This article was written by Charlotte Boychuk for Coast Mountain Bus Company employee communications. It’s a look at how our Road Services team is helping out for the Games period!
To ensure athletes get to their venues on time, the City of Vancouver created a network of Olympic lanes throughout the city where athletes in specially-marked vehicles can zip through the streets to any of the nine Olympic competition zones. These lanes are shared with our bus fleet and other emergency vehicles.
Teams of highly-trained CMBC Mechanic Road Services crews stand ready in strategic locations to provide quick fixes to problems that may stop our buses from moving and potentially blocking traffic.
For the duration of the Olympics, if a repair can’t be done quickly, the Road Services teams have three pusher trucks ready to move the buses to an area where longer repairs can be performed.
“We work in conjunction with the Transit Supervisors who also have a push vehicle staged in the downtown core and are often the first responders to each incident,” said Kevin Gray, Manager of Road Services.
Because of the reroutes, Olympic Lanes and no-stopping zones, there is a bit of difficulty finding areas to actually do the repairs in the downtown core, but they’re making the attempt, or deciding to move them out to the perimeter or catch up with buses further out than usual.
However, thankfully, there hasn’t been much serious influx of buses needing repairs on the street so far. “The call frequency is up, but that’s because the number of buses out there is up,” said Kevin, who added “All the preparation that went into storing the Olympic buses and making the entire bus fleet Olympic-ready is definitely paying off, which is a real credit to our maintenance teams at all the garages.”
The Road Services teams aren’t new to our system. In fact, they have been around for over 12 years now, providing quick bus fixes when called out on the street.
In March 2009 the proven program underwent a serious expansion from two trucks serving the entire service area to nine serving the Richmond/Marpole corridor; UBC, Mid-town (Grandview to Broadway); Hastings North (Kootenay Loop to Granview and SFU); Burnaby; New West; Poco; Surrey Central and Langley.
Operators have come to depend on the crews for quick fixes such as lights, fareboxes or mirrors thanks to the visibility of the vehicles, now clearly marked Road Services, and ease of accessing the trucks and mechanics, normally stationed in transit hubs or as close as a call to T-Com.
And operator Cliff said it was great to get the farebox tickets changed on his bus while he waited at Davie and Denman instead of later when he was in-service down the road.