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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Bus

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.

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!

Take transit to the Celebration of Light—we’re adding extra service!

The Celebration of Light returns on July 28 (South Africa), August 1 (Sweden) and August 4 (South Korea), lighting up the skies at English Bay, the West End and Kits Point!

More than 15,000 people take transit to and from the event each night, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. We’ll be adding extra service and modifying station access in downtown Vancouver to get you to-and-from the festivities smoothly.

Keep reading to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know to have a fun and safe evening at the Celebration of Light!

Plan ahead and avoid line ups at Compass Vending Machines by topping up your Compass Card or pre-purchasing your return Compass Ticket. And remember—you can tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile wallet on Compass fare gates and readers to pay for an adult cash fare!

Celebration of Light Tips

Extra service

Bus

Coast Mountain Bus Company and West Vancouver Transit will operate extra trips to downtown Vancouver after 6:30 p.m. and additional service after the events. Some downtown and West End buses will be detoured. For a full list of detours, visit translink.ca/alerts closer to event days.

SkyTrain

The Expo and Millennium Line will operate peak service from mid-afternoon, with the last scheduled SkyTrain departing Waterfront Station at 1:16 a.m. Service will be extended if necessary.

The Canada Line will operate peak service throughout the evening and there will extra service from Waterfront at the end of the fireworks, with trains running every three minutes. The last departure from Waterfront to Richmond–Brighouse Station will be at 1:15 a.m.

SeaBus 

Extra and extended service will be provided for each of the Celebration of Light events (and also Caribbean Days!).

The SeaBus will operate every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. until midnight with the last SeaBus from Waterfront at 1:22 a.m. on Saturdays, July 28 and August 4. On July 28 only, an extra SeaBus will operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, August 1, it will operate every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and midnight, then every 30 minutes until the last sailing from Waterfront at 1:22 a.m.

West Coast Express

West Coast Express will operate a special train on August 4 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m. and arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15 p.m. The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City at approximately 1:15 a.m.

Station access

To ensure passenger comfort and safety after the events, bikes will not be allowed on SkyTrain after 10:30 p.m. until the crowds have cleared. As well, the following stations will be open with modified access after 10:30 p.m.: 

Waterfront Station: SkyTrain access from the Cordova Street entrance will be restricted to Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express (on Aug. 4 only) passengers, as well as persons with wheelchairs or strollers. All other passengers, including those transferring from SeaBus to the Expo Line must enter from Howe Street, until crowds have cleared.

Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance’s bike rack until the expected crowds have cleared.

Granville Station: The Granville Street entrance will be closed until crowds clear (note: the Seymour entrance remains closed as part of the escalator replacement project). Passengers will lineup for the SkyTrain at this station west along Dunsmuir, south on Granville. Platform 1 towards Waterfront will be closed.

Plan your trip at translink.ca/tripplanner and know before you go by checking Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts.

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.

 

New NightBus District makes late-night transit easier to find

TransLink After Dark

Finding the NightBus just got easier in downtown Vancouver with the pilot NightBus District—a new, well-lit hub on West Georgia Street at Granville Street to catch the NightBus.

This is where all 10 NightBus routes will now start, making it easier than ever to find transit to take you home after 2  a.m.! It’s cheaper than a coat check, costing less than $3 to get home on NightBus.

NightBus District stops are the ones with the full moons on top!

NightBus District stops are the ones with the full moons on top!

NightBus routes from Downtown Vancouver depart every 30 minutes or better, seven days a week, and pick up customers throughout the downtown core, connecting them to destinations across the region.

The routes include service to Burnaby and SFU, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Richmond and YVR, Surrey, UBC and several points throughout Vancouver.

Three of the NightBus routes closely follow the same routes as the Millennium Line (N9), Canada Line (N10) and Expo Line (N19). Last departures from downtown on these routes are after 4 a.m. Last departures for other routes range from 3:09 a.m. to 5:09 a.m., depending on the route.

NightBus District and Route Map

The hub, which is a pilot project, was inspired by feedback from TransLink’s Late Night Stakeholder Committee that has been discussing late-night transit services for workers and patrons of the Downtown Entertainment District.

We’ll be monitoring the success of the program as we continue our assessment of late-night services.

Find out more about the NightBus District on translink.ca/nightbus!

 

TransLink’s Summer Service Changes begins on June 25

Summer Service Changes start June 25

This Monday, June 25 we launch our Summer Service Changes on June 25, bringing better transit to our customers!

Ridership in Metro Vancouver smashed records in May thanks in large part to new transit service introduced as part of the 10-Year Vision. On June 25, we’re increasing service on the 319 Scott Road/Newton Exchange at busy times on weekdays to reduce wait times and pass-ups. This is the latest 10-Year Vision investment to improve our transit system.

We’re also adding extra trips on numerous routes to get you to and from popular summer attractions!

Summer is a time for exploring and there are so many places in Metro Vancouver that you can explore using transit, including amazing hikes and doughtnut shops, street festivals, farmers markets, parks and more. If you know some places accessible on transit that we haven’t covered, leave that info in the comments section!

Visiting summer destinations is why we’re adding extra trips to Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Buntzen Lake and White Rock Beach. We’re also extending service hours on the 620 route to get you to and from Tsawwassen Ferry terminal during the summer season!

On the 20 Victoria/Downtown route, we’re trying something new to improve reliability. Congestion in downtown Vancouver often affects this route’s reliability. That’s why we’re piloting a layover at Richards Street and W Georgia Street, which will allow buses to get back on schedule.

The 44 Downtown/UBC will no longer serve five bus stops to provide express service in downtown Vancouver.

We’re renaming the C45 and C46 as well as the C60 and C61 routes to improve customer experience for new riders!

They are now the 745 Haney Place/Cottonwood and 746 Haney Place/Albion, and 560 Langley Centre/Murrayville and 561 Langley Centre/Brookswood. Buses will operate exactly the same, only the destination sign will change. Customers can remain on the bus when the route number changes.

These are just highlights! You’ll want to visit translink.ca/servicechanges for a list of all the changes and details.

New platforms for Millennium Line at Lougheed Town Centre Station

We’re streamlining the way our Millennium Line trains move through Lougheed Town Centre Station to create a faster and more reliable trip for our customers.

Trains to VCC–Clark Station will depart from Platform 3 and trains to Lafarge Lake–Douglas will depart from Platform 1. Expo Line platforms will not change. Watch the video to learn more!

C-ya later!

The letter “C” used to indicate the route was served with only community shuttle buses. Today, we operate our bus fleet interchangeably, depending on demand, to better serve our customers.

We’re continuing to phase out the “C” on community shuttle bus routes. On June 25, we’re saying “c-ya” to the “C” on the  C43, C44, C45, C46, C48, C49, C60, C61, C62, C63, C64, C70, C75 and C76.

Know before you go! Sign up for Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts, visit translink.ca, follow @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

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 »