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Share your Canada Line opening day or first-ride stories here!

A Canada Line train on the North Arm Bridge!

A Canada Line train on the North Arm Bridge!

The Canada Line opens today with free rides from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., and this post is for you to share your opening day stories!

Feel free to put your writeups in the comments below. To share a link to a blog post elsewhere, put your link in the URL field of the comment box — comments with URLs in the message body get tagged as spam and won’t show up until I release them.

If you have photos or video to share, see this post for where to put them. Tweet with the #canadaline hashtag today, btw!

And again, see this post for the full entertainment schedule for today.

Feel free to share your first Canada Line ride experiences in this thread too, even if you didn’t ride on opening day!

Plus here is a roundup of stories I’ve found at other blogs – Regarding Place, the Vancouver LiveJournal community, Kim Werker, Stephen Rees, the Transport Politic, John Chow, YVRConnections, Writergal.

Discussions about the Line are happening over at the Urban Toronto discussion boards: here’s one about art and architecture in stations, one announcing our Line’s opening, and the tail end of another discussion with references to the Canada Line.

And don’t forget the longstanding Canada Line discussion at Skyscraper Page, from our local planning and transportation enthusiasts.

Edit: Here’s the Buzzer’s posts from the Canada Line opening:


  • By Al, August 17, 2009 @ 9:09 am

    At 6:00 A.M. I saw a man at the King Edward Station. He had not heard that the opening day was not a full service day. He needed to get to Richmond and was very upset. I’m sure he’ll be happier tomorrow.

  • By Steve, August 17, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    Avoiding it! By the looks of the crowds its not worth the stress. Will wait a few days to see if makes any difference to my current long journey.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, August 17, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

    I reached Richmond Centre at around 10:20, had a Tim Horton’s breakfast and by 11:30 I was lined up outside of Richmond-Brighouse. I had some good conversations with other people from Richmond, and then my friends showed up at around 12:00.

    We got on the first train leaving Richmond-Brighouse (there was a mad dash for the train platform), I believe the train number was either 112/212 or 111/211.

    Immediately after the doors closed Canada Line Control was on the PA stating that a child had been separated from her parents at Brighouse.

    Anyway, after the train started moving away from the station, many of the passengers gave a round of applause and a few cheers.

    There was a bit of a delay at Marine Drive Station, and the next stop was announced as Vancouver City Centre.

    Just as we reached Waterfront Station, there was another round of applause. One thing of note was that the train doors closed at Waterfront several minutes before the train actually departed the station. Someone alerted Canada Line Control with the yellow strip about the problem (some people still wanted to get off the train).

    When we reached YVR-Airport and witnessed the huge line that was still forming, we decided to trek on foot to Sea Island Centre (it was quite an adventure) and found that station had maybe 5 people waiting for a train.

    Our Canada Line experience ended after switching at Bridgeport and going back to Richmond-Brighouse.

    All in all, great day. Lining up before 1:00 so much more worth it than trying to line up after the trains were running. I didn’t see Jhen anywhere, and because of the long lines everywhere I decided not to collect any passport stamps.

  • By Phyzz, August 17, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

    I thought there should have been more thought put in at the Richmond-Brighouse end and more volunteers along the whole lineup there. Essentially when I got there at a little after 13:00 the lineup was at 2 and a half hours approximately (that’s when I got on the train) and had wound itself across the parking lot. If one of the entrances to the lot had been made enter only and the other exit only there likely would have been fewer incidences of irate drivers being a hairsbreadth away from running the line over. Some of them sounded really irate.

    The train itself was alright though full. Some delays but that’s to be expected on opening day and with the crowds.

    Question: Can the AC be turned up anymore? The trains weren’t much cooler than outside whereas a Mark II (even if full) feels so good coming out of the heat.

  • By Paul, August 18, 2009 @ 12:49 am

    We don’t have new skytrain opening everyday. Will not complain. I enjoyed every bit of it.

  • By Henry, August 18, 2009 @ 12:10 pm


    Here’s my Canada Line Opening Day experience and story.


  • By Sungsu, August 18, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

    My goal yesterday was to go to some of the stations I wouldn’t normally visit when riding under normal circumstances. Since I didn’t have the luxury of having the time to wait in lines, I planned my route accordingly.

    I first rode from Langara to King Edward. When I debarked, I found out I’d have to wait in a long queue to head south, so I instead went back to the northbound platform. I rode to Olympic Village and just crossed the centre platform to go south. I was on a YVR train so I got off at Templeton to turn around and go back to Vancouver. I got off at Langara and went home. Total queue waiting time: zero minutes.

    The event was a lot of fun, and it seemed that everyone was enjoying themselves, even the ones who had long waits.

  • By Allan, August 18, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

    While riding the Canada Line today during rush hour I noticed that the doors on the trains were closing way too fast… at most stops it’s 10 seconds… at the busier ones, only 20 to 30. This is not enough time for people to get on and off crowded trains. I had sent a “suggestion” about this to customer service but I also wanted to point that out here as well.

    Otherwise the trains are nice and the stations looking quite good (although somewhat utilitarian maybe?).

    As for yesterday… I did this:
    Langara-49th to Yaletown-Roundhouse, then walk to VanCiCen
    VanCiCen to Broadway, then run to OlymVil
    OlymVil to KingEd, bus to MarineDr
    MarineDr to SeaIsland
    SeaIsland to Oakridge
    Oakridge to OlymVil
    OlymVil to Langara-49th
    Langara-49th to KingEd, go home

    I took advantage of the fact that Vancouver bound was less used for the latter part of the trip and also that there were several lightly-used stations that I could use to bypass the line.

  • By Brooke L., August 18, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

    I checked out the downtown lineups at 1pm and despaired and went home. I went a little later and saw a big lineup at City Hall, but got a tip from someone exiting that Olympic Village had 0 lineup (which I think continued all day, since it is hard to bus to and didn’t have a passport stamp!) so I got on there and rode to King Ed. Neither of these had passports, so I thought I would just go home and try again the next day, but on my way home I passed City Hall again and they had a ton of passports, so I got one and hopped back on the line! I rode out to YVR and got some tasty popsicles, and got in a long lineup that moved very quickly and got off at Bridgeport, which was a mistake, because Bridgeport had a CRAZY wait at this point, 7pm! I listened to 20 minutes of the Chew impersonator and then I couldn’t stand it anymore and took a taxi home, with 3 stamps in my passport.

    But today (Tuesday) I spent the day on the line collecting the rest of my passport stamps! I had to visit the Roundhouse twice because they didn’t have their stamp ready at 11am, but my passport is complete now, including the bonus stamp from Richmond City Hall. :) I had a great time riding the line in less crowded conditions today! Lots of gorgeous views – and coming out of the tunnel is really breathtaking somehow.

  • By Rvie, August 18, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

    What an awesome ride! I went with my aunt, my youngest bro, and my friend. We basically started at Richmond-Brighouse station and we rode the train ALL THE WAY to Waterfront station, taking pictures of the train and stations and scenery along the way. We then got off at Waterfront station and then took a train bound for YVR-Airport station…same thing, we took pictures of the train and stations and scenery along the way. Afterwards my friend had to split up with us at Bridgeport since she needs to go home. The rest of us then travelled to Vancouver City Centre station and then had lunch at Pacific Centre’s food court. We then headed to the central branch of Vancouver Public Library, where we met up with my mom (who was working there). =)

  • By ;-), August 19, 2009 @ 12:04 am

    No I didn’t have the patience for a long wait to try the service on the FREE day and went today instead…

    I guess I’m spoiled on the Expo/Millenium line. That 4 minute frequency is painful compared to the Expo line, especially waiting at Richmond/YVR segments where it is double. I’d love to see a countdown clock at the YVR, Richmond-Brighouse, and Waterfront stations. The trains sit there for the longest time and then you hear the chimes as the door closes in front of you for a 8 minute wait.

    What opportunities are there to increase frequency? Are all available trains running during rush hour?

    Also what guidelines are there for cyclists. Even though the center area was empty, cyclists continue to block the other doors as if they are on Skytrain, forcing passengers, strollers, and wheelchairs to walk around them at the end doors.

    Yes, something is wrong with the AC on the Canada Line. The Mark 2’s do a much better job of keeping the cars cool. I was so tempted to open the windows.

  • By Shane, August 19, 2009 @ 7:42 am

    I went to Milestones at YVR for dinner last night! I think the Canada Line is great and because I don’t have a car, it really expands “my” city for me.

    I see myself taking the train to King Ed on a saturday, then shopping my way down to Broadway station.

    Jhenifer, you said they almost reached 100,000 yesterday? WOW! Hopefully once the lookiloo’s fade away and the buses start feeding in to the new line on Sept 7 they continue to reach 100,000 riders per day – or more.

    I’d really like to see this line be wildly successful.

  • By ;-), August 19, 2009 @ 9:15 am

    Oh kewl, I just got checked for my fare. I wonder how many violations have they caught?

  • By Rvie, August 19, 2009 @ 9:40 am

    I’m just wondering about the station announcments, though…I know Laureen Regan-san did all the announcements but the ones I heard yesterday when I rode the Line sounded different than the ones I’ve heard on the trains before the Line even opened. Jhen, can you clarify on this?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 19, 2009 @ 9:41 am

    It’s definitely Laureen. She was asked to rerecord the announcements so that’s why they sound slightly different before and after the Line opened. I believe it’s because the first set of recordings was a bit too fast to hear.

  • By ;-), August 30, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

    To speed Canada Line platform loading, I’m wondering if it’s possible to place platform door markings, especially for the doors closest to the train center common area.

    Whenever a train arrives at a station, there are delays as passengers (especially tourists to YVR) shuffle back and forth with their multiple pieces of luggage.

    Even a strip of masking tape will be a great help for cyclists, strollers, wheelchairs, as well as travelers with luggage. They will know where to stand and queue for

    This is also much easier for transit police to ticket cyclists who ignore the bike area and choose to block the Canada Line doors creating safety issues.

    Unlike Mark 1’s and 2’s all the Canada Line trains are consistent. When we have future longer train configurations, we can program the trains to stop where the common areas can still be aligned at these load zones. In San Francisco, the electronic platform signage notifies the arriving train lengths to speed passenger loading. If I’m not mistaken, Expo Line signage did the same in the late 80’s.

  • By Sungsu, August 30, 2009 @ 4:03 pm


    The transit police can’t ticket cyclists for blocking doors, just like they can’t ticket other passengers for doing the same thing. They can only make them leave the train and/or the system.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 1, 2009 @ 12:11 pm


    Can you submit your marking suggestion over at our Customer Relations form? That way it’ll be logged in our feedback system and it will get sent to the right Canada Line staff.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Canada Line turns one: photos from the opening, part 1 — August 17, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  2. The Buzzer blog » Canada Line turns one: photos from the opening, part 2 — August 18, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  3. The Buzzer blog » Canada Line turns one: photos from the opening, part 4 — August 20, 2010 @ 9:02 am

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