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Friday fun post: one year on, what’s your take on the Canada Line?

A stamp passport from the opening of Canada Line! Does anyone still have theirs?

As it’s Canada Line’s first birthday next week, let’s do a wide-open Canada Line poll!

One year on, what's your take on the Canada Line?

  • Thumbs up! (92%, 159 Votes)
  • Thumbs down (6%, 10 Votes)
  • I haven't had a chance to ride it yet! (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 173

Feel free to expand on your thoughts in the comments :)


  • By Steven, August 14, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    During rush hour not keen on it, all other times its great. Certainly makes our lives so much easier and our traveling time shorter. Visitors we’ve had from overseas are completely impressed by it.

  • By Chris, August 14, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    The trains are great. I like the smooth ride and the extra space for luggage and bikes. It’s amazing how quickly you can get from downtown to the airport.

    I wish more money would have went into the planning and construction of the stations – the platforms are way too short and the architecture is very grey, concrete, bland. I know the government wanted to save money, but it was short-sighted.

    It’s also too bad the train line couldn’t have gone directly under Queen Elizabeth Park. That bend is causing extra wear on the trains and adding extra time to every journey.

  • By Michael, August 14, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    It confirms my feeling about public transit in the lower mainland: Let’s pay lipservice to the ideas, but don’t try to do it RIGHT, because that may actually cost money.

    I find the trains are too small, so are the platforms and the lack of expandability (from what I gather) means it’s essentially DOA.

    Then the cancellation of a lot of bus routes up Cambie for some reason is also detrimental, though I am not sure to what degree.

    On the plus side: I can save my company now $45 every time I need to fly out of YVR, so my accountant is rather happy.

    In short: Nice proof of concept, maybe next time we can get a full fledged rail line.

  • By political_incorrectness, August 15, 2010 @ 12:36 am

    I was in Vancouver last month and rode the Canada Line as it was under construction last year. I only have minor complaints such as the automated announcements for the next station making the announcer sound like they are on something. Higher frequency is needed and expansions should have been built in.

    However, I like the trains. Very wide, spacious, and comfortable seating. Very clean stations, and actually not hot unlike Granville or Burrard stations. I have yet to experience a Vancouver rush-hour but I like the Canada line. Very convenient and a definite asset to the transit network.

  • By Elfren Ordanza, August 15, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    I really agree with you. Yes, the trains and the platforms are kind of small. They should expand the platform a little longer than a long 4 car Canada Line train. So that the platforms would have less crowds and the capacity of the trains will wincrease more whatever event, just like the new SkyTrain cars for the Expo/Millenium Lines that increased its capacity by about 30%-35%. Anyway the Canada Line is a great thing to have especially when it is connected to the Airport, so that if passengers have about one or two luggages, they can use this line to go to the airport more quickly.

  • By Jacob, August 15, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    -convenient-very fast-spacious-clean-easy access-goes where I need to go-easy transfers to buses-free newspapers-free muffins-frequent-

    the underground part is spooky. The part between King Edward and Oakridge 41st sounds like a ghost doing construction.
    The orange LED at the end of the car is unclear. It says: “Next Station-Langara-49. Terminus Station-YVR-Airport” Well, if you were ESL, then you would have a hard time understanding that.
    The transfer between canada line and skytrain is sooooooooo long. Especially at Waterfront. I’ve had at least 5 people ask me how to get to the skytrain

  • By ???, August 15, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    I love the Canada Line… Everytime something streets above are congested (accidents, festivals, critical mass), Canada Line merrily operates below.

    But it was built on a shoe string budget. There was lack of funding support from nearly half the Metro Vancouver communities claiming Canada Line ridership numbers would not be met…. after a year, how wrong they were…

    There is hardly any down escalators at stations for ridership that are getting older…. I’m glad they were able to tighten their belts to build the Richmond segments with dual tracks instead of a single track. The A/C is nothing to brag about compared to the Mrk 2’s. Cyclists still force and store their bikes at the wrong spots blocking entrances.

    Moving forward, better frequency is needed for weekend and evenings… especially for the Richmond segment.

  • By Ed, August 15, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

    Overall, it is a winner in my books. Before the Canada Line was even thought of, I could not have imagined going from Richmond to downtown Vancouver in under half an hour. It is extremely convenient, especially for a student like myself. I do agree that the station layouts is a bit questionable, a 3rd car would have been nice. It can be a bit frustrating during peak hours, and 7 min waits in Richmond (14 mins at night!) is kind of irritating. Hopefully that can be solved in the near future.

  • By TM (formerly Tsushima Masaki), August 15, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    I like the Canada Line for the most part but I see it as a project that doesn’t look like it’s easily expandable.

    Single-tracking before termini (not much of a big deal right now)
    Small platforms
    Low frequency on the Airport and Richmond branches during off-peak

    Ridership was seriously underestimated as well. I keep reading how the expectations were for maximum ridership in a couple of years, not after the 1st year of operation.

    A real bus loop at Brighouse would also be nice, but one thing is for sure: The Canada Line sure beats the hell out of the 98 B-Line.

  • By cree, August 16, 2010 @ 1:11 am

    I’ve voiced my opinion on the Canada Line many a time already. The line’s here; it’s done, but it could be better. A whole lot better– putting it simply.

  • By Phyzz, August 16, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Overall good but the need to go back to 18 car service during rush hour sooner rather than later. And put new cars relatively high on the list of things to be bought if/when more money is available in the budget.

  • By Bruce, August 16, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    I think the Canada Line has done a great job in 1 year! One thing I do miss about the 98 B-Line is when Transit security would check tickets on the bus at a random stop and take a few people off the bus. I don’t see as much of this on the Canada line. Once in a while I see an attendant check, but I noticed the don’t check as close as transit police or transit security. I do have to say though is that Canada line attendants and staff are very friendy and helpful.

  • By ericmk, August 16, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    Well, I think the Canada Line is great! It’s very clean in design and in lack of litter and is a very convenient way to get to the airport. And there are plenty of Jugo Juice stores to keep you hydrated! However, there is a downside that hasn’t already been mentioned. The Canada Line doesn’t really seem to be branded as a SkyTrain line. It has a slightly different logo (a blue and green version of the SkyTrain logo) and a different livery for the trains. It’s okay that they use Hyundai Rotem’s instead of Mark I’s and Mark II’s, but a similar livery as the new Mark II’s and New Flyer buses would have been nice, with the TransLink logo front and centre instead of on the side. But otherwise, I love the Canada Line- it was money well spent and it certainly left a good impression with Olympic visitors! :)

  • By Chris, August 17, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    @ericmk said “The Canada Line doesn’t really seem to be branded as a SkyTrain line.”

    maybe because it spends most of its time underground.

  • By ;-), August 17, 2010 @ 8:32 am

    During the original planning process, Vancouver wanted it above ground from King Edward South. Residents protested and it became underground. One idea is to daylight the tunnels with art and provide continuous waypoint information as if you are above ground.

    Richmond on the otherhand wanted Canada Line below ground under No 3. However being at sea-level, it made the construction unrealistic.

  • By Sewing, August 17, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    The Canada Line is marketed as “SkyTrain” in TransLink material, but because it’s owned and operated by a private operator, they pursued a distinctive branding strategy and visual identity for the line.

  • By ericmk, August 17, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

    When I said I didn’t think that the Canada Line was branded as a SkyTrain line, I wasn’t referring to the fact that the majority of the line is underground and not elevated. What I really meant was that I think it’s a shame that since the line is maintained by ProTrans BC, who uses InTransitBC to operate it, that the Canada Line has a visual identity separate from the rest of TransLink’s services. There are a lot of contracts in the background, but I wish the public would not have to see the branding inconsistency that comes with the somewhat complicated private-public partnership the Canada Line has (Just look at the sides of those Hyundai Rotem’s- there’s tons of logos!). Instead, I would have preferred the common TransLink face so people know that TransLink means a connected Metro Vancouver transit system!

  • By Sewing, August 17, 2010 @ 6:56 pm


    I agree with you.

    My pet peeve is the light-blue colour coding used everywhere for the Canada Line, when we already have the dark-blue Expo Line. So many colours in the spectrum, and we end up with 2 blue-coloured SkyTrain lines on maps…and brownish-grey for SeaBus.

  • By Ric, August 17, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    The new Canada line is great. I use it almost everyday, and find the travel time amazing. I usually board the train at Brighouse and get off either at Vancouver City Center or Waterfront. I just can’t believe how fast it is. When the train approaches my station I always say to myself “It feels like I just got on the train.”

    The Canada line sure beats the travel time on the 98 B-Line, however, I still miss that bus. I miss seeing that array of articulated buses parked along Anderson road as well as articulated buses traveling down No. 3 road. I also miss riding the articulated buses. No other routes that I use now use articulated buses, except for the one or two odd days when I need to use the 480 route.

    Although, there are many things that I like about the Canada Line, there are some things that I find negative about the Canada Line.

    Here are the things that I find negative:

    1) The PA/next station announcements are way too loud.
    2) The inbound trains are missing the “Please change at Bridgeport for trains to YVR-Airport announcement.
    3) The station platforms are too short.
    4) The trains are too short.
    5) The this train is for… announcement is unnecessary and is driving me nuts.
    6) The train doors stay open too short at the stations

  • By Joseph Bilac, August 18, 2010 @ 2:23 am

    seats! There’s no benches on the platform at all, save for a single 2 seat “chair” thing. This has been a big issue with both Millennium Line and Canada Line stations. There’s simply no seating. Definitely not an issue at Expo Line stations, but if I’m tired and want to sit down 90% of the time I have to end up sitting on the floor and that’s hardly clean/sanitary/comfortable/convenient.

  • By ;-), August 18, 2010 @ 7:33 am

    While it was neat to see the buses on Anderson… there are a lot of noise and emission complaints. I’m sure those condo’s are glad to see them gone, especially early weekday mornings.

    Yes, I agree more station seating would be welcomed. Especially the Richmond segment when frequency goes to 12 to 20 minutes in the evenings.

    Say goodbye to bench seating… too many have people sleeping in them or being damaged by skateboarders.

  • By Ric, August 18, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    Jhen, do you think this could be a future poll question:

    If you notice there is a problem with the bus you are on, do you let the driver know?

  • By Ric, August 18, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

    One more thing, I was on a trams Brill trolley fan trip on Sunday and we actually got to tour Oakridge transit center on the bus. It was said that Oakridge transit center houses the the Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver community shuttle fleet. However, upon touring the transit center I noticed that there were some 2006 New Flyer E40LFR trolleys and some 1996 New Flyer D40LFs parked there.

    What were those buses doing there? Are those tripper buses or are they spare buses?

  • By Nick, August 23, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    The stations are built with the same mistake that was later corrected at broadway station: you have support structure in the middle of the platform making people squeeze between the edge of platform and the elevator shafts or stairways etc.

    Also, the announcements on trains are poorly timed. why does it wait until you’re already moving before telling you what the destination is? It should tell you when the doors open that the train you’re on is for waterfront or whatever so you can get off if you’re on the wrong train.

    Lastly, station announcements saying “The inbound train is for waterfront” how would a tourist (or even me for that matter) know what the inbound side is?? they’re all inbound, technically. that is idiotic naming. Call it track 1 and 2 or whatever

  • By LB, August 25, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    The only things that drive me bonkers about the stations:

    1) you cannot see the station signs from inside the train if you’re standing. We desperately need more visible signage!

    2) the fact that there are so few seats on the platforms. I get that they need to be out of the way, but those weird single seats are not cutting it.

    Otherwise, LOVE Canada Line. Want to give it a hug every day. =)

  • By ben K, August 25, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

    I missed this poll too (I was out of town), but will chime in with the other commenters who have observed that the on-train verbiage is poorly designed:

    – the “inbound/outbound” nomenclature is arcane to the layperson and creates unnecessary confusion
    – the scrolling destination signs inside the cars are needlessly verbose, as pointed out above
    – the station announcements are unnecessarily loud and tedious — and employ a questionable preposition (a train “for” Waterfront? How about “to” Waterfront?)
    – the interior lighting is unduly harsh, particularly at night and below ground

    That said, it’s a fun new line, and absolutely rocks the airport. Can’t believe it’s been a year!


  • By ben K, August 25, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    Speaking of the airport, and the indecisive nature of “SkyTrain” vs. “Canada Line” branding: nowhere on any YVR signage do I recall seeing “SkyTrain”, whereas “Canada Line Canada Line Canada Line” is declared frequently on signage leading to the platform.

    TransLink is naiive at best (or negligent to its customers at worst) to believe that “SkyTrain” is a consistent umbrella designation for the light rail services, particularly where newcomers or visitors to the city might be concerned.


  • By Jacob, September 8, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    The Canada line should be called Skytrain. You don’t hear people saying “I have to take the Millenium Line to School” Instead, they use the word skytrain. But Why are they allways saying Canada line? It’s supposed to be called Skytrain too.

  • By Baron Von Noogington, November 13, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    14 months later, the Canada Line is still doing fabulously. Some suggestions for further improvement would be to turn down the volume of announcements and “bing bing bong” chime for the above ground portions of the route where there is little noise. “Please change trains at ____ for service to ____” would make more sense than the announcement currently used. A similar announcement for inbound trains at for passengers going to the airport would be useful as well.

Other Links to this Post

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