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TransLink introduces new physical distancing measures
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
Mar 27, 2020

Metro Vancouver's transit authority is imposing seating limits on its buses to promote physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TransLink announced that beginning next week, about half the seats on buses will have signs indicating they should be left vacant so there can be more space between riders. Standing will not be allowed. If the new capacity is reached, bus operators will not make any more stops and stranded customers will have to wait for the next bus.

People are encouraged to leave more time for their trip, and reconsider if they even need to make their trip in the first place, particularly during rush hour.

Spokesman Ben Murphy said the decision was made after consulting with other transit agencies, health officials and hearing from passengers that in some instances said people were not leaving space on buses.

"When it comes to COVID-19 it is really a day-by-day assessment of exactly where we're up to and what measures need to be taken. I think the view was that this is the direction a lot of systems are going and that this would put in place a system which will promote social distancing to what our customers would expect," Murphy said.

More : COVID-19: TransLink introduces new physical distancing measures
 

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TransLink expects to work out details of COVID-19 bailout by September
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
July 31, 2020

Details about a promised COVID-19 financial bailout for Metro Vancouver transit remain fuzzy, but TransLink’s CEO is confident that it will keep service cuts at bay.

However, Kevin Desmond said the transit authority’s money problems are far from over and the future is still uncertain.

“This aid, given quantum that we understand from the federal government and from the province, ought to be sufficient to very significantly close at least the near-term gap, subject to, of course, the pace of the pandemic,” Desmond told the region’s municipal leaders at a Mayors Council meeting Thursday.

More : TransLink expects to work out details of COVID-19 bailout by September
 

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Metro Vancouver transit ridership continued its climb in 2019
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
July 29, 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, with transit systems under huge financial strain and infrastructure plans in question, TransLink has released data that shows ridership in Metro Vancouver was once again increasing last year.

While it may seem like a strange time to be talking about ridership growth — transit use is currently well below normal — the transit authority’s vice-president of policy and planning said the information from 2019, along with the data that analysts have been tracking over the last seven months, will inform short-term and post-pandemic planning.

“It helps us think about where we’re going to have to put our resources for as long as (the pandemic) persists, as well as when we think about how we best allocate services when we’re coming out of it and recovering from it,” said Geoff Cross.

The Transit Service Performance Review, which is released each summer, shows that in 2019 people in Metro Vancouver were taking more trips on public transit, continuing an upward trend from recent years. With 452.9 million boardings, ridership grew 3.6 per cent across TransLink’s network, and on every mode.

The busiest month of the year was October, with 41.2 million boardings, and the busiest day was Sept. 27, which saw more than 100,000 people pack into downtown Vancouver as part of the global climate strike. That day, there were 1.63 million boardings across Metro Vancouver’s transit system.

More : Metro Vancouver transit ridership continued its climb in 2019
 

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COVID-19 puts U-Pass program’s future in question
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
Aug 7, 2020

With just a month to go until school starts, post-secondary students in Metro Vancouver are still wondering if the universal transit pass will return for the fall semester.

Students at 10 public post-secondary institutions pay $41 per month for the U-Pass — which gives them access to buses, SeaBus and SkyTrain and a discount on the West Coast Express — as part of their student fees.

The program was temporarily suspended on May 1 in response to schools closing and classes going online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will remain suspended until the end of August. Post-secondary institutions issued refunds for April fees to students who did not use their pass for more than $41 in stored value travel.

More : COVID-19 puts U-Pass program’s future in question
 

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TransLink making preparations for mandatory masks on Metro transit
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
August 21, 2020

When transit users hop on a SkyTrain, SeaBus or bus next week, their commute will look a little different, because they and most everyone around them should be wearing masks.

A new policy that comes into effect on Monday will require people to wear non-medical face coverings to ride in transit vehicles in Metro Vancouver, and across the province on B.C. Transit.

“I’d like to hope, just as people in the early stages of the crisis did the right things and we contained the virus, that they’ll continue to do the right thing, and that includes wearing a mask on the bus or a train,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond on Thursday.

More : TransLink making preparations for mandatory masks on Metro transit
 

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U-Pass returning for Metro Vancouver post-secondary students in September
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
Aug 27, 2020

A universal transit pass for post-secondary students in Metro Vancouver, which was suspended this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be reinstated when classes resume next month.

However, the U-Pass B.C. program, which gives students access to the bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain and a discount on the West Coast Express for around $40 per month, will be applied differently depending on which of the 10 participating public institutions a student attends.

The future of the program was in question, but schools, student unions and TransLink negotiated during the summer semester about how to bring it back.

More : U-Pass returning for Metro Vancouver post-secondary students in September
 

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B.C. government announces options for rapid transit between Vancouver and North Shore
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
Sep 15, 2020

The B.C. government has narrowed down the routes for a rapid transit service between Vancouver and the North Shore to five possible options.

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation says the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit Study, led by Mott MacDonald Canada, has identified three technically feasible tunnel crossings and two bridge crossings:

• Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via First Narrows (tunnel crossing).

• Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Brockton Point (tunnel crossing).

• Downtown Vancouver to West Vancouver via Lonsdale (tunnel crossing).

• Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Second Narrows (new bridge crossing).

• Burnaby to Lonsdale via Second Narrows (new bridge crossing).

More : B.C. government announces options for rapid transit between Vancouver and North Shore
 

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TransLink reveals permanent names for Broadway Subway stations
Vancouver Sun Excerpt
Sep 18, 2020

A prominent B.C. artist, neighbourhoods, streets and landmarks will be included in the names of the six SkyTrain stations along the new Broadway Subway line.

The finalized names were revealed during an announcement at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver on Thursday.

"All of our stations and exchanges are named after a notable street, intersection or landmark near them, and that allows customers or first responders to clearly know where they are in the system," said Steve Vanagas, TransLink's vice-president of customer communications, public affairs and marketing. "In this particular case, we saw an opportunity to feature a world-renowned Canadian and British Columbian while also following our traditional naming principles."

The $2.83-billion, 5.7 kilometre extension of the Millennium Line will begin at VCC-Clark Station and end at the intersection of Broadway and Arbutus streets. Most of the line will be tunnelled under the Broadway corridor, but 700 metres will be elevated between VCC-Clark and a tunnel portal at Great Northern Way.

Funding from the project is coming primarily from the provincial government, with contributions from the federal government and the City of Vancouver.

More : TransLink reveals permanent names for Broadway Subway stations
 
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