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Translink Buzzer Blog

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

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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