SkyTrain issues: Warning of delays, station closures, TransLink tells public to stay home if possible
VANCOUVER -- The impact of a recent snowstorm on Metro Vancouver transit is so great that officials are advising the public to consider staying home for the day.
King George Station was closed at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday due to "a track issue and weather conditions," as were Sapperton and Braid Stations. All three were re-opened shortly before 10 a.m.
Those who were able to get into the stations they rely on faced system-wide holds due to freezing doors and what TransLink referred to as "train issues."
Delays were reported on the Expo and Millennium lines, and in some cases trains held in stations for as long as 15 minutes.
Announcements played to packed-in passengers advised that "trains should be moving shortly."
Earlier in the morning, trains on the Expo Line were held longer at some stations due to what TransLink referred to as a "technical issue."
No further information on what went wrong was posted on TransLink's Twitter account, other than that the issue was reported between Metrotown and 22nd Street stations.
While the issue was resolved around 6:15 a.m., the transit operator said to expect some "delays and gaps" while service got back up and running.
However, the entire line was running with reduced service, TransLink said, to allow staff to de-ice trains and platforms. On the Millennium Line, TransLink opted to run fewer trains, but with more cars.
And conditions were bad enough that TransLink had to run a shuttle train between Scott Road and Surrey Central stations for part of the morning. Travellers had to get off the train and transfer to another to continue their trip into Vancouver.
On the Canada Line, TransLink announced at around 9:45 that there was a system-wide hold due to a track issue at Bridgeport Station. While that issue was resolved shortly after 10 a.m., another system-wide hold was issued about 90 minutes later, but that ended soon after as well.
Others who rely on the region's bus network were also impacted Wednesday morning. More than 50 bus routes were experiencing delays or detours due to weather.
- Read more: Full list of bus routes impacted by snow
In a message on Twitter, the public transit provider said bus service is delayed in most areas due to the weather.
"Please allow extra travel time and bundle up in anticipation of delays," TransLink posted.
In an emailed statement the company offered those who rely on transit the following advice: "Customers are asked to consider whether they need to travel today, and if there is a need, whether they could consider travelling outside of rush hours, as commutes will take significantly longer than usual."
A similar announcement was played over speakers in packed trains as commuters waited while trains were held in stations.
On some cars, the announcement was met with laughter or eye rolls, as those already on the train had already left home – it was too late for them to decide to stay home.
As of 4 p.m. TransLink issued a statement saying: "There are various route cancellations and delays due to weather impacts." TransLink suggested users sign up for transit alerts and follow their Twitter account for the most up to date information.