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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enter to win!

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

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

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

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

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

The rules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

RapidBus service launching on January 6:

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

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

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

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

Tactile and braille signage to be installed at bus stops across Metro Vancouver

TransLink Board approves $7 million for industry-leading accessibility program.

TransLink moves ahead with plans to implement an industry-leading program benefiting customers who are blind or partially sighted. Beginning in 2020, tactile and braille signage will be installed at every bus stop, and tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) at stations and bus exchanges – making TransLink one of the first transit authorities in North America to provide this level of information across the bus network.

“We are committed to making our transit system accessible for as many people as possible,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We know that a lot of our customers with vision loss rely on transit to get around the region and this is another example of the work we are doing for a very important community.”

The tactile and braille signage will be installed at approximately 8,500 bus stops with:

  • The unique five-digit bus stop ID number;
  • The words “STOP” or “BAY #” to identify the bus stop;
  • Route numbers; and
  • The customer service telephone number.

TransLink will also be looking at developing a wayfinding technology pilot that will help customers better navigate the system using data sent directly to a phone or tablet.

“It is important to understand that changing an environment actually lessens the affect of the disability,” says Rob Sleath, Member of the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee (UAC). “I applaud TransLink for being a leader and continuing to provide accessible public and custom transit services for people who need it most. Today marks a special milestone for our community.”

The work to test Universally Accessible Bus Stops first started in 2012 and included the installation of TWSI, tactile and braille at various bus stops including Joyce-Collingwood Station as part of a pilot project. Throughout the process, TransLink has consulted with representatives from the community through a wide-reaching survey and direct engagement with key stakeholders.

“The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation BC/Yukon are proud of the strides that TransLink is undertaking to become a leader in accessibility by making the investment to ensure that bus stops are equipped with the TWSI and the addition of braille and tactile signage,” says CNIB’s Executive Director Jennifer Yankanna.

Reindeer Bus lights up Metro Vancouver streets

The Reindeer Bus rolls into service today, continuing a beloved holiday tradition in Metro Vancouver. In addition to spreading Christmas cheer across the region – the red-nosed reindeer will deliver donated toys as part of the Toys for Tots initiative, which has been operating for more than three decades.

“The Reindeer Bus is one of our proud traditions,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Whether it’s the volunteer decorators, the operators behind the wheel, the passengers in the seats, or the kids on Christmas Day – the Reindeer Bus brings us all together and brings a smile to every street corner!”

Led by Coast Mountain Bus Company, the Reindeer Bus is equipped with an animated Christmas tree, responsive lighting, a flashing nose, holiday carols, and an inflatable Santa Claus to deliver season’s greetings. Read more »

TransLink proposes two new major bus routes

TransLink is inviting customers and neighbours to have their say on two proposed new bus routes serving North Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby. During this round of engagement, customers are invited to provide their feedback on: Read more »

The 160 bus: perfect for seniors

The 160 Port Coquitlam Station / Kootenay Loop bus is one of the most versatile routes in TransLink’s entire network. It connects communities and municipalities from Burnaby all the way to Port Coquitlam, allowing riders to cross three zones with a single tap.

One group that finds the 160 particularly helpful in their day-to-day lives is seniors, so we decided to take a group out on an expedition along the bus route, so they could show us how they use the route and tell us a little bit about what transit means to them. Read more »

More reasons to take the 160 bus: weekday, daytime offers!

If you’re here, you probably already know that TransLink provides one of the fastest, most convenient and affordable ways to zip around Metro Vancouver. We connect you to everything. Your errands, like grocery shopping and going to the pharmacy. Transit connects your social life, like restaurants and coffee shops. And your me-time, like exercise studios, parks and beaches. You can take transit to get anywhere and do anything – and one of our most versatile routes is the 160 Kootenay Loop / Port Coquitlam Station bus.

The 160 bus can take you from East Hastings Street in Vancouver all the way to downtown Port Coquitlam. Zoom through up to three zones with a single tap! Even if your destination is just a little further away, the 160 Bus connects you directly to the 95 B-Line into downtown Vancouver, as well as SkyTrain’s Millennium Line at Moody Centre, Inlet Centre, Lafarge Lake–Douglas, Lincoln and Coquitlam Central stations.

Along the route you’ll find everything you need for a productive day. The bus comes every 15 minutes during the daytime to ensure you’re never waiting too long to get moving. And since the 160 stops every few blocks, you’re never too far from your destination. It’s the next best thing to having a private driver to take you directly to where you’re headed. Once you’re on board, you’ll notice there’s plenty of space and plenty of seats, so you can settle in for a more comfortable ride.

If that’s not enough, there are five more great reasons to take the 160 bus. In partnership with some of the great cafés and restaurants along the route, we’re offering special deals when you show your Compass Card, Compass Ticket or bus transfer. Take advantage of these great offers with the 160 on weekdays, between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., until December 31, 2019.

So, stop thinking about traffic, parking, and all the hassles that come with it. Take the 160 bus to your destination – it’s your ticket to the neighbourhood!

Charging ahead into transit’s next frontier: battery-electric buses

Our new battery-electric bus on the left and an OG electric bus on the right.

We’ve set an ambitious goal: a bus fleet that’s powered with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

And we’re well on our way to our goal with more than half of TransLink’s fleet now operating on clean energy, including compressed natural gas and hybrid diesel-electric buses, as well as zero-emission trolleybuses.

Starting today, we’re charging full speed ahead with our battery-electric bus pilot! The buses, which are smoother and quieter than the rest of our fleet, are rolling into service on route 100 Marpole Loop/22nd Street Station. Read more »

PNE Fair: Double the delight with our double-decker bus onsite!

The first of 32 new double-decker buses have arrived!

And it debuts at the PNE Fair, August 17 to September 2 (closed Mondays except Labour Day). It’s part of the Transport 2050 Expo, bringing you the past, present and future of transportation in Metro Vancouver.

Starting in the fall, these sparkling vehicles will enter service on selected routes in Metro Vancouver, replacing their aging highway coach ancestors. The buses will help with overcrowding and provide a more comfortable and exciting transit experience for our customers. Read more »

PNE Fair: Tour the new RapidBus and learn about the routes

RapidBus is the evolution of our B-Line service.

It’s delivering faster travel times (up to 20 per cent faster than local bus service!), more reliable service and new customer amenities, starting in January 2020 to five corridors in Metro Vancouver — Marine Drive, Hastings Street, Lougheed Highway, 41st Avenue and King George Boulevard.

See this evolution in-person at the PNE Fair as part of our Transport 2050 Expo that’s showcasing the past, present and future of transportation in Metro Vancouver!

Tour the new RapidBus, which will be used exclusively on these five routes and see new bus stop posts with real-time transit information. Learn about the five new RapidBus routes launching soon and the seven additional RapidBus routes planned as part of the 10-Year Vision. Read more »

Introducing a new TransLink service… say hello to RapidBus!

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

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

What are the features?

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

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

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

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

But why blue and green?

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

What are the routes for RapidBus?

The five RapidBus routes will serve 11 communities:

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

So, what happens to the B-Line?

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

Will there be more RapidBus routes in the future?

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

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

Refresh of 22nd Street Station bus exchange now complete!

We’ve some good news!

Upgrades to the bus exchange at 22nd Street Station are now complete. Let’s talk about just how cool the station is because let’s be honest, it’s often overlooked amongst the architectural marvels of our vast transit network!

One of the older transit hubs in the region, the elevated 22nd Street Station was built in 1985 as part of the original version of the Expo Line. Located on a hill above the Queensborough Bridge interchange, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Fraser River and Mount Baker from the SkyTrain platform.

But, it’s what lies below the SkyTrain station that matters most: an eight-bay bus loop that was constructed along with the original station. This is what gives the exchange its true value to our transit network.

Read more »

10 busiest bus routes in Metro Vancouver

Region-wide transit use hit another all-time high in 2018 with a 7.1 percent system-wide increase in overall boardings, our biggest ever annual increase!

It’s a well-known fact that Metro Vancouver residents and visitors alike are flocking to the bus system bringing an unprecedented eight per cent growth in annual bus ridership.

We’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 busiest bus routes in Metro Vancouver.

 

Read more »

New express buses improve accessibility on long-haul, suburban routes

All 23 Nova Bus LFS Suburban buses for our suburban routes are now in service!

All 23 new suburban buses built by Nova Bus are now in service!

This is an exciting development as it marks the first step in renewing and expanding our long-haul, suburban bus fleet and bringing low-floor buses to our suburban routes, which are currently “high floor.” Since 1996, we’ve been transitioning our entire fleet to the more-accessible low-floor buses. Suburban buses are the last group to transition. Read more »

Upgrades coming to 22nd Street bus exchange!

You asked, we listened!

As part of the approved Phase 1 investments in the Mayors’ 10-year Vision, upgrades for the 22nd Street Bus Exchange were identified.

Read more »