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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Bus

TransLink celebrates Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year-wrapped bus will make its debut at the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade and will start serving customers this coming Monday.

The Lunar New Year-wrapped bus will make its debut at the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade and will start serving customers this coming Monday.

TransLink is joining Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend by participating in the Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade on Sunday with a specially themed Lunar New Year Bus.

“The Lunar New Year is a time to celebrate the diverse communities who live together in Metro Vancouver,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We are proud to participate in the parade with our Lunar New Year bus which celebrates the beginning of a new year.”

The new year will be the year of the rat, a symbol of wealth and good fortune. The Lunar New Year bus livery features the rat on both sides with lanterns signifying life and prosperity.

After the parade, the bus will enter service on various Metro Vancouver bus routes.

Due to street closures on Pender and Keefer between Cambie and Gore, some bus routes will be temporarily diverted during the parade. To find out if your route is affected, sign up for Transit Alerts (translink.ca/alerts), follow TransLink on Twitter (@TransLink) or call Customer Service at 604-953-3333.

TransLink launches new RapidBus service

TransLink launches RapidBus on four routes – bringing customers up to 20 per cent faster bus service with higher frequencies, fewer stops, dedicated bus lanes, bus priority changes to intersections, and all-door boarding.

RapidBus provides a more reliable bus service that can move more than 10,000 people per hour at peak times. The new service is made possible through investments from Phase One of the Mayors’ Vision, the Government of Canada, and the Province of BC.

“We’re stepping up our bus game,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “RapidBus is a crucial part of improving the region’s bus service through the Mayors’ Vision. These RapidBus routes will benefit eight communities and bring our customers a more reliable bus service that they deserve.” Read more »

Reindeer Bus lights up Metro Vancouver streets

The Reindeer Bus rolls into service today, continuing a beloved holiday tradition in Metro Vancouver. In addition to spreading Christmas cheer across the region – the red-nosed reindeer will deliver donated toys as part of the Toys for Tots initiative, which has been operating for more than three decades.

“The Reindeer Bus is one of our proud traditions,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Whether it’s the volunteer decorators, the operators behind the wheel, the passengers in the seats, or the kids on Christmas Day – the Reindeer Bus brings us all together and brings a smile to every street corner!”

Led by Coast Mountain Bus Company, the Reindeer Bus is equipped with an animated Christmas tree, responsive lighting, a flashing nose, holiday carols, and an inflatable Santa Claus to deliver season’s greetings. Read more »

TransLink releases details of Winter Plan 2019/20

New initiatives and improvements to prepare for the season ahead

New initiatives and improvements to prepare for the season ahead

TransLink is releasing details of new initiatives and improvements to prepare for any adverse weather events this winter.  This comes amid the launch of a new winter marketing campaign aimed at promoting safety for transit users this season.

“Our initiatives this winter are focused on increasing safety and customer communication at stations, bus exchanges, and throughout our online channels,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.  “We’ve learned from previous seasons and have been working hard to ensure customers are kept informed of any significant delays or issues on our system.”

Last month, TransLink also hosted a meeting between Metro Vancouver municipalities to share and discuss winter preparedness plans.  These regional partnerships are crucial to ensuring that any issues can be swiftly dealt with, in order to limit the impact on transit and transportation. Read more »

The 160 bus: perfect for seniors

The 160 Port Coquitlam Station / Kootenay Loop bus is one of the most versatile routes in TransLink’s entire network. It connects communities and municipalities from Burnaby all the way to Port Coquitlam, allowing riders to cross three zones with a single tap.

One group that finds the 160 particularly helpful in their day-to-day lives is seniors, so we decided to take a group out on an expedition along the bus route, so they could show us how they use the route and tell us a little bit about what transit means to them. Read more »

More reasons to take the 160 bus: weekday, daytime offers!

If you’re here, you probably already know that TransLink provides one of the fastest, most convenient and affordable ways to zip around Metro Vancouver. We connect you to everything. Your errands, like grocery shopping and going to the pharmacy. Transit connects your social life, like restaurants and coffee shops. And your me-time, like exercise studios, parks and beaches. You can take transit to get anywhere and do anything – and one of our most versatile routes is the 160 Kootenay Loop / Port Coquitlam Station bus.

The 160 bus can take you from East Hastings Street in Vancouver all the way to downtown Port Coquitlam. Zoom through up to three zones with a single tap! Even if your destination is just a little further away, the 160 Bus connects you directly to the 95 B-Line into downtown Vancouver, as well as SkyTrain’s Millennium Line at Moody Centre, Inlet Centre, Lafarge Lake–Douglas, Lincoln and Coquitlam Central stations.

Along the route you’ll find everything you need for a productive day. The bus comes every 15 minutes during the daytime to ensure you’re never waiting too long to get moving. And since the 160 stops every few blocks, you’re never too far from your destination. It’s the next best thing to having a private driver to take you directly to where you’re headed. Once you’re on board, you’ll notice there’s plenty of space and plenty of seats, so you can settle in for a more comfortable ride.

If that’s not enough, there are five more great reasons to take the 160 bus. In partnership with some of the great cafés and restaurants along the route, we’re offering special deals when you show your Compass Card, Compass Ticket or bus transfer. Take advantage of these great offers with the 160 on weekdays, between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., until December 31, 2019.

So, stop thinking about traffic, parking, and all the hassles that come with it. Take the 160 bus to your destination – it’s your ticket to the neighbourhood!

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 »