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Canada Line opening: Yaletown, Vancouver City Centre, Broadway-City Hall

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.







  • By Alex, August 18, 2009 @ 9:53 am

    Question: If there 85,000 people on this first day and the lines were this long, with 1 hour waits, how can the system handle the 100,000 it is suppose to on a daily basis?

  • By BobA, August 18, 2009 @ 11:23 am

    I think the 100,000 figure is a max for the system over the aprox 20hrs per day with a max. complement of 3 car trains – only 2 car now, so its potential is for future expansion. Opening day was for 8 hrs. only with 2 car trains.

  • By Ian S., August 18, 2009 @ 1:07 pm


    Could you please explain how the automatic passenger counters work? Are these mounted on the cars or somewhere on the station?

    Regarding the question by Alex, the trains are capable of running much more frequently. Most of the day, there’s a train every four minutes. During the peak, SkyTrain runs a train every 105 seconds. Canada Line uses a very similar control system, so it could increase the frequency considerably. Adding extra cars is expensive and would only be done after accommodating higher demand with greater frequencies.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 18, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Ian S: I’ve already put in a question about how the automatic counters work! That was my first question too once our media team mentioned them. Will have an answer as soon as ProTrans gets back to me.

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