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Translink Buzzer Blog

Burrard Station elevator out of service starting Monday, September 26th

If you're using Burrard Station this upcoming Monday, please take note of changes to elevator accessibility due to construction.

I don’t usually write about construction at SkyTrain stations, but this particular upgrade is worth noting since it has to do with accessibility to the system.

Starting on September 26th, the elevator at the Burrard SkyTrain Station will be out of service and “non-accessible” for roughly four months.

The reason for the closure is due to construction of the new faregate entrance hall. It’s all part of OnTrack, which will provide many upgrades and repairs to the SkyTrain system over the next two years.

If you normally use the Burrard elevator, you’ll need to use the elevator at Granville, Vancouver City Centre or Waterfront Station instead as of Monday, September 26th. On weekdays, the #44 connects Burrard Station with Waterfront starting at 6:37am (from Waterfront on route to Burrard) to approximately 8:25pm (Burrard on route to Waterfront). Check the bus schedule for specific times in between.

It’s an inconvenience for sure, but the payoff will be a working FareCard system that will better integrate transit, make it safer and easier to use as well as provide more value through better collection of revenue and changes in fare calculation.


  • By Miguel, September 21, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    That’s pretty horrible. What will wheelchair-bound folks do for 4 months. Good thinking Translink.

  • By Reva, September 21, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    Miguel, at the end of the article it tells you that you can use the elevators at Granville and/or Waterfront Stations and catch a connecting bus to Burrard. Thankfully the downtown stations are very close together and the area is very well-served by wheelchair- (and stroller- and bicycle-) accessible buses. Passengers with disabilities may also book a HandyDart if they require door-to-door service.

    I imagine this could also give Translink the opportunity to perform maintenance to their heart’s content on that elevator while it is out of service, if necessary.

    It is only for a few months and it will result in an improved station for everyone.

  • By Migzy, September 21, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    As one who requires the use of the elevator for my scooter, after a NEW elevator was added at Granville, I stopped using the elevator at Burrard, even though Burrard was closer. The problem with Burrard is that the elevator is old, slow, and grungy, not to mention had a habit of breaking down frequently so you never knew when it was going to actually be functional.

    Hopefully they replace that whole elevator and the dingy little hallways that the elevator entrances were in. The elevators should not be hidden down a little hallway but open and visible to the platform or the main hall. Same with the entrance at the top level, its not very easy to spot unless you actually know where the elevator is hiding.

    But hopefully the keep the buttons on the side panel so us in scooters or electric wheelchairs don’t have to try to maneuver in the elevator to get to the panel on the same wall as the elevator door.

  • By Dave 2, September 21, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    Interesting that the Alert page describes this 4 month closure at “minor”. I wonder what it takes to classify an alert as “major”.

    >It is only for a few months and it will result in an improved station for everyone.

    As I understand it, the closure is so faregates can be added; as the majority of the faregates at Burrard will be at the bottom of the escalators, the elevator requires its own faregates. At the end of the day (or four months), Burrard will still have the same old elevator that moves at a glacial pace. (The elevators in the old WTC were a stomach churning 27 feet/sec… I’d be surprised if Skytrain’s reach 0.5 feet/sec.

    I’d argue that this is a ‘major’ disruption, unless the emergency stairwell is open for the duration, bicycles, strollers, basically anything with wheels will not be (in theory) permitted to use the station.

  • By Joe, September 22, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    Speaking of emergency stairwells, TransLink should stop pretending that the Metrotown one is emergency only (people use it all the time to leave the station anyways) and just make it another entrance. An entrance is sorely needed on that end of the station anyways. Just throw in a faregate at the bottom and call it a day.

  • By Sheba, September 22, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    At some point they plan to do an major overhaul on a few of the old stations, inc Metrotown. The idea was to twin the current entrance at the other end of the platform and move the bus loop to over there.

  • By Joe, September 22, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    I think the bus loop is fine where it is. Sure, it’s not the roomiest one, but given the sheer volume of foot traffic that goes into the mall from the bus loop, I think it needs to stay where it is.

  • By Cliff, September 22, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    Reading this post kind of reminded me of the not too distant past when there was no elevator at Granville. A disruption like this would have been a greater inconvenience back then.

    Anyway, another neat idea for those impacted by this would be to get off at Stadium and hop on a North Vancouver bus and get off at Burrard. Not many people know that they’re not express buses at all and provide local service all along Georgia right through to Stanley Park!

  • By Sheba, September 22, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    It’ll be across the street from Station Square, so it won’t be that far away from where it is now. Plus the current entrance will still be there so people can go that way and into the mall if they want to.

    Of course we don’t know what decade it’ll happen. I’m happy that the third Metrotower is being built and the storage building is gone (the one that cut off the road).

  • By ~@~, September 22, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    Burrard Skytrain Station is part of my weekday routine. I saw Translink employees at the station yesterday and today – handing out free stuff and providing info on something… Most people who use the station are off to work or rushing home, the majority of us do not have time to chit-chat… Today I made an attempt to make contact – because I wanted the free bag that Translink was handing out. The lady asked if I was aware of the construction tomorrow and I said no. Took my bag and left.

    Anyways, why is Translink spending money handing out free stuff to bring attention to the construction. I don’t recall seeing any posters on the platform… wouldn’t putting up posters be a cheaper and more effective means of communications? Just wondering..

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, September 23, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    Hi ~@~: The free stuff is just part of the process of informing people about the upgrades to the system. I believe there are also signs at the front of the station. The free stuff has the website link on it which provides info on the upgrades.

    As you pointed out, many people at that station are in a rush so they might not have seen the signs. The hope is that through other means people learn about the upgrades.

    Keep your eyes out for posters advertising upcoming public consultations as well.

  • By Jimbo, September 27, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    A little off topic, but just back from Seattle where I tried out their Link light rail train. Pluses: goes to the airport, one expansion to Univ of Wash is currently being built, at least two more expansions are in planning and are fully funded so they will actually happen in a timely basis. Trains have hooks for hanging bicycles vertically in the bike storage area of the train. All cars air conditioned.

    Minuses: is at ground level for several kilometres on Martin Luther King Way and is quite slow(!) as a result. I wonder if they regret going with light rail now versus a fully right-of-way separated system. Unfortunately they had to build it to see that it isn’t so great. You get what you pay for.

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