Train derailment adds to commuter frustrations
rafe arnott/metro vancouver
The commuter chaos that befell Vancouver during yesterday’s heavy snowfall was exacerbated by a train derailment that left thousands of commuters looking for alternate routes to work.
Drew Snider, TransLink spokesman, said buses and SkyTrains were operating at full capacity because so many people left their cars at home.
When one bus got stuck going up a slippery hill on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, riders immediately got on their cellphones to tell employers they’d be late for work.
The transit chaos was compounded by a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train that derailed early in the morning in Burnaby, cancelling WestCoast Express and Via Rail trains.
Commuters were forced onto buses or SkyTrain, which were already packed with transit riders.
Murray Steer, maintenance superintendent for streets operations, said the city had most of its 27 plows and sanders on the roads as early as possible.
"Once we were able to have main streets under control we dealt with priority hills and hospital locations," he said.
According to Environment Canada, Vancouver was hit with six centimetres of snow while other areas in the Lower Mainland got as much as 20 centimetres.
Five more centimetres are expected to fall on the city today, turning into rain later in the day.