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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: People Report

Getting to know TransLink – Fearghal and Jacob

2015 PR

Learn more about employees across TransLink in the 2015 People Report

This spring, TransLink released its 3rd annual People Report – a publication for us to showcase initiatives that help support and enrich our employees across the TransLink Enterprise.

A few of our nearly 7,000 employees were featured in the report and right here on the Buzzer blog.

Two of those employees are Planning Analyst Jacob Fox and Senior Planner Fearghal King.

They were asked to present their work on driving behaviour and fuel trends to the Revenue and Finance Committee at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) annual conference in Washington, DC.

Not only that, but their peer-reviewed paper, Revenue and policy implications from emerging fuel sale trends in Metro Vancouver, was published this year in the Transportation Research Record, the journal of the TRB!

Let’s delve deeper into this project as Jacob and Fearghal tell us a little more about their study and findings.

Tell me about why you focused your study on work on driving behaviour and fuel trends.

As the Regional Transportation Authority, we feel it’s important to have a solid understanding of regional driving behaviour and how that is evolving over time. By analyzing these trends we can begin to explore policy options that help to reduce regional VKT (Vehicle Kilometres Travelled).

On the flip side, TransLink collects $0.17c from every litre of fuel sold in the region. Once again it’s important to understand the sustainability of this revenue source in the presence of improved vehicle fleet efficiency and fuel price competition with the US.

What are some trends that affect fuel sales in our region?

Fuel sales are predominantly impacted by the price of fuel (both here and in the US), the growth rate of auto ownership and the unemployment rate.

What data did you collect and how?

We collected odometer reading data from vehicles which went through the AirCare program from 2000 – 2010, as well as vehicle registration data from ICBC over the same time period.

We also collected data on fuel sales (from Kent Marketing), as well as population and employment densities and transit service hours, among other things.

What were your findings?

The most significant finding which we observed was a decoupling between road usage (measured by VKT trends) and the main source of road user payments (measured by fuel sale trends).

Essentially we witnessed a decline in fuel volume sales, while VKT trends continued at a steady pace. The significance here is that we saw no decline in road usage (suggesting that congestion and road maintenance costs remained problematic), while the main source of revenue from road users – fuel volume sales – did decline.

What are the implications of fuel tax, a formerly steady revenue stream, declining?

The fuel tax is the second largest source of revenue for TransLink (generating about $340 million in 2014).

As long as vehicle fuel efficiency rates continue to improve, and fuel price competition exists between this region and the US, then this revenue source (as it is currently designed) is under threat.

How can your study be used in real world parameters?

This study helps to lend some useful insight and empirical evidence to the ongoing discussions surrounding transportation funding and mobility pricing.

The study paves the way to explore the applicability of more sustainable funding mechanisms (such as distance-based road user charging, for one).

Want to know more about the people who make the transit network tick?
Read the 2015 People Report!

Author: Adrienne Coling

The 3rd Annual People Report is released

TransLink and its operating companies employ 6,906 people!

TransLink employs 6,906 people!

For the third year, TransLink has released its People Report.

This publication is an opportunity for us to showcase initiatives that help to support and enrich our employees across the TransLink enterprise.

Did you know that TransLink and it’s operating companies employ almost 7,000 people??

We all work together to support our riders, helping you get to where you need to go across the Metro Vancouver!

Here are a few excerpts from the 2015 People Report about some of our employees:

Two of TransLink’s System Analytics team present work abroad

Jacob and FearghalPlanning Analyst Jacob Fox and Project Manager Fearghal King presented their work on driving behaviour and fuel trends to the Revenue and Finance Committee at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) annual conference in Washington, DC.

For their study, the two TransLink System Analytics team members built a model to estimate vehicle kilometres traveled (VKTs) by Metro Vancouver residents using data from several sources including odometer readings collected by the now ended AirCare program.

Their peer-reviewed paper, “Revenue and policy implications from emerging fuel sale trends in Metro Vancouver,” will be published this year in the Transportation Research Record, the journal of the Transportation Research Board. This is a great achievement since only about 20 per cent of TRB papers are selected for publication.

Police Honours Meritorious Service Award

Police Honours Meritorious Service AwardTP
Transit Police Constable Martin Hurst received the Meritorious Service Award from BC’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Judith Guichon, at the Police Honours Night ceremonies at Government House in Victoria on November 19, 2015.

Martin’s dedication, initiative and expertise in social media investigations and internet open-source intelligence has changed the way many police services in Canada investigate a wide variety of crimes.

An instructor of computer-based investigation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and British Columbia Institute of Technology, he is also an internationally-recognized speaker and instructor in the field of open-source intelligence.

STAs reunited with an expecting passenger in distress

STAsSkyTrain Attendants Ian Scott and Raj Lall noticed that a passenger was visibly distressed when she disembarked at Lougheed Station.

She told them she was seven weeks pregnant, bleeding heavily and experiencing severe abdominal pain. Ian called for an ambulance and sat with her for half an hour as Raj waited to direct first responders to her location.

After the woman was taken to hospital, she got the good news that both she and her baby were in no danger. The passenger emailed a commendation to BCRTC. “I wish I could thank (the STAs) in person,” she wrote, “and let them know that my baby is safe because of their help.”

Ian and Raj were presented with Letters of Commendation for their actions. The thankful passenger attended the ceremony and she was able to thank them in person.

They were delighted. “Serious things like this happen every day (on SkyTrain), but we don’t hear back from them,” said Ian. “People don’t think to call, so this was very special. It certainly made my day when I found out everything was okay.” Added Raj: “It was good to hear that everything went well. Most people only take the time to call and complain.”

Stay tuned to the Buzzer blog as we delve further into some of the great stories that take place behind the scenes with our employees across the transit network!

Want to know about the people at TransLink?
You can read the entire People Report here.

Author: Adrienne Coling (with copy from The 2015 People Report)