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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: SkyTrain

Year in Review: an update on the Expo Line SkyTrain station upgrades

A major milestone for Metrotown Station this year as both the centre and west stationhouses opened!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time to look back at the past twelve months and take stock of all that we’ve accomplished…like making tremendous progress on four Expo Line SkyTrain Station upgrades!

In order to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers and the entire region for years to come, these four stations are currently being upgraded to improve station accessibility, capacity, safety and security. Read more »

Year in Review: a look at some of TransLink’s 2017 milestones

As 2017 comes to a close, The Buzzer blog’s taking a look at some of TransLink’s milestones from the year that was!

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Going the distance. Rogers LTE wireless comes to the Burquitlam Tunnel

Mark II staredown. #mytranslink #vancouver #translink #transit #skytrain

A post shared by Adam Ulrich Rinne (@atomadam90) on

Earlier this week, Rogers completed installation of the LTE wireless network in the 2.5 km Burquitlam Tunnel on the Evergreen Extension. This marks the last section of SkyTrain that was without cell coverage since service expanded to the Dunsmuir and Edmonds tunnels in July 2016, and New Westminster this past August.

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Bridgeport Station bus bays are on the move!

Bridgeport Station bus passengers can expect a change in where they catch their bus starting December 22, 2017. 

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Happy 32nd birthday, SkyTrain!

SkyTrain bursts through a banner on its very first day in service: Dec 11, 1985!

It’s birthday time, again!

Thirty-two years ago today, Premier Bill Bennett proudly announced the opening of SkyTrain, forever changing the face of transit for Metro Vancouver! Rides were free for the first eight days while SkyTrain staff worked out any glitches on the system.

According to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, on opening day there were “bands, balloons, political speeches and a crowd of admiring fans” as vehicle 049 smashed through “five colourful banners stretched across the tracks and glided to a halt at Waterfront Station” (“Bands, Balloons, Fans and Glitter,” Vancouver Sun, Final Edition, Wednesday, December 11, 1985).

Nearly a month later, SkyTrain would mark its official launch with the start of regular service on January 3rd, 1986.

Let’s look at some of our major milestones of the last 32 years:

  • 1986: SkyTrain opens for regular revenue service between Vancouver and New Westminster
  • 1989–1994: Three Expo Line expansion projects are built adding service to Surrey with King George as the terminus station
  • 2002: Millennium Line officially opens operating along the Expo Line to New Westminster Station and adding new service between Columbia and Commercial-Broadway
  • 2006: Millennium Line service is extended to its current terminus station, VCC-Clark
  • 2009: Canada Line opens, connecting downtown Vancouver with Richmond and the Vancouver international airport
  • 2016: Millennium Line Evergreen Extension opens connecting the Tri-Cities to the existing SkyTrain system, regional bus network, and West Coast Express

Happy Birthday, SkyTrain!

Photo: Rob Chew/Bob Webster

Photo: Rob Chew/Bob Webster

The 1985 SkyTrain system map

The Bike Parkade at Joyce–Collingwood Station is now open!

The Bike Parkade at Joyce–Collingwood Station is now open!

Exciting news for our customers that start their journey by cycling. A Bike Parkade is now open at Joyce–Collingwood Station, so come park your bike with us!

There are spots for 50 bikes inside the Bike Parkade and there’s additional (unsecured) capacity outside. Use of the parkades only costs $1 per day per use, up to $8 per month! That means after eight uses, it’s free for the rest of the month.

Never used our Bike Parkades before? It’s super easy. If you haven’t already, register your Compass Card at compasscard.ca, and go to the bottom of the “My Cards” tab under “My Programs,” to enroll.

At the station, tap your Compass Card to gain access to the Bike Parkade and don’t forget to bring a lock to secure your bike to the rack.

Learn more about our Bike Parkades at translink.ca/bikeparkade.

 

Evergreen Extension Anniversary: Evergreen sparks tremendous growth in transit use

Pssst…have you heard?! The Evergreen Extension celebrates its first anniversary this Saturday, December. 2!

Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay and Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart joined TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond and BC Rapid Transit Company President and General Manager Vivienne King to mark this milestone at Moody Centre Station on Friday, Dec. 1.

The 11-kilometre, six-station Evergreen Extension opened to the public December 2, 2016.

It’s been a year that has seen tremendous growth in transit use in the Tri-Cities. Residents have embraced rapid transit as a fast, convenient way to travel within their communities and beyond to the rest of the region.

Transit use in the Northeast Sector (Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra) has taken off in a stunning way as Evergreen has become a central fixture in the lives of Tri-Cities residents.

Average weekday transit ridership in the Northeast Sector in September and October of this year is more than 25 per cent higher than the same months in 2016. On weekends, transit ridership in the Tri-Cities is up by more than 50 per cent!

Evergreen Stats

34,000 – Average weekday boardings (13 per cent increase from early 2017)

36,900 – Boardings on Saturday, July 1, 2017 (Busiest single day)

23,000 – Boardings on typical summer Saturday

8.6 million – Boardings Dec. 2, 2016 – Oct. 31, 2017

51 per cent – percentage of transit journeys in Tri-Cities that begin on Evergreen.

Ridership on Evergreen is expected to grow significantly in coming years, as development near the stations continues at a rapid pace.

Currently, there is $3.8 billion in development or under construction directly adjacent to the Evergreen Extension between Lougheed and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations, including 7.1 million square feet of residential comprising approximately 9,800 future units of housing.

Thanks to improvements coming as part of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, the reach of rapid transit will grow in the coming years when the Broadway Extension provides a one-seat ride along the Millennium Line between Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam and Arbutus Street in Vancouver.

Read Transit Police Constable Jenny Chung’s blog post on making friends on the Evergreen Extension. She’s the Neighbourhood Police Officer (NPO) for the area.

More than 21,000 rail pads set to be replaced on SkyTrain in Surrey

Starting on October 23, we’ll begin replacing rail pads on the Expo Line between Scott Road and King George stations as part of the SkyTrain Rail Asset State of Good Repair Program.

On most Sundays through Thursdays, from 9:30 p.m. until the end of service, the Expo Line will use one track in both directions, around the area where the work is happening.

Customers are encouraged to plan for an additional 5-10 minutes for travel between Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central and King George stations. Please watch destination displays and listen for announcements. Know before you go by visiting translink.ca/alerts.

The project will replace more than 21,000 rail pads, which are attached to the concrete guideway to support the rail that the trains run on. The original Expo Line has been in service since 1986 and the rail pads in many areas were installed in 1992. These rail pads are now reaching the end of their life spans.

The work schedule is subject to change, and is weather dependent (work cannot take place in the snow) and will be adjusted to accommodate major events. Changes to regular operating patterns may also occur.

Thank you for your patience while we continue to keep the SkyTrain network safe and reliable for years to come. Rail pad replacement work is scheduled to be complete by spring 2018.

New Joyce–Collingwood east stationhouse is now open!

The east stationhouse at Joyce–Collingwood Station is now open!

Exciting news for SkyTrain passengers who use Joyce–Collingwood Station! Construction has finished at the east stationhouse and its now open to the public. 

Key features of the upgraded stationhouse: 

  • New elevator, as well as new up and down escalators (only one escalator previously)
  • Improved station design with better lighting and visibility
  • Glass panels replace mesh screens to improve visibility and help control platform noise
  • New commercial retail unit — coming soon!
  • Bike parkade — coming soon!
  • Better integration with the community for easier connections

We thank our customers and neighbours for their patience as we made these much-needed improvements to Joyce-Collingwood Station. The upgrades improve passenger capacity, accessibility, safety and security, and the overall customer experience.

The art!

If you happen to be in the area, it’s worth a pop-in at Joyce–Collingwood just to see the artwork. The stained glass panel was created by Vancouver artist Renée Van Halm and is made up of 10 pieces of glass. You’ll see the panel adds a healthy dose of colour to the station! 

 

To learn more about the Joyce–Collingwood Station Upgrades, visit translink.ca/joyce.

Modified Millennium Line service the next three weekends

During the affected dates, the Millennium Line will operate between VCC–Clark and Burquitlam stations. A Special SkyTrain Service will operate between Burquitlam and Lafarge Lake–Douglas stations.

Over the next three weekends, Millennium Line customers travelling beyond Burquitlam Station will see modified service while we install wireless infrastructure in the Burquitlam Tunnel, between Burquitlam and Moody Centre stations.

Read more »

Rail replacement work begins in the Royal Oak and Edmonds area on Oct. 2

During affected dates and times in the Royal Oak and Edmonds area, Expo Line trains will use one track in both directions at Royal Oak and Edmonds stations. Expo Line trains will operate between Waterfront and King George stations.

As part of keeping our system in a state of good repair, we are replacing 5,000 linear metres of running rail at four main locations close to Metrotown, Main Street–Science World, Stadium–Chinatown and Waterfront stations.

Read more »

Track changes to SkyTrain’s Expo Line this weekend, Sept. 23–24

Crews install a 60-foot section of curved rail near Main Street–Science World Station back in May 2017.

Are you planning to take the SkyTrain’s Expo Line between 11:30 p.m.  10:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 23 through 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 24? Please plan for an additional 15–20 minutes of travel time as service will be modified for rail replacement work.

Read more »

Where do our transit vehicles sleep at night?

Buses all settled and snuggled in for the night!

Our transit vehicles spend their days moving many people around Metro Vancouver, but have you ever wondered what happens to them after a long day of work? Each night, our SkyTrain vehicles, SeaBus vessels, buses and West Coast Express trains return to their homes for a well-deserved rest before they gear up for another busy day.

Read more »

9 and 99 bus stops at Commercial–Broadway Station temporarily relocate, Sept. 15 – Oct. 1

Structural steel trusses will be installed at this location and across Broadway at Commercial–Broadway SkyTrain Station for the new pedestrian walkway.

An exciting milestone for the Commercial–Broadway Station Upgrades! Starting on September 15, construction begins for the new overhead pedestrian walkway across Broadway.

Read more »

Once upon a chime

Have you ever wondered where the iconic SkyTrain chime came from? Well, today is your lucky day because we’ve got an answer for you!

Once upon a chime…

Our story dates back to 1984, a few years before SkyTrain was operational. As a driverless automated system with no train operator on-board to remind passengers that doors were about to close and the train was ready to depart, we realized the need for some kind of automated on-board message.

FYI: SkyTrain opened in January 1986, on schedule and on budget ($854 million) with an initial 21.4 kms (13.3 miles) of guideway, 15 stations and 114 SkyTrain cars!

Once the decision was made to create an automated message, the next step was to determine what the message would sound like. We tested out many different ideas and even experimented with real bells, but nothing seemed to sound just right.  Since SkyTrain is an automated, high-tech system, the feeling was that a reasonably conventional sounding chime was needed.

Fun fact! The SkyTrain chime isn’t just for SkyTrain! The same chime can also be heard on-board our buses!

We decided to test out some different versions of the chime using a digital synthesizer at Little Mountain Sound Studio. It took some time to come up with a tone that would be usable and would catch people’s attention. After many trials and errors, we decided that the chime would have three tones going up and would serve it’s purpose to draw passengers attention to the train departing and the doors closing.

Did you know that the SkyTrain chime was recorded in the same studio that AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith and many other talented musicians recorded in?!

Listen to the SkyTrain chime

This post originally appeared as a podcast on The Buzzer Blog on December 1, 2008.

Author: Christina Jakopin