British Columbia

Overnight road chaos causing 'considerable' morning delays for Metro Vancouver transit commuters

TransLink says numerous traffic jams and accidents on Tuesday night prevented buses from getting back to depots last night and that is having a ripple effect for riders Wednesday morning.

TransLink says passengers using buses in Richmond, Surrey, South Vancouver and New Westminster most affected

People wait for a bus during the morning commute in Vancouver on Jan. 16, 2020. According to TransLink, overnight snowfall caused road chaos resulting in delays for bus riders in Metro Vancouver on Wednesday morning. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Commuters taking transit in Metro Vancouver on Wednesday morning are being asked to pack some patience after a dump of overnight snow.

TransLink spokesperson Thor Diakow says bus riders are experiencing "considerable delays" with passengers in Richmond, South Vancouver, Surrey and New Westminster the hardest hit.

Eric Mital, director of streets for the City of Vancouver, said crews worked hard to keep major arterials and main routes clear.

"We are hearing from our colleagues at TransLink that buses are running fairly smoothly," said Mital.

According to Diakow, the transit operator was also prepared for the inclement weather, but numerous collisions and traffic jams on Metro Vancouver roads Tuesday night prevented many buses from making it back to depots to be readied for the morning rush. 

Diakow told CBC's The Early Edition that some routes are cancelled altogether or reduced until more buses can be refuelled and returned to the system. He did not specify how long people could be kept waiting.

"I wouldn't want to give a figure at this point," he said.

A bus in snowy weather with a chyron reading 'Sorry.'
A bus is pictured near the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station Tuesday night as snow slams Metro Vancouver. TransLink says numerous collisions in the Lower Mainland overnight contributed to delayed bus service Wednesday morning. (Submitted by Sowjanya Kiran )

Riders can check TransLink's transit alerts for the latest information or get real time updates via Twitter.

Up-to-date transit information and alternative route planning can also be found on the company's website.

The snow is expected to taper off into rain through Wednesday, though roads are still treacherous and weather warnings remain in place in many areas away from the water or at higher elevations.

A snow day has been declared in school districts across the Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver, as well as in the Metro Vancouver cities of Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Langley.

With files from The Early Edition and Rhianna Schmunk


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