To appreciate West Vancouver, it helps to understand this map:
This is the region’s streetcar and interurban system at its peak around 1940.
Take a closer look at the North Shore portion:
Notice where the No 3 streetcar stops: at the Capilano River, the border with West Vancouver. At that point, if you were heading further west, you’d switch to a Blue Bus, separately owned and operated by the district municipality since 1912 – reputed to be the first bus-only transit system in North America. And though contracted with TransLink today, it still maintains a distinct identity.
Why isn’t it fully part of TransLink, you ask, given that routes and fares are otherwise integrated? Frances Bula speculates: “I’d 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.” Frances is right: Blue Buses for blue bloods. Read more »