Why don't they just put on snow tires? TransLink addresses rider concerns (VIDEO)

Feb 22 2023, 7:32 pm

As Metro Vancouver’s forecast has cold weather and potential snow ahead, commuters are curious about what TransLink will do. Will they finally put snow tires on their buses?

According to TransLink, who published an explainer on winter tires last December, they have no plans to put snow tires on buses – because they already have snow tires on.

“TransLink’s bus tires are snow tires. They feature the highest snow traction rating available,” a TransLink spokesperson told Daily Hive Urbanized.

“TransLink buses use tires with the three-peak mountain snowflake rating, which means they’re winter-rated and have been certified to provide quality traction in snow. No major transit agency in the country switches out their bus fleet’s tires in winter. TransLink works closely with each municipality and is in constant communication with them to advise which roads should be prioritized for clearing.”

According to TransLink, the tires on buses are not like the tires on your car. While people change out to winter tires on their personal vehicles, it’s not “common practice for buses,” said TransLink.

TransLink says that its tires are the same if not better than those used on buses across Canada.

According to TransLink, when weather conditions worsen and become severe, they could use these tactics to jump into action:

  • Install brass “cutters” on some trolley buses to cut through ice on trolley wires
  • Install tire socks on buses on Burnaby Mountain and specific North Shore and Vancouver routes, where hills and traction are an issue
  • Implement snow shuttles
  • Position SkyTrain attendants at the front of each Expo and Millennium Line train to improve the reliability of the system by limiting emergency braking triggered by heavy snowfall
  • Run trains through the night if snow is especially heavy to keep tracks clear
  • Equip HandyDART service with two staff members per vehicle to ensure customers get safely to their door
  • Activate further staff increases to assist customers across the system

 As the weather turns, if you’re using transit, give yourself extra travel time. You can follow TransLink on social media to learn more and get the latest updates.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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