Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Planning for the Future

TransLink gives green light to green bonds

We will be the first transit agency in Canada to issue green bonds

At TransLink, we take environmental stewardship very seriously. We also constantly spend capital to improve our transit network, so YOU, our customers, can benefit from it.

We all know public transit is a greener choice – it takes away cars from the roads, thereby reducing our cumulative carbon footprint.

With this responsibility in mind, TransLink’s Board of Directors has given the green light to issue green bonds as one way to finance the largest expansion to transit service in our region’s history — the 10-Year Vision.

What are green bonds, you might wonder?

Read more »

I Love Transit 2018: TransLink keeps sustainability in focus

It is expected that each electric bus in operation will reduce on-road CO2 emissions by close to 300,000 kg annually

It’s I Love Transit Week! A week where we celebrate our riders, transit enthusiasts and all the things we love about transit. This year’s theme is…Connections: the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver. One of the key elements of what the future of transit entails is sustainable transit. So, we chatted with Sarah Buckle, Director Enterprise Risk and Sustainability at TransLink what that actually means.

By Sarah Buckle, TransLink’s Director of Enterprise Risk & Sustainability

As TransLink provides people with alternatives to driving cars by expanding transit service, we dramatically reduce the region’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve the air quality. Yet, for every bus we put on the road, we also emit GHGs by consuming fossil fuels. Extending transit is essential for our region and the environmental benefits of doing so can’t be understated. But, it’s also critical that we use low-carbon technologies to reduce our own environmental footprint.

My role is to lead the adoption and achievement of environmental commitments and the advancement of strategic sustainability initiatives that align with enterprise priorities. An example of this is developing a low carbon fleet strategy, demonstrating zero-emission battery electric buses, and procuring renewable fuels. These are no small tasks!

Just recently, TransLink’s Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council approved the adoption of two very significant environmental targets – reducing TransLink’s GHG emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, and utilizing only renewable energy sources by that same year. These are ambitious goals that will require bold action through policy decisions, investment planning, and funding support.

One challenge when looking at new technology is the lack of benchmarking. To help overcome this challenge, starting in 2019, we’re piloting four zero-emission battery electric buses. TransLink was the first transit agency in Canada to commit to and gain funding for the first ever $40M Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration Project being led by Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).

TransLink’s 2.5-year demonstration project will deploy four battery electric buses and two fast chargers into service in the Metro Vancouver region. It is expected that each electric bus in operation will reduce on-road CO2 emissions by close to 300,000 kg annually, and will save approximately $50,000 in fuel costs by switching to electricity from diesel. These buses will be able to recharge within 4―7 minutes at charging stations at each end of their route, which makes them both environmentally-sound and an efficient ride for customers. The results of the pilot program will provide further certainty to target fleet-replacement procurement in the early to mid-2020s, when experts believe the life cycle costs will provide a positive return on investment.

Before we transition to a zero-emission battery electric fleet, we are looking into lower-carbon interim options, including renewable natural gas and renewable diesel. The main challenges associated with renewable fuels is the price premium compared to conventional fuels and limited supply. By forming strong partnerships with our fuel suppliers, the success of utilizing renewable fuels for our fleet looks promising. Procuring low-carbon intensity fuels will provide a near-term bridge to a zero emission future.

It is expected that each electric bus in operation will reduce on-road CO2 emissions by close to 300,000 kg annually

Our environmental commitments don’t stop with our fleet, we have bus depots, operations and maintenance centres and passenger stations that we need to consider. At our facilities, we have done a lot over the years to reduce our energy consumption, including lighting retrofits, mechanical system upgrades, and building control projects. We are piloting heat-exchange projects at two of our transit centres with the goal of reducing our natural gas consumption and transitioning to renewable energy.

We are determined to reduce our carbon footprint of our fleet and our facilities at the same time.

As one of only five North American transit agencies (and the only one in Canada) recognized as a Platinum Level signatory of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) sustainability commitment, it is not a commitment we take lightly. While transit is a more sustainable method of travel, we know we have to do our part to reduce our own environmental footprint.

Looking for more ways to celebrate I Love Transit week? Check out the blog for more opportunities to share your stories and win! Follow along on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram too!

New bus loop at Joyce-Collingwood Station and more!

The TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program is improving aging infrastructure across the system

Upgrades to Joyce-Collingwood Station are well underway. The new bus loop at Joyce-Collingwood Station is now complete – a milestone in the TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program that’s improving aging infrastructure across the system.

The next phase of construction will start next week, with crews completing necessary upgrade work.

The west stationhouse at Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain Station will be closed from August 13 until spring 2019 as station improvements continue. During construction, the station will remain open and accessible to all customers.

Where do I catch my bus or SkyTrain?

Two new bus shelters at the Joyce-Collingwood Station – opening August 13.

 

Beginning August 13, customers will use the east stationhouse and newly-constructed bus loop to access SkyTrain and buses.

  • Buses will move to the new bus loop adjacent to the east stationhouse.
  • From August 13 to spring 2019, the west stationhouse will close and customers can catch their bus at the new bus loop adjacent to the east stationhouse.
  • The bus loop has larger shelters and is the new permanent location for the 28 and 41/43 routes.

 

Read more »

9 and 99 bus stops at Commercial–Broadway Station temporarily relocated, June 15–25

Photo of the under construction overhead walkway at Commercial–Broadway Station

The new overhead walkway at Commercial–Broadway Station

We’re constantly working on our system, and as part of the TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program, Commercial–Broadway Station’s receiving upgrades to meet the needs of our growing region.

Improvements include an additional platform for Expo Line trains, a widened crossing over the Grandview Cut and a new pedestrian walkway over Broadway. Two new elevators and four up-and-down escalators are also being added to improve accessibility and customer convenience.

Check out the progress that’s been made since our last post!

The project, which is nearing completion, hits another major milestone on Friday, June 15. This will result in temporary changes for people travelling in the area.

June 15, 9 p.m. to June 25: Temporary westbound bus stops for 9 and 99, and entrance closure

From 9 p.m. June 15 to June 25, the westbound 9 and 99 stops will move to the west side of Commercial Drive while crews make repairs to the existing sidewalk and plaza area, and complete the new bus shelter and permanent queuing system for the 99 B-Line.

The station entrance beside Shoppers Drug Mart will also be closed during this time. SkyTrain customers will enter or exit the station from the Commercial Drive entrance or the Broadway entrance on the south side of the street.

On June 25, the new 99 B-Line bus shelter and queuing system will open, and the westbound 9 and 99 bus stops will move to their permanent locations outside Commercial–Broadway Station.

Temporarily relocated bus stop locations for the 9 and 99

June 15, 9 p.m. – June 17, 8 a.m.: Broadway road closure

Broadway will be fully closed in both directions from Victoria Drive to Commercial Drive, beginning 9 p.m. Friday, June 15 and continuing until 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 17. There will also be a full eastbound closure from June 17, 11 p.m. to June 18, 5 a.m., and a full westbound closure June 18, 11 p.m. – June 19, 5 a.m.

These closures are required so crews can remove the temporary work platform that has been used to construct the new pedestrian walkway over Broadway, which was lifted into place in fall 2017.

_

Construction work is weather dependent and the dates/times of the road closures are subject to change. We recognize that some customers and our neighbours will be affected by this work and we thank everyone for their patience while we improve Commercial-Broadway Station.

Take the survey on the Surrey–Newton–Guildford LRT


As part of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision, we’re delivering new rapid transit to the region, including the construction and operation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Line!

This will introduce modern, street-level light rail transit (LRT) along King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue, connecting Surrey City Centre, Guildford and Newton with high-quality rapid transit.

Through June 14, TransLink and the City of Surrey want your input on key aspects of the LRT project and how light rail will help transform Surrey.

LRT is new to our region, so naturally there are some who are concerned about how it will work, and others who prefer alternative technologies for a variety of reasons. Read more »

Bikes are now allowed at Metrotown Station

The rebuilt east stationhouse at Metrotown Station!

Exciting news for our multi-modal commuters—bikes are now allowed at Metrotown Station!

Recently, the rebuilt east stationhouse at Metrotown Station opened with four new escalators, further improving passenger flow and access at the station. With all three stationhouses now open (west opened in July 2017 and centre opened in March 2017), we have more capacity than ever before at the station!

As a reminder, customers with bikes will need to enter and exit through the centre stationhouse where elevators are available for use. The east and west stationhouses have escalators only and bikes are not permitted due to safety concerns. Please be mindful of the bicycle restrictions in place that affect when and how many bikes are allowed on SkyTrain during varying times of day.

This is just the beginning! Work is expected to be fully complete at Metrotown Station later this spring, including a new Bike Parkade!

Bike Parkades are secure facilities where customers who ride bikes to or from transit can lock their bike for the day. The parkade can be accessed with a registered Compass Card 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for $1 per use (per day) to a maximum of $8 per calendar month.

For more details on tips and guidelines around bikes on transit, please visit translink.ca/bikesontransit.

Author: Allen Tung

Year in Review: an update on the Expo Line SkyTrain station upgrades

A major milestone for Metrotown Station this year as both the centre and west stationhouses opened!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time to look back at the past twelve months and take stock of all that we’ve accomplished…like making tremendous progress on four Expo Line SkyTrain Station upgrades!

In order to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers and the entire region for years to come, these four stations are currently being upgraded to improve station accessibility, capacity, safety and security. Read more »

Seven things to know about Surrey LRT

Excitement is building for the Surrey–Newton–Guildford Light Rail Transit project—we can feel it!

The Surrey LRT is the proposed rapid transit project to connect the City of Surrey’s City Centre, Guildford and Newton communities. It’s the first phase of the South of Fraser Rapid Transit projects!

With the roll-out of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, Surrey LRT project planning and public engagement is on track (pun intended). The project’s business case was recently submitted to the provincial government and TransLink’s now waiting for word from the Provincial government regarding approvals, funding and timelines.

Once we do, we’ll have so much more to share with you. In the meantime, with excitement building, the Buzzer blog would like to share seven things you should know about the proposed Surrey LRT project!

 

  • LRT provides reliable travel – LRT is a new form of rapid transit in Metro Vancouver, ideal for connecting and shaping growing suburban communities. With service at street-level within a dedicated right-of-way and signal priority at intersections, LRT bypasses congestion and provides customers with consistent and reliable travel times.

 

  • LRT is popular – Surrey is on the same path as major North American cities like Portland, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga and Waterloo where successful urban-style LRT projects are operating or under construction. There are more than 400 systems operating in about 50 countries and more than 200 cities around the world, moving millions each day!

 

  • A good fit – Research shows light rail transit is the right solution for Surrey’s busy transportation corridor. LRT will help encourage new and sustainable residential, commercial and business developments, better manage traffic congestion in Surrey’s urban core and enable a more pedestrian-friendly and connected community.

 

  • Will serve long-term demand – Surrey is anticipated to grow by more than 250,000 people by 2041. LRT provides the flexibility to grow both in terms of capacity and network coverage over the long-term that is unmatched by bus rapid transit (BRT).

 

  • Good support for LRT from locals – According to a third-party survey of residents this past spring, local support for LRT is clear: 72 per cent of Surrey residents and 82 per cent of residents in surrounding areas support the project proposed. Additionally, 82 per cent of transit users and 58 per cent of Surrey residents say they are likely to use LRT.

 

  • Good support for LRT from businesses – City Council in Surrey, as well as the Mayors’ Council and the Surrey Board of Trade are proponents of the project. The majority of developers who will be responsible for building supporting mixed-use communities around LRT stops and stations are also supportive.

 

  • A first in BC – Once built and in operation, the Surrey LRT will be the first light rail transit system in British Columbia! Transit customers across Metro Vancouver will have the option to travel by bus, SeaBus, light rail transit, SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART.

 

Want to learn more about the Surrey LRT project? Please visit surreylightrail.ca

 

The Bike Parkade at Joyce–Collingwood Station is now open!

The Bike Parkade at Joyce–Collingwood Station is now open!

Exciting news for our customers that start their journey by cycling. A Bike Parkade is now open at Joyce–Collingwood Station, so come park your bike with us!

There are spots for 50 bikes inside the Bike Parkade and there’s additional (unsecured) capacity outside. Use of the parkades only costs $1 per day per use, up to $8 per month! That means after eight uses, it’s free for the rest of the month.

Never used our Bike Parkades before? It’s super easy. If you haven’t already, register your Compass Card at compasscard.ca, and go to the bottom of the “My Cards” tab under “My Programs,” to enroll.

At the station, tap your Compass Card to gain access to the Bike Parkade and don’t forget to bring a lock to secure your bike to the rack.

Learn more about our Bike Parkades at translink.ca/bikeparkade.

 

Bus shelter for the 99 B-Line coming to Commercial-Broadway Station!

A rendering of what the completed bus shelter for the 99 B-Line will look like at Commercial–Broadway Station.

As part of the ongoing upgrades to Commercial–Broadway Station, a large, bus shelter to serve the 99 B-Line will begin construction next week and continue into the new year. The bus shelter will provide weather protection to approximately 160 passengers standing in the queue – a welcome addition on those notoriously rainy Vancouver days!

The bus stop at Commercial-Broadway for the 99 B-Line is the busiest on the entire transit network, and serves as one of the most important transit interchanges in the region. The 99 B-Line attracts more riders than any other bus corridor in Canada or the United States with more than 17 million annual boardings, and Commercial-Broadway Station is the busiest SkyTrain station in the system.

This project was made possible in partnership with the federal government through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF).

Author: Terence Chu

Draft report for Phase 2 of the Southwest Area Transport Plan is in!

Click here to read the draft report!

Hey Richmond, Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation!

Thank you to everyone who participated in Phase 2 consultation this spring on the Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP). The draft report recommendations for Phase 2 are in and ready for your review! We want to know what you think from now until December 1, 2017 December 10, 2017.

During consultation, which included an online survey and in-person engagement activities, we heard concerns about the proposed changes to routes such as the 602 and 480.

That’s why we made modifications to all of the proposals that had significant-to-moderate concern expressed. In fact, after reading through all of your comments, we even found ways to make some of the proposals which received strong support even better!

Visit translink.ca/swatp to read the Phase 2 draft report and the recommendations. Have a look through and let us know what you think by emailing swatp@translink.ca, leaving feedback by visiting translink.ca/feedback or calling 604.953.3333.

What is the Southwest Area Transport Plan?

The Southwest Area Transport Plan establishes a blueprint for the transit and transportation needs in Richmond, South Delta, the Tsawwassen First Nation and important connections to North Delta.

What’s next?

We’ve been working closely with our partners in Richmond, Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation and look forward to their endorsement of the SWATP. The final plan will be available in early 2018.

As well, recommendations that include changes to the transit network would likely undergo additional public engagement when they are being considered for implementation.

Our planners chat with residents at Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market during Phase 2 Southwest Area Transport Plan consultation this past spring.

For future notifications around the Southwest Area Transport Plan, sign up for our eNewsletter or head to the TransLink website for more information.

TransLink launches double-decker bus pilot project

We’re super stoked to let our readers know that today we officially launched a pilot project to test two double-decker buses on long-distance commuter routes!

The double-decker buses, supplied at no charge by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, seat 80-86 passenger, up to 83 per cent more seating than the older highway coaches, and have double the overall capacity.

It’s all part of our commitment to exploring new options to better meet customers’ needs and the region’s transportation goals. Read more »

Q&A: talking research and analytics at TransLink

Maria Su is TransLink’s Director of Research and Analytics

TransLink has a unique mandate as Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority.

Not only are we responsible for managing and operating the regional transportation network, which includes transit, major roads, bridges, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, TransLink is responsible for planning strategically for the future.

What does that mean? TransLink is responsible for the Regional Transportation Strategy—or RTS for short! The RTS sets the course for how to accommodate the growing and changing demand on the transportation system over the next 30 years.

So, how does TransLink go about accomplishing such a seemingly herculean task?  I mean, after all, the future isn’t here yet. No, unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball that allows us to see into the future. Much of the work relies on data and insights from the research and analytics that our planners undertake.

The Buzzer blog decided to chat with Maria Su, Director of Research and Analytics at TransLink, to find out more! Read more »

Get involved in the environmental and socio-economic reviews for both rapid transit projects

Today, we are launching the Environmental and Socio-Economic Review process for both the Vancouver and Surrey rapid transit projects.

To get involved, please review the technical summaries for each project. Next, fill out the online surveys until November 6 for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and Surrey–Newton–Guildford LRT projects.

What’s the goal of the environmental and socio-economic review? Glad you asked! It’s part of our planning and engineering work for both projects. The review process will:

  • Describe the existing conditions and identify potential effects of the project;
  • Study those effects and evaluate how much impact they will have;
  • Identify mitigation measures, or actions to avoid or reduce potentially negative effects; and
  • Develop construction and operations requirements that the project contractors will have to meet.

We’re asking residents to provide feedback in one or more of the follow areas: socio-economics, archaeological and heritage resources, noise and vibration, air quality and greenhouse gases, contaminated sites, electric and magnetic field effects, and general or other comments.

Your feedback will help inform what we study now, in order to better understand project effects from construction or operations. It will help us in refining both projects’ designs to support a final funding request to the provincial government and to support development of construction and operating performance requirements in delivering the projects.

The Environmental and Socio-Economic Review’s findings will be published in early 2018. We’ll also be back in 2018 with another opportunity to get involved. A summary of what we have heard so far is available on our Millennium Line Broadway Extension and Surrey–Newton–Guildford LRT project websites.

9 and 99 bus stops at Commercial–Broadway Station temporarily relocated

Bus stop changes at Commercial–Broadway from February 29 until summer 2016

Bus stop changes at Commercial–Broadway starting on Monday, October 9 and until further notice

We’re installing a permanent queuing system and bus shelter for the 99 B-Line stop as part of the Commercial–Broadway Station Upgrades!

To accommodate construction, the bus stops for the 9 and 99 will temporarily relocate along Broadway. The stop for 9 UBC will move to the other side of Commercial Drive, near Scotiabank, and 99 B-Line (UBC) passengers will board in front of the station entrance.

We thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial–Broadway Station!

Construction update

Over the September 30 and October 1 weekend, crews successfully lifted into place the steel frame for the new overhead walkway at Commercial–Broadway Station. This is an important milestone in the station upgrade. Watch the time lapse:

More information about the Commercial–Broadway Station upgrades and project benefits can be found at translink.ca/commercialbroadway.