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This is how to take public transit (bus) from Vancouver to Victoria and back

Don’t let the lack of a car stop you from exploring our beautiful capital city, Victoria, this summer because you can easily take public transit to get there! You can visit Tourism Victoria‘s website for all the city has to offer.

In total, the trip from Vancouver to Victoria will take you about four hours, so plan accordingly whether you’d like to do a day trip or spend an entire weekend there. You’ll be riding with BC Transit, BC Ferries and TransLink, so there will be three separate fares.

Check list before you go

  • A face covering for all styles of transportation
  • $5 in coins for your BC Transit fare – $2.50 in coins to pay the fare for the bus ride from the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to downtown Victoria, and another $2.50 for the return trip. Alternatively, you can purchase a BC Transit DayPASS for $5 for unlimited travel for the entire day on any route! You can find all fare details at bctransit.com/victoria.
  • Your TransLink fare, which varies depending on how many zones you travel. You can easily estimate your fare on our website.
    • For a trip from downtown Vancouver, it’s a two zone fare, which means you’ll need a Compass Card with at least $6.90 in Stored Value, or $8.50 in cash to cover a return trip.

Read more »

15 years of the low-floor trolleybus in Metro Vancouver

Trolleybuses have been a part of Metro Vancouver’s transportation network for more than 70 years!

The very first was a Canadian Car Brill T-44 , which hit the roads on August 16, 1948, after the streetcar network was decommissioned in a “rails-to-rubber” conversion.

Like all other buses at the time, it was a high-floor bus, which meant you had to walk up a flight of stairs to board. As the fleet renewed and expanded over the years, they were all high-floor buses because the low floor, which is common today, didn’t exist.

It all changed on July 20, 2005 – 15 years ago – we were handed the keys to a prototype low-floor trolleybus at Stanley Park.

Read more »

Bus operator wrangles geese away from busy intersection in Vancouver

Photo: Mathew Bond

If you’d told bus operator Kelly Podlubny he’d be escorting a gaggle of geese across the busy intersection of Main and Terminal during his shift on July 6, he wouldn’t have believed you.

In a video posted to Twitter by Mathew Bond, a District of North Vancouver councillor, that has gone viral with more than 10,500 views, Kelly is seen clapping his hands to herd the geese away. Read more »

All buses begin operating out of the Lonsdale Quay Exchange again

Lonsdale Quay Exchange, picture of the Seabus Terminal

The upgrades to the Lonsdale Quay Exchange are almost complete! Starting on Monday, June 22, all buses will begin operating out of the Lonsdale Quay Exchange.

The entire bus island has been upgraded and is now complete. This means that the temporary stops along Carrie Cates will no longer be required and customers can now catch and disembark their buses inside of the loop. Read more »

The print Buzzer turns 104 years old!

🎉The print Buzzer is turning 104 today🎉

The Buzzer turning 104

The first publication of the Buzzer was released on June 2, 1916.

Throughout the years, the print Buzzer has informed generations of readers about exciting transit news and developments in Metro Vancouver.

From the opening of the Patullo Bridge in 1937 and the launch of trolley buses 11 years later to the launch of the Expo Line in 1986, our readers were updated and entertained one fold at the time!

The first print Buzzer was published on June 2, 1916, and was originally distributed on the hydro-electric streetcars that made up public transportation in Vancouver. The publication was launched to help streetcars compete with jitneys, private citizens who patrolled streetcar routes and offered rides for five cents. By informing the riders about public transport, the hope was that people would be more encouraged to use the streetcars.

streetcar in early 1920s -1940s

Two-car streetcar “trains” ran on main Vancouver routes from 1927 to the late 1940s

An interesting fact – the first publication did not have a name! It was the riders of trams and streetcars, who coined the name by endearingly referring to the publication “our dear Buzzer”.

As one of the oldest publications in the province, the Buzzer has changed companies, themes, mastheads and editors. Its goal of the publication always stayed the same however- to deliver informative and fun transit and community related tidbits to our riders.

old versions of the Buzzer since 1910s

How the Buzzer changed since 1910s

 

Are you interested to see how the Buzzer looked like back in the day? Check out our comprehensive archive that dates back to the early 1900s. You’ll also want to checkout our 100th birthday edition of the Buzzer for a great look at how transportation and the publication has changed over the years.

As we’re facing challenges due to COVID-19 we’re looking into the future for the print Buzzer. We’d love to know you thoughts. What do you like/dislike about print Buzzer and are there changes you’d make to it? Leave a comments and tell us what you think!

Go By Bike Week: mapping your route and the “slow” streets movement

Cyclists on Hornby Street in Vancouver

While transit ridership is down in most cities around the globe you might have noticed more people out walking, cycling and breathing in the fresh air!

In the latest in our series to support HUB Cycling’s Go By Bike Week, we take a look some of the changes to streets happening locally and around the world, as well as some trip planning tools and recommended routes to make sure you can get around Metro Vancouver actively and safely.

Is it me or have I been seeing lots of people out walking and cycling?

It’s not just you! While active commuting trips and commuting trips of all types have decreased during the pandemic, recreational cycling trips are up significantly in cities like Vancouver (an 85 per cent increase during March).

Similar increases have been seen across the globe — in Beijing, New York and London — as people look to stay active, commute to work were needed, and take important mental health and physical activity breaks.

Parks in B.C. have witnessed a 62 per cent increase in visitations in May while in the Lower Mainland, Metro Vancouver parks are seeing similar activity with a 67 per cent increase to the end of April 2020.

What’s happening to streets around Metro Vancouver and the globe?

Now you might have been hearing terms like “COVID streets,” “summer streets” or “slow streets.” Local, federal and global physical distancing regulations have sparked conversation around reallocating more road, park and sidewalk space for people to walk, cycle, roll, sit and queue safely. With traffic decreasing during the pandemic, that’s meant cities around the world have moved to turn car lanes into active transportation lanes.

Cities such as Vancouver (50km of slow streets), Oakland, California (119km of slow streets), Portland, Oregon (slow/safe streets at 160 locations), Milan (35km of Strade Aperte [open roads]) and Paris (50km converted bike streets and 30 pedestrianized streets) have reacted rapidly to re-allocate space for cars, to people.

Locally, the City of Vancouver has launched its Room to Move, Room to Queue and Room to Load initiative, installing new routes that prioritize walking, cycling and rolling to make it easier for people to exercise and access businesses in their local neighbourhood.

The city has closed the eastbound lanes on Beach Avenue to all vehicles from Stanley Park to Hornby Street, as well as closing Stanley Park to all vehicles (excluding the Stanley Park Causeway/Highway 99).

To find out more about these developing changes visit the city’s temporary road closures and changes during COVID-19 page, have a read of their FAQs on Slow Streets, or email the city directly: slowstreets@vancouver.ca

What are some things to keep in mind when planning my bike trip?

TransLink recommends using routes with dedicated cycling infrastructure separated from motor vehicles, such as bike lanes, as much as possible. To map out your cycling route, there are a few tools we recommend.

1. Visit TransLink’s Cycling Maps page to view several major TransLink-funded cycleways running parallel to SkyTrain routes.

2. Use Google Maps for trip planning and the estimated time it will take you, but please be mindful, particularly beginner cyclists, that Google Maps does not always recommend the safest cycling routes or take new and existing protected infrastructure into account. If you want to make sure you’re accessing cycling routes for all ages and abilities, please check out these other trip planning platforms:

3. Vancouver Bike Route Planner allows you to filter for “bike routes” and “safer” bike routes as well as a full list of SkyTrain stations, Mobi Bike Share stations and elevation gains.

4. Bikemaps.org is a useful mapping tool that also allows you to filter through new cycling infrastructure, collisions reports, hazards and bike thefts.

5. Bike Citizens Vancouver Did you know that nearly half of all trips under 5 km in Metro Vancouver are made by car? Many of these trips for groceries, prescriptions, and other essentials can easily be done by bicycle. In fact, running errands by bike for trips of this distance is often faster and more convenient than driving. Bicycles are one of the most efficient forms of transport so if you want to SEE how far you can go on a city bike, road bike or mountain bike over 5, 10, 15, and 30-minute increments, check out this handy mapping tool. You might be surprised!

What are other cities in Metro Vancouver doing to open streets?

For a full list of temporary streets changes during COVID please visit your municipality’s website for the most recent updates. In the meantime, here are a few that have been confirmed in the Lower Mainland:

New Westminster

  • McInnes Overpass – Closed the northbound vehicle lane to vehicles, opening it to pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Sixth Avenue – reallocated some curbside parking spaces on Sixth Street (near Sixth Avenue) to a place where pedestrians can wait for the traffic lights to change and pass one another on the sidewalk.
  • Central Valley GW – Closing a southbound curb lane on East Columbia Street / North Rd north of Hume Park to motor vehicles to improve conditions for people walking and cycling along the Central Valley Greenway.

City of North Vancouver

  • Grand Boulevard – Converted road space west between Keith and 19th and Grand Boulevard between 19th and 23rd (these routes are also appropriate for commuting traffic to and from Lynn valley to central Lonsdale).
  • Proposed – All local neighbourhood routes with low traffic volumes (St Andrews, 17th, 4th, 27th and Sutherland)
    • Esplanade, Lonsdale with focus at the intersections of 13th, 15th, 17th streets.
    • Existing bike routes that do not facilitate passing with physical distance without taking the vehicle travel lane: 3rd and 15th streets, 1st/2nd Street west of 3rd, East and West Keith, 13th Street.

Maple Ridge

  • Proposed
    • 123 St Avenue between 203 St to Laity St
    • 227 St between Brown Avenue and Abernethy Way

Port Moody

  • Recommended Routes
    • Neighbourhood bike routes: George Street, Glenayre Drive, Glencoe Drive, Ailsa Drive, College Park Way, Washington, Princeton Ave, Harvard Drive, as well as the Shoreline Trail (some portions are one way only).

Richmond

  • Bayview Street – Established temporary walkway in Steveston Village along the south side of (No. 1 Road-Third Avenue) that provides additional space for safe distancing.
  • Garry Point Park – Implemented one-way walking routes in Garry Point Park in
  • Other recommended routes – Railway Greenway, Railway Ave (Granville Ave-Moncton St), Crabapple Ridge Neighbourhood Bike Route, Granville Ave (Railway Ave-Garden City Road), Parkside Neighbourhood Bike Route, Shell Road Trail (Hwy 99 Overpass-Steveston Hwy)
  • Perimeter Dyke Trails: South Dyke, West Dyke, Middle Arm

Surrey

  • Proposed
    • Surrey reports a 40% decrease in traffic volumes and is exploring 7-8 ‘recreational’ cycling routes around the city to connect to civic facilities, parks and close roads around parks to create loops.

UBC

  • Proposed
    • North West Marine Drive

City of Vancouver

  • Stanley Park – close to cars (some exceptions apply)
  • Beach Avenue – Eastbound lane closed to vehicles on Beach Ave (including Park Lane) from Stanley Park to Hornby St.
  • From May 22, Vancouver is added a further 12km of Slow Streets. Visit the website for more information.

Author: James Ranson

A sneak peek at the redesigned bus transfers for community shuttle buses

The new bus transfer customers will receive on community shuttle buses starting on June 1.

Starting Monday, June 1, fare collection and front-door boarding resumes on all buses, and seating restrictions will be eased. Customers who ride a bus route that’s operated by a community shuttle will also see a redesigned bus transfer if they’re paying by cash.

What’s new?

  • New transfers use a colour and icon system to show the day the transfer can be used. Our old transfers printed each date on the ticket.
  • There are five colours and five symbols that will alternate each day.
  • They are also reusable. Using symbols instead of dates allows us to reuse transfers that aren’t distributed each day, reducing waste across the system.

What’s the same?

They’ll work just like the current paper transfers on community shuttle buses.

Operators will provide customers who pay their fare with coins, bills or FareSavers, with a new transfer tickets that’s cut to indicate a time 90 minutes in the future. The ticket then becomes a “flash pass” for transfers to other shuttles and regular, conventional buses. That means you won’t need to insert the transfer into the farebox — just show it to the operator. As usual, please have an exact fare.

Just like before, customers who are planning to transfer to SkyTrain, West Coast Express or the SeaBus should consider using a Compass Card or Tap to Pay with a contactless credit card as the paper bus transfers don’t open the faregates. As well, a reminder if you’re paying by cash, we recommend you keep paying with exact change as the fare boxes don’t dispense it.

The current bus transfers issued on community shuttle buses.

Why the change?

While we continue to replace and expand our fleet, we needed a solution for our end-of-life fareboxes.

Last year, we transitioned our Community Shuttle fleet to “mechanical” fareboxes. In July, the same fareboxes will start appearing on our regular, conventional buses too, replacing the “electronic” fareboxes. Soon, our whole fleet will be rocking this back-to-the-future-style machine.

The paper transfers we currently use on our Community Shuttle fleet won’t work with our conventional fleet, so, we developed a new paper transfer ticket compatible with both fleets (pictured right/above).

The bus transfers from the 1990s before the switch to the “magnetic strip” transfers in 2001.

COVID-19 transit safety tip

Customers are reminded to consider travelling outside of busy times if they can and to stay home when unwell. We’re recommending customers to wear a face covering when riding transit. Non-medical masks, bandanas, scarves and cloth can all be used. Please maintain physical distance from other passengers and transit staff when possible and follow our physical distancing markers where outlined. To reduce the risks caused by the pandemic, we installed new temporary barriers on our bus fleet. There will be a slot in the barrier for our operators to safely hand cash paying customers their paper transfer.

Bus fare collection set to resume June 1

Bus operator barrier with a temporary plexiglass extension installed.

Upgrades and installation of barriers allow for safe fare collection

Beginning June 1, front-door boarding and fare collection will resume on all buses. Temporary plexiglass extension barriers are being added to conventional buses currently equipped with traditional operator barriers. Vinyl barriers will be installed on the remainder of the fleet.

“We’ve managed to find an innovative solution which ensures the safety of our bus operators, while also allowing for safe fare collection,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We’ve already started to procure materials and install the barriers on our fleet, with an expectation that this process will be complete by June.”

Given current ridership levels, it is estimated that approximately $2 million per month will be collected by resuming fare collection on the bus system. TransLink is losing around $75 million each month due to several factors, including significant reductions in ridership and fuel tax revenue.

Timing for service reductions

TransLink is also advising customers that previously announced bus route suspensions and frequency reductions will come into effect on May 18th. This will see 41 routes suspended, in addition to the 18 routes which were suspended in April, and six suspended in early May. Frequency will be reduced on most remaining bus routes.

We ask customers to only travel on transit during peak hours if necessary, so space is available for essential service workers. For more information, visit translink.ca/servicechanges.

Vinyl barrier for buses.

 

The spring 2020 edition of The Buzzer is now online

Perhaps a little known fact is your community managers on TransLink’s social media channels also write for the print edition of The Buzzer that you find onboard buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express, HandyDART and more!

We proudly carry on this legacy that spans more than 100 years.

Cover of the first issue of The Buzzer

The very first issue of The Buzzer, ever.

The Buzzer was the brainchild of George Kidd, general manager of British Columbia Electric Railway, which operated Metro Vancouver’s streetcar network.

It was designed as a strategic weapon in a long-forgotten battle between streetcars and “jitney” operators — private citizens who patrolled streetcar routes and offered rides for five cents. The newsletter would promote the use of streetcars by keeping people informed about service and fostering rider loyalty.

The first issue was published on June 2, 1916 and distributed on the streetcars that made up public transportation in Metro Vancouver at the time. It was titled, “Wanted – A Name” and offered to pay $15 for the best suggestion, $10 for the second best and $5 for the third best. Big money in the days when a streetcar ride was five cents.

Of course, the next issue announced the winning name: The Buzzer! In total, 11 people submitted the winning name. The second place name was “Current Comments” and in third was “Between The Lines.”

Jitney service was abolished about two years later in July 1918, but The Buzzer continued. It has become a mainstay of public transit in Metro Vancouver, remaining a constant no matter how much transit itself has changed, to keep customers informed about quarterly service changes.

Cover of the spring 2020 issue of The Buzzer

The spring 2020 issue of The Buzzer

There’s about a month’s lead time for The Buzzer, so it was complete before physical distancing measures were implemented on transit and most people transitioned to working from home.

That’s why we’ve decided to bring you the spring issue of The Buzzer this month, online only, and there’s no Monthly Pass contest.

This issue’s front cover illustration is from artist Chris von Szombathy of the new 222 Willingdon Express and R2 Marine Dr RapidBus.

Inside, we cover off Spring Service Changes — which started on April 6, cellular connectivity in the SkyTrain tunnels, how you can send your online orders to SkyTrain stations, the third platform at Stadium–Chinatown Station, the voice of SkyTrain announcements and an update on the SkyTrain Customer Communications Upgrades project.

Read it here!

Helping those helping us: a bus operator doing what he can

Noor Khan has been a bus operator for 13 years. He’s always seen his job as being essential to keeping the region moving but these days he’s seeing, more than ever, just how important his job is, “I will say it’s a critical service because it’s taking those people around who are doing essential services,” said Noor Khan of public transit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The other day I was driving the 375 bus which goes to a White Rock hospital and there were about 10-12 people on board, and I dropped off two or three nurses at the hospital.” He also dropped off a nurse to a care home on that drive, as well as others working at essential businesses.

Noor works in Surrey, out of Surrey Transit Centre, but never really has the same route – “Surrey usually is interlinked; usually you’re doing different routes, even in the same day.” Even when the routes would change, the buses would be full but for the last few weeks the buses are emptying out to help maintain physical distancing to stay safe on transit amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every job is like you’re accomplishing something,” said Noor about driving buses for TransLink. “But in this job, you come across people who are really in need of this service – whether they don’t have a car, want to commute for financial and environmental reasons, or are students.”

The safety of his bus is also something Noor is appreciative of. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, TransLink has upped it’s safety measures to keep services clean and workers safe. Buses like Noor drives, for example, are cleaned daily and disinfected weekly.

“You can smell that, driving the bus you are able to smell that it’s been cleaned and properly sanitized,” said Noor.

In addition, TransLink implemented measures such as limited seating and rear-door boarding to better enforce physical distancing.

“Everybody’s conscious enough to not go out there just for fun, when someone is getting a bus, even if you can’t tell, they have some essential work to do,” said Noor.

“When I sit in a bus and drive, I realize there are some people that have important work to do,” said Noor. Khan and the rest of the TransLink staff are there to make sure that essential workers get to where they must be.

 

Bus operator embraces helping the community out

Bryan Stebbings has been a bus operator with Coast Mountain Bus Company for nearly four years. (Photo: Josh Neufeld Photography)

“I’m just so thankful that I get to, first, help out my community as much as I can, but also for my family, I get to continue to come to work.”

Those are the words of Bryan Stebbings, a bus operator with Coast Mountain Bus Company. He’s one of myriad dedicated transit staff on the frontlines ensuring the region can keep moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan operates the 7 Nanaimo Stn / Dunbar and 9 Boundary / Commercial–Broadway / Granville / Alma / UBC routes. The 9 route travels along Broadway, passing by the Fairview neighbourhood that’s home to Vancouver General Hospital and a cluster of healthcare institutions, so it’s no surprise many of his customers are healthcare workers.

He’s embracing this important role transporting these frontline workers and others such as grocery clerks, janitors and other transit staff who depend on transit to get to work. There’s also those who need transit for essential travel to pick up groceries and medication.

“Well, it makes you feel good,” says Bryan, who has been an operator for nearly four years. “There’s a purpose behind my work. It makes you want to get up, go out there, serve my community and get these people to the places they need to be to help us out.”

Transit staff like Bryan are also among the people on the frontlines and we’ve taken steps to protect them.

Buses have temporarily moved to rear-door boarding for most passengers, while customers who need mobility assistance can still use the front doors if needed. The red line, which customers have to stay behind, has been moved further back from its usual spot to allow greater physical distancing.

“Loading from the back door has really helped us out,” says Bryan. “I think that was so important to implement, and then obviously getting that six feet from the red line being moved back another few feet so the general public doesn’t really enter your space too much.”

The bus company has also accelerated the installation of operator protection barriers, which was already underway after a successful two-year pilot in 2017. In addition to daily cleaning schedules, we’re spraying all buses with a disinfectant weekly. This week, we began limiting seating on buses to allow for extra space between customers.

Bryan operates the 7 Nanaimo Stn / Dunbar and 9 Boundary / Commercial–Broadway / Granville / Alma / UBC routes.

While Bryan embraces helping the community out during this time, it’s being reciprocated by the community. SPARKMOUTH, a local tonic and sparkling water producer, reached out to TransLink to donate their beverage to transit staff.

“We at SPARKMOUTH want to sincerely call out and thank all of you at TransLink that are not able to stay at home because you are out supporting essential services for the rest of us,” says Jackie Fox, vice president of sales and marketing at the company, in a letter to transit staff.

“We recognize that you, on the frontlines, are keeping this region moving, and we appreciate and salute the work you do to help all of us during this challenging time.”

The sparkling water beverages will be distributed to transit staff like Bryan in the coming days.

Donated SPARKMOUTH sparkling water beverages will be distributed to transit staff like Bryan in the coming days. Thank you to SPARKMOUTH!

Special thanks to Josh Neufeld Photography

TransLink limits bus seating to promote physical distancing

Beginning from next week, TransLink will be limiting seating on buses in Metro Vancouver to enhance physical distancing measures.

  • Roughly half the seats on board buses will have signage installed to indicate that those seats are to be left vacant, which will allow for extra space between customers.
  • If the new seated capacity is reached, bus operators will not make any further stops to collect passengers, who will have to wait for the next bus.

Given declining ridership is resulting in far fewer passengers on the system, we don’t expect these changes will impact travel times on the majority of bus routes. That being said, commuters who use busier routes should consider building in additional travel time and consider their need to travel, particularly during rush hours.

This comes in addition to the physical distancing measures currently in place across our system:

  • Customers are being asked to board buses using the rear doors where possible as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers needing mobility assistance can still use the front doors if required.
  • Given we are not able to collect all fares at the rear doors, including cash fares, TransLink is suspending fare collection on the bus system and HandyDART.
  • We have launched an education campaign promoting hygiene and asking customers to allow extra space for fellow passengers when on board transit.
  • Customers will not be able to use seats close to crew on SeaBus vessels.
  • Coast Mountain Bus company is accelerating installation of operator protection barriers on all of its buses.  Nearly 700 buses currently have barriers installed.
  • Due to the physical distancing required by health authorities in BC, bus operators will not be able to assist our wheelchair customers with being strapped in a front-facing position on our conventional buses. Those with mobility devices on buses that have a rear facing accessible seat will be able to park in the designated area themselves and secure their device. This is the case for most buses. For buses that do not have this area (e.g. highway coaches, Community Shuttle) customers with mobility devices will need to travel with someone who can assist them or find an alternate mode of travel.

Public transit remains crucial for thousands of essential service workers in the region, including those in the healthcare sector. We would like to make sure that those who rely on transit are able to use our system and get to their destinations safely.

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.

River District and North Shore Express to Metrotown bus routes approved

The new 31 and 222 bus routes start operating on April 6, 2020.

Two new major bus routes have been approved to serve residents in Vancouver’s East Fraser Lands (the River District), the North Shore, and Burnaby. Beginning April 6, the new services will connect North Shore and River District residents directly to the SkyTrain at Metrotown Station.

New routes:

31 River District/Metrotown – A new service operating between Metrotown Station and the River District. This new route will serve the River District’s growing levels of residential and commercial development by providing a direct bus connection to SkyTrain.

222 Willingdon Express – This new route provides an express service connecting Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver to Metrotown in Burnaby via Willingdon Avenue. This will be a limited-stop service with only six stops on the entire route. It will serve key transit hubs such as Phibbs Exchange, the Kootenay Bus Loop, Brentwood Town Centre SkyTrain Station, BCIT, and Metrotown. The demand for this route was identified as part of the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project (INSTPP).

Both routes were accepted as part of the 2019 Transit Network Review – which consults on new ways to optimize the transit system for customers. The full Transit Network Review consulted on proposed changes to 12 routes last year, and these are the first two to have their proposals implemented. These and other transit expansion projects are funded through the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision.

Engagement results:

In total, there were 4,000 surveys completed for the two new routes. Nearly 80 per cent of respondents said they would be likely to use the Willingdon Express, and two-thirds of respondents said they would be likely to use the River District service.

More information:

Transit Network Review

TransLink reveals bus fleet electrification plan, requests Mayors’ Council endorsement

TransLink is asking the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to support its updated Low Carbon Fleet Strategy, which puts the region on the path to converting all buses to zero emissions technology by 2050. Metro Vancouver can make significant progress over the next decade by replacing 50 per cent of the diesel and natural gas fleet with clean, zero-emissions battery electric models.

The Low Carbon Fleet Strategy calls for investments in several key areas:

  • Procurement of up to 635 battery electric buses to replace diesel and diesel-hybrid fleet
  • Installation of charging infrastructure on-route and at depots
  • Construction of BC’s first fully electric capable bus depot

TransLink will require $95 million to $447 million in new funding over the next ten years to proceed with the strategy. The amount of funding required is dependent on which approach the Mayors’ Council chooses; cautious, progressive or aggressive. This ambitious plan is unfunded and requires significant support from senior governments.

“Transitioning the bus fleet to zero-emissions technology is an essential step toward breaking the region’s dependence on fossil fuels,” according to TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “This strategy sets out a bold course that will eventually allow us to provide 100% green public transportation.”

TransLink is recommending that the Mayors’ Council endorse this phase of the Low Carbon Fleet Strategy and direct staff to start finalizing the plan.