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TransLink marks 75th anniversary of trolley buses with new limited edition Compass keychain

Metro Vancouver commuters will soon have the chance to get their hands on unique new way to tap in and out of the region’s transit system.

TransLink is set to release a limited batch of mini-trolley Compass keychains, honouring the 75th anniversary of trolley transit buses in the region.

The mini-trolleys are tiny bus models that function like a Compass card to access SkyTrain, SeaBus or bus service in the region, much like the wildly popular Compass mini-trains released last winter.

Click to play video: 'TransLink’s new Compass mini-train is a hot ticket for transit agency'

TransLink’s new Compass mini-train is a hot ticket for transit agency

“Seventy-five years ago the very first trolley bus entered service on our streets in Vancouver, and replacing the city’s street cars at the time, trolley buses revolutionized how people travelled around the region,” TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said Tuesday.

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“I do hope our customers can enjoy these mini trolleys as a way to remember the iconic trolley bus.”

Since the introduction of the trolley buses in 1948, the transit system’s fleet has grown to 262 electric trolley buses, the second largest of its kind in North America, and only one in Canada.

TransLink says the fleet sees about 100,000 boardings per day, and saves the equivalent of 18,000 tonns of greenhouse gas emissions every year in comparison to diesel buses.

The mini-trolley keychains will be available starting at 8 a.m. at TransLink’s Waterfront Station service centre on Wednesday.

The transportation and transit authority is releasing 4,000 adult fare keychains and 1,000 concession fare keychains, and people will be limited to two per person.

Like a traditional Compass card, they will cost a $6 refundable deposit each.

Click to play video: 'TransLink releases limited edition DC superhero Compass Cards'

TransLink releases limited edition DC superhero Compass Cards

Transit fans hoping to get their hands on one will likely need to show up early. When TransLink released a limited batch of Compass mini-trains in December, it drew a huge lineup that snaked back and forth through Waterfront station, and the items sold out quickly.

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In addition to the mini-trolley buses, TransLink is also marking the anniversary by offering free tours on a historic brill trolley bus Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Anyone who wants to ride the vintage vehicle can meet on the south side of Cordova Street across from the entrance to Waterfront Station to take advantage of the 20 minute ride.

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