So as the subject line indicates, the tail end of my evening was spent at 3 stations.
I rode another busy train to Yaletown-Roundhouse, where I was promptly greeted by Matthew Laird and Karen Fung. (Short aside: I put a Buzzer into the as-yet empty Buzzer box on the train, and then someone took it!)
Anyway, Matthew had been lying in wait to get some Buzzer buttons, with which he was richly rewarded. We had a good chat about the day and how the Line will make for great easy access to the airport. I also took a photo of a lady dressed as a Waves coffee cup: a promotion timed to match the opening of the Line. Also, it’s someone dressed as a coffee cup, which is inherently awesome.
Then: to Vancouver City Centre at about 8 pm. I wanted to see how one of the busiest stations was faring, and it seemed to be that the lines were dissipating, probably owing to the line cutoff at 7. The staff there were incredibly upbeat and having a good time. Big crowds lead to great teamwork, I guess!
While I was there the trains heading northbound were ending: trains were only heading south. You could go to Richmond but you can’t come back! People were still giddily hopping on however, and I think they had some of the best ride experiences of the day. The trains were quite empty and there was a good feeling of serendipity to it—oh, I’ve just happened upon a station and now I get to scoot on and ride it. Lucky :)
Broadway-City Hall was my last stop, and boy, did that station have stampmania. In the last minutes of the station tent, an enormous number of people were still coming by and asking for stamps. Not that we weren’t willing to oblige, of course! But the TransLink station host sure did get an arm workout.
So the station closed and the celebration balloons were given away. A colleague said, “This was a surprisingly fun day!” A couple of people said they were definitely going to ride the Line tomorrow.
And I must say, all day the feeling on the line was euphoric. There were crowds, but people were patient and understanding, and just genuinely thrilled that this line was carrying them.
So thanks to everyone who came out: it was wonderful to have you meet your new rapid transit system. And starting tomorrow, it starts regular service! Enjoy!
PS: the preliminary trip count from our automatic passenger counters is 85,000. Not necessarily 85,000 people though: that is just how many entrances there were on the trains.
TRAIN TO YALETOWN
VANCOUVER CITY CENTRE
TRAIN TO BROADWAY