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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: 10-Year Vision

Have your say in the next generation of SkyTrain cars!

We want your feedback on our expanding SkyTrain fleet!

The SkyTrain fleet is expanding! Already on the way are 80 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines.

On top of that, we’re thrilled to share we’re planning to purchase an additional 203 SkyTrain cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines, arriving in 2023–2024. It’s all part of the 10-Year Vision – Phase 2 to add 100,000 new service hours on SkyTrain. Read more »

New Mark III trains undergoing testing and commissioning

New Mark III undergoing testing

This new Mark III train is currently completing a certain number of hours in a variety of different service situations

For those of you who noticed a new arrival on the Expo Line yesterday, it’s the first of the new Mark IIIs that’s getting closer each day to entering service! You heard that right!

We’re happy to say we’re testing and commissioning the newest Mark III train. You’ll see this one 4-car train on the Expo Line during non-peak hours, but no passengers are allowed on until the testing is complete.

The train will stop at all stations and the doors will open – but they will be taped and SkyTrain Attendants will be onboard to ensure no one boards the train.

Here’s what you will see when this train stops at the station and the doors open.

New Mark III SkyTrain testing

Here’s what you will see when this train stops at the station and the doors open.

The train will be tested and commissioned during non-peak hours. It is mandatory for all new trains to undergo eight hours of testing.

As you may recall, we received the first of the new Mark IIIs in September this year. Over the next year, we will be receiving a total of 56 new Mark III SkyTrain cars that will undergo mandated testing to ensure they are safe to travel on. Out of this, 24 SkyTrain cars will arrive early next year and another 28 by the end of the same year, all for the Expo and Millennium Lines.

This is all part of the 10-Year Vision – Phase One! We’re adding 80 new SkyTrain cars on the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines to increase service and reduce overcrowding.

All new trains must complete a certain number of hours in a variety of different service situations and testing scenarios before they are given the green light to be used in service. We do this testing to ensure that the new trains are safe for all passengers and staff.

All new trains go through three stages of commissioning:

  • Stage 1: Involves running a total of 140 km on Expo (80kms) and Millennium Line (60 kms) during non-revenue hours.
  • Stage 2: Includes running the train a total of eight hours during non-peak revenue service (current stage for the new trains).
  • Stage 3: Involves running the train in full revenue service (during peak and non-peak hours) while transporting passengers.

Train 2 arrived at the SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre at Burnaby in November and is currently also undergoing testing and commissioning. Train 3 is currently being tested in Kingston, ON, while manufacturing of train 4 is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

 

As the new Mark III trains are commissioned, they will be introduced to service on all-day Expo Line runs now operated by Mark I trains.

These trains are fully-articulated (you can walk from one end of the train to the other), have more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage, and are more environmentally efficient, and so much more!

Every 4th new Mark III train will allow us to update the Expo/Millennium service timetables, thereby increasing capacity on both the lines.

Stay tuned to know when the new trains go into service! You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with service information, and to share cool transit stories with us!

Author: Tanushree Pillai

“Marky” — the newest Mark III SkyTrain is here!


After an epic, week-long journey across Canada, Marky — the newest Mark III SkyTrain — is now here! Marky arrived the evening of Sept. 12 and was unloaded the next morning on Sept. 13. Check out the time lapse above, and the photos below! Read more »

New SkyTrain cars are on their way to Vancouver!

The first four of 28 new SkyTrain cars are on the way to Vancouver!

As part of the 10-Year Vision – Phase One, we’re adding 80 new SkyTrain cars on the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines to increase service and reduce overcrowding.

We have some exciting news to share! The first four of 56 cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines, built by Bombardier Transportation, are now on the way to Vancouver from Kingston, Ontario where they recently completed testing. Once they arrive in Vancouver, they’ll will undergo additional testing before entering service.

Read more »

TransLink to provide grants up to $50,000 to university researchers

NMRG projects may range from one year to two years in duration and can span a range of disciplines.

Researchers at post-secondary institutions can now apply for up to $50,000 in research funding grants to explore new mobility issues and solutions.

The New Mobility Lab is our new engagement portal for post-secondary institutions, researchers, and university students.

New mobility is commonly defined as electric, connected, automated and shared transportation. Broadly, it can be defined as use of technology or other innovations to improve movement of people and goods, both in terms of consumer experience and overall efficiency.

TransLink aims to continuously explore, test, and implement innovative ways to improve mobility in Metro Vancouver and further three key goals:

  1. Enable seamless and efficient door-to-door mobility for people and goods;
  2. Promote safe, healthy, clean, and compact communities;
  3. Ensure affordable and equitable access for all.

We provide stable, multi-year funding towards a coordinated program of applied research aimed at answering new mobility related questions of relevance to us and our local government partners.

Read more »

New federal and provincial funding announced for Surrey LRT; Broadway Subway

UPDATE – Nov, 06, 2018: In light of the resolution passed by the City of Surrey council we are pausing work on the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project and suspending the RFQ process while we await direction from the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board. Read the full statement from TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond here.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan, today announced more than $3 billion in federal and provincial funding for two major rapid transit projects in Metro Vancouver: the Broadway Subway project and the Surrey-Newton-Guildford Light Rail Transit project.

Metro Vancouver is home to some of the fastest growing cities in Canada. Modern, efficient transit systems are needed more than ever to reduce traffic congestion, connect businesses and communities, and meet the needs of a rapidly-growing population.

The Broadway Subway project will add 5.7 kilometres and six stations to the line, bringing frequent and reliable SkyTrain access to one of the most congested transit corridors in Metro Vancouver.

The Surrey-Newton-Guildford Light Rail Transit project (LRT) will create the first light-rail transit system in British Columbia. With 11 new stations along 10.5 kilometres of street‑level track, the LRT will provide much-needed transit services in underserved areas, connect and revitalize communities, and make it easier to travel across the Lower Mainland.

We are working hard to make life more affordable, delivering the services you count on and building a strong, sustainable and prosperous economy that delivers benefits for everyone.

Working together with Metro Vancouver communities and the federal government, we are investing in transit and transportation infrastructure to get people and goods moving quickly, safely and affordably.

From L-R: Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, BC Premier John Horgan, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at the major rapid transit funding announcement in Surrey.

Read more »

Fall Service Changes 2018: the first SWATP improvements arrive


You asked, we listened! Our Fall Service Changes adds 100 more trips every day and 6,000 more spaces for our customers across Metro Vancouver — made possible through new 10-Year Vision investments.

As part of this, we’re thrilled to be implementing the first improvements from the Southwest Area Transport Plan, which was finalized in July. The plan established a blueprint for the transit and transportation needs in Richmond, South Delta, the Tsawwassen First Nation and important connections to North Delta.

Starting on Sept. 3, we’re splitting the 401 and 410, both into two routes to improve speed and reliability. We’re also extending service to new areas: Port Royal and the Blundell Road Industrial Area! Read more »

Fall Service Changes means 6,000 more spaces on transit for our customers!

We're adding more service hours across Metro Vancouver to help reduce overcrowding.

We’re adding more service hours across Metro Vancouver to help reduce overcrowding.

We hear ya — the transit system is busy!

Last year, Metro Vancouver led Canada and the United States in transit ridership growth with 407 million boardings, and the growth trend has continued into this year.

That’s why we’re adding more service hours across the region to help reduce overcrowding as part of our Fall Service Changes, which begin on Monday, Sept. 3!

We’re adding 100 more trips every day and 6,000 more spaces for our customers — made possible through new investments available through the 10-Year Vision.

More than 20 routes across the region are receiving improvements thanks to this new funding. Among them:

  • 23 Beach/Yaletown/Main Street Station
  • 25 Brentwood Station/UBC
  • 43 Joyce Station/UBC
  • 100 22nd Street Station/Marpole Loop
  • 319 Scott Road Station/Newton Exchange
  • 555 Lougheed Station/Carvolth Exchange

We are also improving several routes as part of the updated Southwest Area Transport Plan, which was finalized in July:

  • 104 Annacis island/22nd Street Station
  • 401 Richmond-Brighouse Station/One Road
  • 406 Richmond-Brighouse Station/Steveston*NEW*
  • 408 Richmond Brighouse/Ironwood/Riverport *NEW*
  • 410 Richmond Brighouse Station/22nd Street Station
  • 418 Richmond-Brighouse Station/Kingswood (formerly C98)

For full details and maps, please visit translink.ca/servicechanges. Stay tuned to The Buzzer blog over the next two weeks as we take a deep dive into other notable changes.

Nearly 250,000 annual bus service hours related to the 10-Year Vision have been added since the start of Phase One. The 10-Year Vision means more transit, better roads, safer cycling and pedestrian access — for everyone.

And we’re just getting started! In June, an investment plan for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision was approved, unlocking $7.3 billion in new funding. This is the largest investment in transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver’s history!

Know before you go! Plan your trip using our Trip Planner at translink.ca/tripplanner.

Author: Allen Tung

Ridership growth trend continues through June

System-wide boardings grew by 6.1% in June!

System-wide boardings grew by 6.1% in June!

We have some exciting news to share. The numbers are in for June and we’re once again reporting ridership growth! Boardings have increased by 6.1% year-over-year, showing transit is continuing to attract new riders. 

We’re racing towards another record year of growth—if this trend continues, 2018 will break last year’s total boardings record of 407 million.

  • Bus: Average weekday boardings are up 8% year over year, while year to date growth is 6.5%.
  • SkyTrain: Expo and Millennium Line average weekday boardings are up 6.1%, which is in line with growth year to date. While average weekday boardings for Canada Line increased by 5.8% year-over-year and growth year-to-date is at 5.1%.
  • SeaBus: Average weekday boardings increased by 5.4% year-over-year and 6.3% year-to-date. This is due in part to frequency increases in the evening launched a year ago.
  • West Coast Express: Average weekday boardings are up 7.6% year-over-year and 6% for the year-to-date. This suggests ridership is rebounding after a drop following the opening of the Evergreen Millennium Line Extension.

Growth is being driven by the substantial addition of new service as part of Phase One, steadily high gas prices and strong employment growth. This underscores the need for projects and service increases coming as part of Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision, which include:

  • Construction of light rail in Surrey, the Millennium Line Broadway Extension in Vancouver and planning and design for Surrey-Langley rapid transit.
  • New bus service in Vancouver, Surrey and North Vancouver as well as B-Lines in Richmond and Surrey.
  • Addition of new buses and SkyTrain cars to increase frequency and capacity.

According to TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond, the focus is now shifting to Phase Two of the Vision.

“The Phase Two Investment Plan was approved by TransLink’s Board and the Mayors’ Council which gives us the mandate to roll out the biggest package of transportation improvements in Metro Vancouver history. These latest numbers show the region needs this investment if we’re going to avoid major congestion.”

Have you taken any of the Phase One service improvements yet? If so, we’d love to hear your thought on them in the comments section.

 

Plan sets the course for transportation in Richmond, Delta and Tsawwassen

Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) finalized

Ladner Village

Restaurant manager Nirav Surani employs many teenagers and young adults at the Tsawwassen Mills mall’s KFC, who travel from communities throughout Metro Vancouver to work there part-time.

The younger ones are enjoying their first work experience, while earning spending money. Others are post-secondary students working to help offset student loans.

While some drive to work, most rely on transit to get to-and-from the mall, or to connect to the mall’s employee shuttle service near SkyTrain’s Scott Road Station.

That’s why it’s welcome news for Nirav that transit, cycling, walking and road infrastructure are set to improve in Richmond, Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation with TransLink’s Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) finalized.

Nirav Surani

Nirav Surani

The plan serves as a blueprint for how we can best allocate our resources over the next decade to improve transit and transportation in the area, including important connections to North Delta.

Most notably for Nirav and his employees, a Tier 1 recommendation in the plan is adding the 601 Bridgeport Station/South Delta/Boundary Bay to the Frequent Transit Network (FTN). This route is one of three that directly serves the mall.

The FTN are corridors where transit service is frequent enough that customers don’t need to refer to a schedule. They operate at least every 15 minutes in both directions throughout the day and into the evening, every day of the week.

“Definitely, I’m excited that more improvements will be coming,” says Nirav. “It will not only help employees get to the mall, but also the general public. The weekends are always so busy, and I’m sure more people want to come to the mall.”

Tier 1 recommendations in the plan will be advanced first, as funding allows and alongside other regional priorities. The first improvements begin rolling out in September as part of our Fall Service Changes—stay tuned for details!

Other Tier 1 recommendations include:

  • Additional frequency on the 301, 311 and 430
  • Redesigning both the 401 and 410/C98 routes, each becoming two routes
  • Upgrading the 403 and 601 to the Frequent Transit Network
  • Expanded employment area coverage for the 104

Visit translink.ca/swatp to learn more about the Southwest Area Transport Plan!

Also, just last week, the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board of Directors approved the $7.3-billion investment plan for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision. The first of the new service begins rolling out in 2019. Included in Phase Two for the southwest area:

  • A new B-Line connecting Richmond to the SkyTrain’s Expo Line
  • Extending the 640 from Ladner Exchange to connect with the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
  • Extending the hours of service on the 606, 608, N10 and N15
  • Reducing wait times on the 301, 401, 402 and 407
  • Reducing overcrowding on the 351

A big thanks to the more than 3,200 people who participated in the public engagement on the Southwest Area Transport Plan in spring 2017, and for those of you who offered feedback on the draft report that was made public in winter 2017! We also worked closely with our local government partners in Richmond, Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation to finalize this plan.

The SWATP is a living document, which means we will continue to work collaboratively with local government partners to stay on track to deliver the recommendations in the plan.

We are committed to reaching out to the public again when addressing changes that are more challenging and would require some trade-offs in benefits.

Investment plan for Phase 2 of the 10-Year Vision approved!

TransLink bus

The Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board of Directors have approved the plan for Phase 2 of the 10-Year Vision

UPDATE – Nov, 06, 2018: In light of the resolution passed by the City of Surrey council we are pausing work on the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project and suspending the RFQ process while we await direction from the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board. Read the full statement from TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond here.

Exciting news for everyone in Metro Vancouver! The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and the TransLink Board of Directors have approved the investment plan for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision.

This sets the stage for unprecedented increases to transit services beginning in 2019. The investment, which totals $7.3 billion, is the largest in transit and transportation in Metro Vancouver’s history!

Highlights of Phase One and Two

  • Bus
    • 900,000 more hours of new bus service on 75 different routes.
    • Two new B-Lines in Richmond and Surrey (In addition to five new B-Lines being rolled out by 2019 as part of Phase One).
  • SkyTrain
    • Extension of the Millennium Line with six new stations along Broadway from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street in Vancouver.
    • 40% increase to service on Expo and Millennium lines.
    • 203 new SkyTrain cars (108 new, 95 replacement) for Expo and Millennium lines.
    • Increased Canada Line service during rush hours, evenings, and weekends starting in 2020.
  • Light Rapid Transit
    • Construction of Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Line along 104 Avenue, City Parkway and King George Boulevard.
  • Road
    • $75 million for rehab and upgrades to the Major Road Network.
  • HandyDART
    • 247,000 additional HandyDART trips per year by 2021.
  • Planning for the future
    • Project development and potential early works for the Surrey-Langley Line.
    • Planning for a potential Burnaby Mountain Gondola.
    • Planning for rapid transit to UBC Point Grey campus.

To learn more, visit tenyearvision.translink.ca or read the media release!

May’s transit ridership smashes records

May’s ridership numbers are in and we’re seeing unprecedented growth across the transit network! Ridership has reached a new all-time high, with the brief period Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being the only exception.

  • Bus: Average weekday boardings for May are up 9.5 per cent, while yearly growth to date is at 6.9 per cent.
  • SkyTrain: May’s Expo and Millennium Line average weekday boardings are up 9.2 per cent, while Canada Line’s grew by 8.1 per cent. Expo, Millennium and Canada Line boardings combined for the year so far are up 5.7 per cent.
  • SeaBus: Average weekday boardings increased by 13.1 per cent. This is due in part to frequency increases in the evening launched a year ago. Year-to-date boardings are up 7.6 per cent.
  • West Coast Express: Boardings for May have increased 6.7 per cent, while the year-to-date growth rate is also 6.7 per cent.

Read more »

Annual scheduled transit fare change takes effect July 1

On Sunday, July 1, the annual scheduled transit fare change takes effect.

Phase One of the Mayors Council’s 10-Year Vision calls for much-needed transit investments to increase capacity, reduce overcrowding and introduce bus service to new areas.

To help fund this, the Mayors’ Council identified annual increases to transit fares over the next decade, which was announced in November 2016 as part of Phase One‘s approval. These minor fare increases will help bring more and better service to everyone in the region.

Beginning Sunday, July 1, transit fares will increase by 5 to 10 cents.

  • Single-use concession fares will increase by five cents for Stored Value fares and 10 cents for cash fares.
  • Single-use adult fares will increase by 10 cents (this includes HandyDART).
  • DayPass fares will increase by 25 cents.
  • Monthly pass fares will increase between $1 and $2, depending on zone type.
  • Fare increases will be the same on West Coast Express.

Read more »

Take the survey on the Surrey–Newton–Guildford LRT

UPDATE – Nov, 06, 2018: In light of the resolution passed by the City of Surrey council we are pausing work on the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project and suspending the RFQ process while we await direction from the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board. Read the full statement from TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond here.

As part of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision, we’re delivering new rapid transit to the region, including the construction and operation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Line!

This will introduce modern, street-level light rail transit (LRT) along King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue, connecting Surrey City Centre, Guildford and Newton with high-quality rapid transit.

Through June 14, TransLink and the City of Surrey want your input on key aspects of the LRT project and how light rail will help transform Surrey.

LRT is new to our region, so naturally there are some who are concerned about how it will work, and others who prefer alternative technologies for a variety of reasons. Read more »

Only a few days left to help design the four new B-Line routes

TransLink is rolling out four new B-Line bus routes across 12 Metro Vancouver communities by the end of next year.

When launched, these B-Line routes will bring frequent, reliable service and shorter travel times within walking distance of a whopping 200,000 residents! Now’s the time to help shape these B-Line routes, and make sure they meet your community’s needs. The consultation period has been underway since April and will be closing on May 31.

Seven more B-Line routes that will come after the 2019 launch as part of future phases of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision.

Read more »