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Category: SkyTrain

Five tips and tricks to staying safe on the SkyTrain!

One of our top priorities is to make sure you get to and from your destination safely! Watch the video above to learn all of the best ways to stay safe while using the SkyTrain.

Here are our top five tips and tricks to a smooth journey:

Slow and steady

Don’t run for the train. Trains come quite frequently and there will be another one along in just a few minutes!

On the platform

Always stand behind the yellow line on platforms and wait at the Designated Waiting Areas as they are designed to provide added safety and security. Safety features you can find at Designated Waiting Areas are: enhanced lighting, a red emergency telephone that will connect you directly to the SkyTrain Control Centre, a bench and they are monitored by closed-circuit television.

Hold on!

SkyTrains are moving vehicles!  Make sure you hold on to a yellow marked handrail or bar to keep yourself steady.

Know where to find help

In the case of an emergency, you can contact the SkyTrain Control Centre by pressing on the silent passenger alarm. This is a yellow strip located on every window on board the SkyTrain. Triggering this alarm means that help will be on board as soon as possible. You can also use the on board speakerphone that is located on each car near the doors. By pressing the red button you can speak directly to SkyTrain control operators.

FYI: when in doubt, don`t be scared to ask a SkyTrain attendant for help!

Stay onboard!

Trains will stop between stations if something falls onto the track so make sure to stay on board the train and do not exit between stations. The safest place to be in the case of a stoppage is on the train!

Take a look here for more information on the cool safety features that you can find on board the SkyTrain!

Author: Christina Jakopin

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

Behind The Scenes: A look into the remake of a Mark I SkyTrain

SkyTrain OMC

If you’ve ever taken the SkyTrain in Metro Vancouver, you’ve likely been a passenger on a Mark I. Making up 40% of our SkyTrain fleet, 114 of our 150 Mark I SkyTrains are currently undergoing a massive overhaul at OMC2, one of our Operations & Maintenance Centres in Burnaby.

Read more »

New escalators at Metrotown SkyTrain station are now in service!

At a height of 13 metres (43 feet), the new escalators at Metrotown Station are the second highest in the SkyTrain system, surpassed only by the escalators at Granville Station at 14 metres (46 feet).

Exciting news for our customers who use Metrotown Station: the first four of eight new escalators—two up and two down—entered service on Monday, July 24!

These escalators at the newly opened west stationhouse will significantly improve passenger flow and access for our customers who can now enter and exit the platform via two escalators, two elevators, or one of two staircases from Central Boulevard.

Compass fare gates and vending machines have been installed at the west stationhouse and are operational. Customers are reminded to continue to tap in and out.

What’s next?

This is a major milestone for the station. Although both the centre and west stationhouses are now open, upgrades continue at Metrotown Station. We thank everyone for their patience while we complete this essential work.

In summer 2018, two more pairs of escalators will go into service when the rebuilt east stationhouse opens. When fully complete, the upgraded station will include:

  • Rebuilt east stationhouse and addition of new centre and west stationhouses
  • New stairs and escalators
  • Replacement of the original elevator with three new elevators accessible via a new central entry
  • An upgraded bus exchange on Central Boulevard
  • New secure parking area for bicycles

We’ll make sure to keep you updated on all the upgrades as they are completed.

Explore inside the west stationhouse

Visit our website for more information on the upgrades at Metrotown Station.

Author: Allen Tung

Upcoming rail replacement work on the Expo Line

Running rail replacement on July 17, 19, 23, and 24 to 27 will mean modified late evening service between Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Replacement work is currently taking place in the Stadium–Chinatown area, resulting in modified evening SkyTrain service in downtown Vancouver. The affected times and dates are: from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service on Monday, July 17; Wednesday, July 19; Thursday, July 20; and Sunday, July 23, and from 11:59 p.m. until the end of service from Monday, July 24 through Thursday, July 27.

(Author’s Note: Due to the rescheduling of the J. Cole concert at Rogers Arena from Tuesday, July 18 to Wednesday, July 19, rail replacement work is cancelled on July 19.) 

Expo Line trains will terminate at Stadium-Chinatown Station, operating with a normal 5 minute frequency. A shuttle train will operate every 10 minutes between Waterfront, Burrard, Granville and Stadium-Chinatown stations. Expo Line passengers connecting at Stadium–Chinatown should allow for 5-10 minutes extra travel time.

Normal 10 minute service frequency is provided on the Millennium Line, and on the Expo Line to both King George and Production Way–University.  The Canada Line will also operate normally.

Customers are advised to watch destination displays and listen for train destination announcements. We thank you for your patience as we complete this essential work.

How does this affect your commute? Check out our Alerts Page for pattern changes and upcoming work.
Find more information on the entire project, visit translink.ca/railreplacement.

A day in the life of a SkyTrain Attendant – ride along with BCRTC President Vivienne King

Last week, British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC) President Vivienne King, donned her reflective vest and steel toed boots to walk a mile (or likely many miles) in a SkyTrain Attendant (STA)’s shoes.

Read more »

Rail grinding on the Millennium Line on July 14 and 15

Rail grinding on the Millennium Line, from 11 p.m. until the end of service on July 14 and 15, will result in modified late evening service between Renfrew and VCC–Clark stations.

Heads-up Millennium Line passengers! As part of our regular maintenance program, crews will be grinding rails this Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15, resulting in modified late evening service.

From 11 p.m. until the end of service, a shuttle train will operate on the Millennium Line between Renfrew, Commercial–Broadway and VCC–Clark stations in both directions. Passengers travelling through Renfrew Station, please allow 5-10 minutes extra travel time to switch between the trains.

Expo Line trains—Waterfront to King George Station and Waterfront to Production Way–University Station—will operate normally. Canada Line is unaffected by this work.

What is rail grinding?

Rail grinding is standard maintenance work that we do on a regular basis on the Expo and Millennium lines, to improve ride quality, reduce noise levels, and extend the rail’s life. A locomotive pulls two trailers that have grinding stones, removing a small amount of steel from the rail to remove surface imperfections and re-profile the rail to improve ride quality.

A short-term side effect of this work is increased noise from anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks while the freshly ground rail adjusts to the train’s wheels. We thank our neighbours and customers for their understanding while we complete this important maintenance work.

Want more information? Watch translink.ca/alerts for future updates on rail grinding locations.

Author: Allen Tung

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 »

TransLink supports Multi-“Modo” transportation with a new carshare partnership

Modo carsharing

Getting around Metro Vancouver will be much easier thanks to a new partnership between TransLink and Modo Co-operative.

Transit in Vancouver is no stranger to carshares, looking at the blocks surrounding SkyTrain stations in the region you’ll see an abundance of parking spaces reserved for carsharing. This partnership with Modo Co-operative is the first time that stalls have been created directly on TransLink property. You can now grab a Modo just steps from the fare gates!

Read more »

Running Rail Replacement work June 12-14, 2017

Modified service route 1 NW to VC_17x11-01
TransLink keeps chugging along with our Running Rail Replacement Project. Starting back in February, we’ve been replacing 7,000 aging rail pads and 5,000 linear metres of running rail on the Expo Line.

Here are the details: Read more »

Saying goodbye to Amazing Grace

Grace McCarthy 2011 OMC

Grace McCarthy at SkyTrain OMC, 2011

If you remember Expo 86, that was Grace McCarthy. If you remember the name SkyTrain, that was Grace McCarthy.” – Norman Stowe

It is with great sadness and fond memories that we bid adieu to a visionary woman who, for decades, helped shape and grow the province and our region. Grace McCarthy has passed away at 89.

Before SkyTrain was SkyTrain, there was Grace McCarthy.

Under the leadership of B.C. premier Bill Bennett, McCarthy was appointed deputy premier and the minister responsible for BC Transit.

A tireless and optimistic leader in British Columbia with the Social Credit Party, McCarthy’s efforts helped bring Expo ’86 to Vancouver and she oversaw construction (and the naming!) of our beloved SkyTrain.

When asked about the impact of SkyTrain on this region, McCarthy said, “It transformed the way we travel throughout the region and made this great area one of the very best to live in.”

McCarthy received the Order of Canada in 1992 and the Order of B.C. in 2004.

Amazing Grace, thank you for being our SkyTrain champion and an inspiring leader. Your legacy will always live on in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.

Read more about Grace McCarthy’s life and achievements including SkyTrain.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Running Rail Replacement work May 25–May 30, 2017

Modified service route 1 NW to VC_17x11-01
We are continuing with our work to replace 7,000 aging rail pads and 5,000 linear metres of running rail on the Expo Line.

This phase of the Running Rail Replacement Project began this February and will continue through summer 2017.

This batch of work will include single tracking later in some evenings as well as some morning and afternoon work on the weekend.

On May 27 and May 28, two sections of track west of Main Street–Science World Station will require extended times to accommodate the necessary special treatment to pre-bend the 60 foot rail sections before installation.

Please take note of the schedules below and know before you go!

Thursday May 25 & Friday May 26

  • From 9:30 pm until the end of service

Saturday May 27

  • From start of service until 2:00 pm AND
  • From 11:30 pm until the end of service.

Sunday May 28

  • From start of service until 3:00 pm.
  • There will be no single tracking Sunday evening.

Monday May 29 & Tuesday May 30

  • From 9:30 pm until the end of service.

For all affected service days:

  • Expo Line trains will use one track in both directions at Main Street–Science World and Commercial–Broadway stations.
  • Expo Line passengers should allow for 15-20 minutes extra travel time.
  • All Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • Expo service to Sapperton, Braid, Lougheed Town Centre and Production Way–University will be replaced with trains operating between New Westminster and VCC–Clark. Passengers from other stations on the Expo Line can change trains to this service at Commercial–Broadway, New Westminster and Columbia stations.
  • Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.

This work schedule is subject to change.

Learn more about our Running Rail Replacement Project!

Have questions about this project or single tracking? Ask away!
Tweet @TransLink or call 604-953-3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Experience your own ‘art on transit’ Jane’s Walk

299
The festivities and walking tours associated with the worldwide Jane’s Walk are over for another year, but that doesn’t mean we should stop discovering our communities!

With that in mind, we’d like to share the walk and talk that TransLink’s Debra Rolfe lead during the festival.

Below is a step-by-step guide to art found on and around the Expo Line with a few stops in Vancouver and New Westminster.

Enjoy!

Stadium–Chinatown

Alinka Echeverría’s Precession of the Feminine

2017-03-31_Stadium-Chinatown_Artwork_Panorama
Located on the unused platform at the station, and visible from the main platform or from eastbound trains, temporary project 2017-18

This artwork is part of the Capture Photography Festival, a non-profit annual festival devoted to exhibiting local and international photography. Alinka Echeverría’s Precession of the Feminine is a series of three-dimensional simulations of ceramic vases fused with archival photographs of women and presented against vibrantly coloured backdrops. Echeverría shows her viewers the process behind the creation of these images in order to invite them to look at the unconscious beliefs we bring to viewing photographs, particularly of women. Within the transit context, this project demonstrates one of the goals of TransLink’s public art program to surprise and delight customers, with the layers of meaning in this artwork manifesting differently whether customers pass through the station only once or whether they pass through the station daily.

Main Street–Science World

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky’s Watch Seller

Watchseller
Artwork is on the plaza outside the Thornton Park entrance to the east stationhouse, permanent project installed 2015

The Watch Seller is a bronze sculpture of a watch seller that functions like a deconstructed public clock. Covered in 720 watch faces, the Watch Seller has every possible minute of a 12-hour analogue clock visible on his figure. He is always out of time, but he also always shows the correct time. These aspects of the artwork reference the shared history of train travel and standardized time, which were invented together in the 19th century. Indeed, standardized time was once called ‘railway time’ and public clocks are a ubiquitous feature of old railway stations. Set at the pedestrian level right outside the station entrance and across Thornton Park from Pacific Central Station, the Watch Seller is the size of a real person. It invites interaction and engagement with the station and the history of rail travel.

Commercial–Broadway

Richard Tetrault Cole Bazin, Karen Chan, Emily Gray, Rachel Stableford and Jerry Whitehead mural

Intersections mural on Broadway and inside the south stationhouse, temporary project 2015-18

This series of murals was commissioned in order to improve the experience of the station during renovation and reduce graffiti on the construction hoardings. It was a partnership with the City of Vancouver’s Integrated Graffiti Management Program. Due to the complex nature of the construction process at this station and the expectation that we would have to move the construction hoarding around over time, we asked the artists to create a series of small murals that could be displayed together or separately. Although the artists all worked together and worked with a shared theme and colour palate, they each led on a 12×8 foot section of the mural. The mural’s name and the motif of the SkyTrain windows repeating throughout remind us of the nature of Commercial-Broadway Station as a place of meeting and of departure.

Joyce–Collingwood

Kim Villagante and aly de la cruz yip’s Home mural

JC mural
Found on Vanness Avenue, outside the east station house, temporary project 2016-17

This project was a partnership with the City of Vancouver’s Integrated Graffiti Management Program and the Collingwood Neighbourhood House. The artists worked with youth who are newcomers to Canada, including Syrian refugee youth, to develop designs related to the concept of home. Individual children produced drawings that the artists then integrated into the overall design. The word ‘home’ in blue, like a river, binds the entire mural together.

New Westminster Station

Sean Alward’s New Westminster Glass Mural

Located along the staircase leading to the westbound platform, permanent project installed 2016

The mural at New Westminster Station is a collage of archival photographs of New Westminster and elsewhere in BC overlaid with brightly coloured shapes. The flow of images in the artwork references the nearby Fraser River and, as the artist has described it, ‘the simple paradox that [the river] is an ever-changing yet constant presence’. The artwork examines the history of New Westminster and British Columbia as one in which ‘nature’ is transformed into ‘resources’ and how an economy, political power and culture develops from that process. It also brings a beautiful stream of multi-coloured light and images into the station, whereas before the view from this staircase was of the concrete wall next door.

Now you’ve got the tools and the information for your own mini-tour of art on transit. Print this out or save it to your phone, grab your Compass Card and get exploring!

Author: Adrienne Coling

More station upgrade progress at Joyce–Collingwood!

Outside shot

View from east station house down Vanness Avenue

Joyce–Collingwood Station is looking more refreshed by the day as work continues on upgrading our fourth busiest Expo Line station outside of downtown Vancouver.

These upgrades seek to improve safety and security for riders as well as accessibility to the station.

Completed work

  • Escalator installation work is complete.
  • Timber ceiling installation in the new east stationhouse is now complete.
  • New lighting on the platform improves safety and security.
  • Bus shelter footings are now installed. Look for two new bus shelters at the station later this summer!
  • Newly installed glass panels improve visibility on the platform.

What’s next?

  • Elevator testing and commissioning
  • Public art installation
  • Ceiling panel installation on the platform
  • Installation of glass walls for the east stationhouse
  • Bike Parkade work is ongoing and when complete, customers can access the parkade using their Compass Card.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to the Joyce–Collingwood Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project.

Get in touch!

Customer Information: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information on this project visit translink.ca/joyce.
For up-to-date construction info, visit translink.ca/ontrack.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

TransLink on the Move: Transportation Improvements

TransLink on the Move Transportation Improvements

Today wraps up our TransLink on the Move series. Over the past five weeks we’ve shared bite sized pieces from our 2016 Annual Report – Mark III SkyTrains, Evergreen Extension Stations, Ridership numbers, Compass, and now Transportation Investment.

You’ve likely heard about The Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year-Vision. Implementing this plan was the first step towards bringing Metro Vancouver the biggest transportation expansion in nearly a decade. With $2 Billion invested in transportation services, Phase One of the plan addresses some of our biggest rider complaints and aims to both reduce overcrowding on our transit system and ease congestion on our roadways. But there’s more to Phase One than new transit services and improvements. This first phase has additional region-wide impacts to alternative travel modes like cycling and walking paths, that brings real improvements to the way Metro Vancouver residents travel.

The next 10 years promise big things for transportation in Metro Vancouver and we hope you come along for the the ride.

Author: Sarah Kertcher