As Lower Mainland students prepare to return to school next Tuesday, the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority has been bracing for a sudden surge in passenger traffic.

Translink spokesman Drew Snider says the transportation authority has been busy for months, working up solutions.

"Having more buses on the road, have the drivers hired up. We're still hiring to fill vacancies," Snider told CTV.

Snider said Translink has also been working to improve efficiencies within the system by adding bus lanes and securing traffic signal priority."

"We're running something over two-million service hours all told,'' he said. 

Its something Translink has had to do to as it tries to ensure that the region's student population gets to class on time.

Sixty years ago, Vancouver looked almost as congested as it does today.

Getting people to-and-fro was a challenge even then, for BC Electric, the Translink predecessor, which ran our transit system at the time. There was no Seabus, and most of the buses travelled north/south routes.

According to longtime transit critic, Nathan Davidovich, it wasn't until the 1970's that transit began thinking 'east and west'.

"There were thousands & thousands of cars being parked, I think 13,000 at one point every day at UBC," he said.

Davidovich and his fellow UBC students lobbied transit to add buses on Broadway and King Edward, which is why today he's happy to learn about another east west route to UBC, the new, number 33.

"It helps alleviate some of the pressure on the other east west corridors," said Snider.

The 33 bus will wind its way up to 33rd, travel past Nat Bailey Stadium, and down to Cambie Street. It will then turn onto 16th.

Although transit has those perennial problems, including congestion, high fuel costs and higher fares, it still has its fans.

"It's usually pretty efficient. I think it's efficient," one rider told CTV.

For more inforation click on What's New at the Translink site.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger.