Please stop opening windows on air conditioned trains and buses: TransLink

May 24 2019, 9:26 am

With summer now fast approaching, air conditioning units on many of TransLink’s buses and trains will be cranked up to full blast in tandem with the rising temperatures.

But not all of the buses and trains are outfitted with air conditioning, although it is certainly the new standard for all of the public transit authority’s new fleet orders.

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All new buses ordered since 2012 are climate controlled with air conditioning, but it will be years before all of the older non-air conditioned bus models reach the end of their lifespan and are replaced with new non-air conditioned models.

The Mark II and new Mark III trains on the Expo Line and Millennium Line also have cooling and heating systems as well, with the Mark III systems being an improvement over the older cars.

However, the old Expo-era Mark I cars do not have air conditioning, which means overhead fans and the air flow from open windows are the only source of relief for passengers during the sweltering heat. Fortunately, all 150 Mark I cars will be gradually replaced with new cars throughout the 2020s.

As for the Canada Line, while its trains technically have air conditioning capabilities, they are known to be particularly insufficient for their task of cooling the large packed trains, which quickly become humid and stuffy.

TransLink is addressing this issue on the new additional fleet of 24 cars on the Canada Line set to arrive this year, as these new cars will come with a more powerful air conditioning system.

In some situations, however, being comfortable on a climate-controlled transit vehicle is all about keeping those windows closed.

“If you’re onboard a bus that has air conditioning, let’s keep those windows shut so the air conditioning can do its job,” reads a recent PSA on TransLink’s The Buzzer.

When it comes to the Expo Line and Millennium Line cars with climate control systems, “each car has a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit on its roof. It uses sensors that determine the outside air temperature versus the air inside the car, then that will follow an algorithm that helps maintain an optimal temperature for passengers.”

So, once again, keep those windows closed.

But there are also those times when the climate control systems seem to have a mind of their own.

“As well, climate control means there are times when it seems that both the heating and cooling is on simultaneously. This is so the system can ‘dry’ or dehumidify the air on a cold or humid day,” continues the PSA.

In all other scenarios, you certainly have the permission to [politely] holler at your driver if you’re on a bus… or at TransLink’s Twitter account, if you’re on the driverless trains.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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