Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Double-decker buses going into service this fall. Other buses on order.

In order to accommodate growing transit ridership in our region, and to replace aging buses, TransLink has a significant number of new buses on order. These buses are arriving and starting to enter service.

I posted about this bus purchasing program at the end of May, but there is now more detailed information in the latest TransLink Open Board Meeting reports package.

TransLink trialled double-decker buses on the 555 route between Lougheed SkyTrain Station and Carvolth Exchange in Langley Township in the winter of 2017/18. I had the change to ride one of those trial buses.

There was overwhelming positive feedback received from transit riders. The 555 is a busy route, so these buses will relieve some of the overcrowding on this route.

One of the new double-decker buses is expected to be delivered mid-July with the remaining buses being deliver between August and the end of this year. Once these new buses are commissioned, they will start entering service this fall on routes such as the 555 and other highway routes.

The following table shows the full list of buses that are scheduled to arrive or enter service this year, and whether they are for replacing aging buses or for service expansion. It goes without saying that people are needed to drive these buses. TransLink’s bus operating subsidiary also needs to hire more transit operators.

Bus Type Number for Expanding Service Number for Replacing Aging Buses Timeline
Standard Compress Natural Gas 0 47 Will arrive second half of year
Standard 94 10 Being delivered
Highway Coach 0 23 Entering service
Double-Decker 5 27 Will arrive second half of year
Articulated (B-Line) 58 52 Being delivered
Battery Electric 4 0 Arrived in May
Community Shuttles 12 15 Entered service
HandyDART 10 40 Arriving

In order to meet the needs of our region, more buses will be arriving next year and beyond. Phase three of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Vision for transit service expansion is still unfunded. This funding shortfall needs to be sorted out soon to make sure that there is no interruption in much need transit service expansion in our region.

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