Translink Buzzer Blog

Why are TransLink buses green now?

TransLink Green New Flyer Bus

As these new buses arrive, we’ll put them into service on the existing network

Hey Metro Vancouver! As some of you might have noticed, new buses have been arriving to the fleet only, they look a little different than existing buses!

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#MyTransLink – November 20

Creativity is abound in this edition of #MyTransLink. From land, sea and sky our ever-prepared transit photographers once again capture the breathtaking beauty that this region holds. If you’re new here, #MyTransLink is our weekly commuter photo series comprised of pictures taken by you, our customers, neighbours and transit enthusiasts in and around Metro Vancouver. This series has been running for nearly a year and has captured a wide range of shots from every corner of this region.

Scroll to through the shots on this page and see what our riders see each and every day on their commutes. And don’t forget to check the bottom of this post to see who our random winner is this week!

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Another improvement on the way for the BC Parkway

An example of a retaining wall along the BC Parkway near Patterson Station.

Over the past few years, we’ve made a number of investments to improve and maintain the BC Parkway, a multi-use path that roughly parallels the the SkyTrain’s Expo Line. It’s an important way for us to reach our long-term cycling goals for the region!

We’re excited to announce that work has begun to replace a retaining wall along the BC Parkway in south Burnaby between London Street and Southpoint Drive. To ensure the safety of all BC Parkway users, a detour route is in place until December 2018 while we complete this work.

Cyclists traveling through the area should add approximately 10 to 15 minutes to their commute. Check out map below for detour information (you can click to enlarge it!). Maps and signs are also installed along the route to help direct pedestrians and cyclists. We thank everyone for their patience while this work is done.

It’s all part of TransLink’s Maintenance and Repair Program, our annual investment in repairing, replacing and improving aging infrastructure across the system to keep customers safe, comfortable and moving across a reliable transit network every day.

The BC Parkway is a 26-kilometre, multi-use path that roughly parallels the SkyTrain’s Expo Line, connecting Surrey’s city centre, New Westminster, south Burnaby, and Vancouver.

Donate a blanket! Drive on the Line is back and needs YOUR help

Gregory Ould heads BlanketBC and his kids volunteer to help collect blankets for those in need

When Gregory Ould offered a blanket to a homeless man back in 2005, he didn’t realize he was about to change his life’s focus.

Ould is the co-founder, along with his son Ben, of BlanketBC Society, an organization based in Mission that collects and distributes blankets to those in need.

Ould is a Canada Line Attendant and his organization has collected over 400,000 blankets to date!

This year, BlanketBC’s ‘Drive on the Line’ celebrates 10 years of changing lives and bringing warmth to people blanket by blanket.

North America’s largest blanket drive, this two-day donation initiative involves over 175 blanketeers ranging from individuals to families to corporate and sporting teams.

These volunteers collect blankets from our customers and the public at eight stations from downtown Vancouver to Richmond.

If you’d like to donate, you can head to:

  • Waterfront Station
  • Yaletown/Roundhouse
  • Vancouver City
  • Broadway/City Hall
  • Oakridge/41st
  • Marine Drive
  • Bridgeport, and
  • Lansdowne

Donations accepted are: socks, scarves, mittens, toques, and of course – blankets. All donated items are divided up and distributed to over 100 shelter programs and organizations that work directly with society’s most impoverished individuals and families throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island.

BlanketBC requests that you ensure the items you donate are clean.

Last year’s blanket drive successfully collected over 6200 blankets, 1200 articles of clothing and over $7600! Every year, the goal is to collect over 10,000 blankets.

For more information, or to volunteer, please visit the BlanketBC website, or contact Gregory Ould.

Author: Tanushree Pillai

#MyTransLink – November 13

Clear blue skies and brisk, chilly mornings make up this shoulder season, where fall meets winter.

Each week, we put a call out to Metro Vancouverites, tourists, and transit fans alike to capture your favourite moments on and around transit in our region. The photos you submit via social media using the hashtag #MyTransLink make up this series. So snap, tag and share and you might wind up like our lucky random winner (below), and get your hands on some TransLink swag!

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#skytrain @translinkbc #mytranslink

A post shared by Marvin H (@marvman90) on

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Transit-friendly fantastic Phở and more places in Metro Vancouver

Did you know there are two styles of Phở?

A piping hot bowl of Phở sounds quintessential of rainy Vancouver evenings, or rather late nights. This simple beef noodle soup – traditionally, but you can also get different kinds of stock – from Vietnam has come to be its most-prized culinary assets.

In fact, this humble dish even had Vietnamese poet Tu Mo wax eloquent about it in his poem, ‘An Ode to Phở’. This flavoursome mix of beef bones, charred onion and ginger, spices that include star anise, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom and coriander – all used to make the slow-cooked broth that defines Phở – is the epitome of egalitarianism. The Phở brings the rich and poor together. Period.

Did you know there are two styles of Phở?  Phở bac, which is Phở from the northern regions of Vietnam, is made quite differently from how Phở is prepared in southern Vietnam (Phở Sài Gòn). The northern-style broth is traditional and simple with wider noodles, while the one from the south is somewhat sweeter, with lots of herbs, and even hoisin and chilli sauce. An important takeaway – not all Vietnamese-noodle-in-hot-broth-in-a-bowl dishes are Phở!

And since Metro Vancouver has so many fantastic Phở and more places, we thought we’d list some of those that are easily accessible by transit. Why? Because, we love all things transit, and we sure love us some Phở – Phở-real!

Let us know in the comments below which one is your favourite Vietnamese restaurant!

Note: Restaurant timings, locations, and prices may be subject to change. Check each restaurant’s website for exact details. 

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Now showing: award-winning public artwork at Joyce–Collingwood station!

Have you checked out this amazing artwork at Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain station yet?

We have some news to share!

For those of you who board/alight the Expo Line at Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain station, a new piece of public art has probably drawn your attention.

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#MyTransLink – November 6

It’s that time of week again, where we bring you a curated look at transit in and around our region. If you’re visiting for the first time, #MyTransLink is a weekly commuter photo series brought to you by, well… YOU! That’s right, #MyTransLink features shots of transit around Metro Vancouver taken by our readers, customers, and transit enthusiasts alike.

So, without further ado, scroll down to see our favourite shots from the weeks that were and check out who our random prize winner is!

 

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Get yours today! … Date: 05 11 2018 Camera: Huawei P20 #myTransLink #TransLink #LestWeForget #Compass

A post shared by Jeff Yu (@buizelbus) on

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Meet Laureen: Your evergreen SkyTrain voice lady

It’s been nearly two decades since Laureen came on board

Hop on a SkyTrain and you’ll hear a woman’s voice on the public address system, telling you what line you’ve boarded and what station is coming up next.

Well, that voice belongs to Laureen Regan, president of Regan Productions, a video production company in Calgary, Alberta.

She’s been the voice of the SkyTrain since 2001, when the Millennium Line opened and new station announcements were required. We brought her back again when the Canada Line and Evergreen Extension opened to record additional announcements.

In July this year, we brought Vancouver-born actor Seth Rogen as the guest voice on transit. Seth added to Laureen’s SkyTrain station name announcements and talked about etiquette on transit and entertained and educated our customers on priority seating, bags and feet on seats, and many more transit etiquette issues. He also had interesting nuggets to share about Vancouver. If you missed your chance to listen to them on the system, worry not, because we’ve put them up online!

Laureen Regan

It’s been nearly two decades since Laureen came on board, and she continues to be THE SkyTrain lady for us and our customers.

Regan heard her voice on the train system for the first time shortly after the Millennium Line began service.

“I took the train and I laughed,” she says. “It was so amazing to hear it—to sit there and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s my voice.’ You remembered when you recorded it. … And everybody has no idea, which makes you laugh.”

Regan came to be the voice of the SkyTrain through her connection to Interalia, another Calgary-based company.

Interalia makes automated voice systems, and knew Regan had done voice work for her own productions in the past. They asked her to do a demo voice for their system, which they were about to show to TransLink for the Millennium Line.

Then, when TransLink bought the Interalia system, Regan was asked to record the real announcements for the trains.

 

Recording wasn’t too tough.

“Millennium Line is hard to say, I’ve got to say,” she says. “But I don’t remember any of the names being particularly difficult. The challenge sometimes with recording for places you don’t know is that you may not know the proper pronunciation [of local names].”

It’s a challenge she’s faced again over the years.

Regan has also done voice work for the Salt Lake City train system and the BART trains in San Francisco, both through Interalia

The chance to do voice work like this has been a gift, she says.

“It’s not been something that I’ve planned—it just happened. I enjoy it every time I do voicing. I love it.”

Do you have a favourite SkyTrain announcement? Tell us which one!

Listen to the Podcast

Regan’s interview was conducted as part of The Buzzer blog podcast. Have a listen!

This post originally appeared in the October 10, 2008 issue of The Buzzer. 

#CanadaRemembers – honouring veterans with commemorative Compass Cards

Remembrance Day Compass Cards

The POPPY DESIGN is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under licence.

This Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

We are proud to launch two variations of a limited edition, commemorative Compass Card in honour of all Canadian veterans who have served our country.

Adult Compass Cards, adorned with an illustrated poppy design, will be available until supplies last in Compass Vending Machines at 25 SkyTrain stations across the system.

Look for the Remembrance Day-branded sign atop vending machines or contact Customer Information (604-953-3333) to find out where cards are still available.

They will also be available at Stadium–Chinatown Station’s Compass Customer Service and the West Coast Express office at Waterfront Station.

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Winter is coming! How TransLink prepares for wintry weather

Winter officially doesn’t arrive for another month-and-a-half, but at TransLink, customer safety is our number one priority. In anticipation of adverse winter weather conditions, our operating companies have plans in place to ensure service stays as reliable as possible for you.

We work expeditiously before and during winter to ensure our buses — including our trolleybus fleet — and SkyTrain all continue to run smoothly, so that we can get you home safe. But, as you know, sometimes traffic woes and slippery roads mean there are some inadvertent delays.

Read on to find out what this means for your winter commute.

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4 tips for a successful bike commute

The Canada Line bike bridge

Whether the weather, improving your health and the health and well-being of our communities, cost savings or just looking for a change, bike commuting is a great option for getting around Metro Vancouver. Part of being an organization focused on the effective movement of people and goods across our region means we are dedicated to thinking outside the box when it comes to transportation.

This means transit in our region isn’t just bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express, but also investing in cycling and cycling infrastructure like bike routes and bike parkades and bus bike racks, integration of apps to assist with multi-modal transportation, and opportunities to leverage car share partnerships to expand commuter’s point A to point B travel options.

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Goodbye and Thank You: Transit Police Sergeant Wendy Hawthorne to retire

Transit Police Sergeant Wendy Hawthorne started with the Metro Transit Security Service in early 1984 as a Transit Security Officer

On November 21, at the Canadian Urban Transit Association Conference in Toronto, Metro Vancouver Transit Police Sergeant Wendy Hawthorne will receive the 2018 Leadership Award in Excellence to acknowledge the benefits our transit system has gained thanks to her specialized expertise in graffiti on transit. We caught up with Wendy for an interview before she heads off into retirement at the end of this year.

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#MyTransLink – October 30

In case you missed it, this week is Fall Bike to Work Week! By default, here at TransLink we are passionate about public transport, moving people, and fostering a sustainable, livable region. Metro Vancouver is a cycle happy city where many residents rely more predominantly on two wheels than four.

That’s why it’s important that we, as an organization do what we can to foster multi-modal transportation. As you can see from this week’s #MyTransLink photos, there is no shortage of multi-modal travel around here! Scroll down to see our favourite shots from the weeks that were and check out who our random prize winner is!

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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