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Everything Evergreen: New SkyTrain operating pattern for Expo and Millennium Lines


Evergreen is coming!!

To prepare for the Millennium Line’s extension opening by Christmas, we need to get all of our riders ready for a seamless transition.

With that in mind, we are changing the operating pattern of the SkyTrain network on October 22, 2016.

For many of you, these changes won’t affect your daily commute, but this is still a big change for the transit network.

New operating pattern:

o The Expo Line will now have two branches.

  • One route will continue to travel between Waterfront and King George stations.
  • A second Expo Line route will run between Waterfront and Production Way–University stations.

o The Millennium Line will no longer travel to/from Waterfront Station. Instead, it will
now run between VCC–Clark and Lougheed Stations.

Transfer points:

You will be able to transfer between the Millennium and Expo lines at three places:

o Commercial–Broadway Station
o Lougheed Town Centre Station
o Production Way–University Station

Please note: You will no longer be able to transfer to or from the Millennium Line at Columbia Station or Waterfront Station.

For more information on the operating pattern,
visit translink.ca/skytrainchanges.

Author: Adrienne Coling


31 Comments

  • By Robert, September 19, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

    Wait. Does that mean millennium is going to dump all its passengers onto expo now at Broadway?

    I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong, cramming all those passengers into an already jam-packed train car. :/

    And we already know TransLink can’t put more trains on the expo line so…. yeah. Great idea.

  • By Brian cook, September 19, 2016 @ 4:25 pm

    If you read the changes. The millennium line will go vcc-clark to lougheed (coquitlam once the line opens) and expo will go from waterfront to production way some trips. So there will be transfers from millennium to expo at production way, lougheed and Broadway. Seems the same to me. Not much difference

  • By Elfren Ordanza, September 19, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

    SkyTrain simply added an extra transfer with this new pattern change. Let’s say someone is coming from Surrey and take the SkyTrain to Sperling Station. They take the SkyTrain to Columbia station to transfer to another branch. Then they have to transfer again at either Lougheed or Production to take the train to Sperling station. That’s two transfers … frustrating. If the pattern didn’t change, the Millennium Line would still be operating from Waterfront to VCC-Clark stations, the Expo Line will share tracks with the Millennium Line from Waterfront to Columbia and be on its own onward to Surrey. The “extension” would then be just the line itself (being the Evergreen Line) sharing tracks with the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark to Lougheed Town Centre stations and then being independent onward to Lafarge Lake-Douglas. Out of all of this, this is one less transfer than the one extra that’s shown in the new pattern change layout.

  • By A. Wan, September 19, 2016 @ 6:46 pm

    Currently there is usually one Millennium train every one or two Expo trains between Waterfront and Columbia Station. Should we anticipate a 1/3 to 1/2 service cut after the Millennium trains are removed.

  • By Joey Connick, September 19, 2016 @ 7:04 pm

    @Robert: that’s why they’re putting in the third platform at Commercial-Broadway, to help handle the predicted increased traffic at that station.

  • By David, September 19, 2016 @ 8:04 pm

    @Elfren that operating pattern would be extremely complex and probably impossible to implement. It would mean that Millennium trains would have to interline with two other lines, timing would likely not work meaning delays to service. With the frequency of skytrain, the transfer are not an issue. It’s common practice on world subway systems. Best operating procedure is to make it as operationally simple as possible.

  • By Kevin, September 19, 2016 @ 9:56 pm

    Lougheed Station sounds like it’s going to be total mess of a station.

    Production-way sound like it’s going to be super busy.

    Why even have the new walkway @ Lougheed station?

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 20, 2016 @ 9:49 am

    Hi there, actually Millennium Line trains will see an uptick in frequency of trains and the Expo Line, which will now have one train to King George and one to Production Way–University, will see increased capacity with larger trains that stretch the length of the platforms. Thanks!

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 20, 2016 @ 10:03 am

    Hi Elfren, it is like David explained, that would create a lot of extra complication to the pattern. This pattern was chosen because it is the simplest and best option for the majority of our customers. Also, it is the best option for integration of the extension. Once the Evergreen Extension opens, customers will have a one-seat ride between Lafarge Lake–Douglas and VCC–Clark – no transfer required.
    Originally in 2005, the Evergreen Extension was planned to be an LRT system, one that would require customers to transfer lines in order to connect to the rest of the SkyTrain network. In 2008, before funding was put in place, SkyTrain was chosen for the project, instead of light rail, as it made sense for operational efficiencies and customer convenience. Ian Fisher will be live with us on FB tomorrow and can answer lots more in detail. Thanks!

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 20, 2016 @ 10:10 am

    Hi Robert, the Millennium Line is going to see an increased frequency along that line and Expo Line trains will have larger trains, increasing capacity to run the entire length of the platform to accommodate the passenger load. Thanks!

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 20, 2016 @ 10:21 am

    Hi Kevin, riders are able to use Lougheed as a transfer point from the Millennium Line to the Expo Line, yes. But you could also use Production Way–University Station which will be the terminus station for one Expo Line train. When you transfer at Production Way, it will be super quick because of the fact that the train will come in on the same platform – Millennium and Expo. With this pattern change, M-Line trains will run more frequently and Expo Line trains will have a larger capacity for more riders. Thanks!

  • By Marvin B, September 20, 2016 @ 10:58 am

    What happens to Expo trains at Production? They simply reverse direction and return to Waterfront?

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 20, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    You got it! They have that extra bit of track to change directions and start the route in reverse, just like at Waterfront or other terminus stations. Thanks!

  • By Marvin B, September 20, 2016 @ 1:51 pm

    Any idea of the ratio of King George vs Production Station trains on the Expo line? Is there communication between SkyTrain and Coast Mountain Bus? I’m envisioning train schedules being off a bit and buses leaving passengers behind (driver not knowing a train that used to be there is now a minute or two behind). I’m mostly concerned at night, not so much in the day as service is frequent during the day. Night is a different animal, especially in the suburbs.

  • By Hugo, September 20, 2016 @ 5:50 pm

    Is there any reason why the “Evergreen Extension” name has to be part of the Millenium Line name in the Coquitlam-Port Moody corridor? Why can’t it be just the Millenium Line? And when the broadway extension begins construction, are you gonna call the line beyond VCC-Clark, “Millenium Line Broadway Extension”? This is so confusing with the project names implemented into the train line names.

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 21, 2016 @ 11:08 am

    BCRTC and CMBC have been working for months (probably more, actually) to figure out the bus integration for this change and how it will work together. Buses that have stops at station bus loops still run on the bus schedules, regardless of the SkyTrain. Different modes so different needs and timetables to keep. We will be releasing all of the bus integration info to everyone once it has been finalized and we get everyone educated on the SkyTrain operating pattern. Thanks!

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 21, 2016 @ 11:12 am

    This one is a bit tricky. So, when the original project was created, a contest was held for the name of the LRT line that was supposed to go in. Evergreen Line won. However, before funding was put in place, it was decided that integrating this “line” into the existing SkyTrain network would much better serve riders and the province, TransLink and municipalities agreed on this. The Evergreen name remained but now, what do we call it since it’s not its own line? The Evergreen extension! However, it’s still part of the Millennium Line and can be called as such. For instance, the SkyTrain “Surrey extension” eventually just melded into the Expo Line. Thanks!

  • By Ian S., September 21, 2016 @ 1:53 pm

    With the new pattern, there will be the different services and each should have their own name/colour, as follows.

    (1) Waterfront to King George: Expo Line, shown in blue, no change.

    (2) Waterfront to Production Way-University, should be called the Millennium Line and shown in yellow as now, but the name and yellow stops at Production Way.

    (3) Lafarge Lake-Douglas to VCC-Clark. Should be named Evergreen Line, green on map. This name could be kept when/if the extension to Arbutus opens. Vancouver wants to be the greenest city in the world, what better name than Evergreen Line?

    But as it is, the extension will be shown on the map in yellow, but with a thin green line along the bottom. You can see this at the stations, as the signs are quite visible. Everyone I’ve shown that map to, whether transit fans or laymen, had the same reaction when they see that green line ends at Lougheed — “Oh I see, I’d have to change at Lougheed to ride to or from Coquitlam.” I wonder how much market research TransLink did on this — I’d be amazed if such research did not get the same reaction as I got from at least 10 people I showed the map to.

    TransLink has never given any explanation as to why the Evergreen Line name is not being kept and why the route will be shown in yellow.

    I think the thin green line on the map will cause the kind of confusion I have pointed out and TransLink will use that as a reason/excuse to kill off the Evergreen name altogether, as @Hugo wants.

  • By war on the car, September 21, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

    Which is not necessarily a bad thing – it would be better than trying to have it both ways. Either drop the “Evergreen” branding altogether regardless of politics, or do as Ian suggests. But the dual “Millennium Line/Evergreen Extension” is a disaster from a wayfinding perspective.

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 21, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

    Hi Ian, we have answered this a few times across our channels. The Evergreen Line was a project funded by and constructed by the province. We will be operating it. When it was first introduced in 2005, it was going to be a separate LRT line, not SkyTrain. That is where the name came from. However, before funding was in place, the province, municipalities and TransLink decided the best option was to integrate the new project into the existing rail rapid transit system; SkyTrain. That means it is literally a physical extension of the Millennium Line, hence the name. Still Evergreen and the lines will continue, just as the blue and yellow share the space on the map today for the Millennium and Expo Line trains along the New Westminster side. We certainly won’t be “killing” off the name after all the signage and work we’ve done with “Evergreen” so don’t worry! I hope that clears it up for you a bit. Thanks!

  • By David M, September 25, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

    @Ian – I don’t think each service pattern needs its own colour so long as the destination is obvious when the train arrives. Many subway systems have branches (look at London – Piccadilly Line has a branch to Uxbridge, a branch to Heathrow terminals 1,3 and 5, and a branch to Heathrow Airport terminal 4, 1 and 2. I think it will work fine – it works well on the Canada Line, which has a similar branch system.

    To me it makes sense to call the extension Millennium Line like the rest of the line. Renaming the existing Millennium Line would have required a change of colour at all of the stations (way-winding and colour of stations is yellow, with “Millennium Line” motiffs), which would have been expensive to do.

    Personally – I think it was a mistake to brand it “evergreen extension” – it makes no sense and is confusing. Showing it on a map will be even more confusing. I hope it will just die and Millennium Line will be the only term used. Nobody cares that its an extension – it a line and all people want to know is that it goes where they’re going.

  • By Raymond, September 26, 2016 @ 9:08 pm

    Hi there

    Im confused here, how would i get to commercial broadway station from stadium station when this change happens.

  • By David Banks, September 28, 2016 @ 8:11 am

    No change. Currently you get on any train, it doesn’t matter if it is an Expo Line to King George or a Millennium Line to VCC Clark.

    In the future it doesn’t matter if it is an Expo Line to King George or an Expo Line to Production Way-University.

  • By ray, September 30, 2016 @ 5:49 am

    so from vcc to coquitlam how many times do i change trains. 2 or 3

  • By Adrienne Coling, September 30, 2016 @ 9:13 am

    Hi Ray, David is correct, there’s no change from Commercial–Broadway to Stadium and back again except that all trains serving that area will be Expo. Also, once the Evergreen Extension is open, travelling on a Millennium Line train from VCC–Clark out to Coquitlam, you will NOT have to change trains at all. Evergreen is an extension of the Millennium Line so it will be one continuous ride. Thanks!

  • By Marvin B, October 2, 2016 @ 9:52 am

    Was just reading that the changes won’t happen October 22 after all. Apparently Surrey will be negatively impacted with service reductions of 20% or worse so other options need to be explored.

    Why not just leave the Expo line alone? It doesn’t need to be changed. I think the easiest solution is to have 2 Millennium lines. Starting from VCC, one line states “Millennium Line to Waterfront” and follows the existing pattern. The other states “Millennium Line Evergreen”. This will make things easy for everyone without reducing Surrey service.

  • By Sue, October 4, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

    I don’t like buying monthly passes as I don’t use the transit system much on weekends and often use the Westcoast Express going home to Coquitlam. With the pay as you go on your compass card can you please tell me what the fare will be from Lafarge Lake to Commercial Skytrain?

  • By Adrienne Coling, October 7, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

    Hi Sue, to find out fares for specific trips, all you need to do is plug in your trip information into our trip planner. However, because Evergreen is not open yet, it will not include Lafarge Lake–Douglas as a SkyTrain option yet. Based on our zone structure, travelling from Coquitlam to Commercial would cross two zone boundaries meaning it is a three zone fare.
    You can try out some different route options with Trip Planner here: http://tripplanning.translink.ca/
    Thanks!

  • By Adrienne Coling, October 7, 2016 @ 1:28 pm

    Hi Marvin, unfortunately that information is incorrect. The pattern change will go ahead as planned on October 22, 2016. Expo Line will have larger trains for more capacity and after reviewing the information, we will now see an uptick in frequency during peak periods for Expo. Thank you.

  • By Marvin B, October 7, 2016 @ 6:26 pm

    Too bad. This change is not good. Production Station is a terrible terminus. Hopefully it works out.

  • By Raymond, October 31, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

    I have a question, I’m going to Columbia station in new westminster, trip planner says to take expo line train to king george? is that correct and from columbia station to 22nd st station to take expo line train to waterfront is that right?

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