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Translink Buzzer Blog

MediVac helicopter lands at Port Coquitlam Transit Centre

Last Friday, a serious motor vehicle accident closed Kingsway Ave in Port Coquitlam for the afternoon, and a MediVac helicopter used Port Coquitlam Transit Centre (PCTC) as a landing pad to transport a victim to the hospital. A big thanks goes out to PCTC staff, who responded to the emergency request by cordoning off a section of the yard, allowing the MediVac to land safely and quickly. Here’s a few more photos of the helicopter in the yard, too — click each thumbnail for larger versions.

Open houses for Canada Line bus changes – Jan. 31 & Feb. 1 in Richmond

We’re holding two Richmond open houses this upcoming weekend to discuss Canada Line bus route changes. Come on out: we want your feedback on what changes should be made!

The first event will be on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 10am – 4pm at the Richmond Brighouse Library (Main Branch), 100 – 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond. (NOTE: This open house is at the Brighouse Library, NOT Richmond City Hall as listed in the print Buzzer for January. The location was changed after the January Buzzer went to print. Tell your friends!)

The second event will be on Sunday, Feb. 1, from 10am- 4pm at the Steveston Community Centre, 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond.

There will also be six more open houses that will be held throughout February:

Saturday, Feb. 7 • 9:30am – 5pm
Oakridge Shopping Centre
650 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver

Sunday, Feb. 8 • 10:30am – 5pm
Vancouver Public Library (Atrium)
350 West Georgia, Vancouver

Saturday, Feb. 14 • 11am – 5pm
Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall
5499 12th Avenue, Delta

Sunday, Feb. 15 • 10:30am – 4pm
Ladner Pioneer Library
4683 51st Street, Delta

Saturday, Feb. 21 • 9:30am – 5pm
Semiahmoo Mall
152 Street and 16th Avenue, Surrey

Monday, Feb. 23 • 2pm – 8pm
Vancouver International Airport
(in front of Haida Gwaii)

For more info, send an e-mail to John Timms, or give John a call at 604-953-3251.

More photos of the Pattullo Bridge repairs

Many thanks to reader and photographer Duane Cooke, who also sent along some more photos of the bridge construction on Sunday. (Here’s the other set of photos from Terry Muirhead.)

Again, click each picture for a much larger version. Thanks Duane for such lovely shots!

The last Pattullo Bridge update (or so we hope)

STATUS OF BRIDGE

  • The bridge structure was completed on Sunday
  • Traffic safety and control measures were dealt with in the late afternoon through the evening. Bridge did a soft opening at 3am and was open to regular vehicular traffic at 6am

ROAD ADJUSTMENTS

  • Traffic was reported as regular volume for a rush hour on all bridges and roads

TRANSIT ADJUSTMENTS

SKYTRAIN

  • Weekend service had no issues. We operated with 3 extra trains today but passenger loads looked like a normal weekday
  • We estimate a +20% increase in passengers over the peak times during the work week last week
  • We ran an additional 1,315 additional car hours during last week’s enhanced service
  • Service levels back to normal tomorrow

CMBC

  • There was little impact on the weekend, with passenger loads at normal volumes
  • A few folks showed up today for the morning Cloverdale shuttle, which will run tonight.
  • We used the shuttles today but there was minimal use by passengers. All the shuttles except Cloverdale shuttle are back to conventional use now and Cloverdale will be making its last runs tonight at the evening rush
  • Burnaby shuttles will be redeployed after today’s afternoon rush.
  • All shuttle customers boarding this pm will get notification

PARK & RIDE

  • Temporary Park & Rides at Home Depot Parking, Holland Park, 10338 and 110th Avenue will be open for one more day on Tuesday, January 27.
  • Temporary Park & Rides at Cloverdale and the King George are terminating tonight

As always, thank you to everyone for for your patience and understanding through this. Remember, you can also check out our Customer Alerts page or the Youtube info stream for more info on the state of the system.

Photos of the Pattullo Bridge repairs

Also, we have some great photos of the bridge construction on Sunday thanks to Terry Muirhead, a local transit enthusiast and photographer. You may have seen Terry’s work on the Buzzer blog before — he took many great photos of the retired trolleys sailing over to Argentina and the icy waters faced by the Albion Ferry.

Click each picture for a much larger version — you can see the new bridge piece being fitted into the old structure, the heavy machinery in use at the south end, and the blacktop being laid down over the old and new parts of the bridge.

Thanks Terry again for these wonderful shots!

Pattullo Bridge reopens! Special transit service continues today

(Video of TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast and VP of Planning and Capital Management Sheri Plewes announcing the reopening of the Pattullo Bridge yesterday)

As you certainly may have heard already, the Pattullo Bridge is open as of 6 a.m. today! A temporary bridge span formerly used in Canada Line construction was used to repair the bridge, and repaving took place on Sunday. Watch the YouTube clip above for more info.

Also, because word of the re-opening may not have reached all affected members of the public, service adjustments will remain in place for one more day.

Temporary free park and ride facilities will open for at least one more day at:

  • 176th St. and 63rd Ave. (Cloverdale Fairgrounds). An express bus will run to King George SkyTrain Station 5:30-8:30am and 3:30-6:30pm.
  • Opening Friday, Jan. 23, at Hilton Rd. & Grosvenor in Surrey, near 108th Avenue and convenient to the “belt loop” bus; walking distance (3-4 blocks) from Gateway Station.
  • Along 110th Ave. near Scott Road Station
  • Near 103rd Ave. on West Whalley Ring Road near Surrey Central Station

(We’ll be told later today if these park and ride locations will open again on Tuesday.)

Coast Mountain Bus will continue operating special bus service, including the shuttle between Cloverdale Fairgrounds park and ride and King George Station, and the “belt loop” route in North Surrey/Whalley between Gateway Station and Guildford. That service will be cut back beginning Tuesday, unless conditions dictate otherwise.

SkyTrain will begin service at its normal weekday time, with the first train leaving King George at 5:08 a.m.. However, extra trains will be in service during the peak periods and rush hour service may be extended if the situation warrants.

Once again, TransLink and its operating companies are very grateful to our contractors for securing and installing the replacement portion of the bridge and keeping inconvenience to our customers to a minimum; to the Cities of Surrey and New Westminster, for providing the parking facilities; to the media for keeping people informed; and to our customers themselves, for their patience and understanding through this time.

Full special service details can be found at the TransLink website, www.translink.bc.ca, or by contacting Customer Information at (604) 953-3333. As always, you can also check out our Customer Alerts page or the Youtube info stream for more info.

Pattullo Bridge update – Friday afternoon

STATUS OF BRIDGE

  • Pile driving continuing today.
  • The demolition contractor, Enviro-Vac, completed timber debris cleanup on the Surrey side of the bridge on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
  • Yesterday, Thursday, they set up on the New Westminster side in order to start to remove asphalt from the rest of the bridge in order to prep for pothole repair.
  • Continued pavement removal and disposal


ROAD ADJUSTMENTS

  • Flow was starting earlier, ending later this morning. Traffic backed up to 176th which was actually lighter than usual, even for a Friday.
  • People are getting the message about spreading out their commuting times.
  • Port Mann, Alex Fraser, the George Massey Tunnel all flowed. .
  • We’re seeing longer, spread-out am commutes, ending at 9:30am.

TRANSIT ADJUSTMENTS

SKYTRAIN

  • Afternoon peak was extended 1.5 hours yesterday.
  • We estimate that we are now carrying an additional 2,500-3,000 passengers during the morning rush. 59 trains ran this morning
  • Limited use 04:30 to 05:00, not heavy. King George, Scott Road, Columbia stations, steady but not heavy. From Columbia 07:00 to 10:00, mainly connecting to Millennium-Line.
  • Not as busy as Thursday probably as Friday’s are typically lighter days anyway.

*SKYTRAIN FOR THE WEEKEND

  • Same info as in my last post but it’s worth repeating.
  • Weekend Service – Normal SkyTrain Saturday and Sunday hours but if necessary, service will be increased
  • Service next week – SkyTrain will revert to normal weekday start-times (05:08 departure from King George) but we will continue to run additional trains for peak and midday service.
  • Bicycles on SkyTrain – The restriction for bicycles on SkyTrain will be lifted for the weekend beginning at 7:00pm Friday night until closing Sunday.
  • For next week, bicycles will only be restricted as follows: Weekdays to downtown from 5am to 10 am and from downtown, 3 to 7pm.

CMBC

  • Very light traffic this am compared to the rest of week. Last night we had only 14 use the Cloverdale shuttle but we expect that to change next week. Heavy but nothing different from previous night in terms of patterns
  • Everything ran on schedule.

PARK & RIDE

  • PLEASE NOTE: City of Surrey crews have finished large orange ‘Temporary Park & Ride’ signs that will be posted at all free temporary parking sites tonight. TransLink will have a map of all P&R locations, free and paid, on our website tonight.
  • In providing the free temporary Park & Ride spots, we remove all signage restrictions where possible. However, these do not do not include parking in front of fire hydrants or driveways. Please obey all traffic regulations.

SkyTrain bike ban eased on starting this weekend

This just in: bikes are allowed back on SkyTrain starting Friday at 7 pm, and will also be allowed on for off-peak hours Monday through Friday afterwards.

Specifically, beginning on Monday Jan. 26, bicycles will permitted during off-peak hours. Restrictions will be in effect from 5 to 10 a.m. to downtown and 3 to 7 p.m. from downtown. (The Pattullo closure is making rush hour extend far past its usual hours — for example, yesterday’s evening rush ended at 8 p.m.)

Weekend SkyTrain service will be at normal weekend service levels, start and finish times. Service will be supplemented by extra trains if required.

For SkyTrain service next week, there will be a normal SkyTrain start-up (05:08 first departure from King George), but we are still aiming to operate 59 trains and extend rush hours if necessary.

And cyclists: we really do thank you for your patience during this time.

Where do you like to sit on the bus?

For some Friday fun, let’s do a poll!

Come on, I know you’ve all got an opinion on this—the lineups for the 99 B-Line are always far bigger for the back door than the middle. Feel free to leave a comment to defend your position if you like :)

The January Buzzer is out today!

Get the latest Buzzer on all our buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express today!

This issue has a feature article on the annunciators, the voice-announcement system now playing on all our buses. (A heads up: I’m planning an extended edition of that article for the Buzzer blog, since there was much more detail to the system than could be written in the print edition!)

There’s also a feature on the Main Street public art program, for those haven’t heard about it yet. As well, the Back Issues history item is from 1976, discussing the unique naming & numbering conventions for buses in the City of Vancouver at the time. Plus there’s news and notes from the Coast Mountain Bus Company, a list of open houses for Canada Line bus changes, and much appreciated commendations for our service during the snowstorm!

And last but certainly not least, the Buzzer is going back to its roots and is featuring a Canadian illustrator on the cover. Our lovely cover image is by local designer/illustrator Vincent de Vera. I think it looks great!

As always, if you can’t get the Buzzer on the system, you can always read it in PDF form on our website. Visit our Buzzer PDF archives, which stretch back to the heady days of June 2006. (Here’s the direct link to the January issue PDF.)

Don’t forget to enter the FareCard contest too: you can win a free FareCard in every issue of the Buzzer. Read the issue, then answer the question right by Monday, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. to win!

Enjoy the latest Buzzer: comments are welcome below!

Video of the Pattullo bridge repairs

Ken Hardie, our director of communications, posted this video of the Pattullo Bridge repairs yesterday, in case you’re curious.

As you can see, pothole repair is being done to the bridge — and I’ve now been told that full repaving of the bridge will be done in summer as scheduled, not during this construction period, as the priority is to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.

Pattullo Bridge update — Thursday afternoon

STATUS OF BRIDGE

  • Pile driving began and we started with a 60’ length of pipe. Pile driving may continue from 2-5 days.

ROAD ADJUSTMENTS

  • Rush hours are starting earlier on the roads and bridges, and while still busy, we see traffic on the main roads moving steadily once off the spans.
  • People are getting the message about spreading out their commuting times. On the Port Mann, we see it starting at around 1:30 pm in the afternoon for the ride home.
  • This morning we saw westbound traffic start at 4:00am-4:30am and the buildup started from the feeder roads at that point. Alex Fraser commuters are starting earlier in both directions as well, and it was reported that the flow was quite smooth off the bridge.
  • The Queensborough is still heavy and the most congested during the rush.. There are two tow trucks around Queensborough to help folks in a jam.
  • We’re seeing longer, spread-out am commutes, ending at 9:30am.
  • We advise drivers to choose Hwy 15 ( 176th ) over 152nd when heading for the #1, in order to avoid bottlenecks. There are some bottle-necks occurring at #10 Highway feeding onto the 99.

TRANSIT ADJUSTMENTS

SKYTRAIN

  • Last night it was very busy at the Columbia and Lougheed stations. We had a medical emergency at Metrotown but trains were moving again in about 10 minutes. Very heavy loads from 4-6 pm from Waterfront to Broadway Stations
  • We’re seeing a noticeable increase inbound from Surrey Central. Scott Road is building consistently as well.
  • “Turnback” trains are in use at Scott Road, to help alleviate crowding outside of Surrey (this is in addition to the turnbacks already being used between Waterfront and Broadway stations in the morning peak period)
  • Rush hour last night went up to 8pm. This was a solid indicator that people are getting the messages about spreading their commuting times around on transit.
  • Last night we operated all 59 trains.
  • This morning, we operated 60 trains, a new record. The loading started heavy at 5:00am and was busy till 7:55am during the morning rush.
  • Our passenger counts are building and we anticipate 1000 per hour during the am rush hours. Very much busier today
  • People are travelling later in the am and going home later in the pm, so our riders are spreading the commute out. Again, the word is getting out.
  • Service now starts service at 4:30 AM from Surrey on weekdays (regular service will operate on weekends). All available cars are being used and rush hour service is extended as needed.
  • Again, bicycles are temporarily banned from trains due to the growing number of riders on transit and safety concerns about blocked exits. SkyTrain is very aware of the difficulties placed on our cyclists and are re-evaluating this decision daily.

CMBC

  • We are adding in shuttle buses during the am and pm peak from Guilford area to Gateway Station. In order to turn the buses around we will be routing 108 Ave, north 135 Street, west 107A ave, north 132 Street.
  • The new #388 22nd St. Station bus, which runs in peak periods to and from Walnut Grove, now stops at Scott Road Station, anticipating that the Alex Fraser Bridge may have additional congestion. Those who normally take the #388 to or from 22nd St. Station may take SkyTrain to Scott Road.
  • Again, we’ve instituted a “belt loop” route, circulating through North Surrey/Whalley between Gateway Station and Guildford
  • A reminder: regular fares apply on all bus routes, and may be used to transfer to SkyTrain and other buses in Metro Vancouver during the 90-minute time limit.

PARK & RIDE

  • In providing the free temporary Park & Ride spots, we remove all signage restrictions where possible. However, these do not do not include parking in front of fire hydrants or driveways. Please obey all traffic regulations.
  • We haven’t really seen any additional utilization at the Front Street Park & Ride in New Westminster. Police are patrolling that lot as they are patrolling all our temporary Park & Ride spots in Surrey. Cost is $6 between 6am and 6pm and $2 between 6pm and 6am.
  • A reminder that the City of Surrey has opened nearly 500 free temporary park and ride spaces in addition to existing facilities:
    • 176th St. and 63rd Ave. (Cloverdale Fairgrounds). An express bus will run to King George SkyTrain Station 5:30-8:30am and 3:30-6:30pm.
    • Along 110th Ave. near Scott Road Station
    • Near 103rd Ave. on West Whalley Ring Road near Surrey Central Station
    • Also, opening Friday, Jan. 23, at Hilton Rd. & Grosvenor in Surrey, near 108th Avenue and convenient to the “belt loop” bus; walking distance (3-4 blocks) from Gateway Station.
    • Also new! Available Friday morning for the duration of the bridge closure (425 spaces): Home Depot site at Scott Road station – approximately 175 paved parking spaces and 250 grass lot spaces.
    • South Surrey Park and Ride has an extra 10 available as well.

We encourage people to pre-buy their tickets when possible. You can purchase discounted books of ten FareSavers for one, two or three-zone travel at most major grocery stores and at other retail locations around the Lower Mainland. (Try our online FareDealer location tool to find the FareDealer nearest you!)

As well, developing these alternate services has been a combined effort of the various teams that make transit services run in Metro Vancouver: planning and scheduling, service delivery, vehicle maintenance, security and customer service.

More information – including a detailed description of the “belt loop” route, locations of park and rides around Metro Vancouver and locations of bike storage facilities at SkyTrain stations – can be found at the TransLink website or by calling Customer Information at (604) 953-3333.

As always, thank you to everyone for for your patience and understanding through this. Remember, you can also check out our Customer Alerts page or the Youtube info stream for more info.

Main Street public art program has its official launch

In the midst of all this Pattullo news, I just wanted to mention that our first Main Street public art project had its official launch last Saturday. I put together the video above and the post below to showcase some of the sights and sounds from the launch, which was held at Vivo Media Arts Centre on Main Street.

Read more »

Pattullo Bridge update – 9 a.m. Thursday

(Video above is of Tom Prendergast, our CEO, and Sheri Plewes, our VP of Planning and Capital Management, making the announcement yesterday at 2pm about the plan to fix the Pattullo Bridge.)

The news this morning is that Cloverdale Fair Grounds is offering 360 Park & Ride spots for those affected by the Pattullo Bridge closure. The temporary parking stalls are provided free of charge at the Cloverdale Fair Grounds (62nd Avenue & Hwy 15) until the Pattullo re-opens.

CMBC, together with the City of Surrey, will also start a temporary express bus service between the Cloverdale Fair Grounds and King George SkyTrain station for the duration of the Pattullo Bridge closure. Regular fares apply (see the fares section of the TransLink website for fare information, including more on the time- and money-saving FareSaver tickets).

Starting at 5:30 am each morning, the express buses will run from Cloverdale to King George every 20 minutes during the morning rush, with the last bus departing the fair grounds at 8:30. During the afternoon rush, the express buses will pick up passengers from King George starting at 3:30pm, with the last bus departing for the Cloverdale Fair Grounds at 6:30pm.

The exact schedule is as follows:

  • Start Cloverdale in the AM from 62 Ave.@ 176 St. at the following times: 5:30, 5:50, 6:10, 6:30, 6:50, 7:10, 7:30, 7:50, 8:10, with last westbound bus at 8:30.
  • Start King George station in the PM from Bay #3 on E Whalley Ring Road at the following times: 3:30, 3:50, 4:10, 4:30, 4:50, 5:10, 5:30, 5:50,6:10 and last eastbound bus is at 6:30.

If you should miss the last bus to Cloverdale, please turn back to Surrey Central SkyTrain and catch the 320 Langley, which leaves from Surrey Central Bay #2 at 6:50, 7:20 and 7:50 pm.

Updates for the transit system:

SKYTRAIN

  • is running every available car to add capacity
  • is using “turnback” trains both at Broadway AND at Scott Road, to accommodate additional customers from Surrey

BUSES

  • South Surrey Park & Ride is pretty well full – the new Cloverdale Park & Ride described above would be a good alternative.
  • #388, which normally goes over the Alex Fraser Bridge to 22nd St. Station in New Westminster, is only going as far as Scott Road Station. Customers can transfer to and from SkyTrain there.
  • #340, which also uses the Alex Fraser Bridge, is still using that bridge.

Looking ahead to the afternoon commute, you may want to leave work earlier — or later — than usual.

And as always, thank you to everyone for for your patience and understanding through this. Remember, you can also check out our Customer Alerts page or the Youtube info stream for more info.

A picture of the Pattullo Bridge replacement piece

ere's the Canada Line bridge piece that will be used to repair the Pattullo. Photo courtesy of Surespan Construction!

Here's the Canada Line bridge piece that will be used to repair the Pattullo. Photo courtesy of Surespan Construction!

If you hadn’t heard, we’re fixing the Pattullo Bridge with a piece from the old Canada Line construction. Judging from the photo’s file name, it was located at 25th and Cambie. Check out the full story of the bridge repairs here!