (all three sections) each night between 10 PM and 5AM.

Update:

Snooper Truck Inspection on Marine Drive Overpass, Knight Street Bridge North Branch and South Branch (Dec 12-14 between 10pm-5am)

Monday, Dec 12  – Knight Street Corridor Southbound Slow lane closure

Tuesday, Dec 13  – Knight Street Corridor Northbound Slow lane closure

Wednesday, Dec 14 – Knight Street Corridor Southbound Slow lane closure

Thursday, Dec 15 – Knight Street Corridor Northbound Slow lane closure

 

Motorists can expect minor delays during the lane closures, so if you`re driving, make sure to watch out for the closure and remember to obey all posted signs and instructions. We thank everyone for their patience while we do this important work.

Author: Sarah Kertcher