The intent of this page is to report on the current status of TransLink's trolleybus operations. Specifically, we will report
instances where we believe trolleybuses should be operated but TransLink/Coast Mountain
Bus has chosen to operate diesels in their place. Our
preference for trolleybuses is consistent with that of Vancouver
city council, as can be seen from reading some of their council resolutions on
Two former trolleybus routes are currently diesel-operated at
all times. These are:
- #10 Hastings Express: This service used the express
trolley wires on Hastings Street between Main and
Kootenay Streets. It was replaced in April 1997 by diesel
buses operating a revised system of routes connecting
North Burnaby directly to downtown Vancouver.
- #19 (ex-#11) Stanley Park: This service, which used the
trolley wires on Pender (west of Burrard), Georgia and
Chilco Streets, was first replaced by a diesel shuttle
bus in 1992. This was due to safety concerns with the
left turn from Georgia Street to Chilco Street. Diesel
buses are able to use an underpass, which could not be wired
for trolleybuses, to bypass this turn. In April of 1997,
North Burnaby bus routes replaced the diesel shuttle,
although the remainder of the #19 route, from downtown to
Metrotown Station via Kingsway, remains diesel operated
on Sundays and holidays in order to provide wheelchair
accessible service. In the summer of 2000 plans were announced as part
of the Lions Gate Bridge rebuilding project to replace the underpass. This
will allow trolley wires to be installed. On July 10, 2000 the Vancouver
Park Board approved a plan to extend trolley overhead to the Children's
Farmyard (Upper Zoo) Loop. If all goes according to plan, trolley service
into the park should become a reality in 2002.
The creation of dedicated West End/downtown loop routes in
September 1997 was initially a negative step as far as
trolleybuses were concerned as BC Transit assigned diesel buses
to the new #5 Robson and #6 Davie routes for all Saturday and Sunday service. However, the December 1997 schedule change
featured revised schedules for these routes and the routes became
trolley-operated seven days a week (Our thanks go to those staff
at then BC Transit who have worked on making this correction.) While
there have been isolated cases of diesels being used to provide
Sunday service since December, the situation has generally
Operational issues of current concern to Transport Action BC
- Frequent use of diesels on trolley routes on weekends,
not always with good reason.
- The need to assign diesel buses to some rush hour trolley
trips as a result of a chronic shortage of trolleybuses. This will now
be more common as 10 trolleys were permanently parked in May 2002 to provide
spare parts for the rest of the deteriorating fleet.
- Reports that drivers on trolley routes who prefer to
drive a diesel have their wish fulfilled by Coast Mountain Bus operations staff, provided diesels are available.
- The poor state of repair of much of the trolleybus fleet.
Some remain in what's left of their original paint. Many
have very noisy and vibration-prone powertrains.