TransLink rolling out plug-in USB chargers for new buses and SeaBus

Jun 19 2019, 6:49 pm

Public transit riders in Metro Vancouver on some new buses and ferries will soon be able to give their mobile devices an uptick in their charge.

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During the public transit authority’s annual general meeting (AGM) this morning, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond confirmed that plug-in USB chargers are the newest customer amenity features coming to the new SeaBus ferry and the new fleet of 32 double-decker buses.

The new SeaBus ferry will be put into service this summer, allowing ferry frequencies to be increased to every 10 minutes during peak hours.

TransLink’s first purpose-ordered double-decker buses will also arrive later this year to serve longer-haul suburban routes.

However, Desmond says the public transit authority is still determining whether it will add this feature to future new buses and other fleet additions.

SeaBus TransLink Burrard Chinook

The Burrard Chinook, TransLink’s newest SeaBus ferry vessel, arriving in Vancouver on May 19, 2019. (Western Stevedoring / Instagram)

The upper level of a double-decker bus used during TransLink’s double-decker pilot program. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

In recent years, TransLink has been ramping up its customer amenities, including the previously announced gradual introduction of public washrooms at major hubs, real-time next-train digital screens at SkyTrain stations, improved public announcement systems on SkyTrain, air conditioning on all future new vehicles, free Wi-Fi across all services, and new touch screen dynamic information signs at major hubs, with the latter two amenities coming at no cost to TransLink as they are funded by the private sector.

During today’s AGM, Desmond also released a 62 action item list of ways TransLink will improve the customer experience while riding public transit, including the creation of a new citizens advisory group on rider experience. The plan will be implemented from now through 2025.

Plug-in USB chargers are increasingly becoming common on other public transit systems elsewhere in the world. Last year, for instance, the Toronto Transit Commission announced the introduction of plug-in USB chargers on 200 new buses.

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