TransLink trials new bus tires on 500 buses as part of winter readiness measures

TransLink trials new bus tires on 500 buses as part of winter readiness measures Image credit: TransLink

TransLink is preparing transit services for the winter season in Metro Vancouver. Among the winter readiness measures, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) will be testing the winter performance of a newly available bus tire to inform future decisions about CMBC tires.

The new winter-rated tires feature a different tread pattern, on one third of the fleet – which equates to approximately 500 buses. The tires currently used on CMBC’s fleet are winter-rated tires which are replaced proactively to keep the tread in good condition. They carry the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, the highest winter rating available for bus tires.

The tires being tested are new to the market and carry the same Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake winter rating. Braking, fuel economy, and wear on tire tread over time will be compared. 

Actions to keep buses moving include:

  • Coordinating with municipalities on snow-clearing if priority routes are impacted.
  • Spreading anti-icing solution on trolley wires with de-icing trucks.
  • Using brass cutters on some trolley buses to cut through ice on trolley wires.
  • Installing tire socks on buses on portions of routes with heavy snowfall and implementing snow shuttles for snow routes, depending on the weather.
  • Replacing articulated buses with 40’ conventional buses on some routes, as they are more agile in slippery areas.
  • Salting and sanding bus exchange walking surfaces.

Actions to keep SkyTrain moving include:

  • Using a de-icing train to keep the power rail free from ice buildup.
  • Running trains overnight to stop snow from building up in the guideway.
  • Coupling Millennium Line trains into four-car configurations to increase capacity.
  • Positioning SkyTrain attendants at the front of each Expo and Millennium Line train to improve reliability on the system by limiting emergency braking triggered by heavy snowfall.
  • Using teams on SkyTrain platforms to prevent ice build-up on the doors.
  • Salting/sanding entrances and walkways for SkyTrain and West Coast Express stations.

Source: TransLink