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TransLink bus tires, explained

TransLink bus tires, explained

A common question we get asked during the snowy season is why doesn’t TransLink use winter tires? Simply put – we do. TransLink bus tires are winter tires, and they have the highest snow traction rating available for bus tires.

All TransLink bus tires have the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, this means they’re proven to perform well in winter conditions. The symbol is recognized by tire manufacturers throughout Canada and the United States to show that a tire has been tested to provide quality traction in snow and winter conditions.

TransLink tire with 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol
TransLink bus tire with 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol

Car tires and bus tires are very different. While it’s common for people to change their tires to dedicated snow tires during winter months, this is not common practice with buses. In fact, no major transit agency in Canada changes their bus fleet’s tires for the winter months. Tire manufacturers design bus tires with strong winter performance in mind for year-round use. To ensure these tires are performing well, we also constantly check our fleet’s tread depth and change any tire that gets below 9 millimeters of tread.

“Our tires are the same, or better than those used on buses across Canada, including cities which receive far more snow than we do,” says Simon Agnew, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) Maintenance Engineer. “These tires are recommended to us by our tire provider, Michelin, as being best suited to Metro Vancouver’s weather.”

Select buses may use tire socks, which are a helpful tool for travel in hilly areas with snow buildup.

We’re always looking to improve our performance in winter and continue to test new tires as they come onto the market to see if we can improve bus traction in difficult conditions. Visit our Winter Readiness page to learn more about all that we are doing.

Make sure to plan ahead during inclement weather! Sign up for Transit Alerts to get real-time updates about your commute. Follow @TransLink on Twitter or reach out to our Customer Information team at (604) 953-3333.

Dan Mountain

I'm just a guy who hates bios, but likes trains... and buses... and SeaBuses.


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