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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Enter to win a “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe” Compass Card with a DayPass!

New compass card with "Be Kind Be Calm Be Safe"

As part of fall ridership campaign, we’re releasing a commemorative and limited edition, adult Compass Card to remind customers to “Be Kind, Be Calm and Be Safe” as we return to transit. This card recognizes the extensive efforts that have been made by leaders and individuals in B.C. in response to the pandemic.

Starting on Sept. 15, you can purchase the card at the Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station, with a $6 refundable deposit, while supplies last. We ask everyone to practice physical distancing, and to wear a mask while on transit, in line and inside the service centre. You’ll also have the chance to win one with a DayPass loaded on it. Keep reading to find out how to you can enter to win!

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TransLink launches fall ridership campaign

TransLink is launching a new campaign aimed at boosting transit ridership while also reminding customers of the safety and reliability of its transit system.

“Since the restart of British Columbia’s economy in June, our regular riders have gradually been returning to transit,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We want to continue to build ridership over coming months, with systemwide ridership currently sitting at around 43 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. TransLink’s Safe Operating Action Plan includes several enhanced safety initiatives to ensure customers know that transit is a safe and reliable alternative to driving as British Columbia’s economy continues to reopen.”

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5 mask hacks you should know about

Who knew one year ago that face masks would become an inseparable part of our experience in 2020? With fall approaching, masks will remain an essential item in our wardrobe. So why not make mask-wearing more comfortable and better? If you ever foggy glasses, chaffed ears and or any other mask-related problem , check out our five hacks below that will hopefully make your life a little easier!

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92 per cent of TransLink customers now wearing masks

Spot checks show high compliance following the implementation of TransLink’s mandatory mask policy

TransLink is thanking customers for complying with its mandatory mask policy, with new spot check figures showing around 92 per cent of customers are now wearing masks on board transit vehicles. This comes just over a week after the new policy came into effect.

Staff conducted spot checks at high customer volume locations across the system over several days last week. Approximately 31,000 customers were counted as part of the spot checks. Results show about 92 per cent of these customers were seen wearing masks.

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Enter our #WearingIsCaring Instagram contest for masks and sooooo much more!

With face covering being mandatory on all modes of public transit in Metro Vancouver, we want to make sure that masks become a regular part of our transit system experience 😷.

In addition to our weekly weekday free mask giveaway events, this is another opportunity for you to win our singular prize that includes two great-looking masks alongside some awesome summer items that will help you to make a day of fun on transit:

  • 2 adult Compass Minis with a DayPass loaded
  • 2 Retro SeaBus Bottles
  • 2 TransLink-branded sunglasses
  • 1 multi-colour TransLink mode icon design mask
  • 1 two-tone TransLink mode icon design mask
  • 1 beach towel
  • 1 Vancouver Icon Tote Bag.

    The picture doesn’t include all the prizes. The size and colors of the actual prize may differ.

All you have to do is enter the contest. Keep reading to find out how 🙌

How to Participate

Our contest will take place across The Buzzer, Instagram (@translink), and Twitter (@TransLinkNews).

To enter, simply complete one or all of the following actions:

  • Share your response in the comment section below telling us you’d like to enter the draw. (1 entry)
  • Follow us on @TransLinkNews and retweet this Twitter post (1 entry)
  • Follow us on Instagram, like our Instagram post and tag three friends under this Instagram post. (1 entry)

If you do all three actions, you’ll have three chances to win!

The rules

Check out the official terms and conditions, but here’s the lowdown:

  • The draw for the TransLink-branded face coverings will open on Friday, August 28, 2020 and all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PDT on September 7, 2020. Late entries will not be considered.
  • The winning entries will be chosen randomly from all qualified entries on September 8, 2020.
  • The selected winners will be notified by TransLink within 48 hours of the random draw via the social media account provided by the entrant at the time of entry.

PHOTOS: How we rolled out the mandatory mask message to 1600 buses

Things are buzzing at TransLink and its operating companies as the mandatory mask policy came into effect today, Monday, August 24. We’re rolling out a robust marketing campaign and social media push that includes new and updated decals and signs, as well as customer notices and a new message for the destination sign on more than 1,600 buses.  

That means starting today, the destination signs found on the front and sides will not only show the route information, but also “MASK MANDATORY.” This is another highly visible way we’re communicating the message about mandatory masks to our customers. 

Photo provided by Derek Lee

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PHOTOS: Behind the scenes printing decals for mandatory masks

TransLink’s service area spans more than 1,800 square kilometres, which makes it the largest in Canada by far! What does that mean? It means more than 8,300 bus stops across the region and more than 1,600 buses in our fleet.

The small but mighty sign shop at Coast Mountain Bus Company looks after fabricating and installing signs for all these bus stops, as well as creating the decals for all the buses.

What are some of the decals they create? It runs the gamut! It includes the fleet numbers (the single letter and four-to-five digit number you find on the front, back and sides of buses like B18001 or V2101), “Fare Paid Zone,” no smoking, the “Thanks for the brake” bumper sticker and so much more.

With masks mandatory onboard transit, it means new and updated decals and signs across the transit system. In total, we’re installing more than 8,000 signs:

  • 2,300 signs installed on the bus system
  • 2,350 signs installed on SkyTrain and Canada Line
  • 2,315 interior ads on vehicles
  • 700 signs installed on HandyDART vehicles
  • 418 signs installed on Compass faregates

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Bhangra dancer Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon spreads mask-wearing message

Gurdeep Pandher has been travelling all over Vancouver Island spreading happiness, hope and togetherness through Bhaṅgṛā. His stops included Kennedy River Love Locks, the Ucluelet lighthouse, beaches in Tofino and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Before returning to Yukon, Gurdeep delivered one final, important message: wear a mask on transit, which is mandatory onboard bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and HandyDART.

“For those who are not wearing face-masks on transit, I would like say that please do it,” says Gurdeep, who is from Yukon Territory. “Wearing masks, it’s very important. It’s important for your health, it’s also important for people who are sitting besides you.

“And if we keep everybody, including ourselves safe, then we can create a healthy society which will benefit all of us.”

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This is where you can buy a mask in Vancouver

Starting on Monday, August 24, masks will be mandatory on board transit vehicles. That means your fellow transit riders will expect you to be wearing a mask unless you are a customer who’s exempt from the policy due to a underlying medical condition or disability.

We’ve taken a look at our peer agencies across Canada and the United States, and found most customers started wearing masks once it was made mandatory. For example, the Toronto Transit Commission reported 90 per cent of its customers are now wearing masks after implementing a mandatory mask policy. Don’t be spotted without a mask on August 24 because everyone who’s able to will be wearing one.

But don’t worry, there’s still time to buy a mask if you don’t have one already. We’ve compiled a list of places where you can pickup a mask both online and locally. Read more »

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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Bus Services staff helping to keep transit clean

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Keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been our priority. Across the system, we’ve enhanced our cleaning procedures, equipped buses with temporary barriers and reinforced physical distancing measures.

The servicepersons on our Bus Services team have been fundamental in this effort – their dedication, adaptability and incredible work ethic have helped Coast Mountain Bus Company deliver transit services to thousands of people who rely on us. 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 »

How roommates on the Customer Information team help keep transit moving during COVID-19

Remote work has become a new norm for many of us in the era of COVID-19. For our Customer Information (CI) team, this meant leaving a small but bustling hive at the North Surrey Office, where real-time alerts are sent out, updates are received, and hundreds of customer questions are answered.

Working from home (WFH) was quite a readjustment for the team in numerous ways. For Michael Robertson and Cam Muirhead, Customer Information Work Leaders, one thing has remained constant – a good daily face-to-face dose of work banter and chuckles with a desk buddy, which, we’re sure, many of us missed so much. The thing is Mike and Cam are roommates!

We of course couldn’t miss the chance of talking to this awesome CI duo about their ‘co-working at home’ experience and how CI worked during these most uncertain times.

Mike and Cam met while working at Coast Mountain Bus company (CMBC – the bus company that’s part of the TransLink enterprise)  in 2013. They’ve always gotten along in-and-outside of the workplace, so when in the end of 2019, Cam was looking for a new place to stay and Mike was in need of a roommate, they decided to team-up for a mutually beneficial living arrangement.

Mike (on the left) and Cam (on the right), customer information work leaders

How was your experience working from home as roommates during COVID-19?

Cam: COVID-19 was first announced as a global pandemic on March 11th. Initially, like everyone else, we couldn’t anticipate what this would entail. Read more »

Enter the draw for a chance at a TransLink-branded face covering

Our street teams have wrapped up giving away face coverings at SkyTrain stations and bus loops — for now. For those who didn’t get one, we’re giving away a few more on our social media channels!

All you have to do is enter a draw. Keep reading to find out how. 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 »