TransLink tweeted about their Kevlar tire socks last week and how great they are for winter – but where were they during the snowstorm last week?
The video on Twitter showed a lightweight blanketed device that wraps over the tires and act as replacements for tire chains.
“They’ll help us get over hills and get out of bus stops,” the video states. “And therefore we can keep service when the weather gets bad.”
It says these white tire socks are better than chains because “the rider comfort isn’t compromised.”
Winter Readiness: Tire Socks. If snowy weather limits access to Burnaby Mountain, we'll pull up our “tire socks” on buses operating between SFU and Production Way – University Station to keep you moving! ^BB pic.twitter.com/8tKaXZPBEY
— TransLink BC (@TransLink) January 16, 2020
But some people who watched the video mentioned they hadn’t seen the socks being used yet.
“Ok 1) Why is this only now becoming a thing after its been snowing for over a week?” Madison Hansen replied to the tweet.
Socks for TransLink Buses
TransLink first introduced the socks in 2017 for hard-to-reach areas like Burnaby Mountain. In 2018, they expanded its use to two routes in the North Shore area.
The socks take about five minutes to put on and must be replaced every 50 kms or two hours. Adding Kevlar socks for those North Shore routes alone cost $10,000.
TransLink buses are winter-rated, but are not specifically for the snow, said maintenance engineer Simon Agnew.
“We feel that for the kind of climate we have in Vancouver, and in the winter when it’s mainly just rainy conditions, the tire we run is the best tire,” said Agnew to Surrey-Now Leader.
He mentioned that adding snow tires to all buses would mean adding 10,000 new tires.
“It would be a huge effort for our technicians to try and handle,” he said.
So we guess Vancouver just has to hope more snow is not on the way.
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