Bowen Island Community Transit Ltd.

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Bowen Island Community Transit Ltd. was a former contractor under Coast Mountain Bus Company and provider of peak-hour commuter bus service serving the BC municipalities of Vancouver and West Vancouver with a focus on commuters living on Bowen Island.

History

Bowen Island Community Transit was established by Peter King in 1999 as a private contractor under CMBC. They were responsible for running two Community Shuttle routes on Bowen Island until their contract expired in December 2016. In January 2017, operations and TransLink-owned assets, such as vehicles and other equipment, were transferred to First Transit, who were awarded the new contract for Bowen Island shuttle operations in November 2016.

In January 2015, Bowen Island Community Transit began operating the Bowen Island Express Bus as a temporary service at the behest of BC Ferries to compensate for the Bowen Queen's reduced vehicle capacity while the Queen of Capilano was in for refit. Due to unexpected demand, the service continued to operate after the Queen of Capilano was returned to service later that year.[1] The service originally operated with 30-foot transit buses, but increasing ridership and demand has resulted in vehicles being upgraded, initially to 40-foot transit buses, then 45-foot motorcoaches.

For a period of time, Bowen Island Community Transit operated a shuttle service for the Cypress Mountain Ski Area. However, operations were eventually returned to the service's original operator.

In late 2018, Bowen Island Community Transit joined the Bowen Transportation Society (BTS), a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the quality and variety of transportation services available to Bowen Islanders.[2]

As of June 2020, Bowen Island Community Transit no longer operates any services. Its last remaining service, the Bowen Island Express, is now operated by Cypress Coach Lines in partnership with the BTS.

Coast Mountain Bus Company contract

Routes

Retired/Transferred Fleet

Fleet number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Destination sign Notes
C588 1996 Ford/CBB E-450/Polar III Ford PowerStroke 7.3L Ford 4R100 Rollsign
S004 (1st) 1996/1997 Ford/CBB E-450/Polar III Ford PowerStroke 7.3L Ford 4R100 Rollsign
  • 1997 model, exact build date unknown.
  • Ex-BC Transit C595.
  • Retired in 2003 and replaced with new S004.
S003-S004 (2nd) 2003 Ford/Goshen E-550/GC II 5500 Ford PowerStroke 7.3L Ford 4R100 Luminator Horizon
S005 1993 Ford/Overland E-350/ELF Ford 4R100
S017 2002 Ford/CBB E-550/Polar Ford PowerStroke 7.3L Ford 4R100 Luminator Horizon
S302-S304 Coast Mountain Bus Company S303-b.jpg 2008 GMC/ElDorado C5500/Aero Elite GMC Duramax 6.6L Allison 1000 Luminator Horizon
S390, S391 S393 2012 Chevrolet/ElDorado G4500/Aerotech Vortec 6.0L GM 6L90-E with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon

Independent operations

Bowen Island Express

It is an east-west, peak-hour, fixed-route express bus service running between Horseshoe Bay and Downtown Vancouver. The Bowen Island Express generally follows the same route as CMBC route 257, deviating in its use of motorcoaches and bypassing of Park Royal, Marine Drive and 15 St, entering and exiting Highway 1 via Taylor Way. The service's current schedule is designed to align with that of Cormorant Marine's water taxi service.[3] This service is now operated by Cypress Coach Lines.

Charter service

Charter service was provided until all of the company's own vehicles were retired or placed into storage.

Cypress Mountain parking shuttle

This shuttle ran between the regular and overflow parking lots in the Cypress Mountain ski area. This shuttle was originally operated by Cypress Coach Lines and briefly taken over by Bowen Island Transit at an unknown point in time. As of December 2019, operation of this service has returned to Cypress Coach Lines.

Temporary TransLink service replacement

In light of TransLink's temporary suspension of Community Shuttle service on Bowen Island as part of service cuts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BTS announced a temporary on-island transport service intended to temporarily replace suspended TransLink services on May 3, 2020. The service commenced operations on May 4 with a single van rented from Cypress Coach Lines, following routing similar to that of the TransLink shuttle routes. The service is free but the van is equipped with a donation box, allowing riders to donate to the society. This service will cease to operate following the reinstatement of TransLink services on May 11.

Cypress Coach Lines Fleet

These units were leased from Cypress Coach Lines prior to their takeover of the Bowen Island Express's operation.

Fleet number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Destination sign Notes
(1) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz W5A380 5 speed automatic N/A
  • Pre-facelift second-generation model
  • Rental used for temporary TransLink service replacement
532 2004/2005 Prevost LeMirage XL-II Detroit Diesel Series 60 N/A
  • Late model with projector headlights
  • Equipped with wheelchair lift
560 Cypress Coach Lines 560-a.jpg 1995 Prevost H3-45 Detroit Diesel Series 60 N/A

Retired/Stored Fleet

Fleet number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Destination sign Notes
2307 Bowen Island Express 2307-a.jpg 2003 Orion VII 07.501 Cummins ISC Allison B400R Luminator MAX3000
  • Ex-Grand River Transit
  • Acquired from auction, August 2018. [4]
  • In storage due to a fuel system issue occuring in December 2018
(unnumbered) 2006 Blue Bird Xcel 102 Caterpillar C7 Allison 5-speed Rollsign
  • Ex-TransWest, originally used as Microsoft campus shuttle
  • Acquired from Northwest Bus Sales in September 2017 to replace 8139
  • Entered service December 21, 2017[5][6]
  • In storage for unknown reasons

Retired/Returned Fleet

Fleet number(s) Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Destination sign Notes
520 Cypress Coach Lines 520-a.jpg 2003 Ford/Krystal E-550/KK32 Ford Power Stroke 7.3L Ford 4R100 Light box
  • Leased from Cypress Coach Lines for regular service; returned in late July 2019
  • Still used occasionally as backup vehicle for 532 and 560
7026 1997 New Flyer D30LF Detroit Diesel Series 40 Allison B300R Luminator
  • Ex-Capital Metro
  • Retired due to alternator failure and sold or donated to an unspecified fire department on the North Shore
  • Scrapped in November 2019
7617, (1) 1997 New Flyer D30LF Detroit Diesel Series 40 Allison B300R Luminator
8139 Community Transit 8139-a.jpg 1998 New Flyer D40LF Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R5 Luminator
  • Ex-Community Transit
  • Acquired March 2017 to replace the Thomas SLF unit.
  • Fleet number decals removed on all areas except roof.
  • Scrapped following a catastrophic engine failure.
(unnumbered) 2001 Thomas/Dennis SLF 230 Cummins ISB Allison AT-545 Unknown
  • Returned to Northwest Bus Sales after multiple transmission failures and traded for 8139 in March 2017.

References