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Phase 1 of the Main Street-Science World Station upgrades

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A rendering of the upgraded Main Street-Science World Station

It’s the oldest SkyTrain station and is in need of an upgrade. Originally built in 1982, Main Street-Science World Station was a demonstration station of the future Expo Line during Expo ’86 [2]. Now, the over 30-year-old station has become one of our busiest.

Why we need to upgrade the station

There are a few reasons why the station needs to be upgraded. In short, we need to prepare for the growing number of people who use the Expo Line (more than 200 000 currently use the line each weekday), improve accessibility and get the station ready for faregates. There’s a dedicated page [3] for the Main Street-Science World Station upgrade you’ll want to read for specifics about the upgrade and the reasons for it.

What upgrades mean for riders

Phase 1 of the upgrades starts now (winter) and runs until fall 2013. During this time you’ll see some construction that will reroute some pedestrian walkways and temporarily the East side of station (park side) will be temporarily closed close the park and ride. SkyTrain will run on normal schedule during this phase. Again, check  the Main Street-Science World Station upgrade page [3] for specifics.

During the roughly four month Phase 2 period between fall 2013 and winter 2014, work will be done on the station platforms one at a time. As each station platform will be a construction zone during this time, only two-car shuttle trains will be stopping at Main Street to ensure passenger safety. For all other trains, Main Street-Science World Station will become a “skip stop” – i.e. trains will move through the station without stopping. For example, if you get on a four-car or six-car train at Metrotown heading toward downtown Vancouver, that train WILL NOT stop at Main Street Station.

So, if you want to get off at Main Street Station, you will need to transfer to the special two-car shuttle train at Commercial-Broadway Station. The two-car train will stop at Main Street and every stop between Commercial-Broadway and Waterfront. Passengers traveling to/from Main Street-Science World Station should plan for up to 10 minutes of extra travel time.

This upgrade is part of the Expo Line Upgrade Strategy [4], which provides some great detail about the Expo Line, “the backbone of Metro Vancouver’s rapid transit network”. We’ll be updating the blog with any new info about this upgrade over the next two years. As usual, we’ll try our best to answer any of your questions about it!

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An old rendering of the original Main Street-Science World Station