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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SeaBus

Fun poll results: Your favourite summer spots to visit with transit

The results are in! We asked you what your favourite summer spot is to visit with transit and with 27 per cent of votes, Stanley Park is your favourite summer spot!

Coming in second and not too far behind with 20 per cent of votes is “Other”. Granville Island and New Westminster River Market both tied for third place with 14 per cent of votes each.

If you answered other, where do you love to go with transit in the summer? Summer isn’t over yet so comment below and let us know!

Following the top three summer destinations are White Pine Beach and Lonsdale Quay, each with eight per cent of votes, Queen Elizabeth Park with four per cent of votes, and Kitsilano Beach and Capilano Suspension Bridge coming in with three per cent of votes.

Thanks to everyone for voting!

If you have an idea for a poll, comment below or email thebuzzer@translink.ca!

Author: Christina Jakopin

Your Guide to B.C. Day Holiday Service, Pride, Celebration of Light and more!

B.C. day is August 7 and that means a long weekend packed with events and of course, holiday transit service!

What’s happening this BC Day long weekend?

Honda Celebration of Light

The Honda Celebration of Light is one of Vancouver’s largest and most well-known festivals, and is recognized as the longest-running offshore fireworks competitions in the world. You can watch Canada put on a magical display of light on Saturday, August 5. For everything you need to know about the Celebration of Light, take a look here and here.

Vancouver Pride Festival

Vancouver Pride Week is on to paint the city in rainbows and celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community.

The Davie Street Block Party takes place on Friday, August 4 from 6 p.m. until midnight along Davie Street, between Burrard Street and Jervis Street.

Starting at 11 a.m., the Sunset Beach Festival happens on Sunday, August 6 at Sunset Beach.

One of Vancouver’s most impressive parades, the Pride Parade, takes place on Sunday, August 6 at noon at the corner of Robson Street and Thurlow Street. It proceeds west along Robson Street, then south down Denman Street and finally along Beach Avenue before finishing at Sunset Beach.

Look out for us in this historical, 1937 Hayes Anderson in the Pride Parade!

Harmony Arts Festival

The Harmony Arts Festival is a ten day long arts festival that begins this August long weekend on Friday, August 4. The festival is free and takes place in West Vancouver, along the water between Ambleside and John Lawson Park. The festival features live music, free nightly movies and art displays. To learn more, check out the Harmony Arts Festival website.

White Rock Sea Festival

Complete with live music, a torchlight parade, beachside yoga and fireworks, White Rock’s free Sea Festival takes place from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6. For a complete list of activities and more information, go to White Rock Sea Festival.

Service Information

Celebration of Light Service

There will be added service for the finale of the Celebration of Light on Saturday, August 5. For more information on service changes, take a look here and be sure to check out our Buzzer blog post here for everything you need to know to have a fun and safe time at the Celebration of Light!

Vancouver Pride Parade

On Sunday, August 6 SkyTrain will have increased midday service from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. and will then move to the Sunday/Holiday schedule.

The Seabus and the Canada Line will operate regular Sunday hours and service.

Busses will operate regular Sunday hours and service, however there will be route changes to the 5 Robson and the 6 Davie to accommodate the parade route.

B.C. Day 

On Monday, August 7, Bus, SkyTrain, Canada Line and SeaBus services will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. The West Coast Express will not operate.

Transit Tip: Holiday fares will be in effect. You only need a one-zone fare to travel across all zones!

Know before you go! For full detours and maps, visit translink.ca/alerts.
Help us plan your transit trip by using Trip Planner.
Have questions on the go? Tweet @TransLink or call us at 604.953.3333.

Author: Christina Jakopin

2016 Transit Service Performance Review: what are the top five routes in your area?

Last week, TransLink released the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review, a comprehensive look at ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

We know there’s tons of information in there to wade through so we’re back this week to share with you a couple more tidbits about boardings from the report!

What is a boarding?  A boarding is considered each time a passenger enters a fare paid zone using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment.

Read more »

Record numbers for the first half of 2017 puts TransLink on track for a record-breaking year!

With over 200 million boardings across the region for the first half of 2017 and more than 1.26 million average weekday boardings in the first three months of this year, it’s no surprise that TransLink is on track for record-breaking ridership!

We saw a 5.7 per cent increase this half of the year compared to the same period last year!

Ridership numbers from January 1 to June 30, 2017

  • SkyTrain: 74 million boardings (+ 11.9 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • Bus: 122.5 million boardings (+ 2.5 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • SeaBus: 2.7 million boardings (+ 5.7 per cent compared to same period in 2016)
  • West Coast Express: 1.2 million boardings (- 6.1 per cent compared to same period in 2016)

“This increase in ridership is great news, and builds on the growth we saw in 2016. It’s great to see people taking advantage of new service we started putting on the road in January,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “I’m thrilled we’re in a position to continue adding even more transit service in coming months, including in September one of our largest single increases to bus service since the run-up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

10-Year Vision

The addition of new transit service in 2017 as part of delivering on the 10-Year Vision is one of the driving attributes in this year’s boost in ridership. Since the beginning of 2017, we have added 89,000 bus service hours, focusing on the region’s most congested areas. Fall service changes coming this September will include the addition of new bus routes and will be the largest expansion since 2010 when we hosted the Olympic Winter Games! The Transit Service Performance Review is one of the tools that we use to direct change.

Transit Service Performance Review (TSPR)

Today, we released the findings of the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review (TSPR), a comprehensive review of ridership and service productivity for bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.

Have a read of the full 2016 Transit Service Performance Review yourself!

The data collected from the TSPR gives us valuable insights on boardings, ridership, transit trends and more. This data helps us identify opportunities to reduce overcrowding, improve performance and reliability and meet the needs of our customers as the region continues to grow.

Did you know? We gather data from multiple sources such as fare gates at SkyTrain stations and SeaBus terminals, automated passenger counter units on buses and Compass Card validators.

Increasing Ridership

We had record ridership in 2016, with 384.8 million boardings. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year!

Ridership growth in 2016 was the largest since 2010, when the region hosted the Olympic Winter Games. This growth was likely due to strong economic activity, an increase in transit service hours and the launch of Compass Card.

The annual review shows that ridership across the system continues to grow:

  • Bus ridership continued to increase throughout the day, particularly during evenings and on Saturdays
  • Bus boardings increased 4.6 per cent to 239.6 million
  • All three SkyTrain lines experienced ridership growth. Canada Line boardings grew by 5.5 per cent, while boardings on the Expo and Millennium Lines grew by 4.1 per cent
  • Evergreen Extension stations saw steady ridership over their first four weeks of service, despite record snowfall

Did you know? System-wide ridership is measured in boardings and journeys. A boarding is considered each time a passenger enters a fare paid zone using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment. A journey is a complete transit trip using Compass fare media or any other proof of payment, regardless of the number of transfers.

Other trends identified during the 2016 Transit Service Performance Review include:

  • South of Fraser led all Metro Vancouver sub-regions in ridership growth – seeing a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. Much of this growth can be attributed to increased ridership of the 96 B-Line
  • With its 4.3 million annual boardings, up 15 per cent over 2015, the 96 B-Line had the largest increase in annual boardings of any route in the system
  • SeaBus boardings declined by 2.8 per cent in 2016, due to lower summer ridership. However, if SeaBus were a bus route, it would still rank as having the 11th highest boardings in all of Metro Vancouver

Want to learn more and keep up with how we’re meeting our goals? Check out the Accountability Centre.

Author: Christina Jakopin

Canada Day service—by the numbers


Photo mosaic by: translinkbc @ Mosaically

By land or by sea, Metro Vancouver residents flocked to the various public transit options to get to, from and around downtown Vancouver this past Canada Day. Compass Card data tells us that passengers tapped in and out approximately 182,000 times at Waterfront Station! That’s a nearly 190 per cent increase in the number of passengers travelling through on Saturday, July 1 compared to an average Saturday of the previous month.

Read more »

SeaBus gets a makeover! An update on rehabilitation work

SeaBus Washrooms

Have you seen SeaBus’s new look? We’re happy to announce the washrooms at SeaBus are now open!

Last October the washrooms at the north and south SeaBus terminals closed to undergo renovations, including significant accessibility improvements. Last week, we celebrated a SeaBus birthday and opened up these brand new washrooms to the public.

Read more »

Happy 40th birthday SeaBus! #SeaBus40

The SeaBus on a sunny day during the Olympic period!

Fit and fabulous at 40!

Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40!!

On June 17, 1977 the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was known then) sailed into the Burrard inlet connecting downtown Vancouver and the North Shore. Retro SeaBus

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#SeaBus40: Celebrating four decades with a contest! Share your memories and you could win!!!!!

Burrard Otter - Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Burrard Otter – Photo Courtesy of SeaBus Marine Attendant Shirley DeRusha

Look at that beauty. All the style and swagger one would expect from a sea-faring vessel that ferries more than 17,000 passengers between downtown and the North Shore each and every weekday. Not to mention the 11-15,000 daily riders on weekends!

Read more »

SeaBus 40th Birthday Kick off

Some celebrate their birthday over the course of a day, or even a week but here on The Buzzer Blog, we’re kicking off June with the start of a month long celebration for the SeaBus’ upcoming birthday. On June 17th, the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was first named) turns the big Four-O! That’s right, four decades of SeaBus service through the Burrard Inlet between North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver.

To celebrate fabulous fourty, let’s throw it back to this amazing retro rarely before seen video from the archives!

Or take a more recent trip on the Burrard Otter II with SeaBus Captain Marvin Warnock!

Whether you rode the SeaBus way back then, or ride it today, we want to hear from you! Help us celebrate the berth of SeaBus by sharing your memories, new and old!

Share your SeaBus photos or stories, write a poem, draw a picture, or sing a song! It’s up to you, but if you share it on social media make sure to tag TransLink and use the hashtag #SeaBus40.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

(Video) SeaBus extends 15 minute sailings until 9 p.m. every day!

The SeaBus is coming up on its 40th birthday in June but riders have an early reason to celebrate!

Starting May 19, taking the SeaBus to and from the North Shore is going to be even easier.

We are increasing service as part of the continued roll out of Phase One of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.

The added service means 15 minute sailings will start earlier on weekends and run every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. every day!

“The SeaBus is a fast and convenient service to and from the North Shore and we’re excited to announce it will be even more convenient with 15-minute service throughout the day and into the evening. At most times of the day, passengers won’t have to wait more than 15 minutes for the next sailing. This is just one of the ways we continue to deliver on Phase One of the 10-Year Vision to reduce wait times and offer customers more flexibility.”

– Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

SeaBus service increases include:

  • 15-minute sailings starting at 6 a.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. on Sundays and most holidays.
  • 15-minute service will also extend later into the evening. Enjoy peak-hour service for departures until 9:02 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay and 9:16 p.m. from Waterfront Station every day.

What is the Frequent Transit Network?

The Frequent Transit Network (FTN) refers to convenient, reliable and easy to use transit services that are frequent enough that they do not need to refer to a schedule. Other TransLink services that are part of the FTN include the Expo, Millennium and Canada lines and B-Line bus service.

SeaBus fast facts!

  • In 2016, there were 5.9 million boardings
    • Average boardings from Monday – Friday: 17,600
    • Average boardings on Saturdays: 15,000
    • Average boardings on Sundays and holidays: 11,400
  • 100 million boardings since TransLink came into being in 1999
  • SeaBus opened for service in 1977
  • Another SeaBus will be put into service in 2019 as part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision

Over the next two years, TransLink will continue rolling out Phase One of the 10-Year Vision with a region-wide expansion of transit services and road, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Want to learn more?
Visit tenyearvision.translink.ca and read the media release here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

2017 Vancouver Sun Run

sun run colour graphic
3, 2, 1, GOOOOOOO!!!!!!

On Sunday, April 23, over 40,000 people will lace up their runners to take part in Canada’s largest 10k road race, the Vancouver Sun Run.

Considering the size and scope of this race, lots of bus routes will be affected to clear the way for runners. This may affect your transit trip on Sunday, so make sure you know before you go!

Our alerts page has the full list of detours and route changes.

For runners and cheering squads, the Expo and Millennium lines will start service a half an hour earlier. Canada Line will run at its usual time at 5:02 a.m.

West Coast Express will run a special Sun Run train arriving at Waterfront Station at approximately 8:15 a.m. This train is expected to be quite busy, so please arrive at your station at least 20 minutes before your departure time. After the race, the train will leave Vancouver at 2:30 p.m.

SeaBus will begin running at 7 am running every 15 minutes until 6:30 pm, when it will return to a regular Sunday schedule.

2017 Sun Run course

2017 Sun Run course

To prevent long line ups afterwards, be sure to pre-purchase return Compass Tickets at a CVM prior to the race, or load up your Compass Card and tap away!

For more information on the race head to the Sun Run event page.
For a map of affected routes, check out the TransLink events calendar.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

SeaBus terminal construction continues with south terminal work

SeaBus terminal rendering
In spring 2016, we started construction work on the north SeaBus terminal and administration building.

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.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

(Video) TransLink launches Phase One of the 10-year Vision with more SkyTrain and SeaBus service

Banner blog size
Today is a great day because it marks the beginning of more transit for our region!

More transit means expanded region-wide bus and HandyDART services, improvements to major roads to reduce congestion and address bottlenecks plus more SkyTrain and SeaBus to reduce wait times and overcrowding.

These services will be rolled out this year as part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.

“Metro Vancouver’s public transportation system is finally turning a corner after nearly a decade without significant region-wide investment in transit services,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “With completion of the Evergreen Extension in December, and this week’s launch of the first transit enhancements included in the 10-Year Vision, Metro Vancouver is starting to see the long-overdue transportation improvements that will get our region moving again.”

What’s new

  • SkyTrain
    • On weekdays – peak service will end 15 minutes later in the morning and last one hour longer in the afternoon and evening rush.
    • On weekends – trains will increase to match weekday off-peak frequency meaning trains will run every 3 to 6 minutes.
  • Canada Line
    • More frequent service during weekday peak hours.
    • 11 per cent increase in passenger capacity during the busiest periods – that means an extra 3,700 passengers in each direction every weekday.
  • Bus and HandyDART
    • 10 per cent increase in bus service.
    • 15 per cent increase for HandyDART meaning 85,000 more available trips annually.
  • SeaBus
    • Doubling SeaBus Service on Sundays and holidays to sailings every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What’s next

In the coming weeks and months, more improvements of Phase One will be rolled out, including:

  • New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few – or no – transit options today;
  • Safer walking and cycling routes; and
  • Improvements to the Major Road Network.

Keep reading the Buzzer blog for how you can get involved in public consultation for some upcoming Phase Two projects including Surrey-Newton-Guilford LRT and Broadway Subway.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, and Instagram to be notified and watch our live stream broadcasts of future events.

A complete list of all the changes taking place this week and the full 10-year Vision is available at tenyearvision.translink.ca.

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Author: Adrienne Coling

The Burrard Beaver splashes back into service as the original Otter sails its final voyage

Burrard Beaver Dec 2016

    The Burrard Beaver

What do beavers and otters have in common?

Well, besides being furry little water creatures, they are also the names of a couple of our SeaBuses!

The Burrard Beaver recently underwent a nifty little face lift to extend its life for another six years.

The Beaver renovations include:

  • New paint job
  • New carpets
  • New lighting
  • Repairs to the hull
  • New panels added to the Bridge

As we welcome back the Beaver, we say goodbye to a great vessel that has served our region well since the beginning of SeaBus service; the Burrard Otter.

The Burrard Otter went into service in 1977 alongside the Burrard Beaver after being built in the Victoria Shipyards.

With the first Otter being retired, the Beaver will now be used as our spare vessel for sailings.

Did you know??

  • Each of our SeaBus vessels is operated with a crew of four – The Master, one Mate and two Attendants.
  • SeaBus cruises at a speed of 11.5 knots
  • The crossing is 1.75 nautical miles
  • It takes approximately 12 minutes per sailing
  • There are 45,000 annual scheduled sailings

Take a look at the spiffed up SeaBus!

In mid-January, as part of Phase One of the recently approved 10 year vision, we’ll introduce some increases to SeaBus service!

Author: Adrienne Coling

VIDEO – 28 new SkyTrain cars ordered to improve rapid transit service in Metro Vancouver

Today is a historic day as pen was set to paper in a deal that will improve transit in our region!

A $93 million order for 28 new SkyTrain Mark III cars from Bombardier Transportation was made by TransLink and the provincial government.

This is part of the $2 billion Phase One of the 10-year vision that is funded 50 per cent by the federal government, 33 per cent by the province and the rest from our region and TransLink.

The new SkyTrain cars will provide additional service and capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines increasing the rapid transit fleet to 314 cars.

With these new cars coming into service, more people will be able to rely on public transit, helping to reduce road congestion, greenhouse gases and improve efficient movement of people and goods across the region.

“With the critical support of our federal, provincial and regional partnerships, TransLink is ready and eager to start implementing service and infrastructure improvements outlined in Phase One of the 10-Year Vision. Today’s announcement is just one in a series of steps we’re taking to expand service for our customers and reduce wait times and crowding.”

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

The new train cars are scheduled to start arriving in 2018 and after extensive testing, enter into service by early 2019.

Starting in January 2017, TransLink will begin service improvements using the existing fleet for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines and SeaBus, with additional bus and HandyDart service improvements beginning in April 2017.

Transit and transportation improvements in Phase One

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express)
  • Pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail
  • New funding for improvements to the Major Road Network
  • Expansion and improvements to cycling and pedestrian networks

Want more information on the Mayors’ Council 10-year vision?
Head to tenyearvision.translink.ca.


Author: Adrienne Coling