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Category: SkyTrain

Evergreen project tunnel boring is complete!

Tunnel boring from Coquitlam to Port Moody was completed today, marking an important milestone in the Evergreen Line project.

The completion the two-kilometre tunnel means TransLink is one step closer to operating an expanded transit system that will give the people who live here a new and fast option for getting around.

The Evergreen extension is a significant expansion of our integrated transit network. In fact, the full 79 km of SkyTrain means that TransLink will soon operate the world’s longest fully-automated rapid transit system.

We’re hard at work readying our system to ensure that customers have an easy transition when we integrate the Evergreen extension into the SkyTrain network. We’re:

  • Determining how to integrate bus services with the expanded SkyTrain network;
  • Testing train control software and new tracks;
  • Readying staff to support our customers when Evergreen opens; and
  • Developing operating plans, schedules and information for customers.

The Evergreen project is an example of all levels of government coming together to invest in much needed transportation infrastructure to support and shape growth in the region.

We applaud the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia for all the hard work that has been put into this project to date.

Thank you to our passengers and neighbours for their continued patience and support throughout the construction of the Evergreen extension.

We look forward to having you ride with us in the near future!

Author: Laura Tennant



November 24, 2015 SkyTrain disruption

Hi all! Here’s a bit of info about yesterday’s SkyTrain disruption which affected service between Broadway-Commercial and Waterfront stations. The power-rail-collector shoe on a train was damaged and subsequently caused a power outage on that portion of the system. See image below.

Damaged power-rail-collector shoe

Damaged power-rail-collector shoe

A SkyTrain Attendant was at the problem train within minutes of the problem occurring and all passengers on the affected train were safely evacuated within an hour. The area was powered down, brakes applied, and a second train was pulled up alongside the train to evacuate and move the passengers to a station.

Up to 69 extra shuttle buses were put in place between Commercial-Broadway and Waterfront stations. Extra staff were deployed to stations to assist customers and provide information. Additional Canada Line trains were added to assist with greater volumes as people sought alternate routes out of the downtown core. Additional Transit Security and Transit Police were at stations to ensure passenger safety and crowd control.

We know this was a huge inconvenience for our riders. We thank our riders for their patience and the media for their help in disseminating information to our customers during this incident.

I’m off to the SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre shortly and will be updating this post will more info later today.


More Compass fare gates closing at SkyTrain stations this weekend!

2015-09-29 Singe-Gate-Closed-640x498

You’ll be able to try our more gates starting this weekend!

As we mentioned in our last Compass post, over the next two weekends, we’re closing additional fare gates at SkyTrain stations across the Millennium and Expo Lines.

For start of service on November 21 and 28, you may find more closed gates at your station.

This is BIG news because after the work is completed on the 28th, there will be about 50% of all fare gates on SkyTrain closed!

What do we mean by closed? I’ll tell you!

It means that the gate paddles will be set in the closed position and when tapped with a Compass Card or Compass Ticket, the gate will open allowing you to pass through.

By December, 98 out of the 197 gates will be closed on the Expo Line and 30 out of 74 gates will be closed on the Millennium Line.

An accessible gate will remain open at all stations until Compass is completely rolled out to everyone.

Bonus! More closed gates are a great reminder to tap in and out on rail and SeaBus.

So, get out there and start tap, tap, tapping!

Check out all the ways you can learn more about Compass and get tapping!
Order cards: or 604.398.2042 or toll-free at 1-888-207-4055
View our Compass 101 video playlist:
Have questions? Ask away at!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Running rail replacement continues this Sunday, November 15 2015

This next and final round of rail replacement is a continuation of the work we did this summer.

The final phase of running rail replacement work will begin this Sunday, November 15 and continue until early 2016.

Work has been underway since August to replace 4,550 linear metres of 30-year-old SkyTrain track on the Expo Line.

This work is critical to keeping the system safe and reliable for our riders now and in the years to come.

After months of work, the last 1,450 linear metres of track are set to be completed.

To make this rail replacement less of a headache for our riders we are keeping trains and tracks in service while crews work during non-peak hours.

However, beginning Sunday, November 15 and continuing for several months, customers should expect delays on the Millennium and Expo lines from Sunday through Thursday starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until end of service.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Where is the rail being replaced?

  • In-bound Commercial-Broadway curve


  • Nov.15 to early 2016 – Sunday to Thursday, 9 p.m. to end of service

How will service be impacted?

  • Expo Line service will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations while crews replace rail west of Commercial-Broadway Station.
  • Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only
  • Customers travelling with bicycles should try to travel before 9 p.m. or after 10 p.m. when trains are busiest.
  • Customers should plan for at least 20 minutes of extra travel time while crews are working.
  • Crews will not be working between Dec. 12 and Jan. 2.

Author: Laura Tennant

Yesterday’s Expo Line service disruption

The Expo Line had a disruption in service yesterday

The Expo Line had a disruption in service yesterday

There was a disruption in service on the Expo SkyTrain Line yesterday night shortly after 6 pm. The cause of the disruption is still being investigated. Extra personnel were on the scene quickly to fix the issue and get people moving between stations with added buses. Expo Line service was fully resumed before 9pm last night.

For more info, please see the Oct 24, 2015 Expo Line Service Disruption media advisory.

Rider Alert: Expo Line single tracking on October 17, 2015

This weekend on October 17, SkyTrain service on the Expo Line will be reduced from 9 p.m. to end of service between Nanaimo and Stadium-Chinatown stations as we replace fibre optic cables.

During this time, Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only.

This particular evening was chosen because there are no scheduled events at BC Place or Rogers Arena.

However, significant delays up to 20 minutes are expected so please plan accordingly!

Thank you for your patience while we perform maintenance to keep our system safe and reliable.

Keep up to date on service with our Twitter team @TransLink
and visit our alerts page.


New Mark III SkyTrain cars embark on a cross country road trip

C2 car on trailer outside chained down
The new Mark III SkyTrain cars are heading West!

Bombardier has sent them on their journey from Ontario to our neck of the woods in Metro Vancouver.

These cars will undergo testing before being put into service on our system.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see these beauties in action!

If you spot them on their trip, use the hashtag #SpottheMarkIII to share a picture or video with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

1-zone bus fares means a new look for Trip Planner!

Today is the day! All buses and HandyDART vehicles are officially operating on a one-zone fare structure.

Because of this, if you hop on TransLink’s Trip Planner today, you may notice a bit of a makeover.

Trip Planner has been adjusted to include the new one-zone bus fares.

If you are using a Compass product, you can use Stored Value on your Compass Card to get exactly the same discount as the current FareSaver tickets.

If you are viewing on your desktop computer, you will now see four fare options now instead of two.
Trip Planner The difference on mobile is fairly minimal.

The Trip Planner will show two fares: cash and Stored Trip Planner mobileValue. This is instead of the single cash fare we show now.

These prices reflect fares that are valid during the transition to the Compass system.

Please note! These prices reflect Compass and cash fares in a “fare gates closed” scenario.

This means that, until that time, your current fare MAY be different from what Trip Planner lists for you.

Single cash fare prices remain the same.

You can see this on the regular fare tables.

You can use Stored Value on your Compass Card to get the same discount as the current FareSaver tickets.


Currently, you can use tradition fare media (transfers, FareCards, monthly passes, etc.) to travel from the bus to SkyTrain/SeaBus without having to buy another fare.

Once all Compass fare gates are closed, tickets purchased on a bus won’t be valid for transfer to rail or SeaBus.

In the future, customers paying cash on the bus will need to purchase another fare if transferring from bus to rail or SeaBus.

This is because the traditional faremedia are magnetic strips while Compass faregates use an RFID antenna allowing you to tap your way on and off the system.

Compass customers will only pay one fare, if travelling within the 90-minute transfer window.

You can find more information at
to help you transition to the 1-zone bus fare.

For convenient, one-stop source for customer questions and answers about the new Compass system, visit:

 Author: Adrienne Coling

New Westminster Station Upgrades Update

East escalator installation at New Westminster Station

Construction is well underway at New Westminster Station while we upgrade the station to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security!

Here’s a few project benefits:

    • Replacement elevator and escalators to improve access for customers.
    • Improved lighting and signage throughout the station.
    • Glass panels that replace the existing mesh screens to improve station visibility from street level.
    • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system.

Project status

Since construction work began in May, crews have been working on the new east and west station entrances, painting throughout the station, and removal of the mesh screens at the platform level.

New escalators have been installed at the west and east station entrances and both are expected to open later this fall.

What to expect

Our top priority is the safety of the public, passengers, employees, and contractors. Due to the nature of construction activity, we recognize there will be impacts to the public, including noise, traffic impacts, and changes to SkyTrain service and station access.

Below is a summary of the short-term work passengers and neighbours can expect:

South elevator closure

    • Beginning Sept. 21 and continuing until spring 2016, the south elevator to the eastbound platform will be closed while crews install a new elevator.
    • Customers can use the Shops at New West elevator to access the eastbound platform, parkade, and concourse.
    • Signs will be installed at the station to help direct customers.

North entrance closure

    • Beginning Sept. 21 and continuing until spring 2016, the north entrance to the westbound platform will be closed while crews install a new escalator and stairs.
    • Customers can use the Shops at New West escalator and stairs to access the westbound platform and concourse.
    • Signs will be installed at the station to help direct customers.
    • The south entrance to the eastbound platform will be closed later this fall so crews can install a new escalator and stairs. Customers will be able to access the platform using Shops at New West escalators and stairs.
    • Mesh screens along the platform will continue to be removed and replaced with temporary fencing. Glazed screens will be added as construction progresses.
    • Hoarding will remain at the platform to give crews the space they need to work.
    • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating, will continue.

Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to New Westminster Station and stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project!

Rail replacement work continues September 5-7, 2015

Jennifer at Edmonds Station speaking about rail replacement. No, we did not organize the SkyTrain to move past her perfectly timed. It just worked out that way!

Work continues this weekend as TransLink replaces major sections of its 30-year-old SkyTrain track while keeping the service open for customers. Keeping the trains running while this critical work is done during non-peak hours will mean delays for customers taking the Millennium and Expo lines this weekend.

Where is the rail being replaced? 

Last weekend (Aug.28-30) crews replaced approximately 950 linear metres of rail by Edmonds Station. The work was completed on schedule, despite high winds and a downed tree in the area where rail was replaced.

This weekend, crews will replace rail along the S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.

How will service be impacted? 

September 5 to 7, all day (Labour Day weekend)

  • Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced, while crews replace rail west of Commercial-Broadway Station. Trains will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.
  • Millennium Line will operate between VCC-Clark and Columbia stations only.
  • A frequent bus shuttle will operate between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown stations from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Millennium Line customers travelling into or out of downtown Vancouver in the afternoon should consider using this bus service.

To minimize waits, customers are encouraged to consider alternate bus routes to reach their destinations! Thanks for your patience while we complete this necessary work! 

Author: Jennifer Morland

SkyTrain historical video: Rapid Transit, Rapid Transition, a 1984 promotional video


Repost: Written by Jhenifer Pabillano and originally published February 17, 2011 in celebration of 25 years of SkyTrain!

The SkyTrain 25th anniversary celebration continues: here’s another fantastic SkyTrain promotional video from 1984, again shot by local video company JEM Productions!

This one stares into the future with a bit more seriousness than the past few videos, but this time with a killer synth soundtrack. (Seriously: I’ve got to make some ringtones.)

It traces the new SkyTrain route, gives us a glimpse of the SkyTrain attendants’ fabulous uniforms, and has a fairly exhaustive list of all the economic benefits and regional growth that Vancouver can expect.

And of course you can check out some awesome aerial shots of historic 1980s Vancouver!

If you’d like to see more, I’ve posted two other SkyTrain videos in the past, plus scans of photos and memorabilia. Check out the entire Transit History category for all of those and even more history tidbits. Happy 25th, SkyTrain!

Author: Laura Tennant

Extra Transit Service to Get You to the Celebration of Light!


Celebration of Light fireworks

Celebration of Light fireworks!

Heading to the Honda Celebration of Light this Saturday? There’s extra transit service scheduled for this weekend’s event as well as for the fireworks on July 29 and August 1st!

To get you to the fireworks at English Bay in the safest and most convenient fashion, the following additional bus and train service has been added:

Bus service will be extended to accommodate increased customer demand. Transit supervisors will monitor service and deploy additional buses as needed. Some buses will be detoured, including, but not limited to, the C21, C23, 5, 6, and 22 routes. The 250, 250A and 257 buses will also see additional service before and after the events.

SkyTrain Expo/Millennium/Canada Lines will run additional trains beginning mid-afternoon, lasting well past the event end. The last train on the Expo/Millennium Line will leave Waterfront for King George at 1:16 a.m. The last Canada Line train will leave Waterfront for Richmond-Brighouse at 1:15 a.m.

To avoid lineups at ticket vending machines after the events, SkyTrain customers can pre-purchase return tickets at King George, Scott Road, Granville, Burrard, Bridgeport, Yaletown-Roundhouse and Vancouver City Centre stations. These fareboxes only accept exact cash and tickets are valid until the close of service.

SeaBus will provide extra and extended service for each of the Celebration of Light events.

  • July 25: service every 10 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.; every 15 minutes until 11:30 p.m.; and every 30 minutes after 11:30 p.m. until the last sailing at 1:22 a.m. from the South Terminal.
  • July 29 and August 1: service every 15 minutes until 11:30 p.m. and then every 30 minutes until the last departure from the South Terminal at 1:22 a.m.

West Coast Express will offer a special train on August 1 only, leaving Mission City at 7 p.m., arriving at Waterfront Station at 8:15 p.m. The return train departs Waterfront Station at midnight, arriving back at Mission City approximately 1:15 a.m.

Before, during and after the events SkyTrain stations will remain open, but some will have modified access to ensure customer comfort and safety. Passengers will not be permitted to board SkyTrain with bikes after the events until crowds are clear.

  • Waterfront Station: After 10:30 p.m., all Canada Line and SeaBus customers, and Expo and Millennium line customers who need an elevator, can access the Waterfront Station through the Cordova Street entrance. Expo and Millennium line customers who do not require an elevator may only access the station from the Howe Street entrance, north of Cordova. The Granville and Hastings entrance will remain fully accessible for Canada Line customers.
  • Granville Station: Customers can enter the station from Dunsmuir Street only, after 10:30 p.m. Also, there will be no access to Expo and Millennium trains heading towards Waterfront Station after this time.
  • Burrard Station: Bikes cannot be locked at the station entrance from 9:00 p.m. onwards, until the expected crowds have cleared. There will be no customer access to Expo and Millennium trains towards Waterfront Station after 10:30 p.m.

TravelSmart continues to sponsor BEST’s Bicycle Valet, which will offer cyclists free, secure temporary bike storage at all three Celebration of Light events. If you plan on enjoying the festivities, you can valet your bike at Sunset Beach on the grass next to the roller sports rink from 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Make sure to keep these service changes in mind when planning your route to the fireworks!

Service adjustments for other summertime events can be viewed here.

For transit service information including bus re-routes during the Celebration of Light, sign up for Transit Alerts, follow us @TransLink or call Customer Service at 604.953.3333.

Author: Laura Tennant



A day of transit activity visualized through video!


Static transit maps are great, but dynamic ones are better!

You don’t have to tell that to Andrew Walker, Vice President of development at Sumus Technology.

Andrew is all about bringing life to data using a GTFS video creator, something he has done for around 100 cities’ transit schedules from around the globe.

Each visualization map traces one day of transit service schedules during a 24 hour period. Colour coded and set to music, these maps allow us to see the size of the system in a way that static maps cannot.

Metro Vancouver’s routes have been mapped a few times by Andrew.  You can check out his video from 2012 and view his other maps of transit across the globe on his YouTube channel

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our 125 Years of Transit posts on the blog and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for the #Transit125 hashtag

Author: Laura Tennant

Happy 148th, Canada!

We hope you all enjoy Canada Day!

We hope you all enjoy Canada Day!

Ohhhhhhhhhhh Canada we stand on guard for theeeeeeeeeeeee!!

I do love a good anthem.

Canada Day is this Wednesday, July 1st and there will be tons of activities happening all over the region.

Know before you go! Check out the holiday service schedule for detours and extended service.

Heading downtown Vancouver to see the fireworks at Canada Place?

Avoid those crazy long lines and pre-purchase return tickets for the SkyTrain!

Customers can buy tickets at Vancouver City Centre, Granville, Burrard and Waterfront stations.

Portable fareboxes only accept exact cash fare and tickets are valid until the end of service.

Perhaps you’re more of a Granville Island Canada Day celebrator. If you’re planning to ride your bike there, prepare to feel pampered!

BEST’S Bicycle Valet will be providing cyclists FREE, secure temporary bike storage from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

You can check out more details here.

Wherever you celebrate this great land of ours, let us help you get there!

Plan your route with our Trip Planner or call Customer Information at 604.953.3333.

Remember! On holidays you only need a one-zone fare for the entire system!

Author: Adrienne Coling

June 9, 2015 SkyTrain disruption update

Interim CEO Doug Allen and independent reviewer Gary McNeil spoke to the media today about yesterday’s SkyTrain disruption as well as progress made on Mr. McNeil’s report on SkyTrain.

As noted by Doug Allen, TransLink has improved in the response time to SkyTrain disruptions, but work still needs to be done to make it quicker.

After the above press conference this morning, a technical debriefing was held regarding the initial cause of the disruption. Below are a couple images of the damaged linear induction motor on one of our SkyTrain cars. The exact cause of the damage is still being investigated.

linear induction motor damage

linear induction motor damage

Another view of the damaged linear induction motor

Another view of the damaged linear induction motor

If you weren’t aware of the disruption yesterday, below is a statement TransLink issued to media and shared via social media:

We thank our customers for their patience and apologize for the major inconvenience they experienced this afternoon because of the SkyTrain delay. The delay occurred at the peak of rush hour service, which affected our most regular daily customers. While we recognize the inconvenience and longer commute times, we appreciate their patience and calm behaviour while our staff worked to repair the problem and help redirect customers via alternate means.

While the specific cause of the delay is still under investigation, a technical issue at 4:10 p.m. caused 19 trains between Royal Oak and Waterfront stations to stop running. Expo Line trains continued to run between Edmonds and King George stations, and Millennium Line trains continued to run between Columbia and VCC-Clark stations.

Many trains were stopped between stations; several were attended by a SkyTrain Attendant within 5-10 minutes and driven manually to the nearest station. Staff attended the majority of the remainder of the trains within 30 minutes.

Customers broke out of three different trains in the Nanaimo SkyTrain area, so we had to turn off power in the area to ensure customers were safe and clear of trains. Attending to these customers delayed SkyTrain system recovery by an additional hour.

25 buses provided shuttle service between affected stations. We deployed over 100 staff to help customers, respond to questions and assist with crowds – including 60 SkyTrain Attendants on trains and at stations; 16 Transit Police officers and five Transit Security units; 13 support staff; and eight transit supervisors.

7 additional technicians worked to bring the system back on as quickly as possible.

By 6:10 p.m., we were able to provide some service with SkyTrain Attendants manually driving trains in the affected area. We restored full service by 6:45 p.m.