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'Prepare for delays and reduced services': Freezing weather affecting transit across Metro Vancouver

"Unnecessary travel should be avoided."
A TransLink holiday "Rudolph" bus travels through Vancouver in the snow on Dec. 20, 2022. Transit users are cautioned the SkyTrain and bus system is facing delays and reduced services on Weds, Dec. 21 due to freezing temperatures in the region.

Metro Vancouver's public transit agency is once again cautioning customers that Wednesday's commute could be far more challenging than usual due to frigid temperatures and ongoing snow conditions.

In an alert issued early on Dec. 21, TransLink states: "Due to below freezing temperatures impacting SkyTrain, customers should prepare for delays and reduced services this morning."

"Unnecessary travel should be avoided," adds TransLink.

As of 7:30 a.m., TransLink is showing alerts for all modes of transit it operates, except the SeaBus. There are 161 bus alerts, which include stop and route cancellations and detours due to road conditions on routes across Metro Vancouver. 

SkyTrain is showing alerts, however that includes notice that construction planned for the new Capstan Station on the Canada Line is now suspended. The primary issue for SkyTrain, TransLink is warning, is affecting the Expo Line. 

"To make SkyTrain service more efficient during inclement weather, the Expo Line is temporarily terminating at Lougheed Station. Customers looking to get to or from Production Way-University Station should use the Millennium Line," advises the transit agency.

Those using transit are advised to build in extra travel time, and check their route by consulting the TransLink Trip Planner, signing up for transit alerts, or by following them on Twitter @TransLink, where staff are responding to individual tweet inquiries about specific routes, stops, or stations. 

Commuter chaos on Tuesday due to snow

Transit users on Tuesday faced dire conditions while on buses and SkyTrains in the region, experiencing massive delays, frozen train doors, and buses sliding on roads.

Bus riders are also noting that some stops are severely impacted by snow that has piled up at the curb.

Just ahead of this week's snowstorm, TransLink's Buzzer Blog issued an explainer about snow tires on their fleet. 

“Our tires are the same, or better than those used on buses across Canada, including cities which receive far more snow than we do,” says Simon Agnew, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) Maintenance Engineer in the Buzzer Blog article. “These tires are recommended to us by our tire provider, Michelin, as being best suited to Metro Vancouver’s weather.” 

Additionally, TransLink uses something called "tire socks" in snowy conditions. 

On Tuesday, SkyTrain riders saw TransLink attendants breaking apart ice and snow stuck to train doors using a very Canadian tool: hockey sticks.