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Lots of TransLink News

New Smart Card

There’s lots happening at TransLink these days. Today they announced the name of their new smart-card, to be called Compass.  The smart card will go into service in 2013, after construction at stations, system installation, a pilot project phase.

Compass card image
The look of the new smart card for TransLink.

The main benefits of the new smart card system, according to TransLink are:

  • reduce fare evasion because you won’t be allowed through the gate without the card. Will you be able to hop over the fare gates though?
  • fare gates are thought to be a visual and physical barrier to people trying to use the system without paying
  • the smart-card will allow TransLink to track the number of passengers using the system at any time, where and when allowing them to adjust service to meet the demand where and when it is needed.

To learn more about the smart cards see TransLink’s FAQ page.

The cost of system to set up is $171 million, $30 million from the BC government, and $40 million from the federal government.

UBC Rapid Transit Line

The public consultation goes into phase 2. Another round of open houses are being held for the Broadway-UBC rapid transit line. The list of possible designs show options for Bus Rapid Transit, two for Light Rail Transit, one for Rail Rapid Transit (SkyTrain), two combination options, and doing nothing (ie. the current system of buses with minor improvements.

Spring Service Changes

On April 18th , the spring service schedule goes into effect. Of particular note, is the reinstatement of trolley bus service on the Cambie St bridge. The 17 Oak bus, which was tied into the 17 UBC bus will be separated into its own service. The UBC bus becomes the 14 UBC / 14 Hastings. This should reduce confusion for people. Currently the 17 could be going to UBC or to Oak street while it is travelling south on Granville street. This PDF map shows the changes proposed for the 10, 14, and 17. Route 15 will no longer cross the Cambie bridge, but will be linked with the 50 False Creek South/Waterfront bus at Olympic Village station, see map here.

Not all the changes are positive thought, the 26 Joyce Stn/29th Ave Stn, 27 Joyce Stn/Kootenay Loop, and 29 Elliot/29th Ave. Stn, 110 Metrotown Stn/Lougheed Stn, will see their service drop from 30 min frequency to 60 min frequency after 10PM every day. The 101 Lougheed Stn/22nd St. Stn will be reduced to hourly after 8PM. There are many other examples of decreased frequency mainly on suburban routes in the evenings.

The rest of the changes are mainly seasonal in nature due to the end of the winter semester at most universities and colleges. These changes were driven by TransLink’s Service Optimization plan that aims to increase the productivity of the system by 2% by putting service where it is most needed and match service to the demand.  For a full list of April’s changes, go to TransLink’s service changes.

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