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TransLink Vanpool: a solution for better transportation on Mitchell Island

TransLink Vanpool: a solution for better transportation on Mitchell Island

Zachary talking to prospective vanpool users about the vehicle

Two TransLink Vanpool vehicles recently visited Mitchell Island in Richmond as part of a showcase to businesses and workers a new way for commuting to, from and on the island.

Located underneath the Knight Street Bridge and accessible only via the bridge, Mitchell Island is an industrial area. The 22, 405, 407 and 430 bus routes provide service along the Knight Street Bridge, but there is no service on the island itself.

Industrial areas such as Mitchell Island have been historically difficult to directly serve with transit as demand is tied to work schedules, bus’s capacity often exceeds the number of riders, and providing safe and accessible bus stops are challenging.

The Knight Street Bridge is also often congested in the morning with one employee on the island, who works at the lumber mill, remarking it can be so bad there’s almost no access to the island.

Tiffanie and Zachary at a booth on Mitchell Island
Zachary and Tiffanie talking to a business about the program

Not only that, all day long, truck traffic on the island itself adds a layer of congestion to the roads as trucks compete with small, personal vehicles. Parking comes at a premium, as during mid-day, the curbs are packed with vehicles.

TransLink’s Tiffanie Lam and Zachary Strom took this opportunity to educate businesses and workers about the benefits of the TransLink Vanpool program — a hybrid between a carshare and a carpool — and how it could make their commute to Mitchell Island so much easier.

Two vehicles were brought as a part of the demonstration: a sedan, and a van. These Modo vehicles are the baseline of the Vanpool program.

A TransLink Vanpool vehicle with tents to the side
One of the TransLink Vanpool Vehicles, a Kia van

The demonstration showed that once users registered, they are then matched with other confirmed users to a vanpool, and one of the users would drive. Similar to a carpool, the driver would pick up and drop off users along their route. Once the drop-offs are complete, the vanpool becomes a regular Modo vehicle, where any Modo user could book, until the vehicle is automatically reserved again for the vanpool users to return home.

An explainer on how the TransLink Vanpool works

During the conversations, businesses praised the low cost, attributed by the maintenance and gas all covered by the Vanpool program. Another called it a very interesting concept.

During the pilot phases of the program, users of the Vanpool also noted other benefits, such as HOV lane access, reserved Modo parking spots, and reduced wear on their personal vehicles.

TransLink Vanpool is now a full program, as a part of TransLink Tomorrow — our commitment to continuously explore, test, and implement innovative ways to improve mobility in Metro Vancouver.

Ready to tap into the benefits of TransLink Vanpool? We have a new perk for new participants! For a limited time, receive up to $100 back in Stored Value on your Compass Card during the first three months of your membership. Learn more and sign up today at



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