Transit Photography » Canada »



Vancouver skyline
August 2007

Vancouver’s transit system is managed by TransLink, which in its role as the overseer of all modes of transportation in Metro Vancouver, contracts out operations to the Coast Mountain Bus Comany (CMBC) and West Vancouver Blue Bus.  The city’s rail system is called SkyTrain.  It is one of the world’s largest fully automated rapid rail systems.  It opened in 1985 and today has over 40 miles of track and three lines, with a fourth under construction.

Vancouver also has an extensive bus network.  Most services are operated by CMBC, including a large number of trolleybus lines that are powered by overhead electric lines.  Select lines are designated “B Lines”, and are Vancouver’s form of bus rapid transit.  The most popular of these routes, Route 99, carries over 54,000 passengers each day and allows boarding at all doors in order to reduce dwell time.

Service to West Vancouver is provided by the West Vancouver Blue Bus, which is the oldest municipally owned transit company in North America.  Although also overseen by TransLink, these services have a different scheme than the CMBC operated buses and the two companies do not share fleets, although buses are sometimes transferred from one company to the other.


The Vancouver SkyTrain was originally constructed for the Expo 86 World's Fair and is now the largest fully automated public transit system in the world; all its trains are driverless. It currently has three lines, three types of rolling stock, 42.6 miles of track, 47 stations, and carries over 390,000 people a day.

CMBC New Flyer Buses

A large portion of the Vancouver bus fleet, both past and present, is composed of New Flyer built buses, including diesel powered, compressed natural gas, and hybrid electric models.

CMBC New Flyer Trolleybuses

Vancouver has operated trolleybuses for over 60 years. Today, the fleet includes 188 40 foot trolleybuses and 74 60 foot articulated trolleybuses serving a network of over 200 miles of trolleywire.


Vancouver has ordered NovaBUS LFS units twice, in 2007-2008 and again in 2009-2010.

CMBC MCI Classic Buses

These buses were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They are no longer in revenue service.

CMBC Orion V Buses

CMBC's Orion Vs are all in a suburban configuration for use on express services.

CMBC Community Shuttle Cutaways

Community shuttles provide service on the lowest volume routes. These buses are operated under contract to CMBC.

West Vancouver Blue Bus

West Vancouver Blue Bus is the oldest continuously operated, municipal system in North America. Its buses and routes are owned and operated by the municipality of West Vancouver, under a contract with TransLink.