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Translink Buzzer Blog

Trolley service returns to Granville Mall on Tue Sept 7

Trolley buses are back on Granville Street starting Tue Sept 7

Click the image to see a large version of this map!

After four years of detours, trolley buses will return to Granville Mall on Tuesday, September 7!

The trolleys were moved in April 2006 for Canada Line construction, and for redevelopment of the mall by the City of Vancouver. But trolley wire has been reinstalled and service will now be returned to the corridor.

That means the 4, 6, 7, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, and 50 will use Granville Mall as part of their routes from September 7 onward. NightBus will remain on Seymour and Howe. (Have a look at the new specially created Granville Mall route map for full details.)

But be aware: as Granville Mall is also an immensely successful entertainment zone, buses are going to use an alternate route on weekends after 9pm.

On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and on the evenings before a holiday, buses will use Seymour (northbound) and Howe (southbound) from 9pm until the close of service. We’ll post signs on bus stops to let people know, and we’ll be working with the City and the Police to strike the appropriate balance for Granville Mall between transit corridor and entertainment district.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Granville Mall is the preferred location for our many bus routes because it provides superior transit infrastructure and better connections with other services. For the infrastructure, the bus stops are better as there is significantly more space on the sidewalks for our customers and the pedestrians. This dramatically improves accessibility.

And for connections, service on the Granville Mall provides easier connections with the Canada Line (Vancouver City Centre), Expo/Millennium Lines (Granville Station), West Van and North Van Service (on Georgia and Granville).

As always, feel free to leave your comments below—I know there must be some thoughts on this :)


  • By Cliff, August 11, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

    What will happen to the reserved lane on Seymour?

    Oh please oh please say it’ll be HOV 3+ 7AM-7PM!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 11, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    Cliff: CMBC planning tells me that with the return of buses to the Granville Mall, the City of Vancouver will remove the bus only lanes on Howe/Seymour. No HOV as far as we know.

  • By ;-), August 11, 2010 @ 3:57 pm


    It would have like to see it weekend mornings and afternoons on Granville too. I thought the weekend Granville activities ends in August.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 11, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    ;-): No no, trolley service will still be on Granville during the weekend mornings and afternoons. They’re only rerouted after 9pm each day, not for the whole weekend.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 11, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

    Btw I’ve revised the post to hopefully make that 9pm thing more clear!

  • By ..., August 11, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

    I like the trolleybuses on the picture!

  • By Cliff, August 11, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    That’s fantastic that buses are running back down Granville. It feels so bare and abandoned in and around Dunsmuir. It would be nice if life were breathed back into that part of town.

    It’s as if the buses do more than move people around, the provide a sense of security.

  • By Talker, August 11, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    Unfortunately there is no forum on the website, so I will some words “collected up” over a few years. I did write to the “feedback” sections however the replies I got were “Translink does not have enough money”.
    In Canada people do not like to hear that somewhere in the world it is better than here (even objectively). I value that as it keeps the society together moving towards one goal versus just copying some other nation’s living style. However, at time it comes to an absurd rate. This can relate to transit – evaluating it as a user, I come to the conclusion it is one of the worst one’s I have ever seen.
    I guess I will start.
    1) I do not like receiving replies such as “Translink does not have enough funding” because to me it just sounds absurd. I am from Russia and bus driver earn there in Canadian dollars about 700-800 monthly. Here the wages are probably double. Oil price should be the same since both nations have a lot of oil. Other factors should not make much difference either because most of the technology Russia purchases from Europe which costs the same as here. In Russia one bus ride costs 30-80 cents (depending on the size of the city) and no one complains that the company is unprofitable because there many companies are involved in transferring passengers and they are competing well. If anyone could explain why the cost for transit here is so high I would appreciate it.
    2) Service quality. Having Translink as a monopoly does benefit the passengers. While on some routes the buses are crowded, on the other routes they’re empty. Between 9 and 15 o’clock many buses in small neighborhoods run with no living thing on it (except for the bus driver). It is quite obvious that people work at that time and there is no need for such service. Consequently, the company wastes money. However, on the routes during rush hour buses are full, don’t come on time or there is simply a lack of them. I would be happy to hear a valid reason for such unbalanced situation.
    3) Air conditioning. While the climate in Vancouver is quite moderate, there is still a need for air conditioning. Opening windows is not a solution. Here I can see the problems Translink runs into – people open windows in air-conditioned skytrains without much consideration of others. Ones a man opposite from me opened it in a new air-conditioned sky train and I asked to close it. Later the skytrain workers told me to mind my own business. With such attitude the problem will be never sold.
    4) Canada Line and Skytrain. I must say that the service here is simply exceptional. Unfortunately, I don’t use it very often. However, the cost… I heard it cost $2 billion to build the Canada Line and the workers where from lower countries getting paid $5000 per year. I think that a lot of money was simply wasted. I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t know someone who was a manager in a company that built bridges.
    I am complaining here about the situation in general. I do not think that much will change but I would like to discuss the issue with other blog visitors. And I would be more than happy to hear adequate answers to the questions I asked. Thanks.

  • By Jacob, August 11, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

    @ talker
    Firstly, in places like Russia and many parts of Asia like china, the government has full power over the people, and they can do whatever they want. For example, in Russia, there is no, or very little “environmental assessment” before building any subway. In Canada, we spend 2 years assessing the Evergreen line, which of course costs money.

    Yes, you are right about some buses being empty in the middle of the afternoon, if all we had was high frequency in the rush hours, and low frequency in the afternoon, then we would have a completely different network, wouldn’t we? And plus many people go out on transit in the afternoon without looking at the schedules, with the comfort of mind that the bus will come every few minutes.

    The fare cost is not high compared to other major cities. For example in Los Angeles, 1 way 1 bus fare costs $1.50. To get from A to B in LA, you would need to transfer once or twice, totaling the trip cost to $3.00. Vancouver is different from most other cities. You get 1 and 1/2 hours per ticket, so you might even be able to make a round trip with 1 ticket.

    On the Skytrains, there should be a sign saying “Air conditioned vehicle-open window in emergency”, so I don’t know why a skytrain operator would be so rude to you.

    Please correct any errors I made.

  • By Jacob, August 11, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

    Regarding this post, I love the switch back to Granville, fewer cars = faster time.
    Is still the no cars law on granville?

  • By Derek Cheung (CMBC), August 11, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

    As Monday, 6 September is Labour Day and thus a holiday, will there be trolleys on Granville Mall prior to 9pm?

  • By jim, August 11, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    Hey Jhenifer,

    I just thought I would say this is great and I think the cute little trolley buses and street grid graphic is sweat. The graph kind of tugs at ones heart strings or a big awh!

  • By zack, August 11, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    I don’t know, but I think it’s going to be very hard to convince people that the trolley buses are coming back, because these days they’ve become too comfortable walking on centre lanes along Granville. Especially in the afternoon on weekdays and weekends, Granville between Georgia and Robson is completely flooded due to several factors. One of which is the load of passengers from nearby Vancouver City Centre Canada Line station, event gatherings, and the busy shoppers at Pacific Centre. So my question is this, my guess is that the trolley buses are only coming back to Granville because the City of Vancouver is reopening it and also allowing vehicular traffic, so will the city notify people of the upcoming changes?

  • By Westender, August 11, 2010 @ 10:48 pm


    I thought the #5 bus was going to be rerouted beyond September (until December?) due to remediation of the Robson mound on the Law Courts property. Will that be finished early?

  • By Westender, August 11, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

    Ooops! Just ignore my previous comment. I could’ve sworn I saw “5” in the list of route numbers. {crawls back under a rock}

  • By East Vancouverie, August 12, 2010 @ 1:21 am

    I am happy to see the electric trolleys return to Granville, with one exception. I think the #6 Davie should continue along Richards Street before turning onto Davie Street. The #6 is the only non-Community Shuttle transit service that runs through Yaletown/Downtown South and it would be a shame to force people to lose that service. Moreover, I clearly recall that the biggest delays that Granville Street buses experienced was when the #6 Davie waited to turn right at Davie while pedestrians crossed the street. With the #6 Davie bus running along Richards the route crosses Granville Street on Davie Street.

    Now that I think more about it the same problems of right turns happened with the #5 Robson street buses. Robson street has changed so much since the buses stopped running on Granville and that bus route should continue past Granville at least to Richards. Ultimately a loop should be established with the #6 Davie and #5 Robson being merged into a single route that runs northbound on Seymour and south on Richards.

  • By peter b, August 12, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    I’d just like to go on record by saying how unhappy I am with this news — I don’t want any traffic on Granville. Also, East Vancouverie is right on — I used the #6 Davie down Richards all the time, it’s such a convenience to lose. I do not understand why 9 bus routes have to go snake through granville mall. Why can’t there just be a free bus that runs continuously from Broadway&Granville to Waterfront that connects to all the other routes???

  • By mark, August 12, 2010 @ 10:07 am

    Boo. Why can’t they just leave things be. After almost 5 YEARS they are switching it back (and rerouting on weekends after 9??)? What is the point. Sometimes you have to wonder what Translink and the City is using for brains.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 12, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    peter b, mark: Well, I think we do see what you’re saying. However, the logic behind moving everything just stems from the fact that Granville has long been a designated transit mall, and remains the corridor with the best connections and transit infrastructure. As mentioned in the post:

    Granville Mall is the preferred location for our many bus routes because it provides superior transit infrastructure and better connections with other services. For the infrastructure, the bus stops are better as there is significantly more space on the sidewalks for our customers and the pedestrians. This dramatically improves accessibility.

    And for connections, service on the Granville Mall provides easier connections with the Canada Line (Vancouver City Centre), Expo/Millennium Lines (Granville Station), West Van and North Van Service (on Georgia and Granville).

    Not that this explanation necessarily makes this news easier for those against buses on Granville, though.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 12, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    Talker: I think Jacob has answered some of your questions quite well, and I’ll add some more context here. But let’s all be conscious that I don’t want this thread to get totally distracted into a discussion of non-Granville-trolley items!

    1) Jacob’s provided a nice summary of the value you get for a fare, and the different requirements that our separate systems might have. With no in-depth knowledge of how any Russian systems run, the only thing I can say is that the different contexts likely change the costs for running the system. Cost of living is high here, so wages are higher. We may also work under differing restrictions: we have tight environmental requirements (provincial law requires us to use the lowest-emission vehicles), and differing standards for vehicle repair and the like. Exchange rates and differing suppliers would also have an effect. Our system also supports a larger service area compared to other systems for a very competitive cost.

    (I’ll also add that it’s a misconception that the farebox provides all of our revenues. Fares account for about 1/3 of our revenues, with the rest coming from fuel tax and property tax.)

    2) Service quality and empty buses on routes. Well, as a visiting speaker pointed out last week, transit agencies labour under two rather contradictory aims: 1) trying to meet a severity of need and serve those who need transit most, and 2) trying to compete for ridership.

    A system run purely to grab the highest number of riders possible would not have buses everywhere—it would just maximize the high ridership routes and cut all the service to the outlying areas. However, a system like ours that is trying to serve people who need transit the most, may certainly have to put service in areas that may not have super high ridership. And this is an ongoing balance that every agency tries to negotiate.

    3) Air conditioning. Here’s the answer I’ve posted in another comment thread before: It’s tough to justify the extra expense to outfit our fleet with air conditioning when super high temperatures happen so rarely in most years. Air conditioning draws more power from the engine, requiring more fuel to travel the same distance, etc. Air conditioning also doesn’t really work on city routes because they stop/start so much—they open the doors frequently and basically nullify the use of the air conditioning (a/c works best when you shut all the windows/doors and isolate the interior space from the outside). We have over 1400 buses so these incremental costs for a/c and additional fuel would really begin to add up.

    4) I don’t know much about the labour costs for Canada Line so I can’t speak to that with any authority. However, I can tell you that ANY rapid transit project is always enormously expensive — this is consistent for any agency worldwide. For example, during the American Public Transit Association conference in Vancouver this year, many agencies presented their latest rail projects. A 3-mile LRT extension in Edmonton costs $425 million and that was the cheapest project I saw. Toronto rapid transit projects ranged from $1.28 billion to $6 billion. Honolulu last year said their project would cost $5 billion.

  • By Trevor, August 12, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    What happened to #17 NB turning right at Broadway from Oak and going downtown via the Cambie bridge?

  • By Jon B, August 12, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

    I also think it’s too bad that the trolleys are coming back to Granville St. Over the past four years people have acclimated to the change and there’s not really an overwhelming need to bring them back.

    It’s been great to have Granville St as a pedestrian only zone, much like many major European cities. It will definitely cut down on the ability to have great events such as the recent Five Hole for Food and the upswing in street performance once the cars have returned.

    I understand the desire for Translink to have the trolleys back down Granville… I just think it takes away from the overall ambience and is pretty much unneccesary.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 12, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    Trevor: I know the #17 is planned to return to the Cambie Bridge — the trolley wire just may not be installed at that section yet. I’ll double check on this for you.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 12, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

    Trevor: OK, here’s the response from CMBC planning.

    For September, the #17 will continue its current route using the Granville Bridge inbound and outbound. The only change for the #17 in September is that it will now connect with Waterfront Station, which has been a request from #17 riders for quite some time. In regards to when it will return to the Cambie Bridge, that depends on when the trolley overhead will be re-installed on the bridge (which is tentatively scheduled for late 2010/early 2011).

  • By Reva, August 12, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    I welcome the trolleys back to Granville Street! I have missed them all this time, they make the area seem so much more alive imho. Being able to walk right onto a bus outside of Granville Station sure is nice — having to walk a couple blocks makes a big difference when you’re in a rush (and if you’ve just run all the way up the station escalator, lol).

    However, I would highly recommend signage in the area warning Granville pedestrians to WATCH FOR BUSES! People are now very used to wandering on and off the curbs down there, and one side effect of our trolleys being electric is that they are VERY QUIET — it wouldn’t take much to be surprised by one, and not in a nice way. Safety!

  • By Jacob, August 12, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

    Talking about trolleys, what happened to the 7 trolley bus? They haven’t been using trolleys this whole week, and they are all diesel or hybrid buses.

  • By Derek Cheung (CMBC), August 12, 2010 @ 5:04 pm


    The #7 has been diesel since 28 June because of extensive roadwork on Nanaimo Street between Grandview Highway and Kingsway: much of the overhead wires were actually removed to accommodate the work.

    Should be back to trolleys effective 6 September.

  • By Matthew Buchanan, August 12, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    Hi Jhenifer
    Can you also put the route of the number 5 Robson/Downtown on there. I’m not sure where it goes now! Although, I see it all the time on Thurlow/Smithe.

    Why isn’t there a left turn connection from eastbound Robson to northbound Burrard? It seems inefficient to detour 3 blocks.

    I am looking forward to the return of the trolleys to Granville St. Make sure the signs are clear as to when exactly the buses will be on Howe/Seymour. I expect a lot of confused people in September.

  • By Jordan, August 12, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

    I’m neutral about the return of the trolleys to the Granville Mall. While I love having the buses in a convenient location, I’m not a fan of the inconstancy. Say its 8:55 on Friday. Should I already start walking to Seymour/Howe or should I wait to see if a bus comes and end up wasting my time waiting for a bus that won’t come?

    Anyways I won’t dwell on it. Overall, I like the idea of a transit mall. I’m especially happy with the extension of the 17 to waterfront.

    The talk about the 5 and 6 makes me think. Why not extend the buses further east to make it easier to make connections to/from the west end? I think that if the 5 Downtown was extend to Hamilton, more transit service could be provide to the ever popular Robson St. After turning right on Hamilton (turns into Mainland) the bus should continue to Yaletown-Roundhouse Stn at Davie St where the bus turns into the 6 Davie. I’ve always found it odd that a rapid transit station was only serviced by community shuttles… This would definitely improve access and ridership at this station. The same can be said in the other direction. Extending the 6 Downtown to Davie at Mainland would again improve access to Yaletown-Roundhouse and it could go up Mainland to Robson where it become the 5 Robson again.

    This also addresses some of the concern about the reliability of the 6 Davie having to turn right at Granville and backing up traffic or hold up trolley buses.

    I’m not sure what other peoples thoughts are, but the 6 seems to stop short off servicing the whole south of downtown. Its really the only bus that goes east-west in the southern area of downtown.

    One issue I don’t know the answer too, is what is the viability of Mainland as a street for transit?

  • By ;-), August 12, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

    @Matthew: During heavy weekend and rush hour traffic, it’s amazing how efficient it is to do the left-turn down along Smithe. Yes, it’s confusing when the bus detours on Thurlow, but it much quicker.

  • By Sewing, August 13, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    I for one am glad to see the trolleybuses return to Granville Mall. It was the major artery for transit service from 1890 right through to 2006…the last 4 years have interesting, but a historical anomaly.

    And it’s better to have all the services concentrated along a single street, especially as it provides front-door access to both Granville and Vancouver City Centre stations.

    9 p.m. seems like an odd time to transition the services over to Seymour and Howe, though. If the intention is to open Granville Mall up for evening activities, why not make it earlier in the evening? (I assume that’s the CoV’s decision, and not TransLink’s.)

  • By Sewing, August 13, 2010 @ 12:10 am


    Until the C21/C23 and Canada Line came along, southeastern Downtown never really had great transit service. There were various trolleybuses that ran along Richards over the years, and the Cambie and Oak buses going over the Cambie Bridge, and that was it.

    BC Transit came up with a whole plan to improve service in the area, way back in 1997. One component involved modifying the Robson and Davie trolleybus routes; the other inolved extending diesel buses into the area.

    Until 1997, the 3 Main/Robson and 8 Fraser/Davie had between Cordova/Hastings and the West End via Granville Mall, with the Robson and Davie buses short-turning at Waterfront Station on evenings, Sundays, and holidays, and the Main and Fraser at Robson & Granville during the same time periods—all mainly due to the congestion on Robson Street.

    So BC Transit’s plan was to make this arrangement permanent and improve it, by splitting off the 5 Robson/Downtown and 6 Davie/Downtown as separate routes, and running buses in a figure 8 via Robson, Hamilton/Cambie, Pender, Granville, and Davie (in both directions, of course).

    In the end, someone decided—or community feedback was such—that the Robson bus should have a direct connection to SkyTrain, and so it routed via Granville Mall (instead of continuing east on Robson to Hamilton), but then turned onto Pender, and looped around via Cambie, Robson, and Hamilton back to Pender. This truncated version of the planned figure 8 never really fulfilled the original idea of having east-west through service on Robson, so budget cutbacks and low ridership marked the end of the Library Square leg of the route in 2001.

    I’m not a transit planner, but I would imagine that both the #5 and #6 are such heavily travelled routes that they need to go directly into the heart of the office district, rather than be diverted east.

    At the same time in 1997, the 1 Beach/Gastown (as it then was) and 2 Macdonald-16th Avenue were modified to provide bus service into Yaletown–the first time the neighbourhood had been served by transit service of any kind. The Yaletown segment of the #2 was also eliminated during the same budget cutbacks in 2001, and the #1 was cut back to daytime only, Monday to Saturday.

    Finally, in 2004, the #1 was replaced by the C21 and C23 community shuttles, and with the C23 came the first 2-way service all the way along Davie, from Yaletown to English Bay. In 2006 came through service to Main St Station. (Frankly, before the Canada Line opened, I didn’t really see the point of the C23, except that it’s not really a separate route, but just the way for C21 shuttles to get back to Davie & Denman! With the opening of the Canada Line, I would imagine the C23 has come into its own.)

  • By Sewing, August 13, 2010 @ 12:14 am

    Oh, and Mainland and Hamilton south of Nelson are both totally unsuitable for transit: they’re barely wide enough for a single car or truck to pass through, in one direction only.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 13, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    Derek: Trolleys won’t be back on Granville until September 7, so there won’t be any trolleys on Granville street on Labour Day, September 6.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 13, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    zack: We’re working with the City of Vancouver to make sure people are aware of the trolleys moving back to Granville. Ads, street teams, and signage will be up to let people know of the change: also I’m sure there’ll be media coverage to help get the word out.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 13, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    Jacob: Some more info on the 7 to add to Derek’s comment, courtesy of CMBC planning!

    This project was originally supposed to be completed in September 2010, but has now been delayed until early October. Therefore, the #7 will remain diesels until October.

    More information about the construction can be found here:

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 13, 2010 @ 9:43 am

    Matthew: Do you mean add the 5 to the map provided above? Sadly we can’t, as that’s the special map we’re using to show which services are returning to Granville and a few other services that will have adjustments come September. You can find the #5 route map on the TransLink website though:

  • By Alex, August 13, 2010 @ 9:49 am

    Another question about the #17 – what route will it be taking in downtown when service on Cambie Bridge is restored?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 13, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Jim: I have passed along your note to the marketing whizzes behind the graphic :) Thanks!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 13, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    Alex: CMBC planning has told me that the future route of the #17 over Cambie Bridge will be basically the same as its pre-Canada Line route. However, they have not yet confirmed turns or potential impacts to overhead wire as a result of construction projects/developments in the area.

  • By Matthew Buchanan, August 13, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    “Matthew: Do you mean add the 5 to the map provided above? Sadly we can’t, as that’s the special…”

    I can see that you don’t want to clutter up the map, but you do show routes 3 and 8 on the map which don’t make it to Graville St. I also noticed that the 6 is shown only going one way on Davie.

  • By Cliff, August 14, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    Out of curiosity, did the loss of the #15 trolleybus result in trolleybuses being unused, or were those trolleys able to be diverted to other routes to enhance frequency?

    With the #7 trolleybus route out of commission until October, does CMBC find other uses for the now unused trolleys?

  • By Jacob, August 15, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

    I feel that they should extend Skytrain to the west end. The 5/6 bus is sooooo slow, and the 6 bus, well, it goes the same route as the C21 davie, except into downtown, but if you extend skytrain, then it will take pressure of the davie/robson corridors. A possible station may be robson at davie, or davie at bidwell.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 16, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    Matthew: Ah yes. The 3 & 8 are only on there as those routes will have some adjustments in September. So that’s why they’re on there and the 5 isn’t.

  • By Gary, August 16, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    Jennifer: The trolley wire heading south on Granville at Georgia has a sign “Power Off”. What does that mean? I always thought the trolleys needed electricity to move.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 16, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    Cliff: here’s the response from CMBC planning.

    Improvements to any transit service is the result of the availability of expansion resources, not the result of a 1:1 vehicle type change. In regards to the #15 conversion, some of those additional trolleys were used for service improvements, but this was a result of there being expansion hours available for the service enhancements.

    In regards to the #7 temporary vehicle change, CMBC does not use these trolleys to expand/improve other service.

    What I understand from this reply is that to expand service, you don’t just need more vehicles—you need budget for more drivers and the other associated costs that come with expanding service.

  • By Sewing, August 16, 2010 @ 3:55 pm


    The trolley coach overhead is divided up into insulated sections, so that power can be cut to one section (for major work or emergencies), while keeping other sections live.

    “Power Off” signs are hung beside insulators—small implements that connect two sections of wire together, but keep power from flowing between them—and it is these insulators that separate sections of wire.

    So there is actually a very short dead section where there’s no power, but unless a bus comes to a complete stop directly under the insulator, it has enough momentum to keep going the 50 cm or so until it picks up power again. (But if it *does* come to a complete stop directly under the insulator, it could actually get stuck!)

    There are also insulators at all switches and crossings, sometimes to prevent a short circuit where a power (positive) wire crosses a ground (negative) wire, and sometimes to also separate overhead sections (as above).

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 16, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    Gary, Sewing: Here’s the response from CMBC on the Power Off signage.

    There are two different signs that operators use when maneuvering a trolley through the overhead wire (TOH) and both have the word ‘Power’ in them. The reader’s question is in reference to a ‘POWER OFF’ sign which is a reminder to the operator to take their foot ‘off’ the power pedal (accelerator) as they pass through that section of the TOH. These ‘POWER OFF’ signs are located throughout the TOH wherever two electrical power grids are adjacent to each other.

    The other type of sign has the word ‘POWER’ and an arrow pointing either left or right on it. These are found at a switch where one wire splits into two separate wires, usually just prior to an intersection, and the operator can choose one or the other depending on where their bus route goes. The operator will move a switch (called a POWER/COAST switch), located in the cab of every trolley, depending on which wire they wish to choose. i.e. if the arrow is pointing to the left and the operator wants his/her poles to follow the left wire, they would move the switch to the ‘POWER’. If the operator wants his/her poles to follow the right wire, they would move the switch to the ‘COAST’.

  • By Cliff, August 16, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    The buses here are all outfitted with battery packs. Do these not kick in automatically like a UPS when faced with a power drop?

    In the unfortunate case a bus should stop in the short section of wire where there is no current, I imagine due to these battery backups, a bus becoming stuck would be nigh impossible.

  • By LB, August 18, 2010 @ 9:45 am

    I too am sad to lose the only pedestrian-only space in the city. Feels like a step backwards.

  • By Cameron W., August 23, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    Truly disappointed to hear that the city is losing the pedestrian-only space. And that’s coming as a driver first, transit user second, and pedestrian third. People can adapt to having their transit connections further apart, but there’s no alternative space for people to walk the streets. Hopefully this can still be reconsidered.

  • By Jacob, August 26, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

    Regarding the power off, Is there a power off eastbound on broadway just past victoria? There is always the “beep” noise, but no switches, and no “power off” sign.

    And also what is the problem with the long “beep” sound when the westbound 9 bus comes out of boundary loop under the Highway 1 underpass?

  • By Bruce, August 27, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    I have to agree with Jordan that the C23 don’t provide adequate service to the Yaletown Canada Line station. Often the C23 is full within 2 stops, going either direction on Davie. Incorporating the Yaletown station into a trolley route of some kind is way overdue.

  • By hokeydino, August 31, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    Not sure if you are able to do this since I don’t know if you have any business relationship with Google, but can you also make sure that Google Transit is aware of these changes? I’m sure a lot of riders use Google Transit when deciding which transit to take from A to B.

  • By Sue, September 2, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

    I will also miss the pedestrian only space along Granville.. iloved all the events along there during the summer..

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 13, 2010 @ 11:32 am

    hokeydino: Sorry for the late reply… Google Transit actually uses our transit data to generate their maps, so the information should be passed over to their service already.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 18, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Jacob: Responses to your questions finally trickled in…

    Regarding the power off, Is there a power off eastbound on broadway just past victoria? There is always the “beep” noise, but no switches, and no “power off” sign.

    There is a section insulator at that location. We will look into why there is no sign installed.

    And also what is the problem with the long “beep” sound when the westbound 9 bus comes out of boundary loop under the Highway 1 underpass?

    That portion of the running wire (for east and west bound Lougheed) is de-energized.

Other Links to this Post

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