West Vancouver Municipal Transit

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West Vancouver Transit
Areas served West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Lions Bay
Founded 1912
Fleet Size 64
Routes 12
Headquarters 221 Lloyd Avenue, North Vancouver, BC
Union Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134

West Vancouver Transit (commonly known as Blue Bus and formally and formerly as West Vancouver Municipal Transit and abbreviated as WVMT) is owned and operated by the District Municipality of West Vancouver under a contract with TransLink. The system started operating in 1912 and is one of the oldest continually operated municipal transit systems in North America.[1]

West Vancouver Transit provides scheduled transit bus service, school specials and other special services. It also provides Community Shuttle service across the North Shore and Lions Bay. As part of the TransLink network, there are no extra costs to transferring between Blue Bus and other TransLink services.

History

Public transportation in West Vancouver began in November 1909 with the establishment of the West Vancouver Transportation Co. Ltd., founded by John Lawson, his brother-in-law W.C. Thompson, Robert MacPherson and John Sinclair. The service ran a single boat ferry service across the Burrard Inlet between the Hollyburn Wharf at 17th Street in West Vancouver and Columbia Street in Vancouver. The fleet grew to two boats in 1910.

When the District of West Vancouver was incorporated in March 1912, the ferry service was bought out and incorporated as the West Vancouver Ferry Co., Ltd., which ran under municipal administration. The West Vancouver pier was moved to a new pier and ferry building at 14th Street. in 1914, a second pier was built at 25th Street in Dundarave but was closed shortly after following the cancellation of the Dundarave ferry service. This resulted in a jitney service running between the 14th and 25th street piers. In 1916, the first bus was purchased by the District of West Vancouver. The 1911 Pierce Arrow touring car was converted into a bus. The following year saw the second purchase of a Thomas "Flyer" which was also converted into a bus. This practice of converting vehicles into buses continued until 1927 when West Vancouver purchased its first bus, the 23-passenger "Yellow Coach" from General Motors, which ran primarily on the Upper Levels route. In 1954, the fleet expanded to 18 Twin Coaches.

Following the completion of the Lions Gate Bridge in 1938, bus service extended into Downtown Vancouver and ferry service ran until 1948. Prior to the cancellation of the ferry service, it was placed on a plebiscite vote on December 14, 1946, among West Vancouver residents.[2] There were also talks of a buy-out of the Blue Bus system by the British Columbia Electric Railway in the same year. The Ferry Building at 14th Street in Ambleside became the bus depot until 1986 when the yard was moved to its current location at 221 Lloyd Avenue in North Vancouver.

By 1945, the Blue Bus was able to proclaim itself as the oldest bus service in British Columbia.[3]

On March 1, 1946, a new waiting room for Blue Bus passengers in Downtown Vancouver was completed. Located at Howe & Dunsmuir, the building allowed West Vancouver riders to wait for their buses in comfort with seating accommodation for 25 passengers, heating, washrooms, payphones and parcel checking self-service.[4]

Before the Blue Bus service joined the BC Transit network, there were no route numbers and buses ran using route names instead, such as:

  • West Bay (now portions of the 250)
  • Upper Levels (now portions of the 251 and 252)
  • British Properties (now the 254)
  • Horseshoe Bay (now portions of the 250)

A Transit Task Force looked into improving Blue Bus service and in a report released in November 1977, it noted the following potential improvements:[5]

  • Introduction of a transit corridor along Marine Drive east of 25th Street
  • There is a need for extra service to West Bay, Altamont, Bayridge, British Properties and Queens
  • Demand for bus service to Lions Gate Hospital
  • Introduction of rear doors on buses
  • New bus stop shelters, park and ride facilities and depot
  • Paratransit such as dial-a-bus and shuttles
  • Upper Levels Highway express bus
  • Possibility of rapid transit along the BC Rail corridor

In 1979, West Vancouver Municipal Transit became a part of the Urban Transit Authority's Greater Vancouver Transit System, later renamed the BC Transit and Vancouver Regional Transit System in 1983. This change saw the authority of transit services shift to BC Transit while West Vancouver continued to operate and maintain the service.[6] Although part of UTA/BC Transit, West Vancouver buses maintained the blue livery and branding, allowing for a distinctive and unique look compared to other transit buses in the province. Another distinct feature of West Vancouver buses at the time was their size and specifications. Unlike other buses in the Vancouver region, West Vancouver Blue Buses were eight feet wide as opposed to eight feet, six inches wide. This was because of the narrow and winding roads that Blue Buses navigate through in West Vancouver.[7]

In the mid-1980s, rear doors were retrofitted on most buses in the fleet. Front and rear doors have been standard on all West Vancouver conventional buses ever since. The last bus without rear doors was retired in October 1993.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Blue Bus service gradually expanded beyond Downtown Vancouver and West Vancouver, such as the 255 to Lynn Valley Centre, 258 to UBC and 259 to Lions Bay.

The first accessible buses were ordered in 1992 in the form of 9 Orion I units. These lift-equipped buses replaced some of the GM New Look units that made up the fleet at the time. The remaining GM units were replaced following the delivery of the first batch of D40LF units in 1995. With the completion of this delivery, West Vancouver Transit became the first transit system in Canada to have a completely accessible bus fleet.[8]

When BC Transit Greater Vancouver operations were transferred to TransLink, so did West Vancouver administration. This resulted in very few changes other than the changing of BC Transit logos to TransLink ones on vehicles. A new livery was also introduced, replacing the red stripe with a gold one. This variation of the West Vancouver Blue Bus livery lasted until 2007 when a new Blue Bus livery was introduced, which was a variation of the TransLink sweep-restyled livery with a darker shade of blue.

All units were equipped with bike racks in June 1999.

In 2002, West Vancouver received its first articulated buses in the form of three New Flyer D60 units transferred from Coast Mountain Bus Company for operations on the 257 Express. These units were later replaced by three New Flyer D60LFR units, also transfers from CMBC. In August 2018, articulated bus operations ended and the three D60LFR units were returned to CMBC following the transfer of 257 route operations to CMBC. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, one D60LFR unit (one that coincidentally also ran with Blue Bus), was loaned to West Vancouver by CMBC.

Community Shuttles were introduced to West Vancouver in September 2005 with the introduction of its first shuttle route, the C12 Lions Bay/Caulfeild. More Community Shuttles were introduced as more routes came online. In September 2017, Blue Bus Community Shuttles expanded into North Vancouver.

Fares

Fares are set by TransLink and all buses accept Compass Cards. See TransLink for more details.

Current Fleet Roster

All active buses are owned by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink). Preserved buses 61 and 995 are owned by the District of West Vancouver.

Fleet
Number Range
Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Number Engine Transmission Current Destination Sign A/C? Notes
Community Shuttles
17501–17505 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 17503-c.jpg 2017 Chevrolet

ARBOC

4500

SOM 28

GMC Vortec 6.0L GM 6L90-E Luminator Horizon Yes
  • First ARBOC units and first low floor Community Shuttles owned by TransLink
  • First WVMT units to follow TransLink's current corporate numbering system
18501–18509 West Vancouver Municipal Bus 18507-a.jpg 2018 Chevrolet

ARBOC

4500

SOM 28

GMC Vortec 6.0L GM 6L90-E Luminator Horizon Yes
19501–19502, 19536–19537 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 19502-b.jpg 2019–2020 Chevrolet

ARBOC

4500

SOM 28

GMC Vortec 6.0L GM 6L90-E Luminator Horizon Yes
  • First WVMT units with new corporate livery design
  • Remainder of set is operated by CMBC
Conventional Buses
701–706 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 701-a.jpg 2007 Nova Bus LFS Cummins ISL ZF 6HP554C Axion LED No
  • 703–706 are ex-CMBC 9601–9604.
901–909 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 902-b.jpg 2009 Nova Bus LFS Cummins ISL ZF 6HP554C Axion LED No
1201–1217 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 1214-a.jpg 2012 NFI XD40 Cummins ISL9 ZF 6AP1400B Luminator Horizon Yes
1601–1605 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 1602-b.jpg 2016 NFI XD40 Cummins ISL9 ZF 6AP1400B Luminator Horizon Yes
1606–1614 West Vancouver Municipal Bus 1610-a.jpg 2016 NFI XD40 Cummins ISL9 ZF 6AP1400B Luminator Horizon Yes

Retired/Transferred Fleet Summary

Community Shuttle

Fleet
Number Range
Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Number Engine Transmission Destination Sign Notes
S200 West Vancouver Municipal Transit S200-a.jpg 2005 Chevrolet C5500 GM Duramax 6.6L Diesel Allison 1000 with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon
S201 West Vancouver Municipal Transit S201-a.jpg 2005 GMC C5500 GM Duramax 6.6L Diesel Allison 1000 with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon
S261 2007 GMC C5500 GM Duramax 6.6L Diesel Allison 1000 with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon
  • Transferred to CMBC.
S305 2008 GMC C5500 GM Duramax 6.6L Diesel Allison 1000 with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon
  • Transferred to CMBC.
S370 2009 GMC C5500 GM Duramax 6.6L Diesel Allison 1000 with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon
  • Transferred to CMBC.
S1301–S1304,
S1308, S1309,
S1316–S1320
West Vancouver Municipal Transit S1318-a.jpg 2013–14 Chevrolet/ElDorado G4500/Aerotech GM Vortec V8 6.0L gasoline GM 6L90-E with Telma retarder Luminator Horizon

Conventional

Fleet Number Range Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Number Engine Transmission Destination Sign Notes
1–3 1915 Pierce-Arrow ?
4–5 1917 Pierce-Arrow ?
6 1912 Pierce-Arrow ?
7 1919 Ford Model T
  • Nicknamed "The Toastrack".
8 1920 ? ?
9 1921 ? ?
10 1922 ? ?
11 1923 ? ?
12 1924 ? ?
14 1925 ? ?
15 1926 GMC ?
  • Nicknamed "The Mountain Goat".
26 Hayes Anderson ?
35 ?/West Vancouver Municipal Transit ?
35 (2nd)–36 1947 Twin 34-S
37–40 1946 Twin 34-S
41 1950 Twin 38-S
41–42 1950 Twin 38-S
43–45 1946 Twin 34-S
46 1948 Twin 38-S
47–48 1949 Twin 38-S
49–50 1950 Twin 38-S
51–52 1952 Twin FL-33
53–54 1953 Southern S41HF Fageol
55–56 1955 Southern S41HF
57–58 1946 Twin 38-S
55-59 1973 GMDD T6H-4523N
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VS2-6 Rollsign
59 1976 GMDD T6H-4523N
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • Transferred from Kelowna 6238 in 1981.
  • Transferred to Kamloops as 6238 by 1992.
60–61 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 61-a.jpg 1961 GMC TDH-4517
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71 Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • 61 preserved as historic vehicle.
62–63 1962 GMDD TDH-4517
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71 Allison VH9 Rollsign
64–65 1963 GMDD TDH-4519
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71 Allison VH9 Rollsign
66–67 1964 GMDD TDH-4519
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71 Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • 66 transferred to unknown system as 6061 in 1987.
  • 67 transferred to Nanaimo as 6062 in 1987.
68–69 1965 GMDD TDH-4519
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
70–71 1966 GMDD TDH-4519
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
72–73 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 73-a.jpg 1967 GMDD TDH-4519
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
74–75 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 74-a.jpg 1968 GMDD T6H-5306
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
76–77 1969 GMDD T6H-5306
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • Transferred to Kamloops as 5541-5542 in 1996.
78–79 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 78-a.jpg 1970 GMDD T6H-5306
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • Transferred to Nanaimo as 5543-5544 in 1996.
80–81 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 81-a.jpg 1971 GMDD T6H-5306
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • Transferred to Kelowna as 5551-5552 in 1996.
82–83 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 82-a.jpg 1972 GMDD T6H-5308N
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
  • A third bus (84) was involved in head-on collision during delivery; rebuilt and resold to Guelph Transit 84.
84–86 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 85-a.jpg 1973 GMDD T6H-5308N
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N 84, 86: Allison VH9
85: Allison VS2-6
Rollsign
  • 84 transferred to Kelowna as 5573 in 1996.
88–89 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 85-a.jpg 1974 GMDD T6H-5308N
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
90, 95 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 90-a.jpg 1974 GMDD T6H-5308N
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
91–93 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 93-a.jpg 1969 GMDD T6H-5306
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
94, 96-97 1967 GMDD TDH-5304 Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
98-99 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 99-a.jpg 1968 GMDD TDH-5304
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71N Allison VH9 Rollsign
207 1979 Flyer D800B Detroit Diesel 6V92TA Allison V730
  • Ex-1207.
  • Transferred back to CMBC as 1207 in 2000.
210 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 210-a.jpg 1980 Flyer D800B Detroit Diesel 6V92TA Allison V730
  • Ex-1210.
  • Transferred back to CMBC as 1210 in 2000.
712–714 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 713-a.jpg 2007 New Flyer D60LFR Cummins ISM Allison World B500R6 Luminator Horizon
  • Ex-CMBC 8102–8104, acquired in August 2009
  • Transferred back to CMBC in August 2018.
801–803 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 803-a.jpg 2008 Nova Bus LFS Cummins ISL ZF 6HP554C Axion LED
  • Transferred to CMBC in August 2018 as 9797–9799.
912–914 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 912-a.jpg 1991 New Flyer D60 Detroit Diesel 6V92TA Allison HTB748 Luminator Mega:MAX
  • Ex-CMBC 3001, 3002, & 3021.
  • Express buses.
  • Lift Equipped.
921–929 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 921-a.jpg 1992 OBI Orion I Detroit Diesel 6V92TA Voith D863.3 Luminator Mega:MAX
  • Lift Equipped.
  • Has rear electronic sign.
  • Originally fitted with rollsigns.
  • All retired by March 27th, 2010.
  • Scrapped in October 2010.
951–959,
961–968
West Vancouver Municipal Transit 953-a.jpg 1995 New Flyer D40LF Detroit Diesel Series 50 Voith D863.3 951: Balios
952–959, 961–968: Luminator Mega:MAX
  • All retired from revenue service as of April 2013.
  • 964 retired in March 2015.
971 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 971-a.jpg 1996 New Flyer D40LF Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400R Luminator Super Matrix:MAX
981 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 981-a.jpg 1998 Nova Bus LFS Cummins C8.3 Allison World B400R5 Luminator Mega:MAX
  • Ex-CMBC B7298; acquired in 2002.
990–998 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 992-a.jpg 1999 New Flyer D40LF Detroit Diesel Series 50 990 - Allison World B400R5
991–992, 994–998 - Voith D863.3
Balios Orange LED
1207 1979 Flyer D800B
1210 1980 Flyer D800B

Historic Fleet

Fleet Number Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Engine Transmission Notes
61 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 61-a.jpg 1961 GMC TDH-4517
New Look
Detroit Diesel 6V71 Allison VH9
995 West Vancouver Municipal Transit 995-a.jpg 1999 NFI D40LF Detroit Diesel Series 50 Voith D863.3

Service, Supervisor and Miscellaneous Fleet Summary

Fleet Number Range Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Number Engine Transmission Notes
1-5 West Vancouver Municipal Bus 2-a.jpg 2016-2018 Honda Civic Sedan
  • Driver trade-off vehicles
  • Number 2 lic. plate: 820 WJW
  • Number 4 lic. plate: 842 XMT
  • Number 5 lic. plate: CX9 01L
4 Honda Fit I4 1.5L gasoline
R029 Ford/CBB Econoline/Polar Ford
  • Seniors' Activity Centre shuttle bus.
  • Lic. Plate - 4190 JA
R050 Ford/ElDorado E450/Aerotech Ford Triton V10 6.8L gasoline Ford TorqShift 5R110W
  • 2004–2007 model
  • Only Aerotech unit based on Ford chassis
T002 1989 GMC Sierra Reg. Cab pickup GM V8 5.7L gasoline
  • Lic. Plate - 5695 WR
  • VIN - 1GTGC24K4KE540003
T009 2007 Toyota Yaris 4-Door Sedan I4 1.5L gasoline
  • Lic. Plate - NNE 445
  • VIN - JTDBT923071005201
T010 1999 GMC Sierra 2500 Pickup GM V8 6.0L gasoline
  • Lic. Plate - 7826 DS
  • VIN - 1GTGK24U2XE550363
T013 2007 Toyota Yaris 4-Door Sedan I4 1.5L gasoline
  • Lic. Plate - 376 GMF
  • VIN - JTDBT923X71025522
T014 2010 Ford F150 Pickup Ford V8 4.6L gasoline
  • Lic. Plate - BK 9738
  • VIN - 1FTEW1E80AFA23527
T015 2009 Toyota Yaris 4-Door Sedan I4 1.5L gasoline
  • Lic. Plate - 873 KTR
  • VIN - JTDBT923891304373

References

  1. West Vancouver Transit Rider Guide Web Archive, retrieved 30-01-2021
  2. Transit Topics December 1946 Issue West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 19-04-2021
  3. Transit Topics October 1945 Issue West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 19-04-2021
  4. Transit Topics March 1946 Issue West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 19-04-2021
  5. West Vancouver Community Plan 1980 West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 19-04-2021
  6. West Vancouver (B.C.). Transit department West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 19-04-2021
  7. District of West Vancouver Guide to Municipal Services West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 19-04-2021
  8. West Vancouver Report November 1995, vol. 16, no.2 West Vancouver Archives, retrieved 30-01-2021
v·d·e
West Vancouver Municipal Transit Blue Bus alternate branding-a.png
Facilities R2 Marine Dr Park RoyalWest Vancouver Transit Centre
Current Fleet 701–706 901–909 1201–1217 1601–1605 1606–1614
Community Shuttle Fleet 17501–17505 18501–18509 19501–19502, 19536–19537
Retired/
Transferred Fleet
712–714 801–803 912–914 921–929 951–959, 961–968 971 981 990–998 S200 S201 S261 S305 S370 S1301–S1304, S1308, S1309, S1316–S1320
Paint Schemes CMBC Paint Icon bct.gif CMBC Paint Icon westvan.gif CMBC Paint Icon NoCharcoal template.png CMBC Paint Icon lfr.gif Coast Mountain Bus Company Paint Icon ExpressBus.png CMBC Paint Icon sweep.gif
Routes
Conventional 250 250A 253 254 255 258
Community Shuttle 214 215 227 251 252 256 262
Other CemeteryVancouver Special Events Bus
Former Routes 257 259Hockey SpecialPNE Special