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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: State of the System

New maps and signs help improve wayfinding at YVR–Airport Station

New bilingual signs at the YVR–Airport Station letting customers they can head straight for the faregates if they have a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

New bilingual signs at the YVR–Airport Station letting customers they can head straight for the faregates if they have a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card.

We’ve made it easier for tourists, many who are first-time transit users in Vancouver, to find their way from the Canada Line’s YVR–Airport Station!

We want to be the best hosts that we can be, so that’s why we teamed up with YVR to improve signage at YVR–Airport Station to help customers decide what transit fare they need and how to pay for it. There’s now:

  • Bilingual awareness signage conveying Tap to Pay benefit for travellers
  • Maps with colour-coded fare zones
  • Signage with fares to popular tourist destinations

With better signs, our hope is more customers will skip the lines for a Compass Vending Machines, head straight to the faregates and use Tap to Pay option to pay their transit fare using a contactless Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card. For customers who are purchasing a fare from Compass Vending Machines, new colour-coded maps help with identifying fare zones for popular destinations such as the outlet mall, ferry terminals and cruise ship terminals.

New colour-coded maps on Compass Vending Machines makes trip planning easier for transit users at YVR–Airport Station.

New colour-coded maps on Compass Vending Machines makes trip planning easier for transit users at YVR–Airport Station.

New colour-coded maps on Compass Vending Machines makes trip planning easier for transit users at YVR–Airport Station.

Previously, Canada Line Attendants would sometimes have to help customers calculate the fare to popular tourist destinations such as downtown Vancouver, Canada Place and the ferry terminals. Now, with better signage, it’s clearer and all our customers can have a better experience at the YVR–Airport Station – and we’re still always there to help!

But the best part of all? The new signage was installed December 17th, 2019 – so we were ready for all of our city’s visitors this holiday season!

Author: Mohak Sood

Your questions answered about snowy weather preparations

Today is an extreme travel day and our transit system hasn’t escaped the impact of the snow.

We’re receiving a high volume of enquiries about transit conditions, so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by you, our customers, on social media.

Don’t forget! Sign up for Transit Alerts to be notified about updates, changes, and disruptions to the transit services you take:

Q: How’s SkyTrain preparing?

A: SkyTrain Attendants are onboard all trains monitoring the tracks to improve reliability on the system by limiting emergency braking triggered by heavy snowfall. We also run trains throughout the night to keep the tracks clear and used a special train to spray de-icer on the power rails. On the Millennium Line, we’re operating four-car trains instead of the usual two-car trains to increase capacity, but that will mean longer than usual waits for customers.

Read more »

TransLink activates snow plan to keep customers moving

Customers should plan ahead for potential weather-related delays

Customers should plan ahead for potential weather-related delays

With the likelihood of snow in the early morning hours tomorrow, TransLink is activating plans to ensure transit service stays as reliable as possible.

Environment Canada is forecasting late night rain, followed by snow through the morning commute. This sequence of precipitation will not allow for early salting and sanding as the materials will wash away before snow hits. We are encouraging customers to dress for the elements and use proper footwear to avoid slips and falls.

Customer information will have extra staff on hand, but customers should expect larger-than-normal call and social media request volumes.

Here’s what we’re doing right now

  • Calling in extra staff to assist customers and coordinate service.
  • Coordinating with municipalities on snow clearing if priority routes are impacted.
  • Coupling Millennium Line trains into 4-car configurations to increase capacity while SkyTrain attendants monitor guideways.
  • Deploying special trucks to spread anti-icing solution on trolley wires.
  • Installing brass “cutters” on some trolley buses to cut through ice on trolley wires.

Read more »

Tactile and braille signage to be installed at bus stops across Metro Vancouver

TransLink Board approves $7 million for industry-leading accessibility program.

TransLink moves ahead with plans to implement an industry-leading program benefiting customers who are blind or partially sighted. Beginning in 2020, tactile and braille signage will be installed at every bus stop, and tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) at stations and bus exchanges – making TransLink one of the first transit authorities in North America to provide this level of information across the bus network.

“We are committed to making our transit system accessible for as many people as possible,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We know that a lot of our customers with vision loss rely on transit to get around the region and this is another example of the work we are doing for a very important community.”

The tactile and braille signage will be installed at approximately 8,500 bus stops with:

  • The unique five-digit bus stop ID number;
  • The words “STOP” or “BAY #” to identify the bus stop;
  • Route numbers; and
  • The customer service telephone number.

TransLink will also be looking at developing a wayfinding technology pilot that will help customers better navigate the system using data sent directly to a phone or tablet.

“It is important to understand that changing an environment actually lessens the affect of the disability,” says Rob Sleath, Member of the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee (UAC). “I applaud TransLink for being a leader and continuing to provide accessible public and custom transit services for people who need it most. Today marks a special milestone for our community.”

The work to test Universally Accessible Bus Stops first started in 2012 and included the installation of TWSI, tactile and braille at various bus stops including Joyce-Collingwood Station as part of a pilot project. Throughout the process, TransLink has consulted with representatives from the community through a wide-reaching survey and direct engagement with key stakeholders.

“The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation BC/Yukon are proud of the strides that TransLink is undertaking to become a leader in accessibility by making the investment to ensure that bus stops are equipped with the TWSI and the addition of braille and tactile signage,” says CNIB’s Executive Director Jennifer Yankanna.

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 »

Metro Vancouver transit strike: carsharing and carpooling options

We’re beyond pleased to share that Coast Mountain Bus Company, and Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 have reached a tentative agreement! We’re working towards providing regular schedules for all transit modes.

Evo at Braid Station

The reserved parking stalls for Evo cars at Braid Station.

While the SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART will continue to operate during the anticipated three-day strike, we recognize it will be a challenge for the our 350,000 customers who rely on bus and SeaBus services each weekday to get around.

That’s why TransLink’s doing what we can by facilitating options so commuters can reach their destination or connect to transit that’s operating regular schedules. It’s our job to keep the region moving. We’ve reached out to our partners to help give some relief. Read more »

Metro Vancouver transit strike: cycling the city

We’re beyond pleased to share that Coast Mountain Bus Company, and Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 have reached a tentative agreement! We’re working towards providing regular schedules for all transit modes.

Cycling

We’ve got some good news and some not-so-good news…

The not-so-good news: on Wednesday, November 27; Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29, escalating job action will result in the suspension of SeaBus and most bus service in Metro Vancouver

The good news: the forecast is calling for sunny skies for the latter part of the week, which means that despite the cooler temps cycling is a brisk, yet possible option for getting around the city during the transit strike.

Here are some important tips, tricks and reminders to ensure help your cycling commute:

Read more »

Metro Vancouver transit strike: what’s running on November 27, 28 and 29

We’re beyond pleased to share that Coast Mountain Bus Company, and Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 have reached a tentative agreement! We’re working towards providing regular schedules for all transit modes.

Bus Alert

On Wednesday, November 27; Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29, escalating job action will result in the suspension of SeaBus and most bus service in Metro Vancouver. 

SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART will operate their regular schedules on these days. Also running on these days are a very limited number of bus routes operated by West Vancouver Blue Bus and other contractors.

Each day, half-a-million people take transit within our region, and we recognize that this job action will create challenging and uncertain commutes for many.

The following summary breaks down what transit service IS running on November 27, 28 and 29. Read more »

8 things you need to know about the Metro Vancouver Transit Strike

We’re beyond pleased to share that Coast Mountain Bus Company, and Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 have reached a tentative agreement! We’re working towards providing regular schedules for all transit modes.

If you’re a resident, a visitor, or just have a stake in what’s going on in Metro Vancouver, you’ve likely noticed that a transit strike is underway. As avid transit users ourselves and lovers of the system, we want to address some of the chatter about the job action and provide some context. 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 »

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 »

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 »

This is Vancouver’s newest Instagram hotspot: SkyTrain’s Joyce–Collingwood Station

 

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Say hello to Metro Vancouver’s hottest new Instagram spot! 📸 ^sk

A post shared by TransLink (@translink) on

The upgrades at SkyTrain’s Joyce–Collingwood Station are now complete and not only is there a new, upgraded elevator and escalator to improve passenger access, there’s a colourful public art installation that wraps around the new stationhouse and the nearby bus loop! Read more »

Know before you go! Wintry weather in Metro Vancouver

SkyTrain Attendants will be staffing all trains.

In anticipation of the wintry weather, preparations are underway to provide as much service as possible for customers, but expect less frequency on SkyTrain than you may be used to. Read more »

Upgrades coming to 22nd Street bus exchange!

You asked, we listened!

As part of the approved Phase 1 investments in the Mayors’ 10-year Vision, upgrades for the 22nd Street Bus Exchange were identified.

Read more »