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Why does West Van operate its own bus system? And did the NDP ever force them to paint their buses orange?

Question: Why does West Vancouver still operate its own bus system? Is the “Blue Bus” moniker a reason why, through various administrations, the entire fleet has featured blue as part of its “look”? Does anyone remember back when the NDP was first in power they changed the bus colours to NDP orange? Did West Van’s buses continue to be blue through this period? Thanks!

Answer: City Plumber is wondering if this question was planted in order for the Plumber to discover that it is … THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEST VAN BLUE BUS THIS YEAR. And to run this picture.

But perhaps City Plumber has become too jaded by writing about contemporary politics and she should just answer the question.

According to both TransLink spokesthingies and West Vancouver’s transit manager, Gareth Rowlands, West Van’s Blue Bus has been a contractor for first B.C. Transit and then TransLink since 1981, as it was added into existing regional systems.

It’s not clear to me why the Blue Bus system was not simply absorbed, except that it appears West Van pays the drivers, who belong to a different union and have a separate agreement from the drivers in Coast Mountain bus. TransLink covers the cost of the buses, the yard, and the operating costs (gas, repairs, etc.).

I’d also suggest that it’s attractive politically, as it reinforces the image of West Van as a place that’s a little special, set apart, and with superior municipal services. (It’s also one of the few municipalities among the region’s 21 with its own police force, along with Delta and New West.)

The Blue Bus has 11 routes, 52 buses (including the community shuttle), 87 permanent drivers, and operates 21.5 hours per day.

And it has never been any colour but blue, they swear up and down. If anyone has any information to the contrary, please inform me immediately.