Simon Agnew, maintenance engineer with TransLink, talks about the benefits of sock tires on buses in a promotional video ensuring reliable service during inclement weather. (Contributed)

TransLink ready for the snow

Officials at TransLink say they are ready for the snow that is supposed to fall this weekend

Officials at TransLink will be monitoring weather conditions over the next couple of days to ensure its service remains safe and reliable.

A light dusting of snow is already covering the Greater Vancouver Area and more is expected over the weekend.

TransLink representatives say they are ready for the deteriorating conditions.

Heat tracing has been installed on the power rail along the SkyTrain Canada Line where heavy ice buildup has led to service disruptions in the past. Cover-boards have also been installed to protect the power rail from snow buildup. Both will reduce the risk of ice.

De-icer spray trains will be used to keep the power rail free of ice. De-icing stations will be set up in covered areas and tunnels to prevent ice and snow compacts on trains. Some SkyTrain cars will run throughout the night to keep the tracks clear.

There will be anti-icing and sanding on the Canada Line to ensure the power rail and tracks are clear of ice and the SkyTrain cars have a braking system similar to ABS brakes on a vehicle which helps avoid slippage.

There will be extra SkyTrain attendants and transit police to assist customers and an arborist has already reviewed all trees and branches within ten metres of the tracks.

Tire socks are being used on buses operating between Production Way-University Station, Hastings and Duthie and SFU.

Anti-icing trucks will spray the entire 300 kilometre trolley bus wires and operators have a snow/ice switch to give them better traction in the snow.

If needed, TransLink will switch out articulated buses for traditional buses that have better traction in the snow and if conditions become severe TransLink will work with municipalities to coordinate service with priority corridors for snow clearing.

HandyDART staff have already contacted regular day programs in October to make them aware of salting and sanding requirements for access and they have also reached out to customers with problem driveways and access to make sure they have a plan.

HandyDART will also have extra staffing with two drivers going out with each bus to assist with loading and unloading if conditions require a reduction to the service.

TransLink is also warning passengers to dress for the elements, wear the proper footwear and to expect occasional service disruptions throughout the day.

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