TransLink: Trolleys celebrate 70-year ‘clean’ driving record

One of the original trolleys.

THURSDAY marks the 70th anniversary of TransLink’s electric trolley bus fleet, which delivered more than 69 million earth-friendly, quiet rides to people in 2017 alone.

“Vancouver is one of the few cities in North America where trolley buses have endured,” said Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) President Mike McDaniel. “Trolleys have delivered billions of bus rides using clean, renewable energy. In coming years, our goal is to take those benefits region-wide through the electrification of our fleet.”

Vancouver’s trolley fleet had its first paying customers Monday, August 16, 1948. There were 30 Brill T-44 buses, made by Canadian Car & Foundry, and the first route carried passengers along Fraser Street from Marine Drive into downtown then out along Cambie Street to 29th Avenue.

Today, there are 262 buses on 13 routes, making it the only trolley fleet in Canada and the third-largest fleet in North America. 

TransLink is laying the groundwork for its transition to a zero-emission bus fleet. Next year, it will test four zero-emission electric-battery buses as part of an extensive trial. It will also complete its Low Carbon Fleet Strategy next year, which will map its transition to a zero-carbon fleet by 2050.


Free Historic Trolley Rides

Enjoy a free ride on an historic trolley bus on Saturday, August 18 and Friday, August 24 between noon to 4 p.m. The bus will run on a downtown circuit, picking up passengers every half hour at the following stops:

· Southbound from Victory Square – Cambie St. at Hastings St. (stop #50410)

· Burrard Station – Burrard St. at Melville St. (#50043)

· Burrard St. at Robson St. (#50045)

· Davie St. at Howe St. (#50011)

· Seymour St. at Pender St. (#61519)

· Waterfront Station – Cordova St. at Richards St.


Trolley Facts:

· Vancouver’s fleet of 262 are made by New Flyer, and 74 of these are articulated.

· 65% of all trips in City of Vancouver in 2017 were on a trolley bus.

· 17% of all trips in Metro Vancouver in 2017 were on a trolley.

· Trolleys use around $15,000 of electricity per bus/year. Diesel buses use about $40,000 in diesel fuel per bus/year.

· Trolley buses run on the following routes: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,14,16,17,19,20.