TransLink preparing for winter weather

November 01, 2018

Positive early results prompt wider deployment of tire socks

NEW WESTMINSTER, BC — TransLink continues to strengthen its snow plans, to keep customers moving when the winter weather hits.

“Heavy snows can have a huge impact on our region,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Our focus is to limit delays and disruptions, and safely get our customers where they need to go, whether by bus, train, HandyDART or SeaBus. And when service is affected by adverse weather, we’re committed to getting customers the information they need, when and where they need it, to ensure they have a positive travel experience.”

When snow piles up and ice forms, streets get messy and traffic can grind to a halt. To keep bus service reliable, TransLink has met with counterparts at Metro Vancouver municipalities to discuss priority snow-clearing corridors. We also continue to improve how we prepare, respond and innovate to better serve our customers.

What we do


  • Canada Line heat tracing and cover-boards – Installed two kilometres of heat tracing on power rail where heavy ice buildup caused service disruptions in February 2017. Also installed cover boards in exposed areas to protect the power rail from snow buildup. Both reduce risk of ice.
  • SkyTrain de-icing – De-icer spray trains keep the power rail free of ice. During heavy overnight snow, some trains run through the night to keep tracks clear.


Tire socks – If snow is heavy on Burnaby Mountain, we will deploy tire socks on buses between Production Way - University Station and SFU. This year, we will also use tire socks on 210 Upper Lynn Valley/Lynn Valley Centre and 232 Grouse Mountain/Edgemont if required.

  • Trolley bus wires anti-icing trucks – These trucks spray anti-icing agent to the entire 300-km electric trolley overhead system if there is risk of frost/ice.
  • Bus switch outs – If needed, we switch articulated buses for traditional buses. Articulated buses carrying lots of people, but 40-foot conventional buses have better traction on hills in snow.


As a door-to-door service, HandyDART must travel down many side streets.

Prioritizing day programs – We contacted regular day programs in October to make them aware of HandyDART requirements for salting/sanding and access.

  • Targeting difficult locations – We are reaching out to customers with problem driveways/access to see if they have a clearing plan.
  • Extra staffing – When conditions require reduction to essential service, two drivers go with each bus to assist customers with loading/unloading.

Know before you go

If there is snow or ice, remember to dress for the elements, wear proper footwear and expect occasional service disruptions throughout the day.

  • Remember to plan ahead and give yourself extra travel time.
  • Check Trip Planner or for a mobile device, or sign up for transit alerts to be the first to know if there are changes to the transit schedule.
  • Follow our Customer Information team on Twitter (@translink), Facebook (TransLink) and save 604-953-3333 on your mobile device.

Media contact:

TransLink Media Relations

C: (778) 375-7788


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