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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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Celebrate #VanVirtualPride this year and enter a draw for a Pride-themed face covering

This year, we’ll be celebrating Vancouver Pride a little differently! The Vancouver Pride Society has re-imagined the annual event as a virtual one.

There will be an amazing line-up of events from all-ages family events to educational opportunities to dance parties, starting on Monday, July 27 through Sunday, August 2. Check out their 2020 event lineup! All will be live streamed to their FacebookYouTube and Twitch pages. The virtual Vancouver Pride Parade begins on Sunday, August 2 at 1 p.m.

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Smart lockers now available at SkyTrain stations

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker could look like at Stadium–Chinatown Station.

You’ll now be able to collect online deliveries from smart lockers situated at three SkyTrain stations. PigeonBox, the winners of the 2019 Open Call for Innovation, are bringing smart lockers to Joyce-Collingwood, Stadium-Chinatown, and Commercial-Broadway stations.

“One of our core and consistent objectives has been improving the customer experience on transit,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “In addition to providing a new and convenient option for our customers, this initiative can also help to reduce the number of trips people take to collect packages.”

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New Bike Parkades open in Coquitlam and Richmond

New Bike Parkades are now open at Burquitlam, Lafarge Lake–Douglas and Bridgeport stations! We’re expanding our Bike Parkade program to new parts of the region, making it an easier for even more people to bike to transit.

You may know us for our bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and HandyDART service, but we’re more than just transit. We’re here to support you whether you’re taking transit, walking, cycling or even driving.

On a typical day prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 128,000 bike trips happening across the region. Why are there so many people cycling? Glad you asked!

Not only is cycling a healthy and pollution-free way to get around, it’s also fast! You can travel five times further on bike for the same amount of time and energy expended as walking. Try this tool to see how far you can travel by bike in five minutes!

For most trips under 5 kilometres, which account for 50 per cent of car trips in Metro Vancouver, a bicycle is faster in urban settings.

When you combine cycling with transit, you can travel even faster and further. That’s why we have Bike Parkades at transit hubs throughout the region, allowing you to easily connect to the SkyTrain, West Coast Express, RapidBus and other express bus routes.

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Spring service changes to boost North Shore bus service

The new R2 Marine Dr RapidBus launches on April 6.

Beginning April 6, transit on the North Shore is being boosted to provide more frequent and reliable bus service. With the upcoming introduction of the R2 RapidBus along Marine Drive, there will be several additions of new routes and adjustments to existing routes on the North Shore. These changes will allow the North Shore transit network to better integrate with the high frequency RapidBus route.

New North Shore bus routes

R2 Marine Dr (Park Royal/Phibbs Exchange)

  • High frequency RapidBus service with limited stops
  • 8 to 10-minute service every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 15-minute evening service every day from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

222 Willingdon Express

  • Express service with only six stops
  • Serves Phibbs Exchange, the Kootenay Loop, Hastings and Willingdon, Brentwood Town Centre SkyTrain Station, BCIT, and Metrotown
  • 10-minute peak service
  • Former 125 (Patterson/BCIT) customers are encouraged to switch to the new express service

245 Phibbs Exchange/Capilano University

  • 10-minute peak service during summer months
  • More service coming fall 2020 for the new school year

Adjusted North Shore bus routes

240 Lynn Valley/Downtown

  • Terminus extending from Grand Boulevard to Lynn Valley to integrate with the R2 RapidBus

28 Joyce Station/Phibbs Exchange and 130 Metrotown/Phibbs Exchange

  • Terminus moved from Capilano University to Phibbs Exchange

239 Park Royal/Capilano University

  • Service replaced by R2 RapidBus, and increased service on routes 240 and 255

Other major permanent service increases

 31 River District/Metrotown (New Service)

  • Will provide a direct bus connection to the Expo Line for residents of the River District

319 Scott Road Station/Scottsdale Exchange/Newton Exchange

  • Introducing 4 to 8-minute service all day on weekdays until 10:30 p.m.
  • Increasing to 4-minute peak service between Scottsdale Exchange and Scott Road Station

Seasonal changes

Each year, TransLink temporarily increases service during the spring and summer months to key tourist destinations like ferry terminals, parks, and beaches. On April 6, service will increase on route 620 (Bridgeport Station/Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal). In May, service will increase on route 19 (Metrotown/Stanley Park) to reflect growing demand.

In May, service will be temporarily reinstated on the 42 (Alma/Spanish Banks), 150 (White Pine Beach/Coquitlam Central Station), 179 (Buntzen Lake/Coquitlam Central Station), and 236 (Grouse Mountain/Pemberton Heights/Lonsdale Quay) until the fall.

TransLink also temporarily decreases service to post-secondary institutions in these months, as there are less students travelling to and from campus. Service will temporarily reduce on routes 9, 42, 145, 258, and 480.

(CONTEST) RapidBus brings faster, more frequent service to eight Metro Vancouver communities

We know that fast, frequent service is key to getting more people onto transit — that’s why we’ve introduced a new service called RapidBus! It comes with faster travel times, more reliable service and new customer amenities.

On these routes, customers will enjoy service that’s up to 20 per cent faster than local bus service. Coming every 10 minutes or better during peak hours and every 15 minutes or better in non-peak hours, customers can now catch a RapidBus on these four routes:

  • R1 King George Blvd (Guildford Exchange/Newton Exchange)
    • Every eight minutes during peak hours
  • R3 Lougheed Hwy (Coquitlam Central Station/Haney Place)
    • Every ten minutes during peak hours
  • R4 41st Ave (UBC/Joyce-Collingwood Station)
    • Every three to six minutes during peak hours
  • R5 Hastings St (SFU/Burrard Station)
    • Every four to five minutes during peak hours

Time-savings have been achieved by introducing bus priority on roadways, such as bus lanes and signal priority, and less stopping.

What’s awesome about RapidBus is not only the service itself, but the new customer amenities at bus stops and onboard buses!

We’ve introduced new bus stops, called RapidBus posts, that have real-time information, telling you upcoming departure times for all the buses that use that stop. There’s an audio button customers can push to hear these next-bus announcements too. The RapidBus routes will also use 60-foot articulated buses that have softer seats.

Isn’t the new RapidBus service great?! We want everyone to know about this new service and could use some help in spreading the word. We want to give you the chance to win a RapidBus prize back that includes a RapidBus toque, gloves and the new model that just dropped on the TransLink Store.

Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win.

Enter to win!

There are three prize packs up for grabs with each of the following:

  • A RapidBus t-shirt
  • A RapidBus model
  • A RapidBus toque
  • Pair of RapidBus gloves
  • A handful of RapidBus buttons
  • A handful of RapidBus stickers
  • A handful of I Love Transit buttons

To enter, simply complete one — or all — of the following actions:

  • Comment below telling us which RapidBus route you’ll be taking and where you’ll be going (1 entry)
  • Follow @TransLink on Instagram, like this post and tag three friends you’d like to tell about RapidBus. (1 entry)
  • Follow @TransLink on Twitter, and tweet or retweet the following message. (1 entry)

If you do all three actions, you’ll be entered to win three times! Don’t forget to make sure your social media accounts are public so we can see your entry.

The rules:

Check out the official RapidBus Prize Pack Contest Terms and Conditions, but here’s the lowdown:

  • The contest for a RapidBus prize pack will open on Monday, February 24, 2020 and all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, March 8, 2020. Late entries will not be considered.
  • We’ll do one draw each for The Buzzer blog, Instagram and Twitter.
  • One entry per method, per person, per day.

Smart lockers coming to SkyTrain stations

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker at Stadium–Chinatown Station could look like.

A rendering of what the future PigeonBox locker at Stadium–Chinatown Station could look like.

TransLink has selected PigeonBox, a smart locker service, as the first winner of the 2019 Open Call for Innovation on Customer Services and Amenities. The Open Call for Innovation solicited proposals for new services for customers as they travel through the transit system.

With the new PigeonBox smart lockers, beginning this spring, customers can have their deliveries sent to lockers at three SkyTrain stations: Joyce-Collingwood, Stadium-Chinatown, and Commercial-Broadway.

“We are always looking at creative ways to utilize our transit spaces so that we can better serve our customers,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “The last round of submissions received many thoughtful proposals and I’d like to congratulate PigeonBox for their successful pitch. Having secure lockers for pick-ups at transit stations will reduce unnecessary trips and simplify the lives of our customers.”

How does it work?

First, customers need to sign up to use a locker on the PigeonBox website or PigeonBox App. Customers can then use the provided PigeonBox address as their mailing address when making any online purchase. Once the order is complete and delivered, PigeonBox will send the customer a locker number and access code for a smart locker.

“The PigeonBox dream is to make every online delivery experience as seamless as possible,” says PigeonBox CEO Seunghwan Son. “We’ve built our smart lockers for those who want to protect their online orders and pick up their packages with ease. When we first launched PigeonBox, our customers told us they wanted to see us grow and expand at our transit stations. We are excited to finally launch this partnership with TransLink.”

This initiative is a one-year pilot from the TransLink Tomorrow program to test the demand for smart locker services on the transit system. The continuation and expansion of this service will be determined by the results of the pilot.

About Open Call for Innovation

There were 45 proposals submitted in TransLink’s second annual Open Call for Innovation to help innovate and enhance customer journeys. The 2019 finalists were selected through an internal panel. Other successful ideas will be announced in the coming months. Previous winners include a shared mobility service with Evo, Modo, and Mobi, and a partnership with carpooling company, Poparide.

The Open Call platform is an opportunity to partner with industry leaders, innovators, academics and policymakers to collaborate on new mobility solutions that will help enhance the livability of Metro Vancouver and address transportation-related challenges that we face as a region.

TransLink launches new RapidBus service

TransLink launches RapidBus on four routes – bringing customers up to 20 per cent faster bus service with higher frequencies, fewer stops, dedicated bus lanes, bus priority changes to intersections, and all-door boarding.

RapidBus provides a more reliable bus service that can move more than 10,000 people per hour at peak times. The new service is made possible through investments from Phase One of the Mayors’ Vision, the Government of Canada, and the Province of BC.

“We’re stepping up our bus game,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “RapidBus is a crucial part of improving the region’s bus service through the Mayors’ Vision. These RapidBus routes will benefit eight communities and bring our customers a more reliable bus service that they deserve.” Read more »

TransLink boosting bus service to carry up to 20,000 more people each weekday

RapidBus service starts on January 6 in conjunction with our quarterly service changes.

We’re increasing bus service on January 6 to improve bus service frequency and reliability where customers need it most! The significant increases in service will add 65,000 more annual bus service hours to the system, making space for up to 20,000 more people each weekday.

Bus service changes happen every spring, summer, fall, and winter to reflect seasonal changes in demand and to deliver service improvements.

RapidBus service launching on January 6:

  • R1 King George Blvd (Guildford Exchange/Newton Exchange)
    • Eight-minute service during peak hours
  • R3 Lougheed Hwy (Coquitlam Central Station/Haney Place)
    • 10-minute service during peak hours
  • R4 41st Ave (Joyce Station/UBC)
    • Three to six-minute service during peak hours
  • R5 Hastings St (Burrard Station/SFU)
    • Four to five-minute service during peak hours

Outside of peak hours, all RapidBus routes will have 15-minute service or better from 6 a.m. to midnight, sevendays a week. To make the bus system more efficient, there will also be adjustments to some Metro Vancouver bus routes. Key changes include:

  • 41 Joyce Station/Crown
    • New terminus at Crown Street, instead of UBC Bus Exchange
    • 15-minute service during service hours every day
  • 43 Joyce Station/UBC
    • Service replaced by R4 RapidBus
  • 480 UBC/Bridgeport
    • Will run peak hours only
    • For faster service between Bridgeport and UBC, customers can take the Canada Line and the R4 RapidBus connecting with Oakridge Station

Learn more about how your commute might change at translink.ca/servicechanges.

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.

I Love Transit 2019: Mapping it all out for the customer

I Love Transit 2019

It’s I Love Transit week, October 7–11, and we’re bringing you stories about our customers, staff, transit enthusiasts and all things we love about transit. 

TransLink’s a team of nearly 8,000 employees. We’re all united in support of our customers — all 500,000 of you — who depend on us to get to and from work, visit an old friend and everything else in between.

We asked one of our employees, Jada Stevens from our wayfinding department, to share why she loves transit and what she loves most about serving you, our customers. Wayfinding designs the maps and directional signage you find at transit stations. 

Jada Stevens, Wayfinding Planner at TransLink

By Jada Stevens, Wayfinding Planner at TransLink

What I find fascinating about working in wayfinding is that this field encompasses three of my personal interests: graphic design, urban design and using transit to get around the city.

I am a lifelong transit user who has made the decision to use transit as my primary form of transportation. As a child, taking transit was my first introduction to independence in the city, and as an adult I see transit as being an affordable and environmentally sustainable alternative to car use.

From a young age, I have been curious about cities and how people use shared spaces and public amenities like parks, streets, and transit. I like to observe changes happening in the city and I try to understand how urban planners, elected officials, and community groups are transforming our cities to better serve the people who live in it.

This same curiosity extends into my profession. I’m fascinated in learning how our customers use and experience the transit network – where are they going, what transit services are they connecting to and what information they need to make that connection. Read more »

Wordless Wednesday: #MyTransLink – October 2

Today marks a pretty exciting occasion for #MyTransLink! We’ve hit 9,000 tags! For just under two years, #MyTransLink has been your one-stop-shop for all things transit photography. Sharing your candid, and not so candid shots in and around transit in our region.

This week, we’ve moved to a new day where our series will morph into Wordless Wednesday a day dedicated to the beauty captured through your lens.

So scroll on down to see all that was in this edition of #MyTransLink.

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Fall Service Changes set to take your commute to the next level

Our busiest week of the year for commuters is the first week of September. That’s why we’re having one of our largest service increases to date! It’s the first time we’ve ever increased all three of our modes at once!

We do quarterly service changes to accommodate the needs of our customers. This time around, we’re rolling out more bus, more SkyTrain and more SeaBus service starting September 3.

By the numbers:

  • 24 new SkyTrain cars (six trains)
  • 40,000 more annual bus hours
  • 50 per cent more SeaBus capacity

Read more »

Introducing a new TransLink service… say hello to RapidBus!

We know that fast, frequent service is key to getting more people onto transit — that’s why we’re introducing a new service called RapidBus! This new service builds on the success of the B-Line routes it comes to three new corridors in Metro Vancouver in January 2020.

We’re excited to share what RapidBus means for you and its cool amenities that will provide a much more comfortable transit experience for our passengers.

What are the features?

RapidBus is going to mean faster travel times, more reliable service and new customer amenities.

On these routes, customers will enjoy service that’s up to 20 per cent faster than local bus service. Time-savings will be achieved by introducing bus priority on roadways, such as bus lanes and signal priority, and less frequent stops.

The RapidBus amenities aren’t just onboard the buses and in the service — they’re also at bus stops! We’re introducing new bus stops, called RapidBus posts, that have real-time information, telling you upcoming departure times for all the buses that use that stop. There will be an audio button customers can push to hear these next-bus announcements too.

But don’t take our word for it, let Denis the Planner over explain it for ya.

But why blue and green?

RapidBus is fast, frequent and reliable, so we wanted the colours to reflect that! That’s why the buses use a blue and green colour scheme. Living up to its name, we also wanted our customers to be able to rapidly identify RapidBus from a distance, so they know when a RapidBus is approaching their stop.

What are the routes for RapidBus?

The five RapidBus routes will serve 11 communities:

  • R1: King George Boulevard (Guildford Town Centre to Newton Exchange) – upgraded 96 B-Line
  • R2: Marine Drive (Park Royal to Phibbs Exchange)
  • R3: Lougheed Highway (Coquitlam Central Station to Haney Place)
  • R4: 41st Avenue (UBC to Joyce–Collingwood Station)
  • R5: Hastings (SFU to Burrard Station) – upgraded 95 B-Line

So, what happens to the B-Line?

Many of its features, such as all-door boarding and articulated buses, live on in the new RapidBus routes, which builds on the success of B-Line! The 95 and 96 B-Lines will become RapidBus routes in January 2020 and the 99 B-Line will remain as it is for the near future. Decisions will be made at a later time about what will happen to it in the future.

Will there be more RapidBus routes in the future?

These five new RapidBus routes are a part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision. Two additional RapidBus routes are planned to launch in 2021 to Surrey, Delta and Richmond, with five more routes planned for Phase Three of the 10-Year Vision, so stay tuned!

Still want more RapidBus info? Watch the live stream of the announcement below and visit translink.ca/rapidbus.

#MyTransLink – May 7

From sunrise to sunset, the landscape and scenery around the region brings a stunning display of beauty each and every day. As the days are getting lighter and trees are getting brighter, it’s reflected in the stunning shots that you share with us. #MyTransLink is an in transit themed photo series where Metro Vancouverites, neighbours and visitors alike to snap and share their favourite transit-related shots from around the region.

Each week we gain a new perspective of ever-changing landscape around Metro Vancouver.

So scroll on down, and check out the people, places and things featured in #MyTransLink.

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