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'Expect considerable delays': Epic snowfall in Metro Vancouver causing TransLink service issues

Metro Vancouver's transit agency is in severe weather response mode today.
TransLink is warning Metro Vancouver public transit users to expect widespread delays and service issues on bus and SkyTrain lines due to snow on Dec. 20, 2022

The heavy snowfall overnight across Metro Vancouver is impacting the region's public transit system, and TransLink is warning anyone who has to use its services to "expect considerable delays."

In particular, bus and SkyTrain lines will see the most significant service issues, including delays and cancellations. And while TransLink indicates they are providing bus service, it will be "minimal" in some areas, "particularly parts of Vancouver, the North Shore, and Burnaby," according to an alert issued early Tuesday (Dec.20) morning. 

Ultimately, TransLink urges Metro Vancouver residents to "avoid travelling where possible."

Those using transit should build in extra travel time and check their route by consulting the TransLink Trip Planner, signing up for transit alerts, or by following the transit agency on Twitter @TransLink. Conditions are changing continually and further updates will be provided. Take note, TransLink's website is experiencing high demand, and may be unavailable at times. 

"Millennium Line is running with some delays. Buses aren't doing too well right now," reads one recent tweet from TransLink.

For SkyTrain service, riders will see staff operating and monitoring trains in order to ensure snow on the tracks does not trigger emergency braking. At some stations, delays can be expected to allow staff to clear snow and ice from doors and platforms. 

To keep tracks clear, not only did TransLink operate trains through the night but also runs a de-icing train, which will continue to operate Tuesday. 

Here's what TransLink says riders need to know for each mode of transit it provides: 


  • SkyTrain is delivering service to all stations on all three lines.
    • Trains are being staffed manually by attendants to stop snowfall from triggering emergency braking and train doors are being cleared of ice and snow as they enter key stations. This means there may be larger gaps in service than normal.
  • Here's what TransLink is doing in response to snow on SkyTrain lines:
    • Positioning SkyTrain attendants at the front of trains to improve reliability on the system by limiting emergency braking triggered by snowfall.
    • Positioning attendants with de-icing fluid and hockey sticks on platforms to remove ice and snow from train doors.
    • Coupling Millennium Line trains into 4-car configurations to increase capacity while SkyTrain attendants monitor guideways.
    • Running a special SkyTrain that sprays de-icer on the power rail to keep trains moving.
    • Trains were run throughout the night to keep the guideway clear of snow.
    • Calling in extra staff to assist customers and coordinate service.


  • Buses throughout Metro Vancouver are likely to see delays due to traffic and road conditions.
    • TransLink is advising municipalities which roads to prioritize for clearing.
  • Customers  can sign up for transit alerts, check @TransLink on Twitter, or call the Customer Information line at 604-953-3333 before heading out to get the best up-to-date information about specific routes.
  • Here's what TransLink is doing in response to snow on bus routes:
    • Coordinating with municipalities on snow clearing when priority routes are impacted.
    • Replacing articulated 60’ buses with 40’ conventional buses where possible, as they are more agile on steep, slippery areas.
    • We will be running buses with tire socks on Burnaby Mountain and on key routes on the North Shore and Vancouver where hills and traction are an issue.
    • Deploying special trucks to spread anti-icing solution on trolley wires.
    • Calling in extra staff to assist customers and coordinate service.


  • HandyDART is prioritizing customers with medical appointments.

SeaBus/West Coast Express

  • Regular service.