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Category: SkyTrain

The latest news from the New Westminster Station upgrades

New West east station entrance

Upgrade work continues to march forward

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

Project status:

After almost a year of station upgrades, New Westminster Station upgrades will soon be complete!

Here are some highlights of the work that has taken place over the past few months:

  • The east entrance fully re-opened with an upgraded staircase and a newly replaced escalator.
  • The staircase at the south entrance reopened as work continues to reopen the escalator.
  • Work progressed on the installation of the new south entrance elevator.
  • Installation of permanent lighting in the concourse area continued; most of the ceiling is now in place.
  • Benches have been installed at the platform level.
  • Construction fencing continues to be removed.
  • Painting throughout the station is complete.

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 that passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • South entrance escalator to reopen.
  • Installation of the south elevator to be completed and in operation this summer.
  • Ceiling panels at the concourse and platform levels to be fully installed.
  • Permanent lighting throughout the station to be completed.
  • North entrance to fully re-open this summer with an upgraded staircase and a newly replaced escalator.
  • 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.

Have questions about the upgrades to New Westminster Station? Contact us!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information you can visit translink.ca/newwestminster or translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jordan Keim

Transit funding announcement for B.C.

Today is big day for transit in Metro Vancouver and all across British Columbia!

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier Christy Clark have announced that they have signed an agreement resulting in more than $900 million being invested – by the Government of Canada, British Columbia and municipalities – in public transit projects across the province.

So, what does this mean for transit in your community?

Take a look at the plan for the first phase of investment in our region:

Metro Vancouver TransLink Phase 1 of Investing in Canada includes:

  • The purchase of additional SkyTrain vehicles for the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines
  • A new West Coast Express locomotive
  • A new SeaBus
  • Upgrades to SkyTrain stations
  • Design and planning for Rapid Transit South of Fraser and the Millennium Line Extension along Broadway

(From the office of the B.C. Premier)

You can read the press releases from the TransLink Mayors’ Council, the province and the Federal government.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Update: Commercial–Broadway station upgrades

Broadway Commercial track and train

Commercial–Broadway Station is the busiest station on the network

Upgrades to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at Commercial–Broadway Station, one of the busiest stations on the SkyTrain system, are well underway.

Project Status:

  • Two new columns were constructed on either side of Broadway to support the new pedestrian walkway.
  • A steel mesh wall along with the roof structure and its support columns were installed for the new Broadway platform.
  • Concrete columns were erected in the Grandview Cut to support a widened pedestrian overpass to Platforms 1 and 2.

Upcoming work means the Broadway entrance at the south stationhouse (beside CIBC) will be closed from start of service Saturday, June 18, while crews remove three fare gates to make space for construction of the expanded station entrance.

The entrance will reopen prior to start of service on Monday, June 20.

What passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • Customers can access the station from the entrance off 10th Avenue, or from the north stationhouse on the other side of Broadway.
  • SkyTrain attendants will be present on the platform, in the concourse and outside the station to help guide customers to the 10th Avenue entrance.
  • Signs will be installed to direct customers.
  • When the station entrance reopens, there will be six fare gates, two of which are accessible gates. We know that six fare gates will be more than enough for the number of passengers who use this entrance.

Thanks for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to Commercial-Broadway Station.

Stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project!

Looking for more information?

Learn about all of the Expo Line Station upgrades here.

More details about the Commercial–Broadway Station upgrades and project benefits can be found at translink.ca/commercialbroadway.

Got questions? We’re here to listen!
Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.:30 a.m.
translink.ca/customerservice

Author: Jordan Keim

An update on Metrotown Station upgrade work

West Stationhouse loop truss

West station house loop truss

Have you noticed the huge steel structures being constructed outside Metrotown Station?

Over the past few weeks, crews have been constructing a massive loop truss which will be installed above the west station house – providing structural support for the station’s roof. MultivistaPhoto-2016-06-09 (1)

The loop truss is so massive, in fact, that it was shipped to the work site in four separate pieces, all of which arrived in May.

Crews have also been working on building eight columns which will support the final structure. 

Over the coming weeks, crews will continue fabricating the loop truss, and later this summer it will be hoisted into place with two separate tandem lifts.

More details to come on what this will mean for customers.

Once fully constructed, the loop truss will weigh approximately 70 tons (140,000lbs) and will be around 64.5 meters (212 feet) in length. 

A similar loop truss will be constructed and then installed in the east stationhouse.

B2x sm 141112 MT-Sitemodel Full NE alternate

A rendering of the completed Metrotown Station upgrades project

Have questions about this work?
We’re here to listen!
Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Author: Jordan Keim 

Late night SkyTrain single tracking resumes June 12

Vehicle-on-track

Single tracking will run from June 12 into fall 2016

Beginning June 12 and continuing into the fall, SkyTrain will single track at several stations, primarily during late night hours, due to maintenance work and system upgrades.

Riders should plan on up to 20 minutes of extra travel time during these single tracking events.

Need a refresher as to what single tracking is and why its needed?

I’ve got your back!

Single tracking is when we run trains in both directions over a single piece of track. It’s like taking a two-lane road down to one lane and having a signal or flag, person regulating traffic in the remaining lane so it only flows in one direction at a time. – Ian Fisher, BCRTC

In fact, many railways operate this way where they do not have two tracks to use.

We use single tracking to give crews time to perform necessary work on one track while we keep the other track open for service.

Single tracking – stations and dates:

  • Metrotown and Patterson stations (June 12-16, 24-25): Allow 10-20 minutes, Millennium Line operates VCC-Clark – Columbia only
  • Columbia and Scott Road stations (June 21-23, 26-28): Allow 5-10 minutes
  • Columbia and New Westminster stations (June 29-30, July 3-7): Allow 5-10 minutes

Work has been scheduled to avoid large events, such as concerts, sporting events and community celebrations.

You can learn lots more about single tracking from our interview with BCRTC last fall.

Thank you for your patience while we perform upgrades and important maintenance work to the system.

For information on the service impacts visit translink.ca,
check our Transit Alerts, follow TransLink on Twitter
or call Transit Information and Customer Feedback at 604-953-3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Get your GradPass today!

Grad Pass

Get your GradPass from your school today!

Another year has come and gone and so another group of high school students are about to get their diplomas, heading out into the real world!

Every graduating Grade 12 student attending school in the TransLink transportation service region can enjoy two free days of unlimited travel by bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express with a Compass GradPass. GradPass Compass ticket

In the past, the GradPass flash pass was valid for two days of unlimited travel. This year, each student will be issued two GradPass Compass Tickets — each the equivalent of a DayPass Compass Ticket.

The tickets will be valid on our system from Sunday, May 15 to Thursday, June 30, inclusive.

Your GradPass is available at schools around the region, either in homerooms or main offices.

Tips for using your 2016 GradPass:

  • Your Compass Ticket is activated at first tap and can be used throughout the day. The activated ticket will expire at the end of that particular service day.
  • Tickets are valid for unlimited travel on bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain (including Canada Line) and West Coast Express
  • Tickets are valid for unlimited travel across all zones
  • You are required to tap in and tap out at all fare gates and mobile validators

Remember! GradPass Compass Ticket must be used together with a valid GoCard.

For more information, visit our website.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Then and Now: 30 years of Expo

Expo 86

It was 30 years ago…

May 2nd marks the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek. North America’s largest World’s Fair was a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy, notably, Metro Vancouver’s first Rapid Transit SkyTrain – the Expo Line, built for and named in anticipation of the fair. SkyTrain debuted as the first and one of the longest, fully-automated, driverless, rapid transit systems in the world

“Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch” coincided with Vancouver’s centennial celebration and was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

expo prince and princess

Prince Charles and Princess Diana riding the Expo Line in 1986

 

Charles and Di

The Royal Couple

A lot has changed in 30 years, and we’ve summarized some fun facts below about SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, and BC in general.

  1986 2016
Main line track (km) 21 58
Stations 15 33
Annual boardings (millions) 20 (1987) 80
Fleet (cars) 114 258 (+28 by mid-2016)
One-zone cash fare (at Jan 1) $1.15 $2.75
Metro Vancouver population 1.38 million (census) 2.54 million (BC Stats projection)
Detached home price $130,800 $1,816,487
Minimum Wage (per hour) $3.65 $10.45
Expo 1986

Can you spot the station?

ticket1986

Do you remember these tickets?

expo 86

The very first Ticket Vending Machines

Do you have an Expo ’86 memory you’d like to share? Did you take SkyTrain when it first launched?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Update: Joyce–Collingwood station upgrades

JoyceStation13

Joyce–Collingwood Station at Joyce St and Vanness Ave

If you use Joyce–Collingwood SkyTrain station as much as the rest of the region (it’s the fourth busiest station outside of downtown, you know!) you may have noticed that upgrade construction has begun!

So, what does this improved design give you?

Upgrades include a new elevator, up and down escalators in the East stationhouse, better lighting and visibility and better integration of the transit system into the Joyce–Collingwood community.

Project status

Beginning May 7, the east station entrance will close and work will begin to construct a new elevator and up and down escalators.

The east entrance will remain closed until upgrades are complete in fall 2017, when the project is expected to be complete.

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 what customers can expect during this upgrade work:

  • During this time, customers can access the station through the west station entrance on the other side of Joyce Street.
  • Customers will be able to use the new temporary staircase to exit east stationhouse (exit only, no entry access permitted).
  • Signs will be in place to direct customers to appropriate entrances and exits.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

Thank you for your patience as we complete these much-needed upgrades to the Joyce–Collingwood Station.

Got questions? We’re here to listen!

Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Station Upgrade Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit: www.translink.ca/joyce or www.translink.ca/customerservice.

Author: Jordan Keim

Be a SkyTrain VIP!

velvet rope

See what lies behind the velvet rope with SkyTrain VIP

We are so happy to introduce our brand new SkyTrain VIP service.

Up until now, SkyTrain seats have been first come, first serve.

But starting today, April 1st, you can reserve a spot in the first train car and experience the luxury of pre-warmed seats, personalized neck pillows and complimentary on-board spa treatments.

Be the first to enjoy the view while riding in style.

The cost? Only $18.99 a ride!

Proceeds will go to transforming the Vancouver Transit Centre into a crow sanctuary for Canuck.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Spring forward this weekend!

image

Set your clocks forward one hour this Saturday night

It’s that time again for daffodils and early season flowers to pop up out of the ground and welcome spring.

Another spring behaviour that is slightly less appealing is springing forward to Pacific Daylight Time where we lose and hour in the day.

Ok, we don’t really lose it but it can feel like it in those first few days!

This year, the time change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

However, our transit services will finish their Saturday night service on standard time and the time change will take effect for the start of Sunday service.

So, remember to change those clocks before you head to bed on Saturday!

Author: Adrienne Coling

My smartphone-free week on transit

notes

The tally from my smile experiment

Last week, I was inspired by a link in our latest Links and Tidbits post.

It lead me to try my own smartphone-free commuting week!

Let me give you a little background of what my normal commute is like.

I hop on the bus for about half an hour, then I continue on SkyTrain for another 30 minutes. In the evening, I reverse it, obviously.

I will often just listen to music and check games or idly scroll through my Instagram feed.

For my “unplugged” week, I didn’t allow myself to touch it from the moment I left my house to the moment I stepped into work.

This required one behaviour change for me right off the bat… A CLOCK! I don’t usually wear a watch and use my phone to check the time so for the first day I had no reference of time on transit.

Other than that, I made some observations with my pen and notepad each day.

Here’s what I found out:

Monday:

  • OK, a LOT of people spend their entire trip on their phone. Is anyone concerned about becoming a society of strained-necked commuters?
  • I wish I could read my book. Motion sickness is the worst! Think of all the work I could do if I didn’t get sick reading on transit.
  • I have no idea what time it is. I really depend on my phone for telling the time. Not a lot of others are sporting watches either. Does everyone rely on their phones for the time?

Tuesday:

  • A woman is putting fake eyelashes on while on the bus. I can’t make my makeup look that good sitting still. She’s some sort of make-up wizard!
  • There are such distinct housing development and decor patterns as you cross the region. ie. Vancouver Specials, gated yards with lion statues, colourful stucco East of Main St., laneway house builds.
  • Riders say ‘thank you’ to operators much more often in the afternoon/evening rides than in the morning.

Wednesday:

  • There’s a man who I thought was talking to me but turns out wasn’t. He looked puzzled/annoyed when I said, “pardon?” Apparently it was a conversation for one.
  • It’s so foggy today I can’t even see the mountains. I should really look at the mountains more. Seriously, they’re gorgeous and you have a great view from the Expo Line trains in Burnaby.
  • I sat beside a woman with a purple bag. I didn’t notice the doggy with the matching purple bow until she licked me “hello!” Jazz was very friendly and quiet while we rode together.

Thursday:

  • How hard is it to put the free newspapers we all get handed in the recycling? There are bins at every station! Disclaimer: I sat on one that was stuffed in the side of my seat and wet so, in turn, I then got my whole side wet and I may be a little grumpy about it.
  • I just played with the air bubbles on a SkyTrain window for a good 10 minutes. I should probably wash my hands.
  • Sock fashion is in! Stripes, polka dots, bright colours – men and women; young and old seem to be rocking some funky socks. I’m liking the attention to the space in between shoes and pants.

Friday:

  • Everyone is in such a good mood today! I think TGIF culture is real because this is a total 180 from Monday
  • Someone is doing a crossword. I love crosswords. I feel like they have taken a backseat to Sudoku and I never understood why. I wonder what the ratio of Sudoku players versus crossword puzzlers on the train right now?
  • How many Starbucks drinks are sold in Metro Vancouver during the AM commuting hours? I’ve been on transit for 45 minutes and I have counted nearly 27.

I also conducted a little something I like to call the smile experiment.

Each day I tried to look someone in the eye and smile then I would record if they smiled back.

I think many people were a bit surprised, but the ones that returned the smile looked so happy!

Eye contact & smiles given = 37
Eye contact & smiles received = 11

Overall, though I did miss my commuting soundtrack, it was nice to actually LOOK UP and see the world around me and I’m going to try to leave my phone in my pocket more often!

Now, I put the challenge to you. One week’s commute with no smartphone. Can you do it??

Author: Adrienne Coling

SkyTrain unplugged

Commuter Using Mobile

Going smartphone free on transit for one week!

If you take a look at our most recent Links and Tidbits, we included a link from the National Post.

Jonathan Goldstein, the host of WireTap on CBC Radio (which has now sadly ended), decided to put away his phone during his commute and instead observe the space around him on the subway – plus take some hilarious notes!

He says he did this as an attempt to be more “in the moment” and I love it so much so that I am going unplugged for one week!

Starting today, I will have no electronic distractions on my commute. No music playing, no Words with Friends matches or idle Instagram scrolling.

I’m also going to follow Goldstein’s lead and take notes of what I see and hear.

Stay tuned because next week I will be posting my experiences from my smartphone-free transit commuting!

Do you want to play along? Comment below with your own unplugged observations!

Author: Adrienne Coling

 

Metrotown Station upgrades update

Construction continues at Metrotown Station and Exchange!

We are upgrading Metrotown Station to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security at one of the busiest stations in the SkyTrain system.

Some of the changes include new escalators, stairs and elevators to improve access for all our customers, improved bus connections and integration between buses and SkyTrain and more access to and from the platforms, just to name a few!

Project status update

Here are some highlights of the work that has taken place over the past few months:

  • Demolition of the station continued.
  • Hoop trusses were constructed and installed to provide structural support for the platform’s roof.
  • Construction of three new elevator shafts in the Centre Stationhouse continued, which included:
    • Fabrication of steel structural elevator shafts.
    • Partial demolition of platform roof, creating holes for installation of the new elevator shafts.
  • Installation of new elevator shafts.
    • Shafts were lifted by crane over the guideway and lowered in through the holes in the roof and platform.

During the weeks of January 17 and 24, you may have noticed that SkyTrain single tracked between 9 p.m. and end of service from Sunday to Thursday.

This was necessary to ensure crews could safely install the elevator shafts and hoop trusses over the tracks without trains running below.

Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures of that complex work:

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 that passengers and neighbours can expect:

  • Continued construction of three new elevator shafts in the Centre Stationhouse, which are expected to be open towards the end of 2016.
    • Until then, the HandyDART and Community shuttles will continue to operate.
    • The HandyDART shuttle operates between the Metrotown and Patterson Station HandyDART stops for passengers with disabilities.
    • Passengers travelling with strollers can take a Community Shuttle to Metrotown Station from Patterson or Royal Oak stations.
  • Installation of a temporary staircase from the west side of the platform down to street level, allowing the existing emergency exit to be demolished in preparation for the new west stationhouse.
  • Demolition work at the station will continue.
  • Noise associated with large construction projects, including nighttime work with varying levels of noise while trains are not operating will continue.

We appreciate your patience as we complete these important upgrades to Metrotown Station.

Be sure to stay tuned for additional updates throughout the project!

Got questions?

We’re here to listen!
Customer Service: 604.953.3333
Monday to Friday: 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Overnight Customer Service: 1.866.979.0930
Monday to Friday: 12:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

For more information visit www.translink.ca/metrotown or www.translink.ca/customerservice

Author: Jennifer Morland

First phase of running rail replacement work complete!

You may have noticed in the past few months that the Expo Line has been undergoing some major maintenance work!

As part of that maintenance, we have been replacing major sections of rail along the 30 year old track.

The first phase of the work began last August and has just been completed – replacing 4,550 linear metres of rail at three locations.

Here’s what has been replaced so far:

  • 700 linear metres of rail along the outbound curve east of Edmonds Station
  • 950 linear metres of rail along the inbound curve west of Edmonds Station
  • 2,900 linear metres of rail along the S-curve between Commercial–Broadway and Main Street –Science World stations.

We will be continuing the rail replacement work this summer.

This work is critical to keeping our system in a good state of repair.

Thanks for your patience while we complete this necessary maintenance on the SkyTrain system!

Author: Jordan Keim

Main Street-Science World Station upgrades are now complete!

The finishing touches are all done at Main Street-Science World Station! Much has changed. With a growing region and the introduction of Compass we needed to lengthen the stationhouse and install fare gates. While we were at it, we improved accessibility, visibility and safety and added the secure bike parkade. Check out all the details in the video, when we blogged about it last and on the TransLink website.

Main Street-Science World Station isn’t the only transit property getting a facelift. Upgrades are also underway at Joyce-Collingwood, Commercial-Broadway, Metrotown and New Westminster Station. It’s all part of the Expo Upgrade Strategy.

 

Have you seen or used the upgraded Main Street–Science World Station?
What do you think? Be sure to comment below and let us know!

 

Author: Robert Willis