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Transit in Metro Vancouver 'running smoothly' for now but delays likely with snow on the way

With snow in the afternoon forecast, transit delays are likely
TransLink says the morning commute on Jan. 18 is 'running smoothly' but there are widespread bus trip cancellations and snow in the Thursday afternoon forecast. Essential travel only remains the recommendation. Pictured: Commuters outside the Broadway-City Hall Canada Line SkyTrain in Vancouver, B.C. during a snowstorm on Jan. 17, 2024

As the Metro Vancouver region enjoys a reprieve from snowfall Thursday morning (Jan. 18), commuters who rely on TransLink's bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express service are warned things could change as the day progresses.

TransLink updated riders early Thursday morning, indicating that "transit services have been running smoothly."

Currently, TransLink says both its SeaBus and West Coast Express are running regular service, and SkyTrain is "running to all stations with near-regular service on all three lines." 

Bus service is available on all routes, says the Metro Vancouver transit agency, and in many cases regular 60-foot articulated buses have been swapped out for 40-foot buses. 

However, customers who use TransLink's bus service are urged to check each route for impacts. 

As of 8:45 a.m. Thursday, there are over 200 alerts posted for bus routes, many of which are for cancellations of individual runs. 

"HandyDART is prioritizing customers with medical appointments, work, or school," adds TransLink.

At 8 a.m., the transit authority noted that its Expo Line SkyTrain trains "to Production Way" are terminating at Lougheed Station due to weather.

"Customers who need to continue on to Production-Way Station need to transfer to the Millennium Line transfer at Lougheed Station," it wrote in a post on its X account. 

Snow in Thursday's forecast, 'essential travel only is recommended'

A general advisory remains in effect for TransLink customers: "Due to expected conditions on Jan 18 in Metro Vancouver, transit service impacts across the system, delays and cancellations are expected. Essential travel only is recommended."

Anyone who needs to use the bus, SkyTrain, or SeaBus is advised to dress appropriately for the cold weather, build in extra travel time, and check their routes, which can be done via the TransLink website, signing up for Transit Alerts, following TransLink on X/Twitter @TransLink, or calling TransLink Customer Information at 604-953-3333.

While there are no current alerts in effect from Environment Canada, the Metro Vancouver forecast for Thursday calls for snow to resume this afternoon, changing to rain at around midnight. Temperatures should hold at about 1 C in the region.