UPDATE – Nov, 06, 2018: In light of the resolution passed by the City of Surrey council we are pausing work on the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project and suspending the RFQ process while we await direction from the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board. Read the full statement from TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond here.
Curious about the plans for the Surrey-Newton-Guildford Light Rail Transit (LRT) line? You’re invited to attend an upcoming open house to learn more about Surrey LRT and share your thoughts.
On June 13, we’re kicking off the next round of consultation, in partnership with the City of Surrey. You may remember that back in January 2017 we launched the first phase of consultation and we heard from more than 500 people at in-person events and 4,000 people through our online survey and feedback forms. Now it’s your turn!
We’re back again with Phase 2 of the Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) and we still need your help and want your input!
Take the survey from May 23 until June 19 and have your say, your way on proposed changes for this area.
What exactly IS SWATP?
I’m so glad you asked!
SWATP is a review of this area that will focus on improving transit service and infrastructure while addressing cycling, walking, driving and goods movement.
The planning process looks at customer experience, current and projected land use and development, transportation and ridership data as well as feedback from the public, stakeholders and local governments.
What is the goal of SWATP?
Proposed changes in Phase 2 aim to:
Provide more reliable and convenient bus service.
Provide Frequent Transit Network (FTN) service along key corridors.
Improve bus service for growing communities and large areas of employment, including industrial areas.
Make NightBus more direct for service to Richmond City Centre and YVR Airport.
Identify regionally-significant corridors for cycling investment.
Work continues on the north terminal and crews will start work in early March on the south terminal.
Why are we repairing the SeaBus terminals?
Both the SeaBus terminals and administration buildings are now over 40 years old and it’s time for some necessary maintenance and rehab work.
The envelopes of all three buildings – essentially the walls and roofs – are in poor condition and are no longer working as designed. So, naturally, they need some upgrades and rehab work to keep them safe and functioning for both riders and employees.
During construction, SeaBus service will continue as normal and terminals will remain accessible. Customers can expect small detours when entering or exiting the terminals.
What’s being done?
Work is expected to begin shortly on the South Terminal and will include replacing the exterior metal cladding, roof, and windows on the south terminal.
We expect work to finish in mid-2018.
We thank you for their patience while we do this necessary maintenance work.
TransLink has successfully launched its ninth bond issue in November.
This brings in $150 million for financing capital projects as outlined in the 10-year Investment Plan for Metro Vancouver – Phase One of which was approved by the Mayors’ Council and TransLink Board last month.
This money will directly aide in the implementation of many transit projects including expansions of the network.
Did you know??
TransLink is Canada’s only transportation agency to raise funds directly through Canadian debt capital markets. TransLink has raised $1.33 billion since 2010.
“Our ability to go directly to the capital markets with a solid reputation as a good investment means greater cost certainty for how we manage our debt,” said Cathy McLay, TransLink CFO EVP, Finance and Corporate Services. “Investors can put their money anywhere and they choose us. This consistent demand for our bonds also helps to ensure we maintain access to capital that keeps Metro Vancouver’s road and transit network moving now and into the future.”
One of speakers at this year’s conference is CMBC’s Derek Stewart; Director of Safety, Environment and Emergency Management.
You may remember him from this video!
We had the opportunity to pick Derek’s brain about his talk entitled Climate change impacts on transit and infrastructure and how that affects us here in Metro Vancouver.
How does climate change affect a transit network?
Climate change means that what we see as weather on a day to day basis is going to be different in the future. We don’t know exactly what nature has in store for us in the long term, but we expect more intense rainfall and wind events, along with more extreme heat and increased ocean levels.
As we saw with our recent wind and rain storms, this can mean fallen trees, power outages and local flooding, impacting our ability to reliably deliver customer service.
Why is it an important issue to address as Canadian transit agencies?
Transit is different than many other industries in two respects: we must deliver reliable service every day and our infrastructure tends to be around for a long time (good examples include our Oakridge and North Vancouver Transit Centres, both of which recently closed after decades of service).
Unlike a manufacturing plant or a warehouse that can relocate to areas less impacted by climate change, we operate where our customer live and work, regardless of the climate changes that happen.
What concerns does TransLink have regarding climate change?
Nearly every aspect of climate change will have some sort of impact on us. On the customer facing side of our business, we are already changing our bus and rail specifications to ensure that our vehicles are air conditioned. Our summers in recent years have included long, hot, dry spells creating comfort issues for our customers where our fleet is not air conditioned.
Should the frequency of intense rain and wind events increase, this will increase the likelihood of temporary service disruptions. In the longer term, rising ocean levels and increased rainfall could put several of our maintenance facilities at risk of flooding.
What can transit agencies do to prepare for the future?
In some respects, doing what we already do, just better, will help us to prepare.
Transit agencies are very good at responding to mini emergencies each day. Learning from our mistakes will make us better prepared for increased weather intensity. Planning, and running practice drills, for expected emergencies such as floods and earthquakes will also give us the skills and confidence to respond to emergencies.
In the longer term, we need to better understand what climate change means to us and how our infrastructure is vulnerable. Planning to mitigate these vulnerabilities will help us protect our assets and better enable us to reliably move people throughout the region.
What is TransLink doing to prepare for the future?
TransLink and its operating companies are continuously developing and revising plans for emergencies such as floods, which include elements such as protecting valuable assets and maintaining business continuity by relocating operations to alternate locations. By ensuring lines of communication both inside our organization and with our customers, we are able to adapt to conditions in the short term.
On the longer term horizon, we are working together with local and regional partners, engineers, and others to understand how and where we are vulnerable to climate change. By understanding our vulnerabilities, we can change the location, design and supporting infrastructure for delivery of transit services.
To help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change TransLink is working to increase public transit mode share, while at the same time decreasing the carbon footprint of its fleet and facilities.
A big thank you to Derek for speaking with us and helping CMBC and all of TransLink’s operating companies prepare for our changing world.
Interested in what else is being discussed at CUTA? Check out the full program here.
From October 11 to 31, 2016, TransLink is inviting Metro Vancouver residents to provide feedback on the approximately $2 billion plan that would increase transit services and improve roads, cycling, and walking infrastructure across the entire region.
Phase One details
Increase bus service by 10% across the region, starting in early 2017, including five new B-Line express routes
Purchase 50 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines, plus five new West Coast Express cars and a new SeaBus
Increase SkyTrain service in early 2017, by providing more service during mid-day and early evening hours
Improve the region’s major road network
Improve and expand walking and cycling infrastructure across the region;
Improve access to transit stations and stops
Continue planning and design work for the Broadway subway and Surrey light rail
Continue investing in system maintenance and performance.
The Phase One Plan would be paid for through a fair and balanced funding formula – leveraging an initial federal contribution of $370 Million, a provincial government contribution of $246 Million and a regional contribution of $1.3 Billion.
The regional funding would be raised through a number of existing and new sources including modest increases to transit fares and Metro Vancouver residential and business property taxes.
There are a number of ways for you to get involved including online at tenyearvision.translink.ca or by attending one of five scheduled Open Houses.
Open House schedule
Saturday, October 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(North Vancouver City Library, 120 14th St W, North Vancouver)
Tuesday, October 18, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
(Act Art Centre Lobby, 11944 Haney Pl, Maple Ridge )
Wednesday, October 19, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
(Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce St, Vancouver)
Thursday, October 20, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
(Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Ave, Surrey)
Monday, October 24, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
(Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond)
After the public consultation period and consideration by TransLink’s Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council in November 2016, if the Phase One Plan is approved, region-wide transit system improvements will begin in early 2017.
The SeaBus terminals and administration buildings are 40 years old.
SeaBus trips carry about 16,000 passengers a day.
That equates to 43,290 crossings each year carrying over 6 million people!
Talk about wear and tear!
The envelopes of all three buildings – essentially the walls and roofs – including the roofs of the two terminals, are in poor condition and no longer working as designed.
So, naturally, these buildings need some upgrades and rehabilitation work to keep them safe and functioning for both riders and employees.
Don’t fret! SeaBus service will continue to operate as normal during construction and terminals will remain accessible, however customers can expect small detours when entering or exiting the terminals.
What work is being done
The exterior metal cladding, roof, and windows on the north and south terminals will be replaced.
Stucco siding and windows on the administration building in North Vancouver will also be replaced.
Work is expected to begin this spring and continue until mid-2018.
We thank you for their patience while we do this necessary maintenance work.
Bus operators will now have up to date info on moved or closed bus stops
Bus stops can get cancelled or have to be relocated for a variety of reasons.
Construction, motor vehicle accidents, special events, police incidents and more.
To help our bus operators and riders have the most up to date information, operators will now be informed about any bus stop changes at the beginning of the route trip and again one bus stop before the closed or relocated stop.
This measure allows for a text to be sent to operators about bus stops that have been moved or closed.
“This is great for our customers. Closed stops won’t be announced as ‘next stop” any longer, so there’s less confusion and better communication for everyone,” says Louise Hearty, CMBC’s Director of Service Support and Security.
When a bus stop is moved, the stop will remain in the system and still be announced to riders and the operator will verbally tell passengers the new location.
When a bus stop is closed (not relocated), the stop and announcement will be removed from the system.
I actually just experienced this on my route this week! It was great to see this practice being put into action to help out riders be aware of changes to the stops on their route.
Has anyone else noticed this change? What are your thoughts?
Comment below and let us know!
We all know our region is growing in leaps and bounds and the Southwest Area of Metro Vancouver is no exception so, now is the time to plan for the future!
From April 11 to May 6, 2016, take the Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) survey and share your priorities for transportation improvements in Richmond, Tsawwassen First Nation, South Delta and connections to North Delta.
The SWATP is a very comprehensive planning process that will run for about two years.
It began in 2015 and will focus on improving transit service and infrastructure as well as addressing aspects of cycling, walking, driving and goods movement throughout the area.
With your help, we will better understand the current challenges and opportunities you face as you travel to, within or from the Southwest sub-region every day.
For future notifications around the Southwest Area Transport Plan, sign up for our eNewsletter or head to the TransLink website for more information.
TransLink and the City of Vancouver have partnered to develop a shared vision for the downtown bus network
Final recommendations resulting from the Downtown Bus Service Review are now live! How did we get here?
First, we identified a long-term vision:
The downtown bus network effectively and reliably connects downtown neighbourhoods and enables convenient transit connections to the broader city and region. The downtown transit network is consistent and easy to understand, with clear communication of temporary detours associated with road closures and special events.
Second, we listened to you and developed a list of priorities to guide how we achieve the network vision for the local bus network in downtown Vancouver. In the next one-to-five years we plan to do work in two focus areas:
Immediate: implement over the next one-to-two years
Extend the 6 Davie/Downtown to connect the West End, Yaletown and Gastown.
Consolidate the C23 Davie/Main and C21 Yaletown/Beach services.
Determine route for the 5 Robson/Downtown to improve consistency and reliability, based on an expected City of Vancouver decision regarding frequency and duration of road closures of the 800-block of Robson Street.
Near-term: complete once funding becomes available or in some cases conduct further analysis.
Left to Right: Guy Akester, Derrick Cheung, Ian Jarvis, Ibrahim Aleid, Saud Al-Saud, Ibrahim Alrajeh, Yosef Aljallal and Yosef AlBanumay.
Did you know that delegations from around the world, including Thailand, Sweden, Australia, Japan and Korea, visited TransLink in 2014 to learn about Metro Vancouver’s integrated transportation network?
Metro Vancouver’s transit system has an international reputation for excellence and TransLink’s ability to deliver transit-oriented development investment attracts interest near and far.
A delegation from Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, was in Vancouver this fall. Five delegates met with TransLink’s real estate group, planning and infrastructure management teams, and the Transit Police.
Ibrahim Aleid, Director of Metropolitan Planning and Urban Design at the Riyadh Development Authority says that TransLink is well regarded globally for delivering an efficient and integrated transportation network that is shaping world class transit oriented communities.
“We are developing a transit system in Riyadh and we hope to learn from the success of Metro Vancouver in creating the necessary conditions to foster and promote highly innovative transit-oriented communities and developments.”
What is a transit-oriented development?
Transit-oriented developments enable people to drive less, and walk, cycle and take transit more; and therefore maximize the value of transit investments. TransLink works in collaboration with public and private sector partners to enable the Metro Vancouver region to realize the benefits of transit-oriented communities and foster transit-oriented development.
Since 2011, development near transit has grown exponentially. There are now 35 development projects in construction or planning stages—significantly more than the handful of projects that existed from 1986-2011.
Hello Buzzer readers! I hope you had a chance to attend the first lecture yesterday in the series “Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas” that took place last night at SFU Woodwards. The lecture, Breaking the Political Gridlock to Address the Transportation Challenge: Lessons Learned from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, by Dr. Anne Golden, was streamed live and the video will be available shortly – I’ll keep you posted. The lecture generated great conversation about transportation and a great part of it is reflected in the tweets in this storify.
The next lecture is on Feb 25, 2014. Check this link for more info.
Breaking the Political Gridlock to Address the Transportation Challenge: Lessons Learned from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, by Dr. Anne Golden on January 28 was the first lecture in the new series of lectures on transportation. The next lecture is on Feb 25. Info: http://bit.ly/Khlbte.
We did extensive public consultation on our proposals from November-December 2012. (11 open houses! Online questionnaire! More than 800 comments received!)
Based on this feedback, we’ve modified some of our proposals and confirmed the others.
And on Monday Feb 25, we’ve posted our Consultation Summary report at translink.ca/serviceop2013, which details our updated plans for bus route changes, and summarizes public feedback.
Not in place until late 2013/early 2014, and changes vs cuts
Now all caps for the important bit: THESE CHANGES ARE NOT SLATED TO TAKE PLACE UNTIL LATE 2013/EARLY 2014! They likely won’t go ahead until December 2013 at the earliest, given the time needed to get bus stops and vehicles in place and allow for more detailed planning and scheduling.
And another all caps: THESE ARE BUS CHANGES, NOT CUTS. These changes don’t reduce the overall transit service hours in the region—instead, they reallocate the hours to better match where people are travelling. Put another way: there are reductions of some services, but in most cases they are matched by reinvestments of service in the same area (or a redesign of the services to better match the area).
Your feedback spurs revised proposals
Most of our proposed changes went over quite well, but a few drew a significant response.
So we’ve revised several proposals based on public feedback, including:
C1/C2 – a revised proposal was developed in consultation with community groups in Burnaby Heights, retaining the current route and reducing frequencies during off-peak periods only [link to revised proposal PDF (will be under Burnaby arrow on service op page)]
211 – based on the range of concerns raised over the proposed removal of the Fairway Drive loop, we will be retaining the existing route instead
C48 & C49 – a revised proposal was created to ensure service coverage in Thornhill, Ruskin and Whonnock is maintained, leaving the C49 unchanged and improving the usefulness of the C48 with a connection to West Coast Express and extension via McClure Drive in Albion [link to revised proposal PDF (will be under Maple Ridge arrow on service op page)]
Finally, we’d like to give a huge shout-out to everyone who participated in the service optimization process. Your contributions help us build real transit solutions that work for our communities!
And we’re happy to say that so far, service optimization has been returning successful results. In 2011, the program helped TransLink provide 14 million new rides without added investment in service, increasing bus productivity by 3.1 per cent and generating a 5.5 per cent increase in transit revenue.
Feel free to leave any questions or followups in the comments!