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Translink Buzzer Blog

TransLink implementing mandatory face covering policy

Beginning Monday, August 24, TransLink will require customers to wear non-medical masks or face coverings while on board transit vehicles.  This step is essential to ensuring customers have confidence riding transit as British Columbia’s economy continues to reopen and more people commute around the region.

“Physical distancing is not always going to be possible on transit, particularly once more riders return to the system,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Customer confidence is key to rebuilding ridership in the context of this pandemic and we believe this step is important to bring many of our riders back.  We’ve listened to transit users who want to see face coverings made mandatory on transit vehicles.”

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TransLink highlights opportunities to speed up Metro Vancouver buses

More than 25 quick changes could save customers time and improve regional transit

TransLink is releasing its assessment of near-term opportunities for municipal projects aimed at improving bus travel times around Metro Vancouver while also improving the overall flow of traffic during the pandemic. TransLink has identified more than 25 bus priority opportunities that could be implemented quickly with little impact on surrounding areas.

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TransLink completes Nanaimo Exchange renovations

Customers returning to transit can now make full use of the revamped Nanaimo Exchange. The refurbished bus exchange now offers several new and improved features to enhance the customer experience such as a new plaza to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and public artwork highlighting the history of the station.

The upgrades include:

  • New bus shelters, benches, and landscaping to provide more space
  • A new plaza to reduce crowding and improve customer flow
  • Enhanced lighting and sightlines to increase safety
  • A new layout to simplify pedestrian, cyclist, and bus flow
  • Improvements to BC Parkway in and near the Exchange
  • A public art piece illustrating historical sites and events on our transit network

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TransLink welcomes aboard Guide and Service Dogs-in-Training

TransLink’s opening the doors to the Vancouver Transit Centre bus depot to dozens of Guide and Service Dogs-in-Training. The new recruits will be familiarized with several buses repeatedly, in order to accelerate their training. This is important given their training schedule has fallen behind due to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has been a real challenge for everyone and I’m pleased to support the training of Service and Guide Dogs in any way we can,” says Coast Mountain Bus Company President Michael McDaniel. “I hope this training can help get trained Guide and Service Dogs to the people who need them as quickly as possible.” Read more »

New planning tool simplifies regional truck navigation

Truck Route Planner to optimize travel patterns for Metro Vancouver truck operators

TransLink and the Government of British Columbia are releasing the Truck Route Planner, an online tool to help commercial vehicle operators plan their trips. This tool is the first of its kind in Canada to plan truck routes with a holistic picture of the region’s commercial vehicle network.

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TransLink completes Granville Station upgrades

Longest escalators in Metro Vancouver replaced as part of station overhaul

The newly upgraded Granville Station is set to reopen with six new escalators to improve customer experience. Three of the new escalators are the longest in Metro Vancouver with over 500 steps in total. Two entrances at Granville and Seymour streets will also reopen.

Starting on July 17, customers travelling through Granville Station will have access to:

  • Six new escalators with enhanced safety, durability, and reliability
  • New wayfinding signage and monitors displaying the next arriving trains
  • Granville Station’s main entrance from Granville Street
  • Granville Station’s Seymour Street entrance and staircase

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Bus operator wrangles geese away from busy intersection in Vancouver

Photo: Mathew Bond

If you’d told bus operator Kelly Podlubny he’d be escorting a gaggle of geese across the busy intersection of Main and Terminal during his shift on July 6, he wouldn’t have believed you.

In a video posted to Twitter by Mathew Bond, a District of North Vancouver councillor, that has gone viral with more than 10,500 views, Kelly is seen clapping his hands to herd the geese away. Read more »

SeaBus service increasing to meet growing demand

Sailings to occur every 15-minutes during peak hours

Beginning Monday, weekday SeaBus departures will occur every 15 minutes between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m. and between 3:00 and 6:30 p.m. This boost from sailings occurring every 30-minutes will help to accommodate demand and provide more space for customers during peak hours. Demand is expected to continue increasing as B.C.’s economy re-opens and as British Columbians undertake more travel within the province this summer. Read more »

TransLink completes Bike Parkade Expansion Project

The Bike Parkade at Maple Meadows Station opens on June 26, marking the completion of the expansion project.

The Maple Meadows Bike Parkade opens to customers today, marking the completion of TransLink’s Bike Parkade Expansion Project. With 11 total indoor Bike Parkades on the TransLink network, Metro Vancouver now has the largest transit-integrated Bike Parkade network in Canada.

Indoor Bike Parkades are glass-walled facilities that provide a safer place for customers to store their bikes. Each new indoor parkade includes:

  • Video surveillance
  • Bike repair stand
  • Air pump for bike tires
  • Storage space for 45 bikes
  • Oversize parking stalls for cargo bikes, bikes with trailers, and recumbent bikes

Since 2017, TransLink has added six new indoor Bike Parkades and two new sets of bike lockers to Metro Vancouver’s transit system through The Bike Parkade Expansion Project. This $5.3 million investment was partially funded by The Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) with a $2 million investment from the Government of Canada, a $1.4 million investment from the Government of British Columbia, and the remainder funded by TransLink. Read more »

This your guide to celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21

 

On June 21, it’s National Indigenous Peoples Day – a day recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. On this day, relationships are about listening, learning and connecting to the Indigenous culture and peoples of Canada.

The pandemic means we’re going to have to celebrate a little differently this year. We have put together a list of places to visit, such as public art pieces, installations and sculptures, restaurants, music and arts, virtual events, movies and documentaries, as well as books and literature. Read more »

TransLink inviting new ideas for transit recovery

TransLink is calling for new ideas to make public transit even safer and cleaner as people return to using the system. TransLink’s 2020 Open Call for Innovation will be open to proposals from local businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators of all sorts to submit their ideas for ways to improve the health and safety of customers and employees on transit. 

TransLink will fast-track the review process by evaluating proposals as they come in and accelerate the implementation of successful ideas. Read more »

Smart lockers now available at SkyTrain stations

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker could look like at Stadium–Chinatown Station.

You’ll now be able to collect online deliveries from smart lockers situated at three SkyTrain stations. PigeonBox, the winners of the 2019 Open Call for Innovation, are bringing smart lockers to Joyce-Collingwood, Stadium-Chinatown, and Commercial-Broadway stations.

“One of our core and consistent objectives has been improving the customer experience on transit,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “In addition to providing a new and convenient option for our customers, this initiative can also help to reduce the number of trips people take to collect packages.”

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TransLink launches ‘Wearing is Caring’ campaign

TransLink is today launching a new campaign aimed at promoting the use of face coverings and non-medical masks on Metro Vancouver’s transit system. As part of the ‘Wearing is Caring’ campaign, more than 15,000 TransLink branded masks will be handed out at key transit hubs over coming weeks. Read more »

TransLink boosts availability of sanitizer dispensers

Dispensers to be installed on entire RapidBus fleet, at exchanges, and more stations

Starting next week, TransLink will build on its Safe Operating Action Plan and expand the availability of hand sanitizer dispensers across Metro Vancouver’s transit system. Dispensers will be installed on the entire RapidBus fleet, at key exchanges, and at more SkyTrain stations.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been focused on our cleaning and sanitizing protocols,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “These dispensers will help promote strong personal hygiene practices, which is especially important as our ridership continues to grow. We need to look out for one another and do our part to ensure we are keeping ourselves and our fellow passengers as safe as possible.” Read more »

TransLink ridership begins recovery

Ridership has increased by 85 per cent since early April

New figures show early signs of ridership recovery on Metro Vancouver’s transit system. Systemwide boardings last week were 85 per cent higher than the second week of April, which had the lowest ridership levels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m very pleased to see our customers gradually returning to the transit system,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We’ve worked hard to ensure our customers have confidence in transit by developing the Safe Operating Action Plan, which keeps our services as safe and reliable as possible.”

TransLink’s Safe Operating Action Plan increases cleaning and sanitizing of transit vehicles and hubs, increases service levels, creates space between customers where possible, and recommends that all customers wear a mask, if they are able to do so.

While ridership has been gradually increasing, systemwide ridership is still low compared to pre-COVID levels. Systemwide boardings are currently at around 33 per cent of the levels they were at last year.

Week Boardings Increase since early April
April 5 – April 11 1,396,000
April 12 – April 18 1,467,000 +5 per cent
April 19 – April 25 1,548,000 +11 per cent
April 26 – May 2 1,580,000 +13 per cent
May 3 – May 9 1,683,000 +21 per cent
May 10 – May 16 1,726,000 +24 per cent
May 17 – May 23 1,876,000 +34 per cent
May 24 – May 30 2,219,000 +59 per cent
May 31 – June 6 2,578,000 +85 per cent

 

Mode Boardings April 5 -11, 2020 Boardings May 31 -June 6 2020 Increase
Systemwide* 1,396,000 2,578,000 +85 per cent
Bus 903,000 1,631,000 +81 per cent
Expo-Millennium 372,000 697,000 +87 per cent
Canada Line 109,000 221,000 +103 per cent
SeaBus 10,000 23,000 +130 per cent
West Coast Express 2,000 6,000 +200 per cent
HandyDART** 4,300 6,700 +56 per cent

*Excludes HandyDART given separate measurement method
**HandyDART measured in trips rather than boardings