Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 8, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority) was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2017):
- TransLink head office employees enjoy working in a LEED gold-certified head office that offers convenient access to public transit as well as a 2,000 square foot state-of-the-art fitness facility with free employee memberships
- TransLink encourages ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions, subsidies for professional accreditation as well as a variety of in-house and online training programs
- TransLink provides a maternity leave top-up for its new mothers (to 100% of salary for 6 weeks) and also offers parents the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
Driving a major expansion, TransLink is hiring
When Ray Hamilton first started working as a trolley project technologist at Coast Mountain Bus Company in 1990, he never imagined he would still be with the TransLink enterprise 27 years later. But as he explains, "Once you get into the transportation industry, it sort of gets into your blood."
Hamilton's career has spanned a period of huge change in public transportation in the Metro Vancouver region due to both dramatic population growth and transformative technology. That change has enabled him to take advantage of a wide range of career opportunities. Over the years, Hamilton has worked at everything from training transit operators to supervising the operations of bus services to overseeing he "Green Wave," a project to move buses as efficiently as possible through downtown Vancouver.
In his current role as Manager, Service Analysis, Hamilton monitors TransLink's intricate network to ensure that buses arrive at the optimum times to meet other buses, the West Coast Express, SkyTrain and SeaBus. His team mines data and uses performance metrics to constantly improve service.
"We're definitely a world leader, ahead of the curve in how we run our business," he says. "It's very important to spend taxpayer money as effectively and efficiently as possible."
Late last year, TransLink's Board and the regional Mayors' Council approved the first phase of a 10-year plan to improve roads, cycling, and pedestrian access as well as bus, rail and SeaBus services. The plan, with a budget of $2 billion, calls for a 10 per cent increase in bus service across the region. As a result, TransLink is actively hiring more than 450 transit operators - the largest hiring spree since the 2010 Olympics.
"It's a huge milestone and very positive for our business because we're expanding and providing more transportation choices for the public," says Jalpa Ruparelia, Manager of Employee Relations.
TransLink is actively looking for applicants. "We can really teach anyone how to drive," explains Ruparelia. "It's the passion for customer service that we are recruiting for - that's the key to success."
Operators are the face of the organization and TransLink wants people who will be passionate about the work they do and have a desire to be part of something meaningful in their community. "We have an engaged workforce," says Ruparelia. "They're proud of what they do."
Adds Hamilton: "It's never boring. You're helping people get to work and kids to school. It's also a very good company to work for. It treats employees well."