City of Vancouver, TransLink readying for snow

Overdose Prevention Society (Hours: 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.)

Jan. 15

Britannia Community Centre (Hours: 9 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.)

Overdose Prevention Society (Hours: 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.)

According to the city, since the start of winter weather, warming centres have been open on 22 nights and have been visited 2,597 times.

All are welcome and people can bring their carts and pets. People with their own bedding may choose to sleep at the centres and hot drinks and snacks are available.

The city’s extreme weather response shelters will also remain open until Jan. 15.

Transit plan

With the likelihood of rain overnight and snow in the early morning hours, TransLink is readying for a potentially messy morning commute.

“This sequence of precipitation will not allow for early salting and sanding as the materials will wash away before snow hits,” the transit authority said in a press release. “We are encouraging customers to dress for the elements and use proper footwear to avoid slips and falls.”

In anticipation of snow, TransLink says it is:

  • Calling in extra staff to assist customers and coordinate service.
  • Coordinating with municipalities on snow clearing if priority routes are impacted.
  • Coupling Millennium Line trains into four-car configurations to increase capacity while SkyTrain attendants monitor guideways.
  • Deploying special trucks to spread anti-icing solution on trolley wires.
  • Stalling brass “cutters” on some trolley buses to cut through ice on trolley wires.

If conditions are severe, TransLink says it will:

  • Replace articulated buses with 40-foot conventional buses when necessary, as they are more agile on steep, slippery areas.
  • Install tire socks on buses on Burnaby Mountain and on key North Shore routes where hills and traction are an issue.
  • Position attendants at the front of each Expo and Millennium Lines train to improve reliability on the system by limiting emergency braking triggered by heavy snowfall.
  • Run a special SkyTrain that sprays de-icer on the power rail to keep trains moving.
  • Run trains through the night if snow is especially heavy, to keep tracks clear.
  • Send HandyDART out with two staff per vehicle, to ensure customers get safely to their door, and assist in digging out the bus if required.
  • Activate further staff increases to assist customers right across the system.

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