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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Something Neat

Extra service gets you to the Celebration of Light

The Honda Celebration of Light will be lighting up the sky again this summer, and we’re adding extra service to get you there!

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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.

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Send a text and help those affected by the wildfires in BC

B.C. remains in a state of emergency as 140 wildfires continue to burn across the province forcing mass evacuation orders and leaving tens of thousands of hectares of land burned. Multiple communities are affected and thousands of people are being uprooted. Urgent emergency services are required to support individuals and families.

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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.

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CMBC recognized as RCBC environmental champion

CMBC recognized as RCBC environmental champion

Harvinder Aujala (left), RCBC Information Services Manager, and Donna Bartel, CMBC Environmental Sustainability Manager

 

Each year the Recycling Council of BC (RCBC) hosts a celebration recognizing the valuable contributions made by individuals and organizations towards the preservation and protection of British Columbia’s environment. This year, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) was awarded the 2017 Public Sector Environmental Award for continued efforts in reducing environmental impacts.

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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!

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Celebrate Canada’s 150th with a commemorative #Canada150 Compass Card!

Canada 150

These limited edition Compass Cards are available starting June 22 until supplies last

On July 1, our fair land will be celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

That’s just a fancy way of saying Happy 150th Canada!

To mark this momentous occasion, TransLink is releasing 20,000 special, limited edition Canada 150 Adult Compass Cards.

These cards will be available on June 22 at Compass Vending Machines in select SkyTrain Stations. To find a location nearest you check our interactive map.

**Look for Canada 150 decals on CVMs**

#Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card

Commemorative Compass Cards will also be available at the Compass Customer Service Centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station open on Canada Day from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. while supplies last. Limit one per person.

Get yours before they’re gone and celebrate Canada’s 150th by tap, tap, tapping in style!

Want to win your way into the celebration? Stay tuned for details on how you can win your very own #Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card!

Celebrate Canada Day in person and online!
Use the hashtag #Canada150 to share your celebration moments with people across the country!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

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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Take the Commuter Challenge from June 4 – 10 and be less driven!

Commuter Challenge
First we had the Rush Hour Challenge, followed by Spring Bike To Work Week.

Now, it’s time to continue the sustainable transportation celebration with the Commuter Challenge!

What is the Commuter Challenge?

The Commuter Challenge is a week-long event held in conjunction with Canadian Environment Week, June 4–10, 2017.

This fun and friendly competition challenges Canadian cities and workplaces to leave their cars at home in favour of walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit and telecommuting.

Commuter Challenge BCHow to register

1. Register for the Commuter Challenge as an individual (or join an existing workplace team), workplace, or region.
2. Walk, cycle, carpool, take transit or telecommute during the event week (June 4 – 10).
3. You log your commutes online and watch your impacts add up!
4. Share your progress on social media using the hashtag #CommuterChallenge.

Join the multi-modal movement and celebrate, compete and win some great prizes while boosting both your physical and mental health!

Looking for additional multi-modal fun from May 29 – June 8? Take part in the City of North Vancouver Walk-Bike-Bus Scavenger Hunt! Check out the City of North Vancouver website for full details, and to download the passport.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

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

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

New electric bus rolls on Vancouver streets beginning May 15, 2017

You read that right! On Monday, May 15, 2017, a three-month test of an electric battery-powered bus will begin!

The bus, provided by BYD Canada at no cost to TransLink, uses slow-charge technology to provide enough power to drive approximately 250 kilometres on a single charge!

This trial is just one of the environmentally friendly bus technology tests TransLink plans to launch as part of our commitment to helping the region meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The bus will snuggle in for its nightly charge at the Vancouver Transit Centre where our electric trolley fleet is based.

During the trial, we will be able to test the bus on our system, take a look at its performance according to the bus operators and maintenance crews as well as the satisfaction of the customers in order to determine our next steps with this technology.

DID YOU KNOW??

Almost half of TransLink’s fleet of 1,386 buses is comprised of cleaner-technology buses including 262 electric trolleys, 116 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and 252 hybrid diesel buses.

BYD battery-electric bus fast facts!

  • Three hours charge time.
  • Battery designed to power bus for one-million kilometers before it needs replacing.
  • Highly efficient and powerful AC in-wheel hub motors provide instant torque to perform in all driving conditions.
  • Battery can also serve as a mobile generator.

Excited about this e-bus? We are too and we’re just getting started! TransLink is developing a Low-Carbon Fleet Strategy and we will be launching a second electric bus trial next year.

We’ll be sure to share all the details right here on the Buzzer blog.

WHERE CAN YOU CATCH THE BUS?

The BYD bus will be on various routes in Vancouver. On Monday, May 15th it will running on the #33 route. Other routes it may service over the next three months are the #25, #41 and #84. We’re going to try to get more specifics on the routes and will post that info right here on the blog.

Check out our Instagram story from today’s demonstration!

Read the media release about this bus trial here.

Author: Adrienne Coling

TransLink on the Move: Compass points the way

TransLink on the Move Fare gates

TransLink on the Move is back again with more info unpacked from the 2016 Annual Report. It’s amazing the changes a year can bring! Today, May 8th marks one year and one month since the full closure of all fare gates at SeaBus and SkyTrain Stations across the system. With Compass in full operation we now have 463 fare gates closed, including the recently opened, or rather closed, permanent Compass fare gates at Metrotown Station!

In year one, Compass celebrated 1 Million active Compass Cards on the system, as well as full integration into our two secure bike parkades! One card loaded with Stored Value gets transit travel and bike parking all in one!

You asked, we listened! Earlier this year, due in part to overwhelming customer demand, we lowered the minimum Stored Value requirement on your Adult Compass Card from $10 to $5, making transit more accessible to more customers.

And that’s not all on the Compass front! Our recent partnership with United Way Lower Mainland brought five Compass Donation Kiosks to SkyTrain Stations across Vancouver giving customers the ability to donate their unregistered Compass Cards to a great cause.
Year one has been chock-full of great Compass News, and we’re excited to see where the future of Compass takes us!
Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!
Author: Sarah Kertcher

Ridership is on the rise: Q1 2017 reports continued growth

Q1 2017 Infographic

The annual trend of breaking ridership records continues through the first quarter of 2017. A 5.6% increase in individual Boardings, and a 5.1% increase in Journeys (number of start-to-finish trips taken on transit) shows transit ridership growing significantly compared to the same period last year.

Contributing to the growth is an increase in the number of average weekday Boardings for all modes with the exception of West Coast Express which saw a slight decrease.

  • Expo/Millennium Line – up 13.8%
  • Canada Line – up 7%
  • Bus – up 4.6%
  • SeaBus – up 3.6%
  • West Coast Express – down 5.8%

Explanation of growth

Various key factors play a role in ridership growth. We have identified some of the biggest players:

Transit Service Hours – Overall increased service hours in 2017 including the implementation of the Evergreen Extension.

Number of working days – There were 2 more working days in Q1 of 2017 over the previous year.

Weather – Metro Vancouver saw unseasonably cold and snowy conditions this winter. While the impact of weather on transit is not clear, data shows that commuters often substitute modes from walking/cycling to transit/driving during inclement weather.

Fuel Prices – Fuel prices in Q1 of 2017 averaged 15% higher than during the same time last year, and is a likely cause for commuters to park their vehicles and hop on transit.

Transit Fare Prices – With no change in transit fares over the past year, transit remains an attractive option.

Economic Growth & Activities – Various economic factors have contributed to growing ridership such as highest new housing starts, increased tourism, increased retail sales, and increased population and employment.

For more information check out our Accountability Centre.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink on the Move: Looking back on record ridership

TransLink on the Move Ridership

For TransLink on the Move this week, our five week series where we look at some of the many highlights from our 2016 Annual Report, we’re taking a look back on ridership from 2016 where we logged 384.83 million boardings! Our highest ever!

Last year saw an increase of 4.5% over 2015’s ridership levels, and we have YOU, our riders to thank for that! Thank you for helping us build and maintain momentum. We are proud of the work we do, and strive to continue improving with a commitment to focus on what matters to our customers.

Snapshot

In 2016, we launched our new Accountability Centre, a one-stop-shop in tracking performance of our regional transportation system, as well as customer satisfaction to ensure we’re meeting our goals and satisfying customer needs.

Want to know more about highlights to the transit system in 2016?
Stay tuned to the blog for a new feature every week!

Author: Sarah Kertcher