Buses had to divert from riot zone: TransLink

Drivers, passengers could have been put in danger

Bus service was cut off to much of downtown during Wednesday night’s Stanley Cup riot but TransLink officials say that was unavoidable.

“We knew we had to pull back service from downtown when the crowds got to the point it as just too dangerous to take buses down there,” spokesman Drew Snider said.

Some critics have said the lack of transit service made it harder to speed crowds out of the downtown.

“The streets were clogged with people,” Snider said, adding buses physically would not have made progress.

Drivers and passengers might also be endangered, he said.

Buses turned back on shorter routes either on the south side of False Creek or near Hastings.

The Expo and Millennium Lines kept running but Canada Line trains didn’t go past Olympic Village because of tear gas and security concerns at downtown stations.

Snider said police helped screen people boarding SkyTrain to downtown, pulling off people trying to get there to join the riot.

SeaBus stopped allowing southbound passengers altogether at one point and only carried people to the North Shore who wanted to leave downtown.

“From our standpoint, things worked,” Snider said, but added there will be a further review of how operations worked under TransLink’s contingency plan.