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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: State of the System

SeaBus seismic upgrades and terminal renovations begin

Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink, and Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver–Centre, reveals a sketch of the upgraded Waterfront Road entrance at the SeaBus’s south terminal.

A lot of exciting things are happening with SeaBus!

As part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision, a new SeaBus is being built and service increased to every 15 minutes all day and every 10 minutes during peak! In Phase Two, which public engagement is underway for, SeaBus service is set to increase so it meets the last Canada Line train.

And beginning today are seismic upgrades and accessibility improvements to Waterfront Station’s SeaBus terminal! It’s all part of the annual TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program, which kicks off for 2018 with this project. The improvements include:

  • Four replacement escalators, one replacement elevator and a new elevator.
  • A new staircase to make it easier to transfer to SkyTrain at Waterfront Station and improve passenger flow during peak times.
  • An extension with a new entrance and Compass Vending Machine for customers accessing SeaBus from HeliJet or Waterfront Road.

DID YOU KNOW?? More than 5.8 million passengers rode the SeaBus in 2017, passing through the terminals at Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay!

SeaBus will continue to operate as normal during the upgrades and the terminal will remain fully accessible.

These improvements are made possible through partnership between TransLink and senior levels of government, which includes provincial and federal contributions through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

The TransLink Maintenance and Repair Program is our annual investment in repairing, replacing and improving aging infrastructure across the system to keep customers safe, comfortable and moving across a reliable transit network every day.

There are currently 98 active maintenance and repair projects throughout the transit system—this is an investment of $200 million!

Future investments totaling $150 million is also planned as part of this integral long-term initiative to maintain and improve our transit network. Key initiatives include running rail and rail pad replacement, SkyTrain station upgrades, upgrades to the Major Road Network including the rehabilitation of Westham Island Bridge, and bus fleet replacement.

Watch the announcement

Wayfinding 101: the SkyTrain, B-Line and SeaBus Network map (in depth)

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

This week, we’re going to do something a little different and bring you a guest post from Jada Stevens, wayfinding specialist and graphic artist at TransLink.

She designs TransLink’s myriad of maps, including the SkyTrain, B-Line and SeaBus Network map that’s found at SkyTrain’s platform level. This map is used as a high-level snapshot of our fastest, most frequent and highest-capacity modes of transit. The routes on this map create the foundation of TransLink’s  entire network, and these routes have become synonymous to the growth and liveability of our region.

It’s up against Chile’s Santiago Metro in the World Cup of Transit Maps today, so we’d thought we’d reach out to Jada to write a guest post about all the quirks and details about this map! Read more »

Wayfinding 101: progressive disclosure

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

Wayfinding signage at Main Street–Science World Station helps customers find the platform they need to be at to catch their train.

In our introductory post for the series, we talked about how wayfinding tools distill complex environments into easily navigable chunks for our customers by providing pertinent information only when needed. This is called progressive disclosure!

For example, if you are on the SkyTrain and planning to transfer to a B-Line bus, our in-car diagrams will show you the transfer stations to the B-Line, using the orange B-Line branding.

To confirm that you are travelling towards the B-Line stop, we use the same orange B-Line branding at all decision points as you exit a station. And you will recognize the B-Line stop as you will see the same branding on the bus stop sign. Read more »

TransLink Wayfinding 101: all about maps

Yours truly reviewing the “Buses from Here” map at Main Street–Science World Station!

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

Who needs printed maps when you have Google Maps? We all do! And it’s not just in case the internet goes down. Printed maps help customers create “mental maps” of where transit services are located.

While Google Maps is effective to help you get from point A to point B, it doesn’t tell you much about the broader transit network.

“Maps instill network awareness in our customers,” says Jada Stevens, wayfinding specialist and graphic artist at TransLink. “No matter where they are, we want customers to have a general idea of what services run, how often they run and to what destinations. Our maps work in tandem with tools like Google Maps to get you where you need to go.” Read more »

TransLink Wayfinding 101: story of the “T”

The T symbol at Broadway–City Hall Station. Photo: Joe K/Flickr

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

Think of the London Underground and you think of the blue, red and white roundel. Think of the Paris Métro and you think of the red lamppost sign with “Métro” in all-caps.

Read more »

TransLink Wayfinding 101: who is the wayfinding team?

Phil Kehres and Jada Stevens, wayfinding specialists at TransLink

This is part of our ongoing Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions. 

Wayfinding is unique at TransLink compared to a typical transit agency. We bring together transit planners and graphic artists to design our suite of wayfinding tools—not simply one or the other.

“We’re not just making sure everything looks pretty or that the information is right,” says Phil Kehres, senior wayfinding specialist at TransLink. “We ensure both streams work together in harmony.” Read more »

2017—a record year for transit ridership in Metro Vancouver

Thank you to our customers for choosing us to get around in 2017!

In 2017, ridership in Metro Vancouver reached a record-breaking 407 million boardings! That’s a 5.7 per cent increase over 2016.

Not only that, the number of journeys in the system reached 247 million—another record and 5.8 per cent increase over the year before! Read more »

Luggage racks deliver improved customer experience onboard the 620

The luggage lack onboard one of our articulated buses.

Five articulated buses operating out of Richmond Transit Centre are now equipped with luggage racks, improving the onboard experience for our 620 Tsawwassen Ferry / Bridgeport Station customers.

This means a more comfortable ride for our customers! The three-level luggage rack is located across from the middle doors on coaches 8060, 8063, 8064, 8065 and 8066.

The 620 service is unique compared to other service in the region as it’s designed to align with the Victoria ferry schedules.

How it began

Coast Mountain Bus Company first piloted a luggage rack-equipped bus back in April 2017. During the pilot, the luggage rack was installed near the rear doors of the bus.

Our transit operators and customers provided valuable feedback, letting us know that they really liked the idea, but the rack’s height and location were not ideal. Passengers were having trouble lifting their luggage onto the top shelf because they had to lift it over their shoulders. So, our maintenance team adjusted the rack’s height to ensure more customers could easily use the rack.

The luggage rack’s final design is lower and is installed across from the middle doors on all five buses, allowing for easier access.

Have you tried them yet? If so, let us know what you think!

Author: Allen Tung

TransLink Wayfinding 101: what is wayfinding?

This is the first post of our Wayfinding 101 series taking a closer look at wayfinding at TransLink, bringing you the ins and outs, and answers to your questions.

If you’ve taken transit, you’ve taken part in wayfinding on our system. So what exactly is it?

For the customer, wayfinding is much more than applying directional signage, and for us at TransLink, it’s much more than simply providing directional signage.

Read more »

All aboard! TransLink celebrates 400 million boardings

400 Million Boardings

Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has been consistently breaking records this year. Today is no different as our 400 millionth boarding took place in Metro Vancouver at the tail end of this morning’s rush hour commute!

Read more »

Special Holiday Schedule – December 2017

From December 18 to December 31, 2017, several bus routes will operate on a reduced service to reflect lower ridership to post-secondary schools.You’ll want to check the transit service changes page for the full details. Now that post-secondary schools are out for the holidays, some bus route schedules and frequencies will change to reflect the lower ridership. School and university trips will return to normal during the first week of January.

Read more »

Evergreen Extension Anniversary: Evergreen sparks tremendous growth in transit use

Pssst…have you heard?! The Evergreen Extension celebrates its first anniversary this Saturday, December. 2!

Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart joined TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond and BC Rapid Transit Company President and General Manager Vivienne King to mark this milestone at Moody Centre Station on Friday, Dec. 1.

The 11-kilometre, six-station Evergreen Extension opened to the public December 2, 2016.

It’s been a year that has seen tremendous growth in transit use in the Tri-Cities. Residents have embraced rapid transit as a fast, convenient way to travel within their communities and beyond to the rest of the region.

Transit use in the Northeast Sector (Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra) has taken off in a stunning way as Evergreen has become a central fixture in the lives of Tri-Cities residents.

Average weekday transit ridership in the Northeast Sector in September and October of this year is more than 25 per cent higher than the same months in 2016. On weekends, transit ridership in the Tri-Cities is up by more than 50 per cent!

Evergreen Stats

34,000 – Average weekday boardings (13 per cent increase from early 2017)

36,900 – Boardings on Saturday, July 1, 2017 (Busiest single day)

23,000 – Boardings on typical summer Saturday

8.6 million – Boardings Dec. 2, 2016 – Oct. 31, 2017

51 per cent – percentage of transit journeys in Tri-Cities that begin on Evergreen.

Ridership on Evergreen is expected to grow significantly in coming years, as development near the stations continues at a rapid pace.

Currently, there is $3.8 billion in development or under construction directly adjacent to the Evergreen Extension between Lougheed and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations, including 7.1 million square feet of residential comprising approximately 9,800 future units of housing.

Thanks to improvements coming as part of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, the reach of rapid transit will grow in the coming years when the Broadway Extension provides a one-seat ride along the Millennium Line between Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam and Arbutus Street in Vancouver.

Read Transit Police Constable Jenny Chung’s blog post on making friends on the Evergreen Extension. She’s the Neighbourhood Police Officer (NPO) for the area.

6 tips for travelling on transit this winter

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Earlier this month, we told you about what SkyTrain, bus and HandyDART are doing to prepare for winter. We’re back to share with our customers six helpful tips for travelling on transit this winter, including in snowy and icy conditions!

Read more »

How TransLink prepares for winter

CMBC Winter Weather

While the seasonal calendar says it’s fall, Mother Nature has a sneaky way of saying otherwise. Preparations are well underway to ensure that we’re doing our best to stay one step ahead of the inclement weather.

Read more »

More than 21,000 rail pads set to be replaced on SkyTrain in Surrey

Starting on October 23, we’ll begin replacing rail pads on the Expo Line between Scott Road and King George stations as part of the SkyTrain Rail Asset State of Good Repair Program.

On most Sundays through Thursdays, from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, the Expo Line will use one track in both directions, around the area where the work is happening.

Customers are encouraged to plan for an additional 5-10 minutes for travel between Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central and King George stations. Please watch destination displays and listen for announcements. Know before you go by visiting translink.ca/alerts.

The project will replace more than 21,000 rail pads, which are attached to the concrete guideway to support the rail that the trains run on. The original Expo Line has been in service since 1986 and the rail pads in many areas were installed in 1992. These rail pads are now reaching the end of their life spans.

The work schedule is subject to change, and is weather dependent (work cannot take place in the snow) and will be adjusted to accommodate major events. Changes to regular operating patterns may also occur.

Thank you for your patience while we continue to keep the SkyTrain network safe and reliable for years to come. Rail pad replacement work is scheduled to be complete by spring 2018.