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Adrienne goes to Transit Police Academy

Police Academy

I heart Mahoney!

“All right, you scrawny beanpoles, becoming a cop is NOT something that happens overnight. It takes one solid weekend of training to get that badge” – Chief Wiggum

All kidding and Simpsons quotes aside, I am always impressed by the level of dedication and training police officers have and Transit Police is no exception!

They provide a vital service for our system and our region.

Believe me, they do far more than just write fare infraction tickets. This is a full-fledged police service!

Have you ever wanted to know more about the ins and outs of Transit Police? Me too!

So, every Wednesday evening (starting tonight) until the end of June, I’ll be attending a TransLink initiative for employees called Transit Police Academy.

I will be learning about how they police the system, tactical responses, investigation procedures and lots more.

My goal in participating is to better understand what they do, why, how and pass that knowledge onto you, the rider (and reader).

The agenda for the first week:

  • Service Delivery Model
  • Community Policing
  • Transit Watch Program (Surrey)
  • Chief’s Community Counsel
  • Police Board

I will be posting about my experiences at Transit Police Academy each week so stay tuned for all my updates!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Halloween safety tips from Transit Police

When taking part in Halloween festivities this weekend, Transit Police is reminding everyone to take a few precautions to ensure you enjoy the night safely.

Here are some tips:

  • Take extra care when choosing a Halloween costume. Ask yourself, could this prop be easily mistaken for the real thing? If so, how might it put your safety at risk if the police are called? If in doubt, leave it at home.

 

  • Consumption of liquor in public is illegal. This includes at SkyTrain stations and on-board buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus, If you are carrying liquor on transit, ensure it remains closed until you arrive at your private destination.

 

  • Stay alert to your surroundings while on public transit. Keep valuables out of sight from others. Avoid being engrossed in your electronic device.

 

  • Plan ahead for a safe ride home. Make note of key times such as the last trip of the night. The last Expo Line train to King George Station leaves Waterfront Station at 1:16 am, Mondays through Saturdays, and at 12:15 am on Sundays and holidays. The last Canada Line train to Richmond-Brighouse Station departs Waterfront Station at 1:15 am, seven days a week.

 

  • If travelling in a group, establish a meeting place in the event you are separated. 

 

  • Be visible. Wear bright costumes or include reflective tape, glow sticks, or other articles that improve visibility.

 

  • Use face paint or make‐up instead of a mask. If you must wear a mask, enlarge the eyes for better vision and push it back off your face when you are walking in and around train stations, and in busy pedestrian areas.

Stay connected to Transit Police through the free OnDuty app. Report any suspicious events or safety concerns on public transit to Transit Police’s non-emergency line. Text 87‐77‐77 (standard carrier rates may apply) or call 604‐515‐8300. In emergencies, always call 911.

Author: Allen Tung

Stay Connected to Transit Police with the new OnDuty Mobile App

Metro Vancouver Transit Police have released OnDuty, a new mobile app that will connect you with all Transit Police’s channels in the palm of your hand.

If you see something, while riding transit, say something! Through the app’s built-in text messaging function, users will be able to discreetly report non-emergency issues to Transit Police dispatch. There is no need to draw attention to yourself and you don’t have to wait to report crime on transit.

The OnDuty app’s Crime Maps feature will allow you to view crime hotspots along the transit system. Transit Police will be updating crime maps section weekly, so you can have a better, up-to-date understanding of where and when crime occurs.

Stay connected to the Transit Police’s Twitter and Facebook pages and real-time alerts will keep you informed about public safety concerns, missing persons or major service disruptions. You will also be able to access TransLink’s Next Bus and Trip Planner features directly from the app!

The OnDuty app, for iOS and Android devices, is free and is now available in the App Store and Google Play.

 

*This app is for non-emergency reporting only. For emergencies, please call 911.

Author: Allen Tung

On the beat with Transit Police and Vancity Buzz

Transit Police on Vancity Buzz

Transit Police on Vancity Buzz

Local blog and place to learn a little bit about everything in Metro Vancouver, Vancity Buzz just posted a guest post by Constable Graham Walker of the Transit Police. It’s a firsthand look at the daily activities of Transit Police. Have a read and you’ll find out that there’s a lot more to being a Transit Police than handing out fare infraction tickets.

After you’ve read Graham’s piece, take a look at the On The System with Transit Police post with Transit Police on our blog!

On the system – following fare evasion with Transit Police

Crowds at Burrard Station are checked for proper payment of fares.

We’re continuing the conversation about fare evasion with this second installment of on the system.

This week is the beginning of an increased focus on fare evasion on SkyTrain and on buses, West Coast Express and SeaBus.

The observant SkyTrain rider might have seen the “We don’t have a freebie line” interior sign or heard SkyTrain platform announcements about increased fare enforcement. Riders might also notice more Transit Police, Transit Security and SkyTrain attendants asking to see proof of payment on the transit system.

Interior sign about increase fare enforcement. No freebies here.

We’re stepping up our focus on fare evasion in anticipation of new legislation coming into effect in early September 2012. This new legislation will allow TransLink to collect unpaid fare evasion tickets and resolve disputes. Tools TransLink will have to help collect those tickets include escalating fines over time, the possibility of outstanding fines being sent to a collection agency and ICBC having the right to refuse to issue or renew a driver’s license or vehicle registration.

As noted in the first installment of this series, which looked a Transit Security increasing fare checks on buses, over the course of one week in February, fare evasion was reduced from 11 per cent to just under eight per cent on one problem route. Like Transit Security, Transit Police are doing more fare checks this summer in order to deter fare evasion and make sure everyone is paying their fair share. Read more »

Good luck to the Transit Police in the World Police and Fire Games!

The 2009 World Police and Fire Games open today, and I just want to send a shout-out to our Transit Police competitors!

Several members of our police force are competing in events such as pistol, karate, archery, hockey, cycling, biathlon, soccer, rifle, 5K race, and the Grouse Grind. About 10,000 athletes representing 55 countries are competing in the Games—it’s a huge international event!

If you’re interested, the opening parade of athletes kicks off tonight, Friday July 31, at Creekside Park by Telus World of Science at 5 p.m. It’s easily accessed by transit: it’s located right between Main Street Station and Stadium Station!

Check out the official website for more info on the opening, as well as for details on the Games events. The Games close on Sunday August 9.

Transit police shave heads for charity

Transit police officers Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Transit police officers Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Our colleagues over at the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service sent along a note about two of their officers, who had their heads shaved for charity this weekend.

Cst. Keith Grace and Bernard Florido went down to an event called the Baldy Bash in Las Vegas, participating to raise money for PEP, an organization of professionals helping parents and families of very sick children.

Read more »

Behind-the-scenes with Transit Security

Who are the sharp looking officers in the blue uniform walking around your neighbourhood bus loop?

These are Coast Mountain Bus Company’s one and only Transit Security officers, and they’re taking the spotlight on The Buzzer today!

Transit Security help protect our customers, employees and keep TransLink property safe. The officers patrol by foot, bicycle, bus and car throughout Metro Vancouver’s transit system. They also have a huge responsibility to act as a major support role for other departments within our transit network. Contrary to what you may expect, Transit Security officers are not the same as Transit Police.

While on the road, Transit Security respond to calls for assistance throughout the transit network. This can range from assaults on or around the transit system, looking for missing people, enforcing the Transit Tariff and crowd control during events. While common duties include random fare checks on buses, they also collect fare related data to present to other departments of TransLink regarding our services.

Looking for evidence of wire theft is a recent example of what Transit Security does during their patrols. Their work provides Transit Police the information needed to inform the public on what to do if they spot swinging wires with the video you see below.

Women in the workforce

Being one of the few female Transit Security officers, Rumali’s favourite part of the job is working with the people in the community, whether it be with an assigned partner or helping customers with their commute.

Rumali notes that while she works in a male-dominated environment, she believes that women have an advantage working in the security workforce because she can de-escalate volatile and tense situations, as disruptive individuals tend to be less confrontational with women compared to their male counterparts. This is why communication is the most essential skill for this job.

TransLink is dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which we live, and that includes the work environment at CMBC’s Transit Security! We’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace and encourage you to consider a career with us.

Fun facts:

Sometimes a Transit Security officer may carry a limited (keyword) supply of the super-cool Transit Security car stickers during their patrol. If you politely ask for it when an officer is patrolling at a bus loop, they may grant you one!

What should you do if you feel unsafe on transit?

You can text this number with the situation: 87-77-77-77, call 604-515-8300 or find more information on the stickers throughout the bus that are placed on the windows and interiors.

Thinking of a career change?

Looking for a job that isn’t a 9 to 5 and grants you the freedom to work outside the office? If you want to contribute to the safety of your community, then being a Transit Security officer might just be for you! TransLink is dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which we live, and that includes the work environment at with Transit Security! We’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace and encourage you to consider a career with us. Check our TransLink Careers Page (under Coast Mountain Bus Company) for more info.

Get to celebrations and home safely with Canada Day 2019 holiday transit service!

Making my way downtown, walking fast… because I want to see the firework show!  🎉

We know that Canada Day celebrations are a big thing, cause we are excited for them too! That’s why on Monday July 1st, the SkyTrain, SeaBus and buses will be running on the holiday schedule, but with additional service to help you get to the celebrations and getting you home safely. 🤗

Because of this spectacular event, that also means that there will be changes to our regular bus routes and access to SkyTrain stations downtown. Don’t worry, it’s just for Canada Day! Read more »

That’s a wrap on I Love Transit Camp 2018!

Remember I Love Transit 2018? We still do. The end of 2018 was a busy one, so we never got to tell you about I Love Transit Camp 2018! Last year was special because we had two winning classes – that’s right!

Read more »

Transit Supervisor saves a life on the Knight Street bridge

“I’m not a hero by any means,” says Surinder.

As a Transit Supervisor, Surinder Sahdra hears it all the time – police close off a bridge or traffic  because someone’s about to jump. But for Surinder, who has been with the Coast Mountain Bus Company since 2000, he’s never had to pull someone back from the edge.

On a Thursday morning with rush hour traffic at its peak, Surinder responded to an incident near the Knight Street bridge where police had blocked off part of Marine Drive. The Transit Supervisor was helping police navigate traffic and buses through the road block when passing drivers on the opposite side of traffic began to honk at Surinder.

“Hey you, there’s a jumper on the bridge,” a woman yelled out her car window.

Stuck at his post, Surinder hoped someone would call for help. However, as the next few minutes passed, more drivers began yelling to Surinder, hoping to catch his attention. Surinder searched for another Transit Supervisor in the area who would be available to help, but the other Supervisor was tied up with another incident.

“I was fairly close and I was going in the same direction, so I thought I should check it out, just in case,” says Surinder.

As he drove over the Knight Street bridge, he spotted a man close to the Mitchell Island exit, straddling the railing of the bridge. Quickly, Surinder updated TComm, who let him know that 911 was now buzzing with numerous reports of someone about to jump.

“Nobody was stopping to help him, everyone was calling 911,” noted Surinder.

As Surinder drove over the Knight Street bridge, he spotted a man close to the Mitchell Island exit.

Surinder pulled up to the middle of the bridge and began talking to the man. He noticed there was a bottle of alcohol in the man’s back pocket that was almost empty. When asked if everything was okay, he told Surinder to go away.

“My instinct was, if I don’t grab him, he’s going to jump, and then I’ll regret it for the rest of my life,” remembers Surinder.

In a split-second decision, Surinder jumped over the concrete barrier and grabbed the man’s arm to hold him down, keeping TComm updated throughout. Another Transit Supervisor, Frank Liptak, was on the other side of the bridge. He heard what was happening and ran over to assist Surinder. Both supervisors were able to hold down the man and talk to him as he struggled, waiting for police to arrive.

“I’m not a hero by any means,” says Surinder. “I’m just trying to do my best while I’m on the road helping people.”

The Vancouver Police Department later informed TComm that Surinder’s actions – pulling the man off the railing – was the right thing to do. As a critical defuser and having recently received Mental Health First Aid Training, Surinder was able to apply some of this experience to help not only the man he assisted, but himself.

“I think some of those tools did come in handy when I was sitting with the man,” says Surinder, who admits he was a bit shaken. “Afterwards, you start thinking about what could’ve happened and who knows, he may not have jumped.”

Author: Priscilla Leung

Emily Carr student illustrations capture customers’ transit etiquette

If you take public transit, you probably have a pet peeve, right? That guy who’s talking loudly on the phone the entire time, and now everyone on the bus/SkyTrain knows why he broke up with his significant other.

Those folks occupying priority seats and ignoring senior/pregnant/people with mobility issues/people with invisible disabilities – anyone, who could really use that seat.

What about those with huge backpacks? We are sure some of you were hit by one of those flying backpacks and the owner never realized it.

When it comes to public transit, etiquette is paramount. How you behave on transit is a reflection of your ethos.

With Seth Rogen as our guest voice on transit, we aimed to shine the spotlight on transit etiquette.

And now with this collaboration with Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD), we aim to take a look at transit etiquette through the eyes of students who are also transit users themselves.

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.

I Love Transit Camp 2017: fun-filled (and educational!) days at TransLink’s facilities

I Love Transit Week’s theme this year was Beyond—the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver.

We wanted teachers and students to unleash their inner explorer and take learning beyond the classroom. So we challenged them to come up with their own vision for the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver to enter for a chance to attend I Love Transit Camp, a unique opportunity to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of TransLink’s operating facilities. Read more »

Where do you get your transit information?

Big T
Welcome to the Buzzer blog’s Learn ‘n’ poll!

From construction reroutes and weather to bus stop locations and Compass information, TransLink provides a virtual buffet of transit knowledge in a variety of places.

We strive to get you any and all the details you need to keep you on time, on route and on transit.

Let’s take a look at some of the avenues you can explore for all your transit needs.

The TransLink websiteWe're not the only TransLink out there!

TransLink.ca is our one-stop-shop for all transit information.

You can map your route using Trip Planner, see when your buses are arriving with Next Bus and learn all about TransLink and its operating companies in Schedules and Maps, Fares, Rider Guide, Getting Around, Plans and Projects and About Us.

The homepage also lists other transit resources for you like YouTube and the Buzzer blog!

Transit Alerts

Maybe you’re less interested in the Corporate Reports and more interested in what’s happening right now on transit.

Not a problem! You can visit the Alerts page for an overview of the conditions of all modes of transit, station accessibility as well as any detours, construction or delays that may impact your trip.

The best part about Transit Alerts is that you can sign up for alerts and receive SMS text or emails about your route and be the first to know about any changes in service.

Twitter

Another amazing resource is the Customer Information (CI) team on Twitter.Twitter

You can easily tweet them @TransLink to receive answers to your questions about your bus, Compass information, operating hours, lost property and pretty much anything else you can think to ask!

Not a tweeter? Give them a shout by phone at 604-953-3333.

CI will be there to heed the transit call from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday to Friday and from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekends.

Facebook

The TransLink Facebook page is a place for discussion, transit news, fun tidbits and lots more!Facebook

The page is manned by the Buzzer blog crew (^rw, ^ac and ^sk, respectively) from around 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and we are happy to answer your questions during those times.

If a major service delay occurs, CI will post outside of those business hours to update customers of impacts.

Transit Apps

In 2012, TransLink released our transit data as open source.

This means that new transit apps based on our open API crop up giving riders access to information like GPS bus tracking.

Last year we did a poll about your transit app options. Do you use any of these? Have a new one? Comment below and let us know!

Remember! It’s always good to check in with Customer Information for clarification on any service issues.

Radioradio

Remember the radio? It’s that thing that plays songs you can’t skip!

In all seriousness, local radio stations are great resource for transit information.

If there is inclement weather, a disruption or a major accident, local media are informed by TransLink so they can reach out to their listeners who may be affected.

Tune in to News1130, CKNW and CBC 690 AM and 88.1 FM – just to name a few!

In person

For in-person assistance you can visit any of these reliable and accessible places for your specific questions. SkyTrain_Vests

TransLink’s Compass Customer Service Centre for your Compass needs and Lost Property Office are both located at Stadium–Chinatown Station.

The West Coast Express Office is at Waterfront Station and our awesome SkyTrain Attendants and bus operators are across the SkyTrain and bus networks.

Transit Police has hubs at major stations and Transit Security is out and about helping customers across the region.

Take a trip to your local library or rec centre and you’re likely to find transit schedules, system maps and Compass information as well!

The time, as they say, is now. Let’s head to the poll!

**You can vote for two options**

Where do you get your transit information?

  • The TransLink website (35%, 88 Votes)
  • Transit Apps (21%, 54 Votes)
  • Twitter (19%, 48 Votes)
  • Transit Alerts (10%, 26 Votes)
  • Other - comment below! (5%, 13 Votes)
  • Facebook (5%, 12 Votes)
  • Radio (2%, 6 Votes)
  • In person (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

Weigh in and tell your friends!

Author: Adrienne Coling