Translink Buzzer Blog

Posts tagged: expo line

“Marky” — the newest Mark III SkyTrain is here!


After an epic, week-long journey across Canada, Marky — the newest Mark III SkyTrain — is now here! Marky arrived the evening of Sept. 12 and was unloaded the next morning on Sept. 13. Check out the time lapse above, and the photos below! Read more »

New SkyTrain cars are on their way to Vancouver!

The first four of 28 new SkyTrain cars are on the way to Vancouver!

As part of the 10-Year Vision – Phase One, we’re adding 80 new SkyTrain cars on the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines to increase service and reduce overcrowding.

We have some exciting news to share! The first four of 56 cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines, built by Bombardier Transportation, are now on the way to Vancouver from Kingston, Ontario where they recently completed testing. Once they arrive in Vancouver, they’ll will undergo additional testing before entering service.

Read more »

Going for a world record: fastest time to travel to all SkyTrain stations

Stephen Quinlan

Stephen Quinlan will attempt to set a world record for the fastest time to travel to all 53 SkyTrain stations on May 4.

Ever since he was a young child, Stephen Quinlan has wanted to be a world-record holder.

Originally from the United Kingdom, he grew up watching the BBC show Record Breakers, a children’s show that followed contestants as they sought to break a myriad of Guinness World Records.

Now, he’s getting ready to fulfill that dream.

Read more »

More station upgrade progress at Joyce–Collingwood!

Outside shot

View from east station house down Vanness Avenue

Joyce–Collingwood Station is looking more refreshed by the day as work continues on upgrading our fourth busiest Expo Line station outside of downtown Vancouver.

These upgrades seek to improve safety and security for riders as well as accessibility to the station.

Completed work

  • Escalator installation work is complete.
  • Timber ceiling installation in the new east stationhouse is now complete.
  • New lighting on the platform improves safety and security.
  • Bus shelter footings are now installed. Look for two new bus shelters at the station later this summer!
  • Newly installed glass panels improve visibility on the platform.

What’s next?

  • Elevator testing and commissioning
  • Public art installation
  • Ceiling panel installation on the platform
  • Installation of glass walls for the east stationhouse
  • Bike Parkade work is ongoing and when complete, customers can access the parkade using their Compass Card.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to the Joyce–Collingwood Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project.

Get in touch!

Customer Information: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information on this project visit translink.ca/joyce.
For up-to-date construction info, visit translink.ca/ontrack.

Author: Jessica Hewitt

Running Rail replacement continues near Stadium–Chinatown Station

pattern change

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

The next area of running rail replacement is near Stadium–Chinatown Station and is taking place from today, February 23 to  March 9 16 22. Work will not be done on Fridays and Saturdays and is weather dependent.

Customers can expect modified service between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown stations during the specific work times.

A Special SkyTrain Service shuttle will provide 10 minute service in both directions between Waterfront and Stadium–Chinatown stations.

Details:

  • From 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, Expo Line trains travelling towards Waterfront will terminate at Stadium–Chinatown station.
  • Expo Line trains travelling towards both King George and Production Way-University will operate normally from Stadium–Chinatown stations.
  • Expo Line passengers connecting at Stadium–Chinatown should allow for 5-10 minutes of extra travel time.
  • Millennium Line and Canada Line will operate normally.
  • Schedule adjustments due to special events:
    • Tuesday, February 28: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Thursday, March 2: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Sunday, Mar. 5: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Whitecaps game.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 7: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Thursday, Mar. 9: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Monday, Mar. 13: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 14: No work will take place on this date.
    • Thursday, Mar. 16: service change delayed one hour, beginning at 10:30 p.m., to accommodate the Canucks game.

Riders should also be sure to watch destination displays and listen for train destination announcements.

How does this affect your commute? Check out our Alerts Page for pattern changes and upcoming work.
Find more information on the entire project, visit translink.ca/railreplacement.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Bus stop changes at 29th Avenue Station

 

Phase one bus stop moves

Route 16 and 33 bus stops will temporarily move as of January 24.

TransLink will be upgrading the 29th Avenue Station Exchange to improve customer access, safety and security.

During this upgrade work, temporary traffic patterns and bus stop location changes will occur.

Until mid-February, the regular stops for the 16 and 33 buses will be moved outside the bus loop.

The number 16 bus bay has been relocated to north side of 29th Avenue.

The number 33 bus bay has been relocated to south side of 29th Avenue.

The upgrades for this exchange will include:

  • A new bus bay to allow all buses to pick up and drop off within the bus loop.
  • Improved lighting, glass shelters and lower profile landscaping to make the bus loop more visible and safer.
  • Three new crosswalks to improve safety and access tot he bus loop and station.
  • New bus stop ID poles with braille and tactile strips to meet accessibility standards and better direct customers.

The entire project is set to wrap up Summer 2017.

For more information about upcoming bus stop changes at this station,
call Customer Information at 604.953.3333 or visit translink.ca/alerts and click the alerts tab.

Author: Adrienne Coling

An update on Joyce–Collingwood Station upgrades

Joyce
If you are one of the thousands of riders passing through Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain Station each day, you will have noticed some features of the upgrade work have already been completed!

Project Update

  • New roof and side panels for the east stationhouse are now installed.
  • Newly installed lighting improves visibility on the platform.
  • Steelwork framing for the new east stationhouse is underway.
  • Glass panel installation on the north side of the platform is now complete.

These upgrades will improve accessibility, safety and security at the fourth busiest Expo Line Station outside of downtown Vancouver.

Thank you for your patience as we complete this much-needed work.

Check back on the Buzzer blog for additional updates throughout the project.

Need to get in touch?
Customer Information: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information:
translink.ca/joyce
translink.ca/customerservice
translink.ca/ontrack.

Author: Adrienne Coling

VIDEO – 28 new SkyTrain cars ordered to improve rapid transit service in Metro Vancouver

Today is a historic day as pen was set to paper in a deal that will improve transit in our region!

A $93 million order for 28 new SkyTrain Mark III cars from Bombardier Transportation was made by TransLink and the provincial government.

This is part of the $2 billion Phase One of the 10-year vision that is funded 50 per cent by the federal government, 33 per cent by the province and the rest from our region and TransLink.

The new SkyTrain cars will provide additional service and capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines increasing the rapid transit fleet to 314 cars.

With these new cars coming into service, more people will be able to rely on public transit, helping to reduce road congestion, greenhouse gases and improve efficient movement of people and goods across the region.

“With the critical support of our federal, provincial and regional partnerships, TransLink is ready and eager to start implementing service and infrastructure improvements outlined in Phase One of the 10-Year Vision. Today’s announcement is just one in a series of steps we’re taking to expand service for our customers and reduce wait times and crowding.”

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO

The new train cars are scheduled to start arriving in 2018 and after extensive testing, enter into service by early 2019.

Starting in January 2017, TransLink will begin service improvements using the existing fleet for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines and SeaBus, with additional bus and HandyDart service improvements beginning in April 2017.

Transit and transportation improvements in Phase One

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars (Expo Line, Millennium Line and Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, West Coast Express)
  • Pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail
  • New funding for improvements to the Major Road Network
  • Expansion and improvements to cycling and pedestrian networks

Want more information on the Mayors’ Council 10-year vision?
Head to tenyearvision.translink.ca.


Author: Adrienne Coling

Come out and meet the Mark IIIs!

After building, shipping and extensive safety testing, our shiny new Mark III SkyTrains are ready to enter service!

These beauties are fully articulated (you can walk from one end of the train to the other), have more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage, are more environmentally efficient and so much more!

If you want to see more of the new trains, come on out to our Mark III public open house this Thursday – from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

While our Mark III VIP contest winners will have some extra fun, everyone is invited to see the stationary train on the inbound platform at Waterfront Station before it heads into service.

Remember! This event takes place on the SkyTrain platform so, if you plan to attend, you will need to have proof of valid fare while in the Fare Paid Zone.

Mark III VIP contest

We had 83 entries from riders of all ages with everything from songs to poems, drawings to heartfelt transit stories.

Take a look at just a few of our fantastic winning entries:

Bruce not only rocks a banjo but also met his SO on SkyTrain!

Anat is celebrating 13 years in Canada with a poem about her first ride!

Thirteen years ago that day,
Stepping off of a plane,
Keeping my fears at bay,
Was the knowledge of so much to gain.

Such beauty lay before me,
I scarcely believed,
New memories were forming,
My dreams I have achieved.

That first Skytrain ride,
I will never forget,
It beat back the fear tide,
I stayed here, without regret.

Nine-year-old Kalen tells us all about SkyTrain – and can recite all stations in order!

Alejandro Mejía Greene created this awesome transit-inspired Mark III logo!

Life is full of moments…
Moments are snapshots…
That move from one place to another…

AMG Mark III entry
Thank you to everyone who entered! It truly was a series of difficult choices to select just 20 of you.

Be sure to check out contests coming up for I Love Transit 2016!

The Mark III and I hope to see you on Thursday!

**Update**

Missed the public event?

Take a look at our Facebook LIVE videos:

Author: Adrienne Coling

Then and Now: 30 years of Expo

Expo 86

It was 30 years ago…

May 2nd marks the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek. North America’s largest World’s Fair was a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy, notably, Metro Vancouver’s first Rapid Transit SkyTrain – the Expo Line, built for and named in anticipation of the fair. SkyTrain debuted as the first and one of the longest, fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world

“Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch” coincided with Vancouver’s centennial celebration and was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

expo prince and princess

Prince Charles and Princess Diana riding the Expo Line in 1986

 

Charles and Di

The Royal Couple

A lot has changed in 30 years, and we’ve summarized some fun facts below about SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, and BC in general.

  1986 2016
Main line track (km) 21 58
Stations 15 33
Annual boardings (millions) 20 (1987) 80
Fleet (cars) 114 258 (+28 by mid-2016)
One-zone cash fare (at Jan 1) $1.15 $2.75
Metro Vancouver population 1.38 million (census) 2.54 million (BC Stats projection)
Detached home price $130,800 $1,816,487
Minimum Wage (per hour) $3.65 $10.45
Expo 1986

Can you spot the station?

ticket1986

Do you remember these tickets?

expo 86

The very first Ticket Vending Machines

Do you have an Expo ’86 memory you’d like to share? Did you take SkyTrain when it first launched?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

John Atkin: SkyTrain Explorer

John Atkin leading a walk on Eveleigh St in Vancouver Photo courtesy of Wendy Cutler

John Atkin leading a walk on Eveleigh St in Vancouver
Photo courtesy of Wendy Cutler

This is the man, folks. John Atkin.

He wrote the book SkyTrain Explorer: Heritage Walks From Every Station and he’s the inspiration for me to walk those walks from Waterfront station to New Westminster station.

I’ve already have one in the can and you can read about my experience here.

I got the chance to sit down for a coffee with John on a rainy afternoon and discuss all things Metro Vancouver, how this book came to be and what he loves to explore.

Why SkyTrain stations?

Because it was arbitrary. *laughs* It came out of a discussion from a series of walks called “How to Look at Neighbourhoods.” It was a little bit of history, a little bit of development. But the idea was to get people out to look. At the end of one walk, someone told me that they wished their area was interesting. Turns out they lived right by the Nanaimo SkyTrain station.

The next walk, we met at the station and they were convinced nothing was there but we walked through a landscape of Vancouver Specials, the evolution of the area and found many fascinating little pockets. At the end of the walk, she was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) that there was all that in her own backyard. Everyone wanted to do another station and so we did!

What lead to the book itself?

After Vancouver Walks (with Michael Kluckner) was published, the publisher asked if I was interested in doing anything else. I said I was doing a few walks from the stations and they said, “That’d be cool!”

Riding the SkyTrain, I was always looking over, out the windows, wondering. When I had spare time I’d be on the train and randomly say, “well, let’s get off at the 4th stop.” Then just look around as I meandered. Turns out, other people wanted to do that too.

Why did you do the Expo Line and only to New West?

It was the original line. What I wanted to do is do that 1985 line. The idea was that we’d do the extension and the Millennium Line for the next one. Local publishing has changed but I do want to finish. I really do want to finish the Expo Line one day.

With the Millennium line, it’s tough right now to draw things out of some areas and stations. But that’s changing. There’s lots of Vancouver influence in those areas. I made tons of notes but I just couldn’t string it together yet. So, maybe if I just wait a long time, there will be lots to explore there!

What were the most interesting spots for you to walk and write about?

Edmonds was really interesting because it was semi-rural at the time. Big lots with small houses. And there was this creeping townhouse culture starting to show up but at the same time old Kingsway was still there. There was also this picture perfect shopping mall right out of the 1960s with an open courtyard and front facing shops.

That was a cool find. Actually, I went out originally and I wrote it all up, a great route. When I came back 8 months later to fact check it had all changed! That was a big development year for them.

Then, I guess, Royal Oak. It was one of those places that hadn’t yet taken off. The landscape was changing even when I was writing the book. At the time you could see grocery store, church, hardware store, house, house, house. It was the interurban stall that existed that just doesn’t now.

What advice would you give someone who wants to follow your guidance with the book… or break out and find their own walks?

It’s about going out and being curious about space. Just be curious. I can’t go anywhere without poking.

If you’re following the book, we published a while ago so you should keep in mind. You may look and think, “Whoops! Where’d that go?” We tried as much as possible in the book to give that indication that things will change. It’s inevitable!

If you’re doing it by yourself, the thing is, you make that decision when you’re out of the station, choose a direction and start walking.

Keep your eyes open. I think so often we’re so busy that we so rarely walk for the purpose of going nowhere.

I like going nowhere! By going nowhere you are really looking at your environment. You can start to see little things like a house may be older because it’s set far away from the street or that is a style very reminiscent of a certain era. Even the most seemingly boring space is interesting.

Part of the reason of choosing the SkyTrain is that it was, as I explained, a completely arbitrary structure.

Most people get on and go from A to B without any thought to what’s in between. It’s that idea of just being curious. As things change and the region develops, I think it’s a good idea to get to know an area that isn’t yours.

Beyond SkyTrain stations and areas in Metro Vancouver, what else do you like to explore?

I’m a big fan of shopping mall design. When we travel, we go to shopping malls.

We were in Beirut and we hiked way off into the Northern part of the city because there’s a new mall that just opened and we wanted to go see it. It had five or six floors but you entered at the top of a big hill and it was built all the way down the hill.

It was open air and you worked your way down the side of the hill in the mall. It was so interesting and something I’ve never seen before.

Malls are more interesting than you’d think. You can tell a lot about an area by the development of their malls!

Thanks to John for the afternoon chat and all the information about the book and our region.

He has definitely sparked a new interest for me and I am truly curious about the sidewalks, buildings, bridges and neighbourhoods of our region.

I can’t wait to get out there for my next SkyTrain explorer walk!

If you’re interested in joining John on one of his varied walks around the region, you can register here.

Stay tuned later this month for my Burrard station adventure.

Author: Adrienne Coling

SkyTrain Explorer: Waterfront Station

SkyTrain Explorer: Heritage Walks From Every Station

SkyTrain Explorer: Heritage Walks From Every Station

I’ve found a book. It’s called SkyTrain Explorer and it’s written by John Atkin, the co-author of Vancouver Walks.

It’s a very special book because it highlights (with clear directions) heritage walks you can take from every SkyTrain station along the Millennium and Expo Lines from Waterfront to New Westminster.

Atkin quotes comedian Steven Wright, “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” So, guess what? I’m going to take the time and walk the walks!

Too often we are oblivious to what’s all around us. Parks, buildings, history and culture. I know I’m guilty of this on my morning commute on transit.

But I want to know more about what makes this region so interesting and get off that train to go exploring.

This is the first in my series and over the next year I will make sure I do them all (hold me to it, please!) including pictures, any interesting videos and commentary of my experiences.

Enjoy!

It’s Sunday. It’s sunny. I’ve got my Chucks on and I’m ready to go! I mosey on over to the bus that takes me to the nearest Canada Line SkyTrain station and I hop on, heading to Waterfront.

I’ve been in Waterfront station countless times. Have I ever, even once, looked up at the architecture in the concourse? Nope. Not once.

I remedy this oversight immediately and spend a good 10 minutes walking around and taking pictures like a complete tourist!

According to the instructions, I head out past the A&W, ignore the calling of a delicious Teen burger and leave the station.

To my right, there’s a great view of the port, West Vancouver and the edge of the cruise ship terminal. To my left is a pedestrian walkway across Cordova St. Wait, was this always here? This is great!

As I cross the bridge, I turn back and grab a shot of the entirety of Waterfront station, built in 1914 for CPR. It really does have a presence with a beautiful backdrop.

The Sinclair Centre is next. It is made up of four buildings, the youngest of which was built in 1935. They were carefully restored in the 1980s and joined in the middle with a covered courtyard.

This block includes the Post Office from 1905, my personal favourite building on this particular walk.

Next time you’re near this area, check out the fish on the Granville St side of the buildings. Sometimes thought of as dolphins, they are actually sturgeon. Apparently, sturgeon are considered royal fish. You learn something new every day!

I see the impressive BIRKS flagship store to my Southeast. An impressive building that was originally the Canadian Bank of Commerce built in 1908.

Walking ever onward, Southwest now, I pass by the original Vancouver Stock Exchange under construction. Office building perhaps or condo? At least they’re keeping the outside.

I turn East and at Pender and Granville. The Rogers building. Built in 1912 and very well kept up since then! Peer up and see some lions keeping watch over the neighbourhood.

North to Hastings on Seymour. What I always thought was just a giant hotel is, in fact, the Conference Plaza (halls, retail, hotel and offices) with buildings dating back to the 1920s.

This includes the former Union Bank Building, now part of Simon Fraser University. Actually, a fair amount of older buildings in this section of town belong to SFU.

I look up and see the Vancouver lookout tower and the Harbour Centre. Any word on how the food is at the revolving restaurant?

I turn East on Hastings. Spencer’s Department Store circa 1928, later Eaton’s and finally Sears is now part of SFU’s downtown campus and on the left. Great library! I may have stopped and explored. I do love me some books!

Now, instead of heading down to Cordova and ending my walk, I continued East to Cambie.

The Dominion building on the Northwest corner cannot be missed. Shades of terracotta, yellows and oranges seem to capture a sunset in architecture that makes you stop and take notice!

I stroll down to Water St. to admire the much adored steam clock. Sorry to dash any heritage hopes for this popular attraction, but it was only built in 1977.

I love Gastown and I loved walking around it and the old financial district. You don’t have to walk far to see a lot in this neighbourhood!

My first heritage walk is done so I grab a drink, sit on a patio and enjoy the sunset.

Things I learned:

* Downtown Vancouver has some amazingly well-preserved heritage buildings
* Remember to look UP or you miss half of everything!
* Being a tourist in your own city is OK. Actually, it’s pretty fun!
* Even if you have directions, sometimes figuring out which building is which can take a few minutes – try to find the date on the building to help guide you.
* Never. Eat. Shredded. Wheat.

See my gallery below with all my pictures of the day. Which buildings are your favourites?

Stay tuned for the next installment in April, SkyTrain Explorer: Burrard Station!

Author: Adrienne Coling