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!
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.
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.
Kevin and Vivienne
Mark III VIP certificate
Chris Morris show and tell
Mark III VIP’s private train tour
Mark III VIP winner Kalen
Kevin and Vivienne greeting the Mark III VIPs
Mark III VIP Marcus and his dad
Happy 54th Anniversary Paul and Bernace!
Vivienne speaking with one of transit’s biggest fans
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:10:00am5:00pm 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!
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.
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 email@example.com with “I Love Transit Camp Kids” in the subject field, or you can mail it to TheBuzzer, 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC, V3L 0E7.
Be sure to include the following:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
#ThankYou100K 100K+ followers! THANK YOU for your continuous support! ^TLTwitterTeam
— TransLink BC (@TransLink)
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:
It is amazing to see 100.000 followers on our twitter feed! We have the best tweeps! #THANKYOU100K ^jkd
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.
Time of travel
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
As part of the ongoing rehabilitation project, the Pattullo Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic (the sidewalk will remain open for cyclists and pedestrians) overnight starting from 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 to 5 a.m. on Friday, May 13, weather dependent.
We encourage drivers to plan alternate routes to cross the Fraser River during this overnight closure. Transit customers planning on crossing the Fraser River should plan on longer travel times on the N19 NightBus which will re-route via the Alex Fraser and Queensborough bridges.
Drivers are reminded that when the bridge is open, the speed limit is 30 km/h. This ensures the safety of workers and all users of the bridge.
The Pattullo Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the region. Comprehensive deck rehabilitation work is needed to maintain road safety and bridge functionality. TransLink thanks everyone for their patience while we do this important work.
For additional information on the Pattullo Bridge, including travel resources and upcoming closures customers can:
May 2nd marks the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek. North America’s largest World’s Fair was a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy, notably, Metro Vancouver’s first Rapid Transit SkyTrain – the Expo Line, built for and named in anticipation of the fair. SkyTrain debuted as the first and one of the longest, fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world
“Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch” coincided with Vancouver’s centennial celebration and was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana riding the Expo Line in 1986
The Royal Couple
A lot has changed in 30 years, and we’ve summarized some fun facts below about SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, and BC in general.
Main line track (km)
Annual boardings (millions)
258 (+28 by mid-2016)
One-zone cash fare (at Jan 1)
Metro Vancouver population
1.38 million (census)
2.54 million (BC Stats projection)
Detached home price
Minimum Wage (per hour)
Can you spot the station?
Do you remember these tickets?
The very first Ticket Vending Machines
Do you have an Expo ’86 memory you’d like to share? Did you take SkyTrain when it first launched?
Today is an exciting day for the TransLink Social Media team, as we will be streaming LIVE for the first time from Facebook at 2:00pm PST. For our inaugural stream, we will be doing a demo of how to take your bike on the bus! After all, Bike to Work week is coming soon!
Make sure to tune in and learn how you can take advantage of the great weather we’ve been having in the Metro Vancouver area, and perhaps make your commute multi-modal!
Author: Sarah Kertcher
UPDATE: Here’s the recording of our first Facebook Live!
Earth Day takes place annually on April 22, and is celebrated globally with the goal of encouraging and educating people to be more environmentally friendly. The TransLink family takes sustainability seriously and works hard daily to protect the environment!
Here are a few examples of environmentally-focused projects from across the TransLink enterprise in 2015.
Cutting back on washing to save water
In 2015 we all saw a record breaking long, hot and dry summer. When the region experienced water shortages we voluntarily suspended our regular exterior bus washing and exterior SkyTrain washing at the end of each service day, despite the fact that our bus wash system uses reclaimed water for the majority of the wash cycle.
To give you an idea of how much water was conserved, at Vancouver Transit Centre (CMBC’s biggest bus depot), they saved 30,000 litres each day! Across the bus network, we saved a total of 5.7 million litres of water from July to September. If there is another shortage this year, we will happily do our part to conserve.
Driving the benefits of compressed natural gas
CMBC started operating 31 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in 2015. The quieter CNG buses – with reduced carbon emissions and lower maintenance costs – replaced 45 diesel buses that were retired from operation at the end of their service life. The New Flyer Xcelesior buses started on routes in the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody) and operate out of the Port Coquitlam Transit Centre, which is equipped with CNG refueling stations.
Last year, TransLink moved up from gold and became the first Canadian transit organization to gain platinum level status for sustainability from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Since 2010, 58 separate projects reduced waste by nine per cent, water use by 10 per cent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent in its facilities. The bus fleet alone has had a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. CMBC also reduced energy consumption by more than seven per cent.
How are you going to celebrate? You could turn an eye to increasing the amount you recycle, volunteer for a local green project or install a rain water collection system at your home.