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Extra service in place for the U2 concert, Wed Oct 28

Over 50,000 fans are expected to attend the U2 concert at BC Place on Wednesday night, so we’re ramping up our transit service to help you get to and from the event.

Expo and Millennium Line will extend rush hour service into the pre-show period (the concert begins at 7pm) and will operate rush hour service again after the concert.

Canada Line will also extend peak service into the pre-show period with spare trains available if need be. The reduction in service from evening to late-night levels will take place at midnight rather than 11pm.

Portable fareboxes will be set up at Stadium-Chinatown, Yaletown-Roundhouse and Vancouver City Centre Stations, so you can buy your return ticket before the concert and avoid lines at Ticket Vending Machines after the show. These return tickets will be valid until the end of service.

SeaBus will run 15-minute service until the 10:45pm sailing from Waterfront.

Coast Mountain Bus Company will have Transit Supervisors on-hand to monitor the situation and call in any additional resources, as required.

West Vancouver Transit will have extra buses leaving Horseshoe Bay, Dundarave and Park Royal between 5:30-7pm and additional buses will be provided during the post-concert period, as well.

The concert by U2 is one of the biggest events of the year, and we hope to help you get to and from the show easily and safely!

Also, through much self restraint, I avoided posting any U2-related puns in this post.


  • By Leon, October 27, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

    Must’ve been hard not using any puns. Props!

  • By Jimbo J., October 27, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

    Super hard. Punishing even.

  • By East Vancouverite, October 29, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    Bono did a shout-out to SkyTrain during the concert!

    He said something to the effect of “We’re taking the SkyyyyyyyTraaaaain… Millennium Liiiiine… Expo Liiiiiine… Canada Liiiiiine!”

    The crowd went a little nuts at that. It was one of the more surreal moments of the concert, right up there with Bono leading all 65,000 of us in singing Happy Birthday to Bill Gates.

    SkyTrain worked great last night too. The trains were running back to back and I was back home on Commercial Drive no more than twenty minutes after walking out of the stadium.

    It might be worth having Translink contact LiveNation about their FAQ for BC Place concerts. They were recommending commuter bus passengers transfer to the #10 and #17 buses, presumably at Marine Drive, instead of taking the Canada Line all the way to Yaletown-Roundhouse or Vancouver City Centre.

  • By lala, October 29, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

    I don’t know where the previous poster got his facts from last night. I was at the U2 concert and nothing was mentioned by Bono about SkyTrain or anything like that. There was a 25min delay just to get on the platform from the Beatty Street entrance. as well the entrance at the other end was pretty crazy. There were many scalpers inside the station and refused to leave when asked by the Transit police as well as many people drinking booze on the bus and SkyTrain. but kudos to the STA’s and the Transit police for keeping the cool. As for regular transit service the 135 was jammed pack like sardines and the situation did not help when someone puked on board. The people waiting for the 160 i felt really bad for as the driver decided to bypass all the stops in Vancouver and Burnaby and refused to pick up (although this is ongoing since the beginning of the Fall Bus Sheet) Hopefully that issue gets resolved ASAP. Other than that a great show and maybe this can be a learning curve for SkyTrain & CMBC to improve on or learn from. Have a good night.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 30, 2009 @ 9:14 am

    lala: well, as of the September 2009 service changes, the 160 doesn’t make some stops in Burnaby anymore — the 135 has increased service and picks up the passengers affected. Here’s the description from the September service change announcement:

    To provide better express service between Port Coquitlam to Vancouver, the 160 will no longer pick up westbound or drop off eastbound at five stops along Hastings Street in Burnaby: Sperling, Holdom, Willingdon, Gilmore, Kootenay. (It will still pick-up eastbound and drop-off westbound at those stops.) The 135 route provides full local service at these stops and will receive service frequency and capacity enhancements starting September 7.

    I’m not sure if that exactly describes what you saw though.

    And you know, someone else told me that Bono mentioned the SkyTrain and the other lines during the concert too — so if he did, hurrah!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 30, 2009 @ 9:14 am

    East Vancouverite: Glad to hear the service worked well for you. And thanks for the tip about BC Place, I’ll pass that along!

  • By lala, October 30, 2009 @ 9:31 am


    what i was told from CMBC was the same as you posted. drop off only heading w/b after inlet drive. and PICKUP only heading e/b. Most drivers in the evening rufuse to pick up heading e/b and passengers have taken it out on the drivers on the 135. In some cases drivers have put up “Not In Service” and were then caught red handed by a road supervisor. But ALL the 160’s refuse to wait at there timing points and you end up missing the coach or your connector. And Im not the only one to notice this.. The timing point issue is a huge concern in the evening o n all runs and should be enforced so people can make there connectors and get home safely.

    Have a good weekend.

  • By Cliff, October 30, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

    When I worked in Vancouver and had to commute five years ago, I witnessed quite a few things coming from drivers out of the PoCo depot.

    I’ve seen the occasional tourist or non-English speaking person try to get off before Inlet, not knowing the bus was express. Usually, one of several things happen:

    1. The driver basically holds these people against their will until they put up such a protest that the bus driver caves.

    2. Several passengers attempt to talk some sense into the driver. Usually, at this point, the driver relents.

    3. The wayward passenger sprints off the second the driver opens them to let on passengers.

    4. The wayward passenger is dropped off at Inlet and Ridge and has no idea where to go.

    Common sense dictates the best course of action to take would be to drop the wayward person at the next pick up point and point him in the right direction. No time lost.

    I’ve also seen drivers refuse WCE addfares as proof of payment. I’ve personally experienced this and have had friends and family tell me about this, so I’m betting this happens quite a bit.

    They’re not all bad apples, but when I compare them to drivers out of the Vancouver garage (who wave at me every time I let them pull out even though it’s required by law), there seems to be something lacking.

  • By Bono, October 31, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

    Actually, I was at the concert and Bono did mention the Skytrain. So, for the person who said that he didn’t, well… he did. So there!

  • By Robert, November 2, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    I heard Bono mention Skytrain as well, though the sound quality of him speaking was not as good as that of the actual music. Afterward, approaching Stadium Station from below we found ourselves on the wrong side to validate my wife’s faresaver. However, an STA exchanged her faresaver for a transfer; very much appreciated!!

    We may have been ahead of the pack after the concert, as only one of the eastbound platforms was used at Stadium. Jhenifer, out of curiosity, have both eastbound platforms ever been used after a big event? Encountered no rowdies on the Expo Line, thanks in part to the wide demographic of the concert goers, and the Skytrain moved us efficiently.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, November 2, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    Robert: I’ll double check this, but as far as I know, I don’t think the second eastbound platform at Stadium is really used for service anymore. It’s a vestige from Expo 86 — you used to be able to connect to the monorail from there, which is obviously long gone.

    I know spare trains are kept there now, and when the new grey SkyTrain arrived, it was put in that side track so the media could come look at it (see this post for more).

    Here’s two more links with further info on the side track:

  • By ;-), November 2, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

    Did the monorail connect to Skytrain?
    From what I remember many of the Expo transportation was kinda disjointed. There was a long ramp or bridge to a Hockey stick and flag at the base of the Skytrain ramp. Skytrain would head East before switching to the Westbound track for express service to Canada Place.

    I would not open up the other Eastbound track. Too much confusion.

  • By Norbert, November 3, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    Hello Jhenifer Pabillano, there was alot of chatter about the possibility of Canada Line reaching 100,000 riders for this busy day of life and concerts, do you know if that actually occurred?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, November 3, 2009 @ 10:17 am

    ;-): From descriptions it seemed like you could get to the monorail easily from the third track — I don’t think it was actually connected though. Then again I wasn’t around for Expo 86, so if anyone can clarify this situation, please do.

    Norbert: Sadly I can’t confirm it. ProTrans BC, the private contracted operator who runs the Canada Line, won’t do ridership numbers for specific days — they only release their ridership stats on a specific schedule, which I believe is a 28 day cycle or so. If I find out more about this month’s ridership stats I’ll let you know!

  • By Cliff, November 4, 2009 @ 8:58 am

    Shame about the waste with the third track. It’s in such an oddball location and station, it’s rather hard to do anything with it.

    The only thing it might be useful for is conversion for the Downtown Street car so it can be used for games and special events.

    But for such a limited usage, it’s hard to justify spending millions of dollars building new trackway and columns to have what would essentially be a second elevated LRT line between Stadium and Quebec.

  • By ;-), November 4, 2009 @ 10:21 am

    there are multiple third track locations on the Expo Line (metrotown, waterfront, nanaimo are examples. They serve as holding areas for trains that are on standby.

    Yes Stadium is unique as it has a platform.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, November 4, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    OK, here’s the word on the third track, direct from Ian Graham, operations manager of SkyTrain.

    The third platform originally provided shuttle service between the Expo 86 main site and Canada Place, which was the Canada pavilion at Expo. The platform at Waterfront station was actually divided in half with fencing, separating the regular passengers going to Cordova Street from the fairgoers heading to Canada Place.

    When the third track was designed, it was thought that the extra platform could be used as an extra boarding point in regular service. However, in practice it complicates things more than it streamlines things.

    A 4 car train can be put out every two minutes, and if they are divided up between two platforms at Stadium, we don’t get significantly more throughput. If people just board at the one platform and go, it actually takes less time than arranging for the trains to go to the third track, and getting people to board there, etc.

    Also, if we use the third track, you now have to manage the flow of people on two different platforms, which takes more staff. The third track is not accessible (it only has a staircase), and the entrance at the east lower side is actually outside the station compound on the street below.

    So if it was a bigger platform and accessible, it might be more useful. But the way it is now, it’s not really, and is typically used for training purposes and things like the new SkyTrain media launch. But it has been used once or twice on special occasions, like previous rail replacements where complicated train reroutes were needed.

    (I should make some big Encyclopedia of Knowledge out of all these answers, no?)

  • By Robert, November 4, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    Thanks for your informative reply, Jhenifer. Looking way into the future, if/when Expo line platforms are lengthened for 6-car MK-2 trains (as per provincial transit plan), the third platform may more useful in that context, given that the stairways wouldn’t be any wider. Would be a good opportunity to improve accessibility as part of the station capacity upgrade.

  • By Donald, November 5, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    WCE addfares are simply addfares to be on the WCE and are not relevant to regular transit buses. You need your regular bus pass on both WCE (along with the addfare) and regular transit buses.

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