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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SeaBus

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

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We’re replacing the escalators at the Waterfront SeaBus terminal as part of our ongoing terminal upgrade project!

We’ve been hard at work at the Waterfront Station SeaBus terminal since last year. So far, we’ve built an addition on the east side of the terminal, which houses a new staircase, elevator, and an improved, covered entrance for customers arriving by bike or Helijet. Although work is still underway, starting Tuesday, August 21st, the newly completed staircase is opening for your use. We all need another way to get those steps in!

While we continue these critical upgrades, we’re doing our best to minimize impacts to your SeaBus journey. So that’s why we’re letting you know about the temporary changes that are underway for your commute. To replace the escalators, we’ll need to close one set at a time. Keep reading for what you need to know!

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Introducing the new SeaBus: Burrard Chinook

We’re adding a new SeaBus to the fleet as part of the 10-Year Vision and we’re thrilled to announce today the new vessel’s name — the Burrard Chinook!

What’s exciting about the new vessel is once it’s in service, it will allow us to deliver increased SeaBus service to our customers. It will increase every 10 minutes during peak periods and every 15 minutes at other times.

Construction began in November 2017, starting upside down with a sheet of metal. A keel-laying ceremony with a commemorative Canada 150 coin was held in February 2018.

In January, the vessel was christened in the Netherlands (watch the video above) where it’s now undergoing sea trials. It will then embark on an epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal and up the coast to Vancouver. After the vessel arrives in local waters, it will go through some additional sea trials, and SeaBus employees will be trained on it before it starts carrying customers between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay.

You can learn more by reading our media release!

An update on SeaBus terminal rehabilitation at Waterfront Station

More than 6.3 million people passed through the SeaBus terminals last year!

Last year, more than 6.3 million people passed through the SeaBus terminals at Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay.

That’s why we’re repairing the terminal walls and roofs, which are 40 years old, to ensure these buildings remain safe and functioning for both customers and employees.

Earlier this year, the work was completed at the Lonsdale Quay SeaBus terminal. We’re excited to let our customers know that the work’s now done at the Waterfront Station SeaBus terminal’s west berth. Check out the pictures!

The berth is where the SeaBus docks to load and unload passengers, and each terminal has two berths: west and east.

With rehabilitation complete at the Waterfront terminal’s west berth, work now moves to the east berth and we expect the project to be completed by spring 2019.

This work is all part of the TransLink Maintenance and Repair program. We’re making investments across the system to keep customers safe, comfortable and moving across a reliable transit network every day.

What about the escalators that are currently undergoing maintenance and repairs?

We recognize this is an inconvenience to our customers. The escalators are 40 years old and consist of parts that are no longer widely available. We’re working hard behind the scenes to get the escalators up and running as quickly as possible.

These escalators will eventually be replaced as part of the seismic upgrades to the SeaBus terminal at Waterfront Station to add seismic resiliency, increase accessibility and improve customer convenience. One replacement elevator and a new elevator are also included in this work.

Know before you go! Visit translink.ca/alerts.

Take transit to the Celebration of Light—we’re adding extra service!

The Celebration of Light returns on July 28 (South Africa), August 1 (Sweden) and August 4 (South Korea), lighting up the skies at English Bay, the West End and Kits Point!

More than 15,000 people take transit to and from the event each night, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. We’ll be adding extra service and modifying station access in downtown Vancouver to get you to-and-from the festivities smoothly.

Keep reading to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know to have a fun and safe evening at the Celebration of Light!

Plan ahead and avoid line ups at Compass Vending Machines by topping up your Compass Card or pre-purchasing your return Compass Ticket. And remember—you can tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile wallet on Compass fare gates and readers to pay for an adult cash fare!

Celebration of Light Tips

Extra service

Bus

Coast Mountain Bus Company and West Vancouver Transit will operate extra trips to downtown Vancouver after 6:30 p.m. and additional service after the events. Some downtown and West End buses will be detoured. For a full list of detours, visit translink.ca/alerts closer to event days.

SkyTrain

The Expo and Millennium Line will operate peak service from mid-afternoon, with the last scheduled SkyTrain departing Waterfront Station at 1:16 a.m. Service will be extended if necessary.

The Canada Line will operate peak service throughout the evening and there will extra service from Waterfront at the end of the fireworks, with trains running every three minutes. The last departure from Waterfront to Richmond–Brighouse Station will be at 1:15 a.m.

SeaBus 

Extra and extended service will be provided for each of the Celebration of Light events (and also Caribbean Days!).

The SeaBus will operate every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. until midnight with the last SeaBus from Waterfront at 1:22 a.m. on Saturdays, July 28 and August 4. On July 28 only, an extra SeaBus will operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, August 1, it will operate every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and midnight, then every 30 minutes until the last sailing from Waterfront at 1:22 a.m.

West Coast Express

West Coast Express will operate a special train on August 4 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m. and arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15 p.m. The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City at approximately 1:15 a.m.

Station access

To ensure passenger comfort and safety after the events, bikes will not be allowed on SkyTrain after 10:30 p.m. until the crowds have cleared. As well, the following stations will be open with modified access after 10:30 p.m.: 

Waterfront Station: SkyTrain access from the Cordova Street entrance will be restricted to Canada Line, SeaBus and West Coast Express (on Aug. 4 only) passengers, as well as persons with wheelchairs or strollers. All other passengers, including those transferring from SeaBus to the Expo Line must enter from Howe Street, until crowds have cleared.

Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance’s bike rack until the expected crowds have cleared.

Granville Station: The Granville Street entrance will be closed until crowds clear (note: the Seymour entrance remains closed as part of the escalator replacement project). Passengers will lineup for the SkyTrain at this station west along Dunsmuir, south on Granville. Platform 1 towards Waterfront will be closed.

Plan your trip at translink.ca/tripplanner and know before you go by checking Transit Alerts at translink.ca/alerts.

Ridership growth trend continues through June

System-wide boardings grew by 6.1% in June!

System-wide boardings grew by 6.1% in June!

We have some exciting news to share. The numbers are in for June and we’re once again reporting ridership growth! Boardings have increased by 6.1% year-over-year, showing transit is continuing to attract new riders. 

We’re racing towards another record year of growth—if this trend continues, 2018 will break last year’s total boardings record of 407 million.

  • Bus: Average weekday boardings are up 8% year over year, while year to date growth is 6.5%.
  • SkyTrain: Expo and Millennium Line average weekday boardings are up 6.1%, which is in line with growth year to date. While average weekday boardings for Canada Line increased by 5.8% year-over-year and growth year-to-date is at 5.1%.
  • SeaBus: Average weekday boardings increased by 5.4% year-over-year and 6.3% year-to-date. This is due in part to frequency increases in the evening launched a year ago.
  • West Coast Express: Average weekday boardings are up 7.6% year-over-year and 6% for the year-to-date. This suggests ridership is rebounding after a drop following the opening of the Evergreen Millennium Line Extension.

Growth is being driven by the substantial addition of new service as part of Phase One, steadily high gas prices and strong employment growth. This underscores the need for projects and service increases coming as part of Phase Two of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision, which include:

  • Construction of light rail in Surrey, the Millennium Line Broadway Extension in Vancouver and planning and design for Surrey-Langley rapid transit.
  • New bus service in Vancouver, Surrey and North Vancouver as well as B-Lines in Richmond and Surrey.
  • Addition of new buses and SkyTrain cars to increase frequency and capacity.

According to TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond, the focus is now shifting to Phase Two of the Vision.

“The Phase Two Investment Plan was approved by TransLink’s Board and the Mayors’ Council which gives us the mandate to roll out the biggest package of transportation improvements in Metro Vancouver history. These latest numbers show the region needs this investment if we’re going to avoid major congestion.”

Have you taken any of the Phase One service improvements yet? If so, we’d love to hear your thought on them in the comments section.

 

May’s transit ridership smashes records

May’s ridership numbers are in and we’re seeing unprecedented growth across the transit network! Ridership has reached a new all-time high, with the brief period Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being the only exception.

  • Bus: Average weekday boardings for May are up 9.5 per cent, while yearly growth to date is at 6.9 per cent.
  • SkyTrain: May’s Expo and Millennium Line average weekday boardings are up 9.2 per cent, while Canada Line’s grew by 8.1 per cent. Expo, Millennium and Canada Line boardings combined for the year so far are up 5.7 per cent.
  • SeaBus: Average weekday boardings increased by 13.1 per cent. This is due in part to frequency increases in the evening launched a year ago. Year-to-date boardings are up 7.6 per cent.
  • West Coast Express: Boardings for May have increased 6.7 per cent, while the year-to-date growth rate is also 6.7 per cent.

Read more »

SeaBus seismic upgrades and terminal renovations begin

Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink, and Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver–Centre, reveals a sketch of the upgraded Waterfront Road entrance at the SeaBus’s south terminal.

A lot of exciting things are happening with SeaBus!

As part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, a new SeaBus is being built and service increased to every 15 minutes all day and every 10 minutes during peak! In Phase Two, which public engagement is underway for, SeaBus service is set to increase so it meets the last Canada Line train.

And beginning today are seismic upgrades and accessibility improvements to Waterfront Station’s SeaBus terminal! It’s all part of the annual TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program, which kicks off for 2018 with this project. The improvements include:

  • Four replacement escalators, one replacement elevator and a new elevator.
  • A new staircase to make it easier to transfer to SkyTrain at Waterfront Station and improve passenger flow during peak times.
  • An extension with a new entrance and Compass Vending Machine for customers accessing SeaBus from HeliJet or Waterfront Road.

DID YOU KNOW?? More than 5.8 million passengers rode the SeaBus in 2017, passing through the terminals at Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay!

SeaBus will continue to operate as normal during the upgrades and the terminal will remain fully accessible.

These improvements are made possible through partnership between TransLink and senior levels of government, which includes provincial and federal contributions through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

The TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program is our annual investment in repairing, replacing and improving aging infrastructure across the system to keep customers safe, comfortable and moving across a reliable transit network every day.

There are currently 98 active maintenance and repair projects throughout the transit system—this is an investment of $200 million!

Future investments totaling $150 million is also planned as part of this integral long-term initiative to maintain and improve our transit network. Key initiatives include running rail and rail pad replacement, SkyTrain station upgrades, upgrades to the Major Road Network including the rehabilitation of Westham Island Bridge, and bus fleet replacement.

Watch the announcement

Make sail – construction progresses on TransLink’s newest SeaBus

As part of the Mayors’ Council’s Ten-Year Vision, TransLink’s delivering a new SeaBus, scheduled for delivery early next year! This means more frequent service will be coming between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay with sailings every 10 minutes during rush hour.

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Construction Completed on SeaBus North Terminal East Berth

SeaBus North Berth

Big things are happening for SeaBus! Earlier this week, construction completed on the east berth of the north terminal. These 40 year old buildings see approximately 5.84 million boardings each year, and that number is only expected to grow as ridership continues to grow, and we add to the SeaBus fleet.

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2017—a record year for transit ridership in Metro Vancouver

Thank you to our customers for choosing us to get around in 2017!

In 2017, ridership in Metro Vancouver reached a record-breaking 407 million boardings! That’s a 5.7 per cent increase over 2016.

Not only that, the number of journeys in the system reached 247 million—another record and 5.8 per cent increase over the year before! Read more »

Laying the keel on our new SeaBus

In case you haven’t heard, Metro Vancouver is getting a new SeaBus! We recently marked a very important milestone in the ship’s construction. TransLink and Damen Shipyards, the SeaBus’s builder, held a keel-laying ceremony in the Netherlands where the vessel is being built.

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Year in Review: a look at some of TransLink’s 2017 milestones

As 2017 comes to a close, The Buzzer blog’s taking a look at some of TransLink’s milestones from the year that was!

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Ahoy mateys! Construction begins for Metro Vancouver’s newest SeaBus

New SeaBus

Last week we shared this little gem with you on Facebook and Instagram and asked you to guess what it was. Your answers were amazing!

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Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

Buses all settled and snuggled in for the night!

Our transit vehicles spend their days moving many people around Metro Vancouver, but have you ever wondered what happens to them after a long day of work? Each night, our SkyTrain vehicles, SeaBus vessels, buses and West Coast Express trains return to their homes for a well-deserved rest before they gear up for another busy day.

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