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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Bus

Charging ahead into transit’s next frontier: battery-electric buses

Our new battery-electric bus on the left and an OG electric bus on the right.

We’ve set an ambitious goal: a bus fleet that’s powered with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

And we’re well on our way to our goal with more than half of TransLink’s fleet now operating on clean energy, including compressed natural gas and hybrid diesel-electric buses, as well as zero-emission trolleybuses.

Starting today, we’re charging full speed ahead with our battery-electric bus pilot! The buses, which are smoother and quieter than the rest of our fleet, are rolling into service on route 100 Marpole Loop/22nd Street Station. Read more »

Welcome to your new UBC Exchange!

If you’ve been in the neighbourhood of UBC Exchange as of late, you’ll likely have noticed some big changes. TransLink and the University of British Columbia joined forces to deliver a massive overhaul of this vital transit exchange that serves not only the students, but also the growing community of the University Endowment Lands. Read more »

Fall Service Changes set to take your commute to the next level

Our busiest week of the year for commuters is the first week of September. That’s why we’re having one of our largest service increases to date! It’s the first time we’ve ever increased all three of our modes at once!

We do quarterly service changes to accommodate the needs of our customers. This time around, we’re rolling out more bus, more SkyTrain and more SeaBus service starting September 3.

By the numbers:

  • 24 new SkyTrain cars (six trains)
  • 40,000 more annual bus hours
  • 50 per cent more SeaBus capacity

Read more »

PNE Fair: Double the delight with our double-decker bus onsite!

The first of 32 new double-decker buses have arrived!

And it debuts at the PNE Fair, August 17 to September 2 (closed Mondays except Labour Day). It’s part of the Transport 2050 Expo, bringing you the past, present and future of transportation in Metro Vancouver.

Starting in the fall, these sparkling vehicles will enter service on selected routes in Metro Vancouver, replacing their aging highway coach ancestors. The buses will help with overcrowding and provide a more comfortable and exciting transit experience for our customers. Read more »

Introducing a new TransLink service… say hello to RapidBus!

We know that fast, frequent service is key to getting more people onto transit — that’s why we’re introducing a new service called RapidBus! This new service builds on the success of the B-Line routes it comes to three new corridors in Metro Vancouver in January 2020.

We’re excited to share what RapidBus means for you and its cool amenities that will provide a much more comfortable transit experience for our passengers.

What are the features?

RapidBus is going to mean faster travel times, more reliable service and new customer amenities.

On these routes, customers will enjoy service that’s up to 20 per cent faster than local bus service. Time-savings will be achieved by introducing bus priority on roadways, such as bus lanes and signal priority, and less frequent stops.

The RapidBus amenities aren’t just onboard the buses and in the service — they’re also at bus stops! We’re introducing new bus stops, called RapidBus posts, that have real-time information, telling you upcoming departure times for all the buses that use that stop. There will be an audio button customers can push to hear these next-bus announcements too.

But don’t take our word for it, let Denis the Planner over explain it for ya.

But why blue and green?

RapidBus is fast, frequent and reliable, so we wanted the colours to reflect that! That’s why the buses use a blue and green colour scheme. Living up to its name, we also wanted our customers to be able to rapidly identify RapidBus from a distance, so they know when a RapidBus is approaching their stop.

What are the routes for RapidBus?

The five RapidBus routes will serve 11 communities:

  • R1: King George Boulevard (Guildford Town Centre to Newton Exchange) – upgraded 96 B-Line
  • R2: Marine Drive (Park Royal to Phibbs Exchange)
  • R3: Lougheed Highway (Coquitlam Central Station to Haney Place)
  • R4: 41st Avenue (UBC to Joyce–Collingwood Station)
  • R5: Hastings (SFU to Burrard Station) – upgraded 95 B-Line

So, what happens to the B-Line?

Many of its features, such as all-door boarding and articulated buses, live on in the new RapidBus routes, which builds on the success of B-Line! The 95 and 96 B-Lines will become RapidBus routes in January 2020 and the 99 B-Line will remain as it is for the near future. Decisions will be made at a later time about what will happen to it in the future.

Will there be more RapidBus routes in the future?

These five new RapidBus routes are a part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision. Two additional RapidBus routes are planned to launch in 2021 to Surrey, Delta and Richmond, with five more routes planned for Phase Three of the 10-Year Vision, so stay tuned!

Still want more RapidBus info? Watch the live stream of the announcement below and visit translink.ca/rapidbus.

Get to celebrations and home safely with Canada Day 2019 holiday transit service!

Making my way downtown, walking fast… because I want to see the firework show!  🎉

We know that Canada Day celebrations are a big thing, cause we are excited for them too! That’s why on Monday July 1st, the SkyTrain, SeaBus and buses will be running on the holiday schedule, but with additional service to help you get to the celebrations and getting you home safely. 🤗

Because of this spectacular event, that also means that there will be changes to our regular bus routes and access to SkyTrain stations downtown. Don’t worry, it’s just for Canada Day! Read more »

TransLink’s four battery-electric buses are here!

All four buses for our battery-electric bus pilot are now here!

The two Nova Bus LFSe buses and two New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE buses are undergoing pre-delivery inspection at the manufacturer’s facilities.

Once they’re accepted by TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company, they’ll undergo additional testing, and fareboxes and radio equipment will be installed before entering service this summer.

The 2.5-year pilot will put battery-electric buses on route 100, traveling along Marine Drive through Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster. Read more »

Turning the Tides on Temperature: Buses and SkyTrains

Winter is gone, and summer is coming! Aside from the season and unpredictable Vancity weather, the temperatures are changing too. We’re here to explain the variance of heat and AC you’ll encounter on your commutes and give tips on how you can make it a more comfortable experience too.

Temperature on the Bus

Buses that have joined the TransLink fleet since 2012 are climate controlled, so that means there’s air conditioning onboard! As we renew and expand our fleet, they’re making up a larger portion of our fleet. If you’re onboard a bus that has air conditioning, let’s keep those windows shut so the air conditioning can do its job.

As well, climate control means there are times when it seems that both the heating and cooling is on simultaneously. This is so the system can “dry” or dehumidify the air on a cold or humid day.

Temperature on SkyTrain

Over on SkyTrain, our Mark II and III trains both have cooling and heating systems.

Each car has a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit on its roof. It uses sensors that determine the outside air temperature versus the air inside the car, then that will follow an algorithm that helps maintain an optimal temperature for passengers.

Our Mark I trains only has a heating system, so over summer, pop those windows open to keep cool. There are also overhead fans that help with cooling too.

The SkyTrain operates admirably with a 95 per cent on-time performance, but from time to time, there are delays. It’s important to note that if your train is stopped in between stations or just outside a station, that you listen to the onboard announcements and check Transit Alerts. If you need to, open a window for ventilation and use the intercom to speak with SkyTrain Control. Not only is forcing doors open dangerous because the tracks carry live power, it can lengthen delays as a SkyTrain Attendant will need to respond to that individual train.

 

How to make your commute more comfortable

  • Plan ahead

Planning ahead with Trip Planner is super helpful to know how much to bring with you and time that you take to commute. Do you have some breather room to take a break from the heat? Or wanting to explore cafes close by SkyTrain stations? (PS: we have another article coming up on that shortly.)

  • Be courteous on the transit to other passengers

Everyone shares the public space on transit, so we can help each other make it a better commute together. When many people are on the bus at once during a hot day, please be mindful of personal hygiene and refrain from wearing scented products.

  • Keep yourself hydrated

Water is always the best option to keep hydrated. While food and drink aren’t allowed on transit for cleanliness purposes and courtesy of others who may not tolerate food smells, water is an exception (if it has a lid). We’d like to provide caution about drinking on a moving vehicle, so it might be best to wait until you reach a bus stop for a quick drink.

  • Dress according to weather

If you are going to be transiting for most of the day, it’s best to plan your outfit that will be convenient for your commute. Wear clothing that is comfortable and an outer layer that will be easy to take off due to changing temperatures.

Lastly, we want to make sure that everyone will have a safe commute no matter where your destination is this summer. Let us know if you have any suggestions on how you keep yourself comfortable during your trip also in the comments below!

10 busiest bus routes in Metro Vancouver

Region-wide transit use hit another all-time high in 2018 with a 7.1 percent system-wide increase in overall boardings, our biggest ever annual increase!

It’s a well-known fact that Metro Vancouver residents and visitors alike are flocking to the bus system bringing an unprecedented eight per cent growth in annual bus ridership.

We’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 busiest bus routes in Metro Vancouver.

 

Read more »

New express buses improve accessibility on long-haul, suburban routes

All 23 Nova Bus LFS Suburban buses for our suburban routes are now in service!

All 23 new suburban buses built by Nova Bus are now in service!

This is an exciting development as it marks the first step in renewing and expanding our long-haul, suburban bus fleet and bringing low-floor buses to our suburban routes, which are currently “high floor.” Since 1996, we’ve been transitioning our entire fleet to the more-accessible low-floor buses. Suburban buses are the last group to transition. Read more »

Get involved! Take this benchmarking survey for bus and SkyTrain until April 14

From now until April 14, please tell us what you think about bus and SkyTrain service by completing the short surveys.

TransLink is a part of the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG) and CoMET and Nova benchmarking groups, which measure the performance of larger transit agencies across the globe.

Each year, we ask our riders to participate in benchmarking surveys that help us look at best practices, customer satisfaction and performance measurements. Your feedback is extremely important to help make our bus and SkyTrain service even more awesome!  Read more »

A look at the new TransLink buses entering service in Vancouver

Vancouver Transit Centre’s set to receive 104 of these new buses, built by Nova Bus.

Last week, the first of our new 40-foot hybrid buses, built by Nova Bus, went into service on route 25 UBC/Brentwood Station!

The buses have a diesel-electric hybrid drive system, which means they’ll have the lowest greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption in our fleet (aside from our electric trolleybuses). Read more »

The Reindeer Bus returns for 2018: a Vancouver holiday tradition

Ho-Ho-Hold on to your Compass Cards, Rudolph is comin’ to town!


That’s right! The Reindeer Bus (aka: 9543) has saddled up and is out and about spreading some holiday cheer throughout the region.

Spot it, snap it and share it on social media with the hashtag #ReindeerBus. We want to see your pics!

The bus gets bigger and better every year. New this year is an inflatable Santa Claus inside the bus along with improved lights, and larger and more detailed antlers.

Returning are the Rudolph’s flashing red nose, the Christmas lights adorning the outside of the bus from top to bottom, holiday carols, lights and garland inside the vehicle. Read more »

(PICTURES) The Vancouver trolleybus network turns 70 today!

Stanley Park (Chilco) Loop circa 1972

August 16, 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of Vancouver’s trolleybus network.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Vancouver’s trolleybus network!

The electric trolleybuses first burst onto the scene as part of the ambitious “rails-to-rubber” conversion to decommission the streetcar network. The first trolleybus, a Canadian Car Brill T-44, hit the roads on August 16, 1948, forever changing the way we move around in the city.

Have you checked out the new items in the TransLink Store? We’ve released a commemorative shirt, recognizing the 70th anniversary of Vancouver’s trolleybus network! Available in men and ladies sizes.

For more than 60 years, the streetcar was the backbone of the region’s transit system. The end of the Great Depression and World War II challenged us to rethink public transit: stay with streetcars and their tracks, or look towards rubber-tired buses.  Read more »

Ride a historic trolleybus for FREE on August 16, 18 and 24

Come join us on August 16, 18 and 24 to take a trip down memory lane.

Vancouver’s trolleybus network turns 70 on August 16, 2018 and we’re celebrating with FREE rides on a historic trolleybus!

A 1954 Canadian Car Brill T-48A trolleybus, painted in the B.C. Hydro and Power Authority livery (design on the outside), returns to Vancouver’s streets for three days:

  • Thursday, August 16, noon – 4 p.m. (departs from Cordova St at Seymour St, approximately every 70 mins.)
  • Saturday, August 18, noon – 4 p.m. (departs from Cambie St at Hastings St, stop #50410, approximately every 30 mins.)
  • Friday, August 24, noon – 4 p.m. (departs from Cambie St at Hastings St, stop #50410, approximately every 30 mins.)

We expect the historic trolleybus rides to be very popular, so get there early! It’s first come, first served. Rides end at 4 p.m. on all three days, so the last departure will be about 70 mins. prior on Aug. 16 and about half-an-hour prior on Aug. 18 & 24.

The first trolleybus, a Canadian Car Brill T-44, hit the road on August 16, 1948, operating the 6 Fraser and 15 Cambie route. It was part of the ambitious “rails-to-rubber” conversion to decommission the streetcar network and replace it with trolleybuses.

The last streetcar route departed Vancouver’s streets in 1955. Diesel buses soon joined the fleet, and later came compressed natural gas and diesel-electric hybrid buses.  Next year, we’ll begin trialling four fast-charge battery-electric buses on the 100 Marpole Loop/22nd Street Station route.

Our trolleybus fleet today consists of 262 forty- and sixty-foot buses built by New Flyer. We’re the only transit system in Canada that operates trolleybuses and our fleet is one of the largest in North America!