Expanded use of Kevlar tire socks part of TransLink’s plan for winter weather

Click to play video: 'TransLink reveals plans for winter preparations in Metro Vancouver' TransLink reveals plans for winter preparations in Metro Vancouver
As city and road crews tackle pooling water and clogged storm drains in Metro Vancouver, TransLink is laying out its plan for dealing with the late fall and winter weather, Neetu Garcha has all the details – Nov 1, 2018

With winter weather on the way, TransLink unveiled its snow plan on Thursday.

Last year, TransLink debuted Kevlar tire socks for some buses in order to help them gain better traction, especially in places such as Burnaby Mountain.

They’ll be expanding their use of tire socks this year, using the coverings on two routes on the North Shore — the 210 and 232.

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The socks cost about $250 a pair and contain Kevlar wires for added grip.

In previous snowy seasons, TransLink buses — particularly the articulated models — have been rendered inoperable in many areas, as snow buildup has caused them to lose traction.

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TransLink says they are working with the manufacturer to see what can be done about improving the durability of the tires.

From 2017: TransLink preps for snow and ice

Click to play video: 'Translink preps for snow and ice' Translink preps for snow and ice
Translink preps for snow and ice – Nov 2, 2017

“We found we were able to get 50 kilometres or roughly two hours of running before they needed to be replaced,” Simon Agnew, maintenance engineer for Coast Mountain Bus Company, said.

Don Palmer with the Coast Mountain Bus Company said the company anticipates its expansion to the North Shore routes will cost $9,600. The company is not asking for additional funding, saying the cost will be absorbed into its operating budget.

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Agnew said it is more economical to use tire socks than switching to a “more winter-style tire.”

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Along with the socks, Palmer said the company has worked with municipalities to create “priority snow-clearing corridors” that will preferably connect with a SkyTrain station or bus loop.

TransLink has asked customers to brace for periodic service disruption during the winter season and to sign up to its alert system to receive notifications about possible delays.

—With files from Simon Little

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