ALERT! : More info
Translink Buzzer Blog

Fleet Overhaul Series, Part 3 of 6: The paint shop


Here is the third in a six-part series about Fleet Overhaul, the vehicle maintenance centre down at Burnaby Transit Centre. (Check out the first article, on the body shop at Fleet Overhaul, and the second article, about panel fabrication.)

Well, once a bus is repaired, it needs to be painted! And that happens here, in the large paint shop at Fleet Overhaul.

The paint shop is right next to the body shop. See the video above for a very quick look at how it’s laid out. The door visible in the far left corner is the long room where articulated buses are painted, and the room visible on the right is where conventional buses are painted. The bus on the far right is being washed in anticipation of a paint job.

The conventional bus paint booth

A Nova bus in the conventional bus paint booth.

A Nova bus in the conventional bus paint booth.

The same Nova bus in the conventional bus paint booth, from a different angle.

The same Nova bus in the conventional bus paint booth, from a different angle.

A paint job doesn’t always require a full repainting. This Nova bus only needs the front painted after some repair work – that’s why there’s paper covering the rest of the bus up.

The articulated bus paint booth

A West Vancouver Blue Bus in the articulated paint booth.

A West Vancouver Blue Bus in the articulated paint booth.

As mentioned earlier, articulated buses get their own paint booth, because they’re too long for the conventional paint booth!

When I went to visit, a Blue Bus was in the articulated paint booth for some paint work after repairs. It’s not an articulated bus, but since conventional buses fit in the articulated booth, a conventional bus can be painted there.

And I’ll just leave you with a few more photos of the articulated paint booth:

Inside the articulated bus paint booth.

Inside the articulated bus paint booth.

Another look at the articulated bus paint booth.

Another look at the articulated bus paint booth.

The back end of the articulated bus paint booth. As you can tell, there’s some extra room because the Blue Bus is a conventional bus length.

The back end of the articulated bus paint booth. As you can tell, there’s some extra room because the Blue Bus is a conventional bus length.


  • By George P., April 4, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    The Nova bus you saw in the paint booth is the one that paid a visit to the Salvation Army in New West this past Christmas season… ;)

  • By Dave, April 4, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

    Looks like the one that paid the salvation army a visit in New Westminster this past Christmas

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 6, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    You guys are eagle eyes :)

  • By NursesDose, July 21, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    That is a huge paint booth.
    i am not a body shop person, but working on trans link buses seems fun.
    i wounder where are these paint booths made?

  • By Andrew S, July 26, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

    Hi Jhenifer,
    I have a question for you or TransLink.
    Why to the Blue Buses have a sign in the back beside the brake light that says “YIELD”? I’m just curious because I’ve never seen it being used.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, July 27, 2009 @ 9:34 am

    Hi Andrew,

    Here’s the answer from planning at CMBC:

    The Yield sign is on all the fleet, not just blue buses. Since 1999 in BC it has been law that a motorist must yield the right of way to buses leaving bus stops to merge with the traffic. The law makes it easier for buses to merge into traffic and keep on schedule, thus improving service reliability.

    For a little more background on this, here’s an excerpt from a Transit Cooperative Research Program report on Yield to Bus legislation across North America:

    British Columbia
    During the 1998 legislative session of the British Columbia Parliament, a section was added to the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Act (GVTAA) called “yielding to bus.” The major proponent of the YTB legislation was the planning department of the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) with the goal of improving transit service. Initial opposition came from the Insurance
    Company of British Columbia (ICBC), because of their concern about a greater exposure of risk because of an increase in accidents. The ICBC provides the motor vehicle insurance coverage for both the private and the public sector in British Columbia. Opposition to the legislation also came from automobile and police associations. Arguments in opposition were that this would be a different rule of the road, that the law would have an imputative effect on members, that it was one more thing to do, and that low enforcement was likely. After approximately 1 year of meetings and negotiations, the wording of the legislation was determined that satisfied the concerns of the opposition.
    The ICBC then commissioned a study of the safety implications of YTB legislation. The report was a qualitative evaluation of the safety implications, and the major finding was that no negative safety experiences related to YTB legislation in other countries with YTB laws were found. The report concluded that YTB legislation could have some positive safety impacts arising from increased transit ridership, clarity of right-of-way at bus stops, and reduced friction and lane changes of motorists through facilitating the use of bus bays. The report concluded that necessary prerequisites for safe operation with the YTB legislation were extensive education of bus and automobile
    drivers and enforcement of the legislation (8). With the passage of the GVTAA, a new section, 169.1, Yielding to Bus, was added to the Motor Vehicle Act in May 1999.

  • By Ric, May 4, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    If West Vancouver Blue buses are run by West Vancouver Transit why are the Blue buses at fleet overhaul? Don’t they have their own repair center in West Vancouver?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 6, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

    Ric: here is the answer from fleet management.

    TransLink owns the blue buses, and contracts West Van to operate & maintain them. Routine maintenance is done at West Van’s own facility, and overhauls are done at Fleet Overhaul.

  • By Ryan, May 19, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

    I agree with NursesDose who commented earlier. Thats one huge spray booth. I work in the automotive collision industry and the booths we use are nowhere near that long. Then again we dont usually paint 40 foot + cars haha.

    Im sure ive seen something that answered this before, but for someone looking to work in a place like this one day, what do they need to do to qualify? I know right now I probably dont since im still apprenticing, but I plan on getting my body and paint ticket soon. (provided i finish my hours :) ).

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 20, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

    Ryan: I’ve passed your note on to CMBC HR: I’ll let you know when I hear a response!

  • By Ryan, May 22, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    Great. That would be nice to know. Thanks!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 25, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    Ryan: OK, what I’m told is that you definitely do need a trade ticket to qualify for a job in the paint shop.

    Career opportunities are posted on the CMBC careers page:

    So when jobs in the paint dept do arise, you will be able to find them there!

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Please read our Participation Guidelines before you comment.