December 12, 2013, 1:14 pm
Santa, Mrs Claus, Sparky the elf and the Reindeer Bus!
It’s that time of the year for candy canes, ginger bread houses and Santa Claus. Speaking of the jolly old elf, he’s been the subject of some media attention of late. Santa shows up on a number of routes including the #27 Kootenay Loop/Joyce Station run which sparked media coverage.
Just to be clear, we love Santa, we love the holidays and we love our riders! We’ve heard about your love of seeing Santa on this route and we would like to let our riders and the public know that we will continue to allow our bus operator to wear his Santa suit while on duty. We recognize that we underestimated how much our riders valued his holiday spirit and it was certainly never our intent to offend the public.
Where can you see holiday cheer on the transit system?
The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle (November 2013 – January 2014)
The Reindeer Bus, Sparky the bus operating elf and Jiana from TransLink
The Reindeer Bus has been driving various routes across Metro Vancouver since November. Recently, the bus made a public appearance at the Christmas Wish Breakfast, hosted by the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau at the Pan Pacific Hotel on December 11. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the bus operating elf Sparky have also periodically been visiting mystery stops this week throughout Metro Vancouver. Here’s some fun facts about the program:
- Since 1985, Coast Mountain Bus Company annually decorates one bus and one Community Shuttle to resemble a reindeer. This year it will operate from November 12 to January 1.
- The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle visit a number of holiday celebrations including local agencies likethe Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House (December 9-12).
Toys for Tots
The Reindeer Bus and shuttle are a part of the Toys for Tots campaign. Here’s some info about the program:
- Created in 1985 by a group of BC Transit bus drivers, Toys for Tots allows TransLink employees to donate newly unwrapped toys or money to the less fortunate.
- Last year, Toys for Tots delivered 2,709 toys to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau with the grand total of 57,968 since the launch of the program.
- In addition, $300 cash was contributed to the donations, totaling $42, 822.86 since 1985.
- The entire supply of donations to be delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agencies from Monday, December 9 to Thursday, December 19.
Canada Line Blanket Drive (November 22 – November 23)
We were part of the fifth annual Drive on the Line campaign -partnership between Blanket BC Society and the Canada Line – that took place along the Canada Line on November 22 – November 23.
- This year, the two-day blanket drive collected 8500 blankets, exceeding the last year’s record of 6200 blankets.
- All donated items are distributed evenly to shelter programs and organizations that work directly with most vulnerable individuals and families throughout Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and this year, Vancouver Island.
West Coast Express Santa Train (December 7 and December 14)
Now in its 17th year, this is an annual toy-drive that collects toys on behalf of the Christmas bureau, serving communities in the Northeast sector including SHARE in the Tri-Cities, the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, and the Christmas Bureau in Mission.
This year on Saturday, December 7 and December 14, riders will be able to ride the special train in return for a newly unwrapped toy.
Want more seasonal cheer? Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle contest coming soon!
Keep watching the blog for a fun contest you can take part of if you see the Reindeer Bus or Community Shuttle!