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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Special Series

The Patio Series feat. Breweries in Metro Vancouver

Outdoor patios are helping Metro Vancouver’s breweries double capacity and continue to quench beer lovers’ thirst during tough times.

You might have noticed more tents, string lights and heaters popping up across Metro Vancouver’s public spaces. Businesses have been working hard to winterize their outdoor patios so they can safely accommodate more residents to keep sipping into the colder months.  Read more »

The Patio Series feat. Mount Pleasant’s Main Street

TransLink and HUB have teamed up to highlight patios across Metro Vancouver for the next few weeks. This week we’re featuring Main Street in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood!

Main Street has seen huge changes as many restaurants have taken advantage of previously dedicated parking spots to expand their patios. If you’ve taken a walk in the area, you’ve no doubt walked through scenes of people enjoying their small group outings on a variety of colourful patios. In Mount Pleasant alone, there have been over 40 curbside patios that have popped up through the City of Vancouver’s Temporary Extended Patio Program.

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The Patio Series feat. New Westminster

TransLink and HUB have teamed up to highlight patios across Metro Vancouver for the next few weeks. This week we’re checking out what New Westminster has to offer.

In June, New Westminster residents witnessed restaurant and pub patio extensions pop up and the installation of additional parklets (seating where cars used to park) throughout the city intended to support business recovery efforts. “The City of New Westminster is committed to maintaining and improving upon a quality, people-centred public realm, as doing so supports vibrant, active and healthy streets, which in turn has a positive impact on local business and the community as a whole,” said a report to council.

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The Patio Series feat. the North Shore’s Shipyards District

TransLink and HUB have teamed up to highlight patios across Metro Vancouver for the next few weeks. This week we’re focusing on the North Shore.  

Earlier this year the pandemic began to shift our behavior. We worked, moved, lived and played differently overnight. Cities, agencies and businesses worked together to adapt to this changing demand. One of the creative solutions to the problems posed by the pandemic was offering more space to restaurants’ diners with patios!  

Street-side patios popped up around Metro Vancouver, and the North Shore’s restaurants, breweries and pubs got creative.   Read more »

This is the ultimate guide to a bicycle adventure to Green Timbers in Surrey

Green Timbers Urban Forest

We know parks are a popular place to visit — that’s why we shared five Metro Vancouver Regional Parks to explore this summer by transit. We’re back to share with you how you can take a cycling adventure to Green Timbers Urban Forest in Surrey! Read more »

The Patio Series feat. Downtown Vancouver’s Patio District

Emily from Donnellan's Pub

TransLink and HUB have teamed up to highlight patios across Metro Vancouver for the next few weeks. In the first of our Patio Series, we’re featuring the Downtown Vancouver Patio District.

Since June, the City of Vancouver has approved 326 patios throughout the city, 31 of which are in the Downtown Vancouver BIA district. Gavin from Downtown Vancouver BIA explains: “In many cases, these patios have allowed restaurants to remain operational during the pandemic, and we cannot underestimate the economic impact they have had. Most of the patios are in converted parking stalls, however, in some locations, vehicle travel lanes have been converted into space for patios.” 

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6 Instagrammable spots to check out in Vancouver

Joyce–Collingwood Station Public Art

It’s not secret that Vancouver is an incredibly photogenic city and offers numerous opportunities for taking great photos. If you’re looking for some spots to organize a fun photo shoot with your family and friends, while enjoying some other activities along the way, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list of instagrammable spots below 📷 🙌 Read more »

5 Metro Vancouver Regional Parks to explore this summer by transit

Metro Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world and a large part of why is our expansive access to green space. Our regional parks system extends over 13,632 hectares and consists of 23 regional parks, five greenways, two ecological conservancy areas and two regional park reserves in communities from Bowen Island to Maple Ridge.

They are great places to go for a walk, breathe fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature. Start exploring. Discover a new trail, learn about wildlife or attend one of the many events and programs. Enjoy a world away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and reconnect with nature.

On warm and sunny weekends, regional parks particularly those with beaches are busy.  That’s why it’s a good idea to take transit or cycle to get there, and consider visiting during times of day when it might not be as busy.

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A guide to a cycling adventure along the Central Valley Greenway

Planning your next cycling trip? The Central Valley Greenway (CVG) provides a 24-kilometre of mostly flat route through a hilly region with safe corridors for commuters and entries to some local parks. It runs from Falser Creek in Vancouver through Burnaby and along a shallow valley south to the Fraser River in New Westminster.

A multi-purpose route, you can explore CVG through cycling, jogging, walking, travelling on a wheelchair, skateboarding and blading. The route closely follows the Millennium Line and links to both Millennium and Expo SkyTrain stations, which means you can hop on the SkyTrain with your bike if you need a break.

If you would like to explore the cycling routes along the Expo SkyTrain Line alone, check out our adventure guide along the BC Parkway

What do you need to know about the route

CVG varies greatly throughout the length of its route. In some sections it is fully constructed as a separated urban greenway or a rural recreational trail. In other sections the route runs parallel to a railway corridor or the edge of an industrial roadway. Most sections of the trail are suitable for all kind of walking and wheeling. The exception is in Burnaby where there are some compacted gravel paths less suitable for in-line skating. Some sections of the Greenway are composed of interim routes that will be upgraded in the future.

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6 ways to explore Metro Vancouver without a car

Car ownership is declining in Vancouver, according to data provided by ICBC to Business in Vancouver in 2017. More residents are choosing other ways to get around — whether it’s because of rising car ownership costs or transit has become an even more attractive option with new investments such as RapidBus service and other 10-Year Vision improvements coming online. Or maybe you have a car, but just want to find ways to reduce your carbon footprint wherever possible. We got you! Here are six ways you can explore Metro Vancouver without a car.

COVID-19 Information

Although we have restored transit service to near-regular schedules, our buses are operating at two-thirds capacity as part of our Safe Operating Action Plan to help keep the system safe for everyone. Please plan for extra travel time, be prepared to wait and consider travelling outside of the busy times on transit. As well, please wear a mask while waiting for or on transit, and practice physical distancing.

Taking transit

Our service area spans more than 1,800 square kilometres, covering Canada’s largest transit service area — by far. Public transit reaches 90 per cent of the places where people live and work in Metro Vancouver. That means if you have a place to go, TransLink will most likely be able to take you there! Visit translink.ca to plan your trip and sign up for Transit Alerts to create text message or email notifications for the transit services that matter most to you. Read more »

A guide to a bicycle adventure along the BC Parkway

Thinking of spending more time outdoors with family and friends? Why not plan a cycling trip so that you explore things locally while enjoying some awesome activities along the way?

BC Parkway is a great route to take if you’d prefer a mostly flat 25-kilometre ride with scenic park views, murals and local destinations across Metro Vancouver. It extends from Vancouver to Burnaby, New Westminster and all the way to Surrey City Centre. The route offers multiple opportunities to explore vibrant neighborhoods and parks.

If you’re up for a pedal-powered adventure, we’ve prepared an epic guide along BC Parkway for you! This guide takes you from west to east, from Vancouver to Surrey.

*The BC Parkway closely parallels the Expo Line, so you can plan a multi-modal trip by biking to your end destination and hop onto the SkyTrain with your bike to head back home or whenever you feel like taking a break and commuting to your next stop. View the map here and check our Bikes on Transit page for rules on taking your bike on trains.

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This is how to take public transit (bus) from Vancouver to Victoria and back

Don’t let the lack of a car stop you from exploring our beautiful capital city, Victoria, this summer because you can easily take public transit to get there! You can visit Tourism Victoria‘s website for all the city has to offer.

In total, the trip from Vancouver to Victoria will take you about four hours, so plan accordingly whether you’d like to do a day trip or spend an entire weekend there. You’ll be riding with BC Transit, BC Ferries and TransLink, so there will be three separate fares.

Check list before you go

  • A face covering for all styles of transportation
  • $5 in coins for your BC Transit fare – $2.50 in coins to pay the fare for the bus ride from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria, and another $2.50 for the return trip. Alternatively, you can purchase a BC Transit DayPASS for $5 for unlimited travel for the entire day on any route! You can find all fare details at bctransit.com/victoria.
  • Your TransLink fare, which varies depending on how many zones you travel. You can easily estimate your fare on our website.
    • For a trip from downtown Vancouver, it’s a two zone fare, which means you’ll need a Compass Card with at least $6.90 in Stored Value, or $8.50 in cash to cover a return trip.

Read more »

Things to do on Canada Day: take an adventure by transit

This year, we’re going to have to celebrate Canada’s 153rd a little differently. The Government of Canada’s hosting a virtual celebration and you can read this Vancouver Sun article for a list of local virtual celebrations.  

But if you haven’t made plans yet and prefer something a little more hands-on, we have a last-minute Canada Day adventure by transit for you!   Read more »

National AccessAbility Week: A Conversation with Erin Windross

May 31 to June 6 is the National AccessAbility Week, a week that celebrates the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities and recognize the efforts of individuals, communities and workplaces that are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

Erin Windross is the Manager of Access Transit Planning and Service Delivery (pictured on the right). Together with his team, Erin focuses on developing innovative initiatives to make transit system as inclusive and accessible as possible. 

 

Erin Windross’ eyes light up when he talks about TransLink’s Universal Fare Gate Access Program. It’s already been more than two years since the launch of the Program, but his enthusiasm and passion are palpable. As the lead on the fare policy and eligibility policy development, he’s always delighted to hear how useful customers have found the Program and how it has allowed them to travel more independently.

“One of our goals at Access Transit – and ultimately one of the overall goals at TransLink – we want our customers to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible, to allow them to travel without needing to ask for assistance,” explains Erin. “We all share in wanting to make the system better for customers.”

After three years of working at TransLink, Erin feels like he’s hit a career sweet spot. Professionally, his interests in mobility and regional planning led him to a job at TransLink. But it was his dedication to equity and inclusion that made him a natural fit on the Access Transit team.

“I want to make sure people and communities are given the same access to services and we’re not overlooking anyone,” adds Erin. “I grew up with disability. I have two siblings who have fairly profound disabilities, so it’s always been a part of my life. It’s a great mix being able to combine my educational and personal background with my professional interests.”

In his current role as Manager of Access Transit Planning and Service Delivery, Erin’s work focuses on two key areas: delivering the recommendations set out in TransLink’s Custom Transit Service Delivery Review and developing forward-thinking initiatives that can make HandyDART better for our customers.

His team is committed to creating a transit system that is as inclusive and accessible as possible: “That to me is really at the core of what we do at Access Transit. We enable self-autonomy – for seniors who might feel isolated or for people with disabilities. We want to make sure that regardless of ability, people are able to go out, do the things they want with ease, access the places and communities they need, and live as fully realized human beings.”

One project that is keeping Erin busy is a new pilot program that is testing smaller HandyDART vehicles: “Our larger shuttle vehicles have some issues in terms of navigating through narrower, urban areas, so we’re currently collecting operator and customer feedback on smaller vehicles. We’re looking at whether any adjustments are required to right-size the vehicles for our service needs and make it better for both customers and operators while entering and exiting.”

The team is also exploring additional programs and platforms that will provide an easier, more convenient and more seamless travel experience for HandyDART customers across Metro Vancouver. Erin points out that with a smaller customer base, Access Transit can focus on fostering a more personalized, impactful service:

“HandyDART plays an integral role in many people’s lives. It’s a very personal experience we bring to the transit system. Operators are very involved in our customers’ lives. They meet them at their door, escort them to the vehicle, have conversations with them – it’s this level of personal outreach that really sets us apart from the rest of the organization.”

If you’d like to learn more about the accessibility programs and initiatives at TransLink that are making transit easy to use for as many people as possible, visit Accessible Transit.

Written by Rebecca Abel

National AccessAbility Week: A Conversation with Tamara Tedesco

May 31 to June 6 is the National AccessAbility Week, a week that celebrates the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities and recognize the efforts of individuals, communities and workplaces that are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

Tamera Tedesco helps with the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee and a lot more to do with accessibility and transportation.

Although Tamara Tedesco jokes that the reason she’s stuck around TransLink for so long is for the five-year anniversary pin, it’s immediately clear that it’s the impact of her team’s work in Access Transit Planning that gets her out of bed and into work each morning.

“Because our transit system covers such a vast geographic area, we service a wide range of people. I think that’s something really wonderful about public transit – all different types of people rely on it,” says Tamara. “Our aim in Access Transit is to enhance the accessibility across the system and make transit inclusive to as many customers as possible.”

Tamara has been blind since birth, so public transit has played an important role throughout her life. Growing up in a small town on Vancouver Island, she always knew she’d end up in a bigger city one day. A few years after graduating, she packed up and relocated to Vancouver:

“I’ve always been unwaveringly independent. As a young teenager, I recognized that I couldn’t ask my parents to drive me everywhere. I think sometimes we can forget that there are all kinds of reasons that younger people are unable to drive. If you can’t see, that’s a big one. Having a way to get around independently has such a big impact on the quality of life, so it was important to me to find a place to live that was as accessible as it could be.”

Now, in her role as AccessTransit Coordinator, she is able to witness how the freedom of movement benefits other transit customers as well: “it means a lot to me that I’m able to help people and work towards making transit a really valuable and important aspect of their lives as well.”

Tamara’s job involves administrating the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee and the HandyDART Users’ Advisory Committee, coordinating their meetings, managing communications with committee members and recruitment. She also helps with the development of accessibility policies and advises departments across the TransLink enterprise on accessibility-related initiatives.

With this work comes unique challenges. As Tamara explains, “accessibility means very different things for different people depending on what their needs are. It’s always a juggling act trying to prioritize projects and determine where the biggest opportunities for improvement are. We really want to improve accessibility for as many customers as possible.”

One barrier that the team frequently confronts is trying to find a balanced solution when customers, especially customers with disabilities, have not only different needs, but often completely opposite and competing needs.

For those interested in promoting accessibility awareness, Tamara suggests a couple of ways that customers can provide feedback and get involved at TransLink:

“One way to submit feedback is through our regular channels – online or by phone. Any feedback or questions for Access Transit Planning gets sent to me. For those who are passionate about making sure accessibility issues are always considered and have a lot of transit experience, we usually have 3-5 openings for new members on the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee each year. Whether they are someone with a disability or represent someone with a disability, it’s a great way to be connected to the work we do. Recruitment opens in early August and ends in mid-September. Application information can be found on the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee page.”

For those of us at TransLink, we’re grateful for Tamara’s compassion, enthusiasm and commitment to earning that five-year anniversary pin. 😉

Written by Rebecca Abel