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Category: SkyTrain

Unleash your creativity and love for transit at Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks

Immerse yourself into LEGO® Wonderland at the Science World’s newest exhibition! Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks presented by Concert Properties and White Spot restaurants and supported by TransLink spotlights 20 of world’s most stunning skyscrapers and TransLink’s very own MicroCity 2050, an animated model of Metro Vancouver’s transportation and transit past, present and future. The exhibition is a 5 minutes walk from Main Street-Science World station. Don’t forget to bring your Compass Card to receive 20% off the general admission. 

Build your own LEGO® masterpiece at hands-on construction area.

The towers built in 1:200 scale from half a million LEGO® bricks will impress you with their architectural accuracy and detail from Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Chicago’s Willis Tower and Toronto’s CN Tower and others.

You too are encouraged to unleash your creativity and imagination by building your own creations in the dedicated hands-on construction areas with over 200,000 lose LEGO® bricks.

The exhibition also features TransLink’s animated 3D model of the Metro Vancouver’s Transport 2050 MicroCity, a dynamic show that seamlessly weaves in the light, narration, sound, and music to showcase the history of the region across several different time periods.

The experience will encourage you to think about the future of transportation in our region – a particularly timely topic, as we are in the process of designing the transit system for the next thirty years. To leave your feedback and learn more head over to www.transport2050.ca.

Imagination is your only limit! So what are you waiting for? Make sure you check out the exhibition and add your own creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the Science World.

 

A Love Connection that was nearly missed

How many coincidences are you allowed before it’s considered fate? Robyn and Josh met on the SkyTrain, by squishing into a packed train during rush hour (who hasn’t been there). But there was a special connection between the two… to find out what happened check out our interview with Robyn below.

How did you two meet?

Robyn: That’s kind of a long story, it took over eight months. The first time we met, I was dragon boating at Science World, and he worked at a visual effects studio in the area. When I was done my dragon boat practice he was just coming off of work. I was on the Main Street-Science World platform and he was standing and the SkyTrain came up and everyone had just started leaving from work, so it was jam packed. And there wasn’t much space and I had my big sports bag. So, we kind of looked at each other and the doors open, and he said, “Oh, you go ahead, I’ll wait for the next one.”

 

And I said, “Oh, no, no, no, I’m not going to make you wait, we can squish.”

 

So, we both squished on to the SkyTrain and I was crushing him with all my bags. He went, “Oh, are you just coming from school, like what’s going on?”

 

I said, “Oh no, like, I’m coming from dragon boating, the sport that I play.” He got off two stops later. And I just thought, wow, that was a nice guy.

 

So, that was in October. In November, I hadn’t seen him for a month, so I had not thought about him but, like, what are the chances of meeting someone again, that you just met randomly on the SkyTrain.

 

Now it’s November, and I went up to the Main Street Science World after I was finished dragon boating, and lo and behold, he was heading up the platform and I was shocked. He came up to me and said, “Hey, how’s dragon boating going?”

 

I was taken aback that he had remembered the obscure sport that I did.

 

We both went on to the train and we started talking and he rode all the way with me to my stop which was way farther than mine I found out later. He would just ride all the way to my stop and one stop past so it didn’t look like he was creepily following me. Then he would walk across the platform and take the train back to his stop.

 

So yeah, that was the second time we met, and we just had a great conversation. I found out that he was close to the school that I was going to in the fall and his sister was in the same program I was going into. He volunteered at a church and was involved in summer camp which I was big in. He was just an amazing guy, but of course like he’s a stranger on the SkyTrain, so I’m not going to do anything about it. But I got off at my stop and I called my best friend, and I told her that I met him again, and she goes, “Robyn! Okay, like, did you get his number?” and I said no. She said, “Did you get his name?” and I said no. And she goes, “Robyn! What are you doing? You don’t just bump into people like that on the SkyTrain, like what are you doing?”

She said, if you see him next time, it’s meant to be.

 

So, six months go by, and I’m still dragon boating. I’m still taking the train, a couple times a week, down to the docks at Science World and for six months didn’t see him. At that point I had kind of given up and I went well, I just missed my shot. Oh well.

 

But it was the first day of May, I walked out of dragon boating. We’re not even on the SkyTrain yet and my friend and I were just on the sidewalk, walking from the docks, up to the SkyTrain platform. And he was just walking by on the sidewalk and we saw each other after six months and our jaws both just dropped, like we had no idea what to do. So, finally, he asked for my name and said, “Oh, are you going up to the SkyTrain?”

 

I said yeah, and he said, “Oh, I’ll take you there.”

 

So, we went up to the train, just talking the whole time, he was super nice. We’re getting closer to my stop and I’m thinking, I’ve got to do something or I’m never going to see him again. What are the chances that I’ve seen him three times in Vancouver, on the SkyTrain? But I couldn’t do anything, so I walked off and I went well. That was it, like, that was it.

 

And then the next week, after practice, I went up to the SkyTrain and I was looking around for him. He wasn’t there, and I waited for a couple of SkyTrain’s and he still wasn’t there. And so finally I thought, I have places to go, things to do – I have to get on a SkyTrain and go. So, I got on and I took out my book. Then two stops before my stop, I felt a tap on the back of my shoulder and I looked around and there was Josh and he goes, “Hey Robyn!”

 

And, oh my goodness, my mouth just fell open. I could not believe that he was there. But I was thinking, “Oh, no, we only have two stops left, what am I going to do?”

 

We got to my stop and I thought, “Oh, brilliant, I’ll forget to get off and that’ll give us some more time.”

 

The train stopped and I’m pretending not to pay attention, the doors close, and the train starts to go and I’m like, “Oh, dang it! That was my stop, whoops!”

 

So, I get to the next one and I have to walk across the platform and catch the next train to go back to my stop and he goes, “Oh, I’ll take you!” And we both went back to my stop and I thought he needed to get back onto the other train to go the way we were originally going, but I really threw him for a loop, because he had to pretend to be going that way and then loop back again. He really thought it out.

He needed to rush across because the trains came up at the same time. So, we got off one train and he was going on to the next end. But, I missed the chance and he looks at me and says, “Do you want to do something some time?” And I thought my heart was going to fall out of my stomach!

 

I said of course, and I had my phone and I said, “Do you want to go put your number in?”

 

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out this little piece of paper and gave it to me, didn’t say anything, gave it to me, smiled and then walked onto the other train.

 

And I opened it up. I felt like, like in a movie you know what everyone else is rushing by and one character is just standing still. That’s exactly how I felt. And I opened this little piece of paper, that I learned later, he had been carrying around his number, on this little slip of paper, for the next time he saw me.

Then, two days later, we went on our first date, and now we’ve been dating for two years.

Have you seen the Netflix show ‘You’?

I have not, and I did realize the situation could be sketchy.

On the first date, I made sure to text my friends every half hour, I didn’t get into his car for the first month that we were dating. But, the second time we met, I knew that he went to church and volunteered, not that you can’t make that stuff up. He was just a genuine guy and I did realize it was, you know, not the usual way people meet. But, he was also really aware of the fact, and he put in the extra effort to just be a gentleman.

The first couple months, he was on his best behavior, just to make sure that I was comfortable. We had all our dates in public, we never went anywhere private. He really sought that out too and made sure that I was comfortable because I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall, and he’s a random guy I met on the SkyTrain!

So, when you tell people you guys met on the SkyTrain, what’s their reaction like?

Definitely like, “What kind of person are you, just picking up random people of the SkyTrain?” Because there is a stigma that you get all kinds of people on public transit.

But when I tell people like, “Yeah, we met on a SkyTrain,” they’re taken aback. And then they go, “Okay, I want to hear the story, I want to know everything.”

 

It’s been a big conversation starter and people who I told, who I wouldn’t remember telling, they’ll come up to me like, “Hey, how’s SkyTrain boy?”

People are just so much more invested because of the unlikelihood of how and where we met.

Would you have ever expected to find your partner on public transit?

Not at all. No, and I’ve always grown up being like, don’t talk to strangers, and especially on public transit.

 

Josh’s dad actually works for SkyTrain and I know that TransLink does so much to keep people safe. I feel safe when I’m on transit, but it’s still not necessarily smart to go up to everyone you meet on the SkyTrain or a bus and start up a conversation like that and then start dating. Yeah, I definitely wasn’t expecting that!

Do you have a transit love story to share? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Valentine’s Day from us at TransLink!

SkyTrain announcements now include which side doors open on

“The next station is … Columbia. Doors will open on the right.”

When riding SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium Lines, you might have noticed that our “next station” announcements are a little different now — they now announce whether doors will open to the left or right when the train arrives at the station.

It will make an announcement, voiced by Laureen Regan, that’s a variation of, “The next station is … Edmonds. Doors will open on the right,” depending on the station the train’s at.

It’s all part of our effort to make transit more accessible for everyone, and a little bit easier for customers with sight loss as well as those who are new to riding SkyTrain.

These accessibility improvements were the result of advice and feedback from TransLink’s Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee (UAC) and other stakeholders. The UAC provides ongoing advice on TransLink plans, programs, and initiatives, making sure that accessibility issues are always considered.

But, that’s not all — we’ve also shortened our boarding announcements on the Expo Line to make it simpler and more succinct. Now, at most stations, you’ll no longer hear, “This is an Expo Line Train to King George,” but rather a simple “Train to King George.”

Have you heard the new announcements? If so, let us know what you think!

Related Stories:

Smart lockers coming to SkyTrain stations

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker at Stadium–Chinatown Station could look like.

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker at Stadium–Chinatown Station could look like.

TransLink has selected PigeonBox, a smart locker service, as the first winner of the 2019 Open Call for Innovation on Customer Services and Amenities. The Open Call for Innovation solicited proposals for new services for customers as they travel through the transit system.

With the new PigeonBox smart lockers, beginning this spring, customers can have their deliveries sent to lockers at three SkyTrain stations: Joyce-Collingwood, Stadium-Chinatown, and Commercial-Broadway.

“We are always looking at creative ways to utilize our transit spaces so that we can better serve our customers,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The last round of submissions received many thoughtful proposals and I’d like to congratulate PigeonBox for their successful pitch. Having secure lockers for pick-ups at transit stations will reduce unnecessary trips and simplify the lives of our customers.”

How does it work?

First, customers need to sign up to use a locker on the PigeonBox website or PigeonBox App. Customers can then use the provided PigeonBox address as their mailing address when making any online purchase. Once the order is complete and delivered, PigeonBox will send the customer a locker number and access code for a smart locker.

“The PigeonBox dream is to make every online delivery experience as seamless as possible,” says PigeonBox CEO Seunghwan Son. “We’ve built our smart lockers for those who want to protect their online orders and pick up their packages with ease. When we first launched PigeonBox, our customers told us they wanted to see us grow and expand at our transit stations. We are excited to finally launch this partnership with TransLink.”

This initiative is a one-year pilot from the TransLink Tomorrow program to test the demand for smart locker services on the transit system. The continuation and expansion of this service will be determined by the results of the pilot.

About Open Call for Innovation

There were 45 proposals submitted in TransLink’s second annual Open Call for Innovation to help innovate and enhance customer journeys. The 2019 finalists were selected through an internal panel. Other successful ideas will be announced in the coming months. Previous winners include a shared mobility service with Evo, Modo, and Mobi, and a partnership with carpooling company, Poparide.

The Open Call platform is an opportunity to partner with industry leaders, innovators, academics and policymakers to collaborate on new mobility solutions that will help enhance the livability of Metro Vancouver and address transportation-related challenges that we face as a region.

TransLink releases details of Winter Plan 2019/20

New initiatives and improvements to prepare for the season ahead

New initiatives and improvements to prepare for the season ahead

TransLink is releasing details of new initiatives and improvements to prepare for any adverse weather events this winter.  This comes amid the launch of a new winter marketing campaign aimed at promoting safety for transit users this season.

“Our initiatives this winter are focused on increasing safety and customer communication at stations, bus exchanges, and throughout our online channels,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.  “We’ve learned from previous seasons and have been working hard to ensure customers are kept informed of any significant delays or issues on our system.”

Last month, TransLink also hosted a meeting between Metro Vancouver municipalities to share and discuss winter preparedness plans.  These regional partnerships are crucial to ensuring that any issues can be swiftly dealt with, in order to limit the impact on transit and transportation. Read more »

SkyTrain Assistance Counter opens at Commercial–Broadway Station

The SkyTrain Assistance Counter at Commercial–Broadway Station will help customers with directions, system maps, brochures, and in-person service.

Customers travelling through Commercial-Broadway Station will have easier access to transit advice and services, with a new SkyTrain Assistance Counter opening today.  This is the first SkyTrain Assistance Counter on TransLink’s network and will be staffed by SkyTrain Attendants during all station operating hours.  Customers will be able to use the counter for directions, system maps, brochures, and in-person service.

“Commercial-Broadway serves as a key transfer point for our customers, connecting the Expo Line, Millennium Line, and 99 B-Line,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The central location of our new counter will ensure customers have easy access to the most up-to-date transit information. Today’s opening is another important step toward improving customer service and comes as we wrap up I Love Transit Week.”

Commercial-Broadway Station facts:

  • More than 8 million boardings on SkyTrain last year.
  • 30,000 transfers between Expo and Millennium Line on an average weekday.
  • 20,000 transfers between SkyTrain and bus on an average weekday.
  • Terminus of the 99 B-Line, the busiest bus route in Canada and the U.S.
  • 17,000 average weekday bus boardings.

The Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Assistance Counter is in addition to the Stadium-Chinatown Compass Customer Service Centre, which remains the primary location for Compass enquiries.

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

Read more »

Canada Line’s 10th anniversary: Transit from past to present

The Canada Line has officially turned 10 years old today! It seems like it was just yesterday when Metro Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and people cheering their favourite athlete(s) and country. To celebrate the SkyTrain Line’s birthday, we’re taking a trip down memory lane to see how the community from Downtown Vancouver to Richmond has grown since the day of its opening!

Read more »

The first new Canada Line train arrives and new escalator opens!

Exciting things are happening for SkyTrain’s Canada Line!

We’re adding 24 SkyTrain cars, or 12 trains, so we can increase Canada Line service by 30 per cent for our customers. We’re also installing new escalators at Waterfront, Vancouver City Centre and Yaletown–Roundhouse stations to help with increased customer demand and passenger flow throughout the stations. Read more »

New details on Surrey Langley SkyTrain Project!

We have new details and cost estimates for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project!

The project could be completed within five-and-a-half years from a full project approval date. Currently, we have about $1.6 billion available to fund the project, which is enough to the SkyTrain go from the current King George Station to Fleetwood. Any more work needed for the project to reach Langley is unfunded and would require additional financial contribution from other sources. The total cost to take the SkyTrain to Langley is about $3.12 billion. Take a peak at the breakdown of the financial costs and project components for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project below. 👇

This project would see trains operate every 4 to 5 minutes during peak periods and the total travel time from King George Station to the proposed Langley City Centre Station would take approximately 22 minutes. Proposed stations for this new SkyTrain line include eight in the locations below:

  • 140 Street, City of Surrey
  • 152 Street, City of Surrey
  • 160 Street, City of Surrey
  • 166 Street, City of Surrey (Fleetwood scenario, interim terminal)
  • 184 Street, City of Surrey (Clayton scenario, interim terminal)
  • 190 Street, City of Surrey
  • 196 Street, Township of Langley
  • 203 Street, City of Langley (Langley scenario, final terminal)

TransLink will recommend that a full business case be developed for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project by early next year. In the meantime, the Mayors’ Council will look over these proposals at their next meeting on Thursday, July 25.

 

Refresh of 22nd Street Station bus exchange now complete!

We’ve some good news!

Upgrades to the bus exchange at 22nd Street Station are now complete. Let’s talk about just how cool the station is because let’s be honest, it’s often overlooked amongst the architectural marvels of our vast transit network!

One of the older transit hubs in the region, the elevated 22nd Street Station was built in 1985 as part of the original version of the Expo Line. Located on a hill above the Queensborough Bridge interchange, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Fraser River and Mount Baker from the SkyTrain platform.

But, it’s what lies below the SkyTrain station that matters most: an eight-bay bus loop that was constructed along with the original station. This is what gives the exchange its true value to our transit network.

Read more »

Get to celebrations and home safely with Canada Day 2019 holiday transit service!

Making my way downtown, walking fast… because I want to see the firework show!  🎉

We know that Canada Day celebrations are a big thing, cause we are excited for them too! That’s why on Monday July 1st, the SkyTrain, SeaBus and buses will be running on the holiday schedule, but with additional service to help you get to the celebrations and getting you home safely. 🤗

Because of this spectacular event, that also means that there will be changes to our regular bus routes and access to SkyTrain stations downtown. Don’t worry, it’s just for Canada Day! Read more »

TransLink releases report on late-night transit service

TransLink today released the results of an independent technical study of trade-offs associated with operating SkyTrain all night Fridays and Saturdays as well as a report outlining other transit options that could be effective in getting late night patrons home safely.

The independent, year-long technical study found that to ensure the SkyTrain system could be properly maintained, significant operational changes would be required including a reduction of SkyTrain operating hours during weekdays and full closures of the system on some statutory holidays. Read more »

Raven Rescued by Your Friendly Neighbourhood SkyTrain Attendant

Being a SkyTrain Attendant means you’re a jack-of-all-trades. On any given day, you may need to help someone find their destination, assist a customer having a medical issue, or even manually drive the SkyTrain (if needed in extreme weather). The list of situations SkyTrain Attendants may find themselves in is long and often falls into the, ‘and other duties’ portion of the job description.

That’s what SkyTrain Attendant Pat discovered last week when he encountered a distressed raven that trapped itself behind a fenced off area.

During his shift at Holdom Station, Pat heard what he described as a child crying loudly. After analyzing the area, he found a raven mimicking the call for help, and a friend circling around to keep it company.

If you ever find a distressed animal by transit centres and don’t know what to do, we recommend notifying our SkyTrain Attendants or call the Wildlife Rescue Helpline (604-526-7275) with a message detailing what you have observed. This is for the best interests of the animal and you.

In this situation, Pat was able to help. Going beyond the ordinary is just one of the things our SkyTrain Attendants do everyday.

Your friendly neighbourhood SkyTrain Attendants have a broad responsibility to provide all our passengers (feathered or not) with a smooth transit experience. To learn more about what they do, take a look at Cheri’s interview as she talks about her 17+ years dedication to the job.

Turning the Tides on Temperature: Buses and SkyTrains

Winter is gone, and summer is coming! Aside from the season and unpredictable Vancity weather, the temperatures are changing too. We’re here to explain the variance of heat and AC you’ll encounter on your commutes and give tips on how you can make it a more comfortable experience too.

Temperature on the Bus

Buses that have joined the TransLink fleet since 2012 are climate controlled, so that means there’s air conditioning onboard! As we renew and expand our fleet, they’re making up a larger portion of our fleet. If you’re onboard a bus that has air conditioning, let’s keep those windows shut so the air conditioning can do its job.

As well, climate control means there are times when it seems that both the heating and cooling is on simultaneously. This is so the system can “dry” or dehumidify the air on a cold or humid day.

Temperature on SkyTrain

Over on SkyTrain, our Mark II and III trains both have cooling and heating systems.

Each car has a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit on its roof. It uses sensors that determine the outside air temperature versus the air inside the car, then that will follow an algorithm that helps maintain an optimal temperature for passengers.

Our Mark I trains only has a heating system, so over summer, pop those windows open to keep cool. There are also overhead fans that help with cooling too.

The SkyTrain operates admirably with a 95 per cent on-time performance, but from time to time, there are delays. It’s important to note that if your train is stopped in between stations or just outside a station, that you listen to the onboard announcements and check Transit Alerts. If you need to, open a window for ventilation and use the intercom to speak with SkyTrain Control. Not only is forcing doors open dangerous because the tracks carry live power, it can lengthen delays as a SkyTrain Attendant will need to respond to that individual train.

 

How to make your commute more comfortable

  • Plan ahead

Planning ahead with Trip Planner is super helpful to know how much to bring with you and time that you take to commute. Do you have some breather room to take a break from the heat? Or wanting to explore cafes close by SkyTrain stations? (PS: we have another article coming up on that shortly.)

  • Be courteous on the transit to other passengers

Everyone shares the public space on transit, so we can help each other make it a better commute together. When many people are on the bus at once during a hot day, please be mindful of personal hygiene and refrain from wearing scented products.

  • Keep yourself hydrated

Water is always the best option to keep hydrated. While food and drink aren’t allowed on transit for cleanliness purposes and courtesy of others who may not tolerate food smells, water is an exception (if it has a lid). We’d like to provide caution about drinking on a moving vehicle, so it might be best to wait until you reach a bus stop for a quick drink.

  • Dress according to weather

If you are going to be transiting for most of the day, it’s best to plan your outfit that will be convenient for your commute. Wear clothing that is comfortable and an outer layer that will be easy to take off due to changing temperatures.

Lastly, we want to make sure that everyone will have a safe commute no matter where your destination is this summer. Let us know if you have any suggestions on how you keep yourself comfortable during your trip also in the comments below!