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Two SkyTrain stations get one new name

Well, as some have already guessed, Broadway Station and Commercial Drive Station are getting a new name on Monday, September 7.

On the same day as the major bus service changes, Commercial Drive Station and Broadway Station will be merged into one and renamed Commercial-Broadway Station.

The name change is spurred by the launch of the Canada Line.

Since one Canada Line station is located on Broadway, emergency dispatchers have raised concerns about confusion between Broadway/City Hall and Broadway/Commercial station.

A diagram showing the new platform numbering at Commercial-Broadway Station. Click for a larger version.

A diagram showing the new platform numbering at Commercial-Broadway Station. Click for a larger version.

The platforms at the new Commercial-Broadway Station will be numbered to distinguish the four passenger boarding points, and will be used in our Trip Planner so you can plan journeys:

1Former Commercial Drive Station
Trains to VCC-Clark

2Former Commercial Drive Station
Trains to Waterfront via Millennium Line stations

3Former Broadway Station
Trains to Waterfront

4Former Broadway Station
Expo Line trains to King George;
Millennium Line trains to VCC-Clark

Bear in mind that none of this affects any actual train service. If you take the train at these stations, keep going as you normally do — nothing will change but the platform and station names.

Connecting bus services will now just refer to “Commercial-Broadway Station” instead of “Commercial Drive Station” or “Broadway Station.” Automated voice announcements on SkyTrain will also be changed to reflect the new names.

And if you’re not familiar with the platforms, numbered signs will be on each platform and signage will be outside the stations, directing you to the correct platforms in case there’s confusion. Station diagrams will be also available at the station itself and online. Here’s a handy pamphlet that will be on the system soon!


  • By Donald, August 27, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

    Woohoo, numbered platforms! We’re really a big city now lol. Could they number all the Waterfront Station platforms too while they’re at it?

    Platform 1&2 – Seabus
    Platform 3&4 – West Coast Express
    Platform 5&6 – Expo and Millennium Line
    Platform 7&8 – Canada Line

    And put up one big sign board in the central lobby area indicating which services are departing at which platform.

  • By Meraki, August 27, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

    Does this mean the 99 will get renamed to the “Commercial Stn B-Line?”

    That’d be awesome. =]

  • By Karen Fung, August 27, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    +1 to TransLink on de-confusion! Next on the problem-solving block: the potential for mixups between between VCC-Clark and Vancouver City Centre (VCC)!

    When I first saw the headline, I honestly thought it was going to be Granville and Vancouver City Centre, because the entrances and exits for those two would definitely drive me batty if I didn’t have the Expo Line so engrained in the brain.

  • By Migzy, August 27, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    There is a problem with the website. The website is storing the previous person’s information in the fields for any and all who visit this page to see.

  • By ben K, August 27, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

    This is a good move; it makes sense to rename this nexus after Commercial rather than Broadway, given the evolution of the transit system.

    Why the plethora of platform numbers, though? After all, at all of these stations, there is only one physical centre platform. To my mind it would be much simpler to say “platform 1, inbound (or outbound)”.

    Speaking of “inbound” and “outbound”, when I first moved here I found that nomenclature to be strange — why not say “east” and “west”? I’ve always been curious which way is considered “inbound” from the perspective of, say, Braid Station (have been meaning to visit the platform to see how the gates are labeled, but have never yet done so…)


  • By Paul, March 12, 2019 @ 12:39 pm

    Agreed. After all these years I still don’t know the difference between the inbound platform and the outbound platform.

  • By ben K, August 27, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

    Um, let me take credit for the previous comment, not Karen. Oops.

    (is anybody going to fix this bizarre security hole?…)


  • By cree, August 27, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

    lol @ Donald. Indeed, numbered platforms; I never thought I’d see it here.^_^

    So it should be as under one station name. Hubs like Commercial/Broadway should act as one name, much like Waterfront.

    Again, waiting to see if the destination signage on buses will all be spelt out in full. Please, no unnecessary abbreaviations!!!!
    (Commercial-Broadway Stn B-Line — not Comm-Bway Stn B-Line)

  • By snowystar, August 27, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

    That is weird…Cause I’m not snowystar!!

  • By ben K, August 27, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

    Cree: with respect to unnecessary abbreviations, I have always taken amusement in the N9 nightbus signage declaring simply “COQ STN”.


  • By Jen Lai, August 27, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    Awesome! I was just discussing with some people how odd that Waterfront station/s shared a name, while Broadway/Commercial and Granville/Van City Centre did not.

    @karen fung: Yes, totally agree, a “City Centre-Granville” mashup in the future would be awesome. Also agree on your comment about their entrances and exits. I would never try to give directions to my grandma to transfer at Granville onto the Canada Line. Waterfront, yes. Granville to Van City Centre, no, not very grandma friendly.

  • By Derek Cheung, August 27, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

    “Inbound” means heading towards downtown.
    “Outbound” means heading away from downtown.

    If one looks carefully on the Millennium Line you can see a sign on the guideway which indicates direction change between Braid Station and Lougheed Town Centre: an outbound train leaving Braid becomes an inbound train arriving at Lougheed!

  • By David M, August 27, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

    Great news and well done. I really hope Translink will start implementing standardisation amongst all stations. Next is Waterfront – it needs the same treatment. Platforms there should be numbered:
    Platform 1. Canada Line
    Platform 2. Canada Line
    Platform 3. Expo/Millenium Line Arrival
    Platform 4. Expo/Millenium Line Departure
    Platform 5. West Coast Express
    Platform 6. West Coast Express
    Platform 7. SeaBus
    Platform 8. SeaBus

    Also – number all platforms at all stations a ditch the “inbound”, “outbound”. On Canada Line the announcement “the train arriving on the outbound platform…” is meaningless as there is no identification on the platforms to show which one is outbound and which one is inbound. Better would be clear platform numbers and announcements “the train arriving platform 1 is…” would then mean something.

  • By Adrian Leung, August 28, 2009 @ 1:51 am

    @David M,

    Agreed with the inbound/outbound comment about the Canada Line. As for renaming of Waterfront, I was thinking the opposite and start Platform 1 & 2 with the SeaBus and 7 & 8 with the Canada Line, reason being from North to South, like the Commerical-Broadway structure. Then again, I’m not so sure if you can call the SeaBus waiting area a “platform.”

    Centre platforms are technically still two platforms and this is referred all over the world. If you put Platform 1-inbound, one, there is more text to fit on a small sign, and two, it adds to greater confusion to people who don’t normally know “inbound” and “outbound.”

    Congrats to TransLink for being smart and actually updating the station announcements and signs. I was surprised the overhead Commercial Drive signs were replaced with Commercial-Broadway. I’m also glad TransLink is having platform numbers and it should be done throughout the system.

    I do have a few concerns though. First of all, the platform overhead signs now don’t indicate where there are escalators, where there are elevators, and where there are stairs, as they did with the old signs. I’m not so sure why it’s important for people on the trains already to know which platform they are on. Thankfully though, Commercial doesn’t have huge platforms to begin with.

    Secondly, consistency and this is a problem with TransLink. Signs for Platform 1 & 2 indicate station names VCC-Clark and Columbia station whereas signs for Platform 3 & 4 indicate cities Vancouver and Surrey. That would be a little bit of an issue for tourists, especially since at Platform 1 & 2, transfer signs in blue say the station names Waterfront and King George. Also, “Broadway” is used as the exit name for one of the signs, whereas the actual exit name is “E. Broadway,” which is shown in the sign behind it.

    I also hope TransLink will modify the messages so that they are more consistent with the transfer message on the Canada Line. On the Canada Line for Bridgeport Stn, the message is “The next station is Bridgeport. Please change at Bridgeport for trains to Richmond-Brighouse.”

    “The next station is Commercial-Broadway. Please change at Commercial-Broadway for Expo Line trains to Waterfront and King George.”

    Finally, I hope TransLink also changes the announcements for Stadium and Joyce, especially since they have been renamed for a long time now. Transfer messages should also be added for Waterfront Stn!!!!

    I’ve ranted on for a long time sorry. Here are a few photos of what I was saying above and feel free to use these if you want to update the post.

    Unfortunately, one sign was left not changed:

  • By Dennis, August 28, 2009 @ 11:54 am

    The direction change on the Millennium Line is actually between the New West tunnel portal and Sapperton.

  • By Jim, August 28, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

    I think the combination could eventually become confusing again ones the extension of the millenium line occurs since the new line will intersect once again at the current Broadway City Hall Station. I think naming it as Broadway Central Station now and the current Broaday City Hall Station could be named West Broadway Central Station. The Vancouver City Central Station and the granville station could be combined by name as Granville Central Station. The combination of these stations would require a tunner or manner in which to connect the two station more stream lined though. Just a though on a more user friendly approach.

  • By Derek Cheung, August 28, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    Dennis, I stand corrected!

  • By Henry, August 28, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

    The renaming should be a good thing in the long run. I overheard some people at Broadway Station wondering how to get to the Canada Line in the station.

    The numbering is good as well. Tourists find using just names hard. If there is a number plus colour code and name to follow, then it’s easier. I think a lot of tourists find our local nomenclature for some things strange.

    Inbound and outbound is very downtown-centric and an ESL tourist has no idea what that means. North, south, east, west would be basic English directions, but inbound and outbound are not. Numbers are universal while our English names are foreign to non-English tourists.

    I’d also love to see a renaming of Vancouver City Centre station. The name is simply unwieldly. The problem is the neighbourhood doesn’t have an actual name. I always preferred the original Robson Station name even though the entrance is actually on Georgia.

    One last naming convention that bugs me is the new “Way out” signs at Canada Line stations. What consultation showed that “Way out” is easier to understand than “Exit”? Back to the tourists’ point of view, “exit” is commonly learned English word. “Way out” is not a basic English word taught to ESL students. I used to teach ESL, so I know that much.

  • By Robert, August 28, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    Re inbound/outbound, it’s by no means obvious, but at the ends of the platforms on or near the Do Not Enter gate signs (right next to the tracks) there are labels I/B for inbound and O/B for outbound.

  • By ben K, August 28, 2009 @ 5:46 pm

    I’ve been baffled by “way out”, too. Not even a native English speaker says “way out” to mean “exit”, let alone a foreigner. The Skytrain “out” (sans “way”) was more acceptable. May as well post signs saying “upstairs” or “to the street” or “take off”.

    It’s especially bizarre when you can look in one direction and see both a blue “way out” signs and a standard emergency red “exit” sign close by to one another. Almost wouldn’t blame someone for taking a fire door in an effort to escape the platform.


  • By cree, August 28, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    @Henry, the “Way Out” signage is widely used in metro in London Underground. straight from Transport For London website:

    “‘Way out’ should be used in preference to ‘exit’
    on all signs except ‘emergency exit’ signs.”

  • By Jim, August 28, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

    I actually saw the in bound out bound signs today. I would love to know if Jhenifer could ask if it would be possible to have additional ones installed. I believe this could help to end the confusion perhaps if possible one for every yellow safety hazard sign thats also displayed along the wall. Just a thought.

  • By JC, August 28, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    Does anyone listen to me when this blog here has a security breach? You say our e-mails are not published, yet when I want to post a comment, I see the following info pre-filled from the previous poster (see below). You have a Cookie issue… I reported this problem to you like 6 months ago!

    Jim —

  • By Jim, August 28, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

    I totally agree with you JC

  • By Deasine, August 29, 2009 @ 12:16 am

    No yeah, I always have some else’s email/name on the comment box. Looks like my comment didn’t go through either. I’m not so sure if I want to rant again, so here:

  • By Dora, August 29, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    “Way out” is pretty standard all across the UK (Tube stations, train station, etc.). Perhaps the Canada Line has decided to go Queen’s English? :) Now I’m definitely looking forward to taking the Canada Line home (well, downtown to catch a 135 or 160) when I come back from the UK in a week!

  • By David Arthur, August 29, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Yes, I’ll add another vote in favour of both ‘Way out’ and platform numbering. It’s about time the Americanisation of Canada was brought to a halt. :)

  • By Henry, August 30, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

    Oooh…scary…i just experienced the above mentioned cookie prob. I saw Derek’s contact info. Sorry Derek.

    Thanks for the info regarding “Way Out” as a standard in the UK. In my opinion, I would still prefer exit. That just seems more formal to me and proper for a public facility. The “Out” isn’t so bad in the old SkyTrain stations. We’re Canadians, so it’s not required that we follow the UK naming.

    I wonder if there is more of an explanation why “way out” is preferred to exit in the Underground. Couldn’t we use “exit” versus “emergency exit”?

    I’m just totally curious about what people think about that.

  • By cree, August 30, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

    Platform numbering has began @ Waterfront Station, at least on the SkyTrain side:

    As for the “way out” signage on Canada Line, Millennium Line and some Expo Line stations has just “OUT” for their stations; now you can see that it’s not just a one-off thing.

  • By David Arthur, August 31, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

    More formal? The only difference is that ‘way out’ is English, and ‘exit’ is Latin.

    The ‘plain English’ movement is much stronger in Britain than here, so it’s nice to see Canadian authorities starting to get the message that it isn’t necessary to use overly complex language just so that they sound important.

  • By ben K, August 31, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

    David, while I agree with you in sentiment about simplifying language where it is not served by complication, I find it amusing to suggest that “exit” is “overly complex language”! It’s almost half the length of “way out”, and a word that I suspect any kindergarten child would fully understand.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 1, 2009 @ 11:24 am

    Re: the email problem on this blog.

    Yep, I am totally aware of this problem and still just as frustrated as you are about it. Unfortunately our web staff is also working on major updates to the main TransLink site so their attention is divided at the moment. I am going to send another note to indicate that this issue is ongoing and see if we can move toward a solution.

  • By ;-), September 1, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

    Let also not also forget the IE8 bug. If you participate in this blog with Internet Explorer 8. Your comments appear to be mysteriously ignored.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 1, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

    Way Out-ers:

    I wrote this to another person asking the same question, so hope you don’t mind me repeating it here.

    Essentially, TransLink isn’t responsible for most of the signage in the Canada Line stations — we only provide the info about transit connections and safety/security.

    The rest of the signage was provided by our concessionaire, InTransit BC, a.k.a. the contracted private partner who built the Canada Line). Here’s what they told me before about the decision to use “Way Out”:

    We thought “Way Out” was more descriptive and would be easily understandable by an international ridership.

    Anyway, with that all being said, if you would like to register a complaint about the signage, please enter it into our Customer Relations form, so it will be logged in our system and sent to the correct staff at Canada Line!

  • By Stephan Scharnberg, September 2, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    This means we have now promoted ourselves from backwater, provincial outpost to cosmopolitan, urbane Metropolis! Is there a platform 9 1/2 for the non-muggles? I’m excited about September 7th. And I love the Canada Line!

  • By Gary, September 4, 2009 @ 10:14 am


    Will the station announcements change on the trains to say the next station is “Commercial – Broadway”? Also, why do we still hear the next station is “Stadium” and “Joyce” instead of “Stadium – Chinatown” and “Joyce – Collingwood”. A fix for this is long overdue.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 4, 2009 @ 12:42 pm


    Here’s the answer from SkyTrain.

    An update to the on-train announcements is in the works, but won’t be ready on the 7th — it will likely be updated progressively through the month of September. The new voice messages have to be updated to each of the 110 (and counting) radio units on the train, which takes some time, and it’s not really an urgent thing that warrants deferring regular maintenance, or incurring a lot of overtime expense. We did not want to introduce it before the 7th, which would probably have added even more confusion to the transition.

    We will be adding “Stadium-Chinatown” and “Joyce-Collingwood” at the same time. Again, there will be a mix of new and old messages during the transition. There was a recent upgrade to the radio systems on the Mark I fleet that makes this easier than it was in past years.

  • By Rvie, September 4, 2009 @ 8:41 pm

    Jhenifer, will there also be platform announcements about arriving trains on the Expo and Millennium Line stations, just like on the stations on the Canada Line, as in like “The next train to arrive on the outbound platform is for King George”, something like that?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 8, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    Rvie: not as far as I know.

  • By Steven Luscher, October 2, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    @concessionaire – How about “Far Out,” in recognition of our “BC Hippie” legacy?

  • By Shane, October 3, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    “Way Out” is the new international English standard for metro systems.

    It is awesome to read these comments because I just submitted some of the same feedback to TransLink in a survey re: platform numbers at Waterfront, and updating the train announcements.

    Another tip I had was to fix the references to the Canada Line. Either it is part of the SkyTrain system or not.

    At the airport and Pacific Centre they refer to it as the Canada Line which is confusing for tourists if they are referred to take the “SkyTrain” to the airport.

  • By Anonymous, November 30, 2010 @ 8:22 am

    Too many double barrel station names.

    What’s wrong with.. Joyce, Main Street, Stadium, Sperling, Brighouse etc… by themselves?

    The one thing this system needs is one standard look. I know the first part opened in 85, I remember taking it then… however, over the years the design changes have never occurred simultaneously so SkyTrain looks like a gypsy caravan.

    We are one of the only systems (compared to the Metro in Montreal for instance) that does not have one standard colour theme across the board. It looked so clean at Expo because everything was one in the same — should have left it like that.


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