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#WhatsTheLink: TransLink is the link

#WhatsTheLink Week 8

Now you know #WhatsTheLink! ;)

Through out the course of our #WhatsTheLink series on The Buzzer and our partners Miss 604, Vancity Buzz, and Vancouver Observer, we have been telling you all about what TransLink is responsible for in the region.

Now as our series draws to a close, we are here to answer the question: What’s the link? We are the link.

How do we deliver the link? Through the Major Road Network, five bridges, transit, cycling, a connected and hard working transportation system, community shaping, and goods movement of course!

Major Road Network

Our Major Road Network is 2,300 lane kilometres of roads in Metro Vancouver that help facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across the region.

Line ’em up and that’s long enough to stretch from here to San Diego, California!

In 2014, over $45 million has been committed for the operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the network.

Five bridges

There are 200,000 crossings each day over the Fraser River that happen on one of TransLink’s five bridges! No typo!

They are the Knight Street, Golden Ears, Pattullo, Westham Island, and the Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle bridges.

Transit

You’ve heard the numbers — over 360 million system boardings and over 235 million passenger trips annually — but how many people actually take transit in Metro Vancouver each day?

418,000 is the number of people that take TransLink transit each day – that’s more than the population of Burnaby and Richmond combined!

Cycling

Part of TransLink’s multimodal mandate is to help support the people making the 107,000 bike trips each day in Metro Vancouver.

We contribute  up to  50  per  cent  of  capital  costs for regional  cycling  upgrades, including the Central Valley Greenway and BC Parkway.

Our transit vehicles are all equip to handle bicycles and we recently opened the first Secure Bike Parking facility at the newly renovated east stationhouse at Main Street-Science World Station.

A connected and hard working transportation system

Being a multimodal organization, TransLink is able to seamlessly connect all modes of transportation and deliver our customers a hard working, reliable transit system that gets you and where your goods need to go.

In 2013, the SkyTrain was on-time 95 per cent of the time for both the Expo and Millennium lines, West Coast Express was on time 98 per cent of the time, and 99.4 per cent of scheduled service for bus and SkyTrain was delivered.

Community shaping

Transit has guided growth and community design in the region from the very beginning! TransLink has helped shape sustainable communities by integrating with community planning throughout the region.

With future Transit Oriented Developments in the works, TransLink is actively involved in carry on this legacy. By 2018, we anticipate there to be over 70 integrated, transit-oriented developments around SkyTrain stations!

Goods movement

Our transit, roads, bridges, cycling and walking infrastructure all work in tandem to help with goods movement and Metro Vancouver’s economy.

TransLink manages major roads and helps to ease traffic congestion by moving trips away from the road to SkyTrain, West Coast Express, SeaBus or bus.

This way you can get the coffee, medical supplies and almost anything you can buy at a local store, hospital, school and more.

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TransLink is the link to shaping communities, moving goods, and a connected transportation system – from the Major Road Network and five bridges to transit service and cycling infrastructure!

For more on #WhatsTheLink and for a chance to win a three-zone FareCard, read our partner posts on Miss 604 and Vancity Buzz.

Author: Allen Tung

#WhatsTheLink: We’re also really into cycling (win a FareCard and so much more contest)

It's all about biking this week!

It’s all about biking this week!

Did you know there 107,000 bike trips made each day in Metro Vancouver? That’s right!

TransLink is unique in North America as a transportation authority that links so many ways of moving people and goods.

Part of TransLink’s multimodal mandate is to help support the people making these 107,000 bike trips.

We help provide connections to the wider transportation system of the region by making transit bike accessible, maintaining the Major Roads Network and five bridges, and providing cycling options:

  • The BC Parkway – A 26-kilometre, multi-use path that roughly parallels the Expo SkyTrain Line, connecting Surrey City Centre, New Westminster, South Burnaby and Vancouver.
  • The Central Valley Greenway – A 24-kilometre route for cycling, jogging, walking, wheelchairs, skateboarding and blading that connect Vancouver with Burnaby and New Westminster

What’s the contest and prize?

This being Bike to Work Week, TransLink would like to spread the word about how cycling is an important part of the transportation system in Metro Vancouver. To do this, we want you to help us spread the word and possibly win some great prizes for doing so!

We have one super cycling prize pack ($467.30 value) to give away ! It includes:

  • A 3-Zone FareCard ($170 value)
  • A TravelSmart cycling helpers ($30 value)
    • A bike multitool
    • A bike seat cover
    • An LED bike light
    • Reflectors
    • A tote with can put on your back
    • Metro Vancouver Cycling Map
  • Four tickets (2 adult, 2 child) to Science World ($85.50 value)
  • A Family Pass (2 adults, 4 children) to the Vancouver Art Gallery ($50 value)
  • Two tickets to the Capilano Suspension Bridge (up to $71.90 value)
  • Two tickets for a Vancouver Harbour Tour with Harbour Cruises (up to $59.90 value)

How do I win?

We’re giving away this prize pack to one lucky person who tweets, posts or emails us a photo that falls within these guidelines:

  • A photo of yourself with your bicycle: (1) on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express; or (2) riding on the Central Valley Greenway, BC Parkway, Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycling Bridge, in a TransLink Secure Bike Parking area or on one of the roads or bridges TransLink manages.
  • Your photo must be must be received by 11:59 p.m. on June 3, 2014. Late entries will be rejected.

How do I enter?

Check out the terms and conditions. You have three ways to enter:

Photos may be used in the print Buzzer, the Buzzer blog, tweeted by @TransLink and posted on the TransLink Facebook page.

One winner will be drawn at random. We’re looking forward to seeing your entries and you on bikes this week!

#WhatsTheLink: 107,000 cycling trips each day in Metro Vancouver

Check out our Storify summary!

Check out our Storify summary!

 

We received multiple entries on the Buzzer, through email, and over at Miss 604! Head on over to our Storify summary to see some of our entries.

Author: Allen Tung

Friday fun poll: Have you ever biked to work or school?

Photo Courtesy of Paul Krueger

Photo Courtesy of Paul Krueger

Cycling can be one of the fastest ways to get around in the city, especially in more urban areas of Metro Vancouver. It’s also one of the healthiest and most enjoyable ways to travel.

In the past, we asked the Buzzer readers if you’ve put a bike on the bus bike rack. With Bike to Work Week starting on Monday, May 26, we want to know if you have ever biked to work or school?

Are you a fair-weather cyclist or do you bike everyday? Do you bike the entire way or is transit part of your cycling commute? Cast your vote and let us know in the comments section!

Have you ever biked to work or school?

  • Yes (65%, 33 Votes)
  • No (35%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 51

Planning to hit the road with your two-wheeler to ride your bike to work for the first time? Check out the May 2014 Buzzer for a few things you need to know before you go!

Our fleet is fully equip to handle bikes — you can take your bike onto the busSkyTrainSeaBus and West Coast Express. For more details about bikes on transit, click here.

TransLink is a partner in the Central Valley Greenway and BC Parkway, and is responsible for the Canada Line Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge and developing the Regional Cycling Strategy.

Author: Allen Tung

Share your thoughts on the draft 2014 Base Plan!

2014 Base Plan

The cover of our draft 2014 Base Plan!

It’s that time of year again! We’re looking for your feedback on our draft 2014 Base Plan and Outlook.

By legislation, TransLink must prepare a base plan each year, which goes to the Mayors’ Council and Transportation Commissioner at the beginning of November.  The base plan outlines the programs and services that TransLink will deliver over the next three years, using existing funding sources. Read more »

Bike to Work Week starts today, May 27 – June 2, 2013

Get your ride on this week! Don't forget, our complete fleet us buses are equipped with bike racks!

Get your ride on this week! Don’t forget, our complete fleet us buses are equipped with bike racks!

It’s Bike to Work Week everyone! Yes, it’s that time of the year to leave the car keys at home and join your colleagues at work or school on a ride.

If you’re not familiar with the week, we’ve written a lot on it before. Just peruse the cycling category on the blog and you’ll find more than enough info.

You can also go to the source of the week and check out all the great info on the HUB Bike to Work website. From their website you can map your route(s) for the week, log your commutes each day, join a team and find out where the celebration stations are located. These stations are great places to stop during your commute and each one is different. Some stations offer free coffee, snacks, bike tune ups and prizes the whole week long!

Every year our friends at TravelSmart join in the fun and help out at celebration stations. Make sure you stop at one of these stations, chat with TravelSmart representatives and maybe get something fun and useful bike stuff to take home! Here are the locations where you’ll find TravelSmart staff:

Monday, May 27, 2013 – 22nd St Station, New Westminster – 4 – 6 pm
Location: Just west of 22nd St Station, along BC Parkway
 
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – Civic Plaza, North Vancouver – 4 – 6 pm
Location: Lonsdale and 14th, North Vancouver, in new Civic Plaza
 
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – Lion’s Gate Bridge southbound – 6:30 – 9 am
Location: Northwest end of Lions Gate Bridge, serving Vancouver-bound cyclists
 
Thursday – Coquitlam City Hall – 6:30 – 9 am
Location: Coquitlam City Hall, Pinetree and Guildford (Northeast corner)

We tip our bike helmets to all of you who participate in this great week of riding rain or shine! Have fun everyone!

Ask TransLink: Peggy Gibbs, roads engineer!

asktranslink

From April 15 to May 10, you can Ask TransLink! We’re spotlighting one TransLink staff member every week and inviting you to ask them questions about their work. Find out all about the series.

Peggy Gibbs, a roads engineer at TransLink

Peggy Gibbs, a roads engineer at TransLink

Please extend a warm welcome to Peggy Gibbs, who works as an engineer with TransLink’s Roads department—helping manage our bridges, the major road network, and more! (Here’s a Buzzer blog post about our roads and bridges, btw!)

Peggy has kindly agreed to take your questions this week, ending at Friday, April 19, 2013 at noon. To get us started, I’ve asked her to tell us a bit about her work. Here we go!

What kind of work do you do for TransLink?

I am a Project Manager at TransLink, and have been with TransLink’s Roads Department for about two-and-a-half years.

The Roads Department here at TransLink has 11 engineers, and we look after the interests of all road user. We have a responsibility to help TransLink achieve its 2040 goal of having most trips by transit, walking, and cycling.

We operate (or help to operate) a range of infrastructure, from the region’s Major Road Network (MRN), to the BC Parkway pedestrian/cyclist path running from Vancouver to Surrey, to the five TransLink-owned bridges. We also look after the interests of truck traffic.

What projects are you currently working on, and what projects have you done in the past?

We have lots of projects on the go. Some of the ones we are working on now include the Evergreen Line integration, working with the Evergreen Line project team to make sure that buses, pedestrians, bikes, and autos can easily and safely access the new Evergreen Line stations. We are working on a multi-year project to upgrade the BC Parkway bike/pedestrian path, which hasn’t had an upgrade in the 27 years since it opened.

We work with all the municipalities in the Metro Vancouver area to fund maintenance, operation, and upgrades to the Major Road Network and cycling facilities. We are part of the TransLink team that works with municipalities and developers throughout the Metro Vancouver area to improve and integrate bus exchanges as town centres and neighborhoods are redesigned and redeveloped.

Can you describe the work of a road engineer? i.e.: what’s your day-to-day work like?

Road engineers at TransLink deal with everything from maintaining bridge structures to making sure traffic (including buses, bikes, and pedestrians) can operate safely and efficiently on a region-wide network spanning Metro Vancouver’s 22 municipalities.

To do that, we have a range of programs such as regular bridge inspections, MRN pavement inspections, and funding programs for roads and bicycle infrastructure. We also work with TransLink planners and municipal planners to make sure that new and existing TransLink services and facilities, such as bus routes and bus exchanges, can operate safely and efficiently.

On a day-to-day basis, that means things like (for example) working with staff at municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation, and developers when they are making changes to roadways, traffic signals, parking regulations, or sidewalks; making sure that roadway designers give buses enough space to pull in and out of bus stops and to turn; and working with Coast Mountain Bus Company to make bus exchanges easier for visually impaired persons to use.

And now it’s your turn to ask the questions!

Please feel free to submit your questions in the comments below, and we’ll get Peggy to answer them for you until Friday, April 19, 2013 at noon!

TransLink 101: keeping our system in a state of good repair

TransLink 101 blog feature series banner

For February 2013, we’re going back to basics with TransLink 101—explaining TransLink and its work!

SkyTrain, by Michelle Lee

As you travel around on the transportation network, have you ever thought about just what’s needed to keep the system running safely, efficiently and reliably — also known as a “state of good repair“?

Right now, TransLink has an estimated $10.2 billion worth of assets and infrastructure – from buses and trains to radio towers across the region that support the communication systems on our buses. And because they form the backbone of  a transportation system used by hundreds of thousands of people very day, keeping them in a state of good repair is crucial.

So while people often talk about transportation expansion to meet the growing needs of the region, we also have to make sure we keep our existing assets in a state of good repair so we can extend the life of the system already in place today.

In 2012 we conducted an in-depth asset inventory and analysis to understand what’s needed to keep our transportation assets in a state of good repair, today and over the next few decades.

To help us better understand the process, why we did it, and why it’s so important, I sat down with Dave Beckley, TransLink’s Vice President of Engineering and Implementation.

Read more »

Bike to Work Week 2012: behind the scenes at a (rainy!) commuter station with Kristin

TransLink staffer Kristin Lillyman at the Robson Bike to Work Week commuter station in front of Whole Foods!

It’s Bike to Work Week this week! And we’ve asked intrepid TransLink staffer and HUB blogger Kristin Lillyman to share her experiences of the week through the Buzzer blog. Here she is!

HUB’s Bike to Work Week (BTWW) is here!There are commuter stations located throughout the region to celebrate biking to work. By participating, you not only show your support for cycling infrastructure improvements and investment, but you can enter to win awesome prizes, enjoy free coffee, or get a bike tune up.

This morning from 6:30am – 8:30am, I was volunteering at the Robson Street Whole Foods Market BTWW commuter station with Lindsay O’Donnell from Whole Foods and Jonathan Duncan from Norco. We were busy chatting with cyclists and providing fuel for the road, including yummy freshly baked muffins! Jonathan was at the station as the bike mechanic, helping commuters by providing free maintenance, tune ups, and advice.

This morning was a wet one and we had roughly 25 cyclists come through, compared with about 65+ during the Spring BTWW. Robson Street isn’t particularly popular with cyclists, and many of the cyclists came out of their way to visit us. Rain or shine, the commuter stations always have a positive vibe and everyone is excited to stop by and chat. The commuters I met this morning were biking from all over the region –from the North Shore, Port Moody, Burnaby, and East Vancouver. They were all pretty happy when they saw friendly faces and a dry place to stop and refuel.

    Road-ready tips: Kristin and her fellow bike commuters share some quick helpful hints for biking to work!

  • From Jonathan: Lube your chain to keep your bike running smoothly. Jonathan recommends wiping off the excess lubricant when you lube up your chain – otherwise the chain gets sticky and collects even more gunk.
  • Plan your route to include the commuter stations to get free snacks, coffee, bike tune ups, and more!
  • All you really need is a bike, a helmet and bell (it’s the law), lights and a good attitude.
  • Fenders will help prevent you and your bicycle from getting filthy and wet from the puddles on the road.
  • ‘Rain resistant’ may not be enough this time of year, consider investing in ‘water-proof’ instead.
  • Check out a bike map to plan your route, or ask a colleague/friend to show you a good route.
  • Combine transit with cycling. You can take your bike almost everywhere on the system and the entire bus system is equipped with racks! Operators and fellow riders are very nice about it and I have honestly never had a negative encounter due to traveling with my bike.
  • Sign up online to track your commutes and for a chance to win prizes!

How Kristin started cycling…

My cycling story goes back a few years ago, before I became a ‘bike enthusiast’ and volunteer for HUB. I purchased a bike to ride recreationally, enticed by the seawall and ocean views. I quickly rediscovered my love for life on two wheels and started going beyond the seawall, using my bike to go from one place to another. It had opened up neighbourhoods to me, it was freedom, and I was exploring places I had never been before and having fun while doing it. When I started to work in Burnaby, the 17 kilometer commute each way just seemed too far. I didn’t have the fancy gear that I thought was necessary for commuting by bike.

Read more »

Bike to Work Week starts next week – May 28-June 1

Use tranit as part of your cycling commute or use your bike the whole way to work!

Bike To Work Week starts next week, May 28-June 1!

As an avid transit user who lives close to the system, I don’t cycle as much as I could. Sometimes I need reminding of the benefits, joy and ease of getting on two wheels (or one or three) and riding to work. Bike To Work Week is just that reminder. Now that summer is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to extricate your bike from the confines of your storage, pump up the tires and join the thousands who are of the same mindset. If you’ve never participated in Bike To Work Week before, the idea is to join other in the enjoyable practice of cycling to work. You and your colleagues can create your own team and log your commutes online, compete with other teams, participate in bike-oriented events and win prizes.

Speaking of prizes, there are celebration stations set up throughout Metro Vancouver. Often these stations give away food and prizes to cyclists! TravelSmart is a sponsor of Bike To Work Week, and TravelSmart representatives will be at the  HUB (formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition) celebration station situated just east of Metrotown SkyTrain Station on the BC Parkway on Monday, May 28 from 6:30-9:00 am. There will be refreshments and free bike mechanic services! Oh, and TravelSmart is also running their own bike to work contest.

If you’re looking for some pointers on the week, here are a number of them we’ve written about:

Need help planning your route? You can use the “Full Maps” on our cycling page, the UBC Cycling Metro Vancouver page or biking directions in Google Maps.

Central Valley Greenway: an update from our planning team

Part of the Central Valley Greenway in New Westminster.

As you probably know, I’ve hosted a lot of discussion and feedback about the Central Valley Greenway on the blog, especially in these two posts:

Well, along the way, rider Joe asked our planning team for a response to two posts on his blog, Average Joe Cyclist ( here’s post 1 & post 2) where he sketches the successes and shortcomings of the Greenway. As our planning staff wrote up a really informative response, I thought I’d spotlight it here for all to read! Joe has also put it on his blog too.

The CVG was part of Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program, which wrapped up in March 2009 in accordance with the multi-agency funding agreement. There has been a fair bit of criticism on the Buzzer Blog about launching the CVG prematurely, while some segments were incomplete or built to an interim standard. We were obliged to launch it as close as possible to the federal project deadline of March 31, 2009, after six years of planning and project delivery, and held our opening celebration in June to correspond with Bike Week and the completion of the Winston Bridge, which provided important connections. We acknowledge that the some areas are constructed to a interim design standard, due to budget or other temporal challenges. The major achievement of the project was to deliver a functional CVG, and it has been a valuable facility for thousands of people since it was launched. TransLink values feedback and will share it with our partners. At this point each municipal partner is responsible for improvements along the CVG that will achieve the ultimate design standard. Again, now that the cities fully own and manage their sections of the CVG, comments should be directed to them.

Read more »