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How is TransLink preparing its buses and trains for snowfall in Metro Vancouver?

Some buses may be subbed out on slippery routes for snowfall.
The Metro Vancouver weather forecast includes possible snowfall and TransLink has announced plans for its buses and Skytrain cars.

TransLink has released a plan for dealing with the upcoming cold and possible snowfall in the Metro Vancouver weather forecast

An arctic outflow warning has been issued in Metro Vancouver as strong winds gusting up to 60 km/h are expected to make subzero temperatures feel as cold as -20 C overnight Thursday, Jan. 11. Flurries are also possible across the region in places at sea level. 

TransLink has prepared all of its transit services ahead of the wintry weather and will coordinate with municipalities for snow-clearing on priority routes that may be impacted by snowfall. 


The transportation authority has started spreading anti-icing solution on overhead trolley wires. If necessary, it will use brass cutters on trolley buses to cut through ice on the wires. It has also started salting and sanding bus exchanges.

Buses will be equipped with tire socks on parts of sleeper routes with heavy snowfall. Snow shuttles will also be used in some areas.

On steep, slippery routes, articulated buses will be replaced with conventional 40-buses because they are more agile. 

Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) is also "trialling new winter-rated tires featuring a different tread pattern on one-third of the fleet, which is approximately 500 buses." The new tires have the three-peaked mountain/snowflake tires, which is the highest winter rating for bus tires.

TransLink maintains that there is "no impact to transit services at this time" due to the bus strike, according to an advisory posted to its website early Thursday morning. 


TransLink will de-ice trains on the SkyTrain to prevent ice from building up on the power rail. It will also run trains overnight to prevent snow from building up on the gateway. 

Millennium Line trains will be put in "four-car configurations to increase capacity."

SkyTrain attendants will be deployed to the front of trains to "limit emergency braking triggered by heavy snowfall," while platform teams will prevent buildup on SkyTrain doors. 

The transportation authority will also salt and sand walkways at SkyTrain and West Coast Express stations.

How to prepare for your commute 

TransLink advises customers to stay safe on its transportation system by dressing warmly and wearing appropriate footwear to avoid slips and falls.

You should also provide extra time for your commute, particularly when conditions are bad. There are several opportunities for snowfall in the days to come. Check up-to-date, hyper-local weather conditions for over 50 neighbourhoods across the Lower Mainland with Weatherhood.

TransLink has several other tips to keep you safe during your commute: 

  • Walk slowly and carefully, as the floors may be slippery. 
  • Hang on to a pole or handle while the bus or train car is in motion.
  • Don't run for the bus. 
  • Wear shoes with good grip that are good for ice and snow.
  • While you may be dressed warmly for being outside for short periods, consider that you may be waiting outside longer than usual.
  • Watch for your bus. Drivers may not be able to go right up to the stop during bad weather and may stop in an area close by where it is safe. 

TransLink will communicate any impacts to service related to the bus strike as they are known. For real-time information about their route, customers should sign up for Transit Alerts, check the Transit Alerts Page, follow TransLink on  X (Twitter), or call the customer information line at 604-953-3333.