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Translink Buzzer Blog

Transit Trick-or-Treat

Transit Trick or Treat

Halloween is fast approaching! The weather looks like it should clear by this evening, but you never know!

If you or your costumed comrades are fair weather trick-or-treaters, we have a list of Metro Vancouver malls conveniently located on or near  SkyTrain routes that participate in indoor trick-or-treating.

Central City Mall – Located on the corner of 102nd Avenue and King George Boulevard in Surrey, BC.

Trick or Treating will take place on Monday, October 31, from 4pm to 6pm. Stop by Customer Service for a treat before making your way to any store displaying participating signage.

Coquitlam Centre – Located at the intersection of the Barnet Highway (7A) and the Lougheed Highway (7). The address is 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam, BC.

Want to keep your kiddies indoors this Halloween? Coquitlam Centre invites you to celebrate Halloween on October 31st, from 4pm to 5pm by trick or treating at the mall. All kids 12 and under in a costume are welcome to participate!
Brentwood Town Centre – Located at 4567 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, BC.

Join the annual Halloween fun on Monday, October 31st from 4pm to 5pm. Fun for the whole family including a live DJ, Stilt Walkers, Balloon Artists, Interactive Pumpkin Patch, and of course, candy galore!

Willowbrook Shopping Centre – Located at #150 – 19705 Fraser Highway, Langley, BC

For $2 cash per child up to age 12, you can join in this popular and lively Halloween event and Trick or Treat Parade on Monday, October 31st from 5pm to 6pm. Registration starts at 4:30pm at any of the following Willowbrook Shopping Centre entrances: Sport ChekSwimco, Tim Hortons,  Sashimi Sushi, and Sears.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Langley School District Foundation to support innovative and essential school programs for Langley students.

Lougheed Town Centre – Located at 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby

Trick or treat (mostly treats!) at Lougheed Town Centre on October 31 from 4pm to 5pm. Free treats for kids under 12, with a little something for parents too! Check out the Halloween photo booth open from 4pm to 6pm to capture your perfect costume (and then submit your #TLtrickortreat selfie).

Trick or treating at Lougheed Town Centre is in support of Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society. Suggested donation of $1 per child.

Metropolis at Metrotown – Located at 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC

Come in costume and trick-or-treat your way around Vancouver’s biggest shopping centre on October 31st from 4pm to 6pm. Not all stores are participating, however there will be more than enough candy at the various shops throughout the mall.

Landsdowne Centre – Located at 5300 No.3 Road, Richmond, BC

Grab your costume and your silly face on October 31st from 12pm to 5pm for the Halloween photo booth at Lansdowne Centre. Celebrate Halloween with trick or treating from 3pm to 5pm.

 

*****Don’t forget to snap a #TLtrickortreat selfie of you in costume on transit for a chance to win!*****

Author: Sarah Kertcher

CMBC to the rescue — literally!

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A Transit bus, a Shelter bus, an Ambulance? Oh My!

There’s never a dull moment when it comes to operating a transit bus, and last night was no exception. Late last night, CMBC was contacted by BC Ambulance Service requesting assistance with the transportation of patients from a British Airways flight that had made an emergency landing at YVR. The flight was en route to London from San Francisco when the cabin was overcome by fumes.

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CMBC staff jumped in to action providing vehicles and support staff to oversee our side of the operation. Three coaches were directed to the aircraft (two were used and one was on standby) where 25 non-critical patients were loaded aboard and transported to Vancouver General, Richmond, and Delta hospitals.

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Ten CMBC employees were directly involved with this incident and have been commended for their professionalism and dedication in this time of need.

CMBC scrambles bus a number of times a year for those in need and our staff takes great pride in being able to help.

Author: Sarah Kercher

SkyTrain Change is a comin’! Are you ready for October 22nd?

Change can be hard, but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be! We’ve got everything you need to help you on your way on October 22nd, and beyond!

If you haven’t yet heard, on October 22nd, 2016 the way you ride SkyTrain may be changing. In advance of the Evergreen Extension opening later this year, the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will be different than what you’ve become accustomed to. Arguably, the biggest change in the operating pattern will take place at Lougheed Town Centre Station and Production Way – University Station.

Is Lougheed Town Centre Station part of your commute? Our friends in wayfinding have created this visual to help you understand what to expect come October 22nd.

October 22nd SkyTrain Pattern Changes

Are you a Production Way – University Station regular? Here’s how the upcoming October 22nd change may affect your SkyTrain commute.

October 22nd SkyTrain Pattern Changes

Still have questions? Check out our Facebook Livestream with Ian Fisher, outlining all of the changes.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

And one more time — the key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern – October 22nd:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

#SkyTrainChanges Q&A with Ian Fisher

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In case you missed our announcement earlier this week — big changes are coming to the way you ride SkyTrain! On October 22nd, 2016 the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network will change. We took some time today with Ian Fisher, Manager, Operations Planning to get an indepth look at what the new SkyTrain changes mean and how they will change the way we ride.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

You can also check out our live streams on Facebook and Periscope!

The key points of the change that may impact you are summarized below:

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Vivienne King – BCRTC President & CEO wants to answer your SkyTrain questions online and in person (Sept 7 & 8)!

Vivienne King, President & General Manager of BCRTC will be taking your questions about SkyTrain at noon on September 7, 2016!

Vivienne King, President & General Manager of BCRTC, will be taking your questions about SkyTrain at noon on September 7, 2016 and in person on September 8!

Have you ever had burning questions about Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain? How safe are SkyTrains? What exactly do SkyTrain attendants do? Why are different SkyTrains painted different colours?

Well, on Wednesday September 7th, from 12pm – 1pm, we’ll have Vivienne King, President and CEO of BCRTC, live on Reddit for an AMA! (Ask Me Anything).

Busy for lunch tomorrow? Well, maybe you wanna ask Vivienne your question in person. Vivienne will take your questions in person on Thursday September 8th, from approximately 7:30-9a.m. at Waterfront station at the entrance of SeaBus/West Coast Express and SkyTrain (just inside the fare paid zone and not far from Starbucks).

So, mark your calendars transit fans! Here is the link that will be live at noon.

Can’t make either one, but still have a question to ask? Just post your question in the comments section or on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll do our best to ask Vivienne for you! See you soon!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

I Love Transit: Redhead Mare guest post – Vancouver Travel Tip

I Love Transit 2016

I love transit week is coming to a close, and I kind of feel like this has been the best week ever! Today, our guest poster vlogger Redhead Mare shares with us how her family uses and loves transit!

Thanks for sharing the love and transit tips! Check out Mare and her other adventures over on her blog!

What are your SkyTrain tips when travelling with kids?

I Love Transit: Spokesmama Guest Post – Camping via Transit

I Love Transit 2016

On the bus in Nanaimo

To help celebrate I love transit week, Lisa – also known as Spokesmama, is guest posting and sharing with us how her and her family use transit on their weekend adventures!

This summer we tried something new to us: camping by transit. We don’t own a car, so we generally rent or use Modo car co-op vehicles, or bike to camp. We heard that Newcastle Island was a great destination, and quickly realized that transit was the best way for us to get there. Taking the bus meant carrying nearly everything on our backs except for a small cart that held our cooler and some of the heavier items; planning what we’d bring was a fun challenge.

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I Love Transit: We found love in a Transit place

I Love Transit 2016

Steven and Meghan

We love transit, and we love that YOU love transit, but what we really love, is hearing about you finding love on transit! And believe us, a lot of love is found on transit!

Over 10 years ago Meghan and Steve found love in the most unexpected of places.

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That’s a wrap! The Mark III enters service

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What a beaut!

August 18th, 2016 “marks” another momentous day in SkyTrain history. The highly anticipated Mark III entered revenue service for the first time and it wasn’t without fanfare!

If you’re as excited as we were about its arrival, you likely followed the Mark III’s journey across the country, endeavoured to #SpotTheMarkIII during system testing, entered our contest to become a Mark III VIP, or stopped by in person to take the inaugural ride.

If not, don’t you worry – you can catch all that you may have missed right here!

Watch as SkyTrain President & General Manager Vivienne King and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond welcomed the new Mark III into Waterfront station.

If you haven’t had a chance to already, get up close and personal by checking out the behind the scenes tour with Chris Morris, our resident Mark III expert and Director of Engineering Assets at BCRTC.

But wait, there’s more!

Below is a gallery of some of the photos “mark”-ing the special day.

Make sure to check out Facebook and Instagram for even more!

This Mark III is now in regular service and will be joined shortly by its sibling Mark III SkyTrains once they have completed their testing and are rail ready!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

I Love Transit: Tour the new Hamilton Transit Centre!

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HTC Photo

The Hamilton Transit Centre (HTC) is Coast Mountain Bus Company’s (CMBC’s) newest transit bus operations and maintenance centre for buses.

This location will house up to 80 Community Shuttle buses and 150 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled buses. HTC will perform three main functions including bus dispatch, bus service (fuel and wash), and bus maintenance. With its higher capacity for bus maintenance and storage, the HTC will increase efficiency and prepare our transit operations for growth in the region.

In celebration of I Love Transit Week, we’re opening the doors of HTC at UPDATE: 10:00am 5:00pm on Friday September 2nd for 10 lucky Buzzer Blog readers to take advantage of a behind the scenes look at everything that our newest facility has to offer.

How to enter

Entry is simple! Comment on this blog post below with your favourite bus route to be entered to win this one of a kind experience!

Be sure to read the contest rules found here.

All entries must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on August 26, 2016.

More details of the event will follow for the lucky winners.

UPDATE: Please note the new time of 5:00pm for the event!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

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

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