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SkyTrain extends morning rush hour service to give cyclists a break

This just in: SkyTrain is going to extend its rush hour service in the morning to allow more cyclists to board! The extended service started this morning. Here’s the details from our press release:

Bicyclists who choose SkyTrain as part of their TravelSmart commute will now get the benefit of morning peak-period service levels. Bikes have been allowed on the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines since 2006, except during the morning rush hour (start of service until 9am) going towards downtown Vancouver and in the afternoon rush hour (4-6pm) leaving Vancouver.

Recently, a cycling customer brought it to our attention that SkyTrain begins reducing service to “mid-day” levels right at the start of the “bikes OK” time. During the morning rush hour, trains run every 4 minutes from King George to Waterfront Station and every 108 seconds along the combined Expo/Millennium Line between Columbia and Waterfront Stations. But after 9am, frequency is reduced to every 6 minutes out of King George and 3 minutes on the combined stretch.

On hearing from the customer, BCRTC monitored the service situation and has now decided to keep three trains, which would normally come out of service at 9am, in service for one more run each from King George to Waterfront Station. This will effectively maintain near rush hour service along that line for an additional 15 minutes and provide an extra 18 to 36 bike spaces.

“We’re seeing here the flexibility of SkyTrain’s driverless system,” says Doug Kelsey, President of BCRTC and Executive Vice-President of TransLink. “We heard this customer’s legitimate concern, saw there was a solution and were able to say ‘let’s do it’.”

The enhanced service also gives commuters more options for avoiding the “peak of the peak” by delaying their morning commute – another TravelSmart strategy.

Through TravelSmart, TransLink supports cycling as a sustainable transportation option, working with organizations such as the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition to promote Bike To Work Week (Nov. 1-7, 2010), and investing in cycling infrastructure such as the Central Valley Greenway and the Canada Line Pedestrian/Bike Bridge. SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express and the entire bus fleet are now equipped to carry bikes and bicycle lockers are available at many SkyTrain stations.


14 Comments

  • By Dave, October 6, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

    At the same time, they should apply the same rule on Canada Line. The trains are way too crowded during rush hour to have cyclists insist they take their bikes on the train. It’s just dangerous for all passengers.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 6, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    Dave: Did you mean the limited peak hours for cyclists should be on the Canada Line? Just wondering — I can pass this along as feedback to the Canada Line folks.

  • By Jeff, October 6, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

    That is awesome. I always go early in the morning on the SkyTrain (before 7am), but that is awesome for the later risers!

  • By ;-), October 6, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    I would love to see Canada extended their rush hour service frequency in Richmond an extra hour…. 6pm is TOO soon.

  • By Scott, October 6, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    This is great news. A lot of the time trains would be standing room only heading out of KG Stn at this time and would be quite full by Columbia station.

  • By David, October 7, 2010 @ 6:44 am

    Yeah, pretty much no bike on train Northbound between 7-9am and Southbound between 4-6pm

  • By mark, October 7, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

    Now you can take your bike with you every where without having to ride it!

  • By Cliff, October 7, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    Concerning the Canada Line, I’ve noticed something interesting.

    If service between YVR and Templeton is supposed to be free, then why are there fare paid boundaries marked at Templeton and Sea Island Stations in the westbound direction?

    And why is the fact that it’s not free advertised ANYWHERE? Is this some kind of secret you’re trying to keep from everyone? :p

  • By Jacob, October 7, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    @Cliff,
    I thought that you need to pay the 2.75 fare even between those stations, but you don’t need to pay the 5.00 surcharge.

    a trick to bypass the early morning lines for the 99 UBC B-Line is to bring your bike, put it on the bus, and get on to that bus.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 7, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

    Cliff: OK, I’ve asked and the fare paid zones are still there for consistency’s sake across the system. The info about the free zone between YVR and Templeton is on the customer information panel and also on all the Ticket Vending Machines.

  • By ben K, October 8, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    Cliff raises an interesting point. I’ve only ever disembarked at those two stations last year when exploring the system, so I haven’t noticed this myself. But if “fare paid zone” means that a fare has to be paid within that zone, but the regulations state a fare does not have to be paid, then pretty obviously a “fare paid zone” marking is not only spurious but patently misleading (i.e., a lie). What other meaning could it be construed to have?

    b

  • By Paul C, Vancouver, October 9, 2010 @ 3:23 am

    @Jacob

    No travel between YVR and Templeton is free. Once you leave Sea Island though than you to pay.

    @Cliff.

    It could be that even though you board a train going to YVR at Templeton. Also even though that trip is free. They put the “fare paid zone” Because what if you stayed on that train and then went back to Templeton and still stayed on. Now even though at first you didn’t have to pay to board that train. You now have to pay. Even though you never changed trains.

    I hope that makes sense :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 12, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    ben K: Here’s the answer from our wayfinding folks…

    The fare paid zone signage is there for people travelling through the rest of the system. The exception is noted on the ticket vending machines. No tickets are handed out for people travelling within Sea Island.

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