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TransLink expects delays as system gets back to normal after winter storm

Last Updated Jan 16, 2020 at 7:38 am PDT

File photo: Bus stuck on snowy hill Broadway and Oak in Vancouver on Jan. 15, 2020 (Corbet Rutzer)
Summary

TransLink is asking transit users to give themselves extra time getting due to winter weather conditions

Despite the situation improving from Wednesday, TransLink says its SkyTrain and bus systems aren't fully back to normal

Wednesday's storm saw created a number of issues with switches along SkyTrain tracks and icy roads for buses

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Conditions on Thursday have improved from the day before, but TransLink is asking transit users to give themselves extra time getting around as the Lower Mainland continues to deal with winter conditions.

The bus and SkyTrain systems were hard-hit on Wednesday after heavy snowfall and low temperatures gripped the region.

“What we saw [Wednesday] was fairly unusual weather conditions for Metro Vancouver in a sense that we got a very dry snow and very strong winds,” TransLink’s Ben Murphy explains. “And that caused some challenges. It caused issues on the SkyTrain with the doors to an extent we really haven’t seen before in terms of doors jamming.”

There were also a number of issues with switches along SkyTrain tracks, and of course, buses faced problems getting around in some areas due to icy road conditions.

Murphy says crews are working to rectify some of these issues that impacted service on Wednesday, which caused mass delays across the system.

Crowds of people packed SkyTrain stations, some of which were forced to close due to congestion creating safety concerns. There were also dozens of buses stuck on hill and bridges as conditions worsened through the day.

Related video: Public transit struggles in the snow on Wednesday

“We still have to, on SkyTrain, have station attendants monitoring guideways, there are still some difficult conditions out there, so it’s not fully back to normal as yet,” Murphy tells NEWS 1130, adding there will still be reduced capacity on Thursday throughout the system.

With many students heading back to class after a snow day, Murphy also anticipates there will be more people riding the bus or train, adding to congestion.

“It was a challenging day for us [on Wednesday], but the good news is that conditions have improved, and we’re still saying for people to build in some extra travel time, but hopefully things will run more smoothly [Thursday],” he adds.

HandyDART — which runs door-to-door service — will once again be running essential service only on Thursday due to road conditions.

Transit users are asked to check alerts before heading out, particularly on the bus system.