TransLink announced it is celebrating 75 years of trolley bus history with the release of a new limited-edition Mini-Trolley Compass keychain and free tours riding one of Vancouver’s first trolley buses.
The new Compass product will be available on the day of the official anniversary at TransLink’s Customer Service Center.
Free rides on a preserved Brill trolley bus, one of the first to drive on the streets of Vancouver, will also be available outside of Waterfront Station.
Environment Benefits of Zero-Emission Transit Services
Since their first appearance in 1948, trolley buses have been providing vital zero-emission transit services to Vancouverites.
Now, over 100,000 zero-emission transit trips are taken on trolley buses every weekday.
By running trolley buses instead of conventional diesel buses, over 18,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are saved every year.
Mini-Trolley Compass Keychains
- Mini-Trolley Compass keychains will be available at the TransLink Customer Service Center, beginning at 8 a.m. on Aug. 16.
- There will be 4,000 Adult Mini-Trolley keychains and 1,000 Concession Mini-Trolley keychains.
- Each Mini-Trolley Compass keychain works to tap at fare gates and on buses, just like a Compass Card.
- Customers will be limited to purchasing two Mini-Trolley keychains.
- Each bus can be loaded with your favorite Compass pass or stored value and the headlights light up when tapped on a reader.
- Each Compass Product can be paid for with a $6 refundable deposit.
- Trolley bus toursFree rides on a Brill trolley bus are available outside of Waterfront Station.
- These tours will be available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Those interested should meet on the south side of Cordova Street, across from the entrance to Waterfront Station (601 W Cordova St. Vancouver).
- Tours will commence approximately every 20 minutes.
- Availability is limited and on a first come first served basis.
Trolley Bus Facts and History
- Vancouver is the only city in Canada with trolley bus service.
- With 262 buses, TransLink has the second-largest trolley bus fleet in Canada and the U.S.
- Vancouver’s first trolley bus went into service on August 16, 1948. It was operated by BC Electric Railway Company.
- The first trolley bus was a Canadian Brill T-44, which was built in Thunder Bay Ontario at the Canadian Car and Foundry bus manufacturing plant. These vehicles had a 140-horsepower motor and drew 550 volts of power from overhead wires.
- The first trolley bus route was called the Fraser-Cambie. It started service at Queen Elizabeth Park, went over the Cambie Street Bridge, through Chinatown, and down to Marine Drive and Fraser Avenue.
- The last Brill trolley bus was retired in August of 1976 after 28 years serving Vancouver streets. A total of 364 Brill Trolleys were in service over that period.