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Skytrain Canada Line To Open 4-months Early


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Canada Line could be in service by mid-August

Opening day will be free to public

Updated: Thu Jul. 16 2009 20:43:47

ctvbc.ca

The Canada Line rapid transit system is expected to open earlier than expected, possibly as soon as mid-August. That's nearly four months ahead of schedule.

Expected to cost around $2 billion, it will make Vancouver the first Canadian city to have a rapid transit link between its downtown core and its airport.

The massive project is expected to change the way tens of thousands of commuters get around the Lower Mainland area.

But before it can open, there are still plenty of finishing touches being done at all the stations along the Canada Line route.

"I think people have been seeing the trains run as we've been testing them,'' said Steve Crombie, spokesman for InTransit BC, the company contracted to build and help fund the project.

" I think there has been a lot of curiosity and interest in what is this thing and how does it work."

"We have 19 kilometres of line and 16 stations,'' he said.

Once the system opens, each one-way fare to and from Vancouver International Airport is expected to cost between $5 and $6.

Travelling at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour, it will take passengers 25 minutes to get from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver to the airport.

Transportation engineers and planners at the City of Vancouver say the Canada Line is expected to help ease traffic congestion, by getting more commuters out of cars, cutting pollution.

At full capacity, each Canada Line train will hold 400 passengers. (*cough*) They will be running trains every three minutes during peak service. The cars are much wider than SkyTrain, allowing them to accommodate luggage.

Travellers will ride for free on opening day, which could come as early as mid-August.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger

© 2009 CTVglobemedia All Rights Reserved.

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So at peak headways of 3 mins, and capacity of 400 people....the Canada line can move 8,000 people an hour.

Does anyone know how that relates to the expected number of arrivals during the olympics? I've always wondered if the Canada Line would be able to meet peak capacity?

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The frequency of service is, I believe, referring to regular services rather than Games time. But getting a couple of hundred people out of YVR every 10 minutes will do nicely. Folks travelling in groups of 3 or 4 will probably still opt for a taxi. Persons in the Village will probably still be coached.

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So at peak headways of 3 mins, and capacity of 400 people....the Canada line can move 8,000 people an hour.

Does anyone know how that relates to the expected number of arrivals during the olympics? I've always wondered if the Canada Line would be able to meet peak capacity?

The headway is 3-4 minutes in Vancouver and 6-7 minutes south of Bridgeport Station in Richmond and Sea Island/Airport, after the line splits into two.

The trains have a capacity of 334-passengers, the 400-figure is a lie (the crush load capacity, used in Asia, is not used in North America). But you're right, with 20 trains its max. capacity will be somewhere around 8,000 people per hour per direction. They usually keep 10% as spares, meaning two trains at the train yard....but for the Games, they'll likely be using all 20-trains due to the high demand.

The Canada Line will have a max. capacity of 15,000 people per hour per direction, but only after a 10-meter platform extension, more trains/higher frequency, and an additional middle car for all existing trains.

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ooh very nice. I just assumed that a major city like Vancouver would already have an Airport-City Link.

Why so many stations? Are there no express Airport to City services?

.those stations look good. you're so lucky.

In Cape Town fortunately our Airport is 20 minutes from the CBD in reasonably traffic. The BRT system from the Airport to City in 2010 will be an express service, probably take 15 minutes.

I'm certain Vancouver will provide top up shuttle services during the Games to cope with demand as thats the the norm,whether its buses or more trains or a media shuttle service etc.

$2 billion: thats a lot of money.

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ooh very nice. I just assumed that a major city like Vancouver would already have an Airport-City Link.

Why so many stations? Are there no express Airport to City services?

.those stations look good. you're so lucky.

In Cape Town fortunately our Airport is 20 minutes from the CBD in reasonably traffic. The BRT system from the Airport to City in 2010 will be an express service, probably take 15 minutes.

I'm certain Vancouver will provide top up shuttle services during the Games to cope with demand as thats the the norm,whether its buses or more trains or a media shuttle service etc.

$2 billion: thats a lot of money.

lol, well we're the first and only Canadian city to have a rail link to the airport.

I actually thought the design for these stations we have for this new line were underwhelming, compared to what weère used to. The stations that were built for the Millennium Line that opened 7 years ago were breathtaking.

The Millennium Lines Brentwood Station for instance:

millennium16.jpg

I suppose the stations do look alright, but they are severely underbuilt...meaning, the platforms are far too short. 50-metres long, non-extendable. Construction was rushed for the Olympics, and it was a public-private project. The private sector was only required to build the bare minimum under the contract negotiated. But it does have sufficient capacity to meet the regionès needs i suppose, with an ultimate 15,000 passengers per hour per direction capacity.

This is not an an airport express, it is a metro line and serves much more than just the airport. It serves the communities and corridor it travels through, and the main line diverges into two lines: one to downtown Richmond, a nearby suburb, and the airport of course. The trains alternate between lines when the line splits. From terminus to terminus, it is a 25-minute journey on the line. By car, it is at least double during most of the day.

An airport express rail line would not receive enough ridership to be sustaining.

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Would an airport to city express service during the Games not make sense? or do athletes/media hop on buses and use the olympic lanes to their village/hotels ?

I suppose all those stops and still taking 25 minutes is fine.

Vancouver has no metro right? Are there any other transport services from the airport?

Are there any plans showing the metro integrated into the airport? Designs/renders etc?

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Would an airport to city express service during the Games not make sense? or do athletes/media hop on buses and use the olympic lanes to their village/hotels ?

I suppose all those stops and still taking 25 minutes is fine.

Vancouver has no metro right? Are there any other transport services from the airport?

Are there any plans showing the metro integrated into the airport? Designs/renders etc?

Vancouver already has a metro system called "SkyTrain". The Expo Line (dark blue) was built in time for the 1986 World's Fair, the Millennium Line (yellow) was built as a much needed part of the region's infrastructure just before the turn of the millennium, and now of course the Canada Line (light blue) built in time for the Olympics (though it was planned regardless with or without 2010). The branding scheme for the Canada Line was originally going to be red, after the colours of our country, but they changed it because red isn't a good colour for those that are colour blind.

800px-Vancouver_SkyTrain_Map.svg.png

The problem with an airport express service is that there wouldn't be enough trains. There are only 20 trains, and we will need each and every one of them to keep up with commuter service along the corridor. Not to mention that the system is completely automated, driven by computers....same goes with our other two SkyTrain lines, our entire metro system (all three lines) is driverless.

Not sure what you mean by integrating the metro into the airport. The Canada Line is the metro that links it to the airport and it has three airport stations: Templeton, Sea Island Centre, and YVR Airport Terminal. Templeton serves the long-term parking lot and future drop off and pick up location for passengers, Sea Island Centre serves the employees working at the aircraft maintenance facilities, and the last stop is the station for the terminal.

Templeton Station (airport)

KICX1724.jpg

KICX6204.jpg

KICX6126.jpg

Sea Island Centre (airport)

IMG_1409.jpg

IMG_1418.jpg

YVR Airport Station (terminal)

A elevated pedestrian walkway links the airport terminal station to the airport's recently completed $150-million "Link" building, linking both domestic and international/cross-border terminals together. The terminal is a 1-minute walk from the station.

IMG_0632.jpg

Construction in May, with the airport observation tower peeping out.

KICX6265.jpg

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Thanks ! I miss Vancouver.... I lived on the 12th avenue near the hospital during some months a few years ago.... Now, i knwo where i would have stopped & caught the skytrain....

^ southeast corner of Broadway and Cambie, just north of City Hall:

Broadway-City Hall Station

IMG_0899.jpg

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I'm also happy that they're not making the mistake Sydney did.

They instituted a direct rail link to the airport. But they priced it at a premium: $11 each way; $20 return only if you came back the same day (so if you were gone 1 night or longer you paid the one way fare). A taxi would cost only $25, so 2 people....

The trains run empty as a result.

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I was speaking to a bus driver today. He said ...

1. the Canada Line will begin service on August 17th

2. there will be no feeder bus lines to the Canada Line until September ... great planning by Translink!!!

3. the 98 B-Line and other commuter buses will continue service until September and then will all be removed from service in Vancouver City.

He agreed with my suspicions that we do not have the buses to adequately service the Olympics ...

There was talk of borrowing buses from Seattle. However there was a problem as to who would drive them. Seattle wanted their drivers, but the union here said no way!

The costs of new buses ...

1. Regular Deseil ... $400,000

2. Articulated ........ $700,000

3. Articulated Tolley ... $900,000

Were does the money come from??? The government has no money ... it comes from you and I. Increase taxes, people complain. Put on a carbon tax, people complain. But those same people complain about inadequate bus service!!!

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I was speaking to a bus driver today. He said ...

1. the Canada Line will begin service on August 17th

2. there will be no feeder bus lines to the Canada Line until September ... great planning by Translink!!!

3. the 98 B-Line and other commuter buses will continue service until September and then will all be removed from service in Vancouver City.

He agreed with my suspicions that we do not have the buses to adequately service the Olympics ...

There was talk of borrowing buses from Seattle. However there was a problem as to who would drive them. Seattle wanted their drivers, but the union here said no way!

It takes months in advance to prepare for bus route changes. InTransitBC had told Translink to be ready for a September Labour Day opening, at least at the latest. InTransitBC is simply opening the new line this early for its own financial gain...in the contract, the earlier it opens the more money they get.

Most importantly, InTransitBC didn't decide on their August 17th opening date until sometime this month....like last week from what I've heard.

I'll agree as well with the buses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

station_map.gif

Canada Line linking Vancouver and Richmond to open Aug. 17

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun

August 4, 2009 2:34 PM

METRO VANCOUVER - The new Canada Line linking downtown Vancouver and Richmond will officially open to the public on Monday, Aug. 17, three weeks ahead of Labour Day and three months ahead of schedule.

Commuters can get a free ride on the 19-kilometre rapid transit line, which will run from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. on opening day to accommodate any potential crowds outside the morning rush hour. No bikes or pets allowed on opening day.

The line will open for regular SkyTrain hours the next day, with the first train leaving Waterfront 4:50 a.m., Richmond Brighouse at 5:05 a.m. and the airport at 5:10 a.m.

The journey between Waterfront and Richmond-Brighouse takes about 26 minutes and costs a two-zone fare of $3.75 per single trip. Passengers heading to the airport will pay a surcharge of $2.50, bringing the fare to $6.25 per single trip but their tickets will be good for 90 minutes.

However, the surcharge won’t come into effect for at least the first four months of operation as TransLink has agreed to defer the Canada Line-YVR add fare until 2010.

The $2-billion Canada Line, which is part of the government’s $14-billion investment in public transit, is equivalent to a 10-lane road between Vancouver and Richmond and is expected to take 200,000 one-way trips off the road system. It was originally slated to open in November but the date was then pushed ahead to Labour Day.

It's now opening another three weeks earlier than planned even though work is still continuing on many of the 16 stations. The new line boasts trains that are longer, wider and have more capacity than trains on the existing two SkyTrain lines to accommodate passengers who will be hauling luggage to and from the airport.

The project, overseen by TransLink subsidiary Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc, has had its share of controversy since it was conceived four years ago. At the time, several municipalities opposed the project, saying it wasn't a priority project in Metro Vancouver and raising concerns about the way TransLink was funding future transportation projects.

The project, originally cited to cost $1.5 billion but in the end cost $2 billion, was nearly killed several times but survived.

It then caused a furore when those building it decided to build a cut-and-cover section along Cambie Street, where merchants complained the dug-up construction zone was prohibiting customers from accessing their shops and killing their businesses.

Several merchants moved out. Others, such maternity shop owner Susan Heyes, successfully sued TransLink, InTransitBC and the Canada Line Rapid Transit for causing a nuisance. She was awarded $600,000 in damages earlier this year.

Meanwhile, TransLink expects to have to subsidize the Canada Line for at least four years before ridership is high enough to reach a break-even point.

The cost is a large part of the reason for the financial crunch that has TransLink looking for as much as $450 million a year in additional funding to operate Metro Vancouver's transit system and its major roads. The rapid transit line was built as public-private partnerships, and in agreements with its partners, TransLink took on most of the "ridership risk."

That means TransLink will have to subsidize the until ridership hits forecast levels, which the regional transportation authority acknowledges will take years. The Canada Line isn't expected to see its projected 100,000 riders a day until 2013.

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

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I'm also happy that they're not making the mistake Sydney did.

They instituted a direct rail link to the airport. But they priced it at a premium: $11 each way; $20 return only if you came back the same day (so if you were gone 1 night or longer you paid the one way fare). A taxi would cost only $25, so 2 people....

The trains run empty as a result.

Not quite true - the airport link in Sydney is part of a suburban feeder that runs through Wolli Creek in the south of Sydney. To get off at the airport stops though it is very expensive - however staff who work at the airport can get a gate pass (as can savvy travellers if they know what to ask for) and then you only pay for a suburban fare which to Wolli Creek from Town Hall station last time I went was about $3.20 or so. Therefore each time I've caught the train its been fairly packed - like all of Sydney's rail lines sadly.

A better example would be the Brisbane Skytrain between the airport and Roma Street - absolutely unnecesary and losing hundreds of millions a year. That is why Melbourne has not bothered with an airport train - the skybus runs on clean fuel and runs dozens of services at peak times and once every half hour overnight. It is the only dedicated service (bar private vehicles or taxis) in Australia that runs 24 hours and meets the needed capacity for tourist transfers perfectly. Very few cities need an airport line. NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo - cities of that calibre. I'm sure if Van didn't have the Games the airport line may not have happened.

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Yeah, but 2 people from the CBD on the train: about $20. For $25 they can get a taxi to their door. It's just silly pricing.

Announced recently: $3.75 each way to start (to from airport), going up to $6.25 2 months later. That's bloody brilliant!

Not quite true - the airport link in Sydney is part of a suburban feeder that runs through Wolli Creek in the south of Sydney. To get off at the airport stops though it is very expensive - however staff who work at the airport can get a gate pass (as can savvy travellers if they know what to ask for) and then you only pay for a suburban fare which to Wolli Creek from Town Hall station last time I went was about $3.20 or so. Therefore each time I've caught the train its been fairly packed - like all of Sydney's rail lines sadly.

A better example would be the Brisbane Skytrain between the airport and Roma Street - absolutely unnecesary and losing hundreds of millions a year. That is why Melbourne has not bothered with an airport train - the skybus runs on clean fuel and runs dozens of services at peak times and once every half hour overnight. It is the only dedicated service (bar private vehicles or taxis) in Australia that runs 24 hours and meets the needed capacity for tourist transfers perfectly. Very few cities need an airport line. NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo - cities of that calibre. I'm sure if Van didn't have the Games the airport line may not have happened.

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^ the surcharge is because the airport spur of the Canada Line will have the lowest ridership along the entire line. Thus, they need to recoup operational costs somehow...and why there's a surcharge. It's unfortunate that the surcharge is so steep, but in the future I do think it'll be more fair when smart cards are introduced and fare gates are installed for distance-traveled fares instead of the silly zone system.

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I think the surcharge is quite reasonable.

^ the surcharge is because the airport spur of the Canada Line will have the lowest ridership along the entire line. Thus, they need to recoup operational costs somehow...and why there's a surcharge. It's unfortunate that the surcharge is so steep, but in the future I do think it'll be more fair when smart cards are introduced and fare gates are installed for distance-traveled fares instead of the silly zone system.
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Yeah, but 2 people from the CBD on the train: about $20. For $25 they can get a taxi to their door. It's just silly pricing.

With all due respect you are woefully underestimating Sydney traffic. 10am on a weekday - just off a flight from Beijing - from Mascot to my home in Ultimo costs about $38-$42 in a cab. Why? Gridlock traffic and no direct link to the inner city suburbs. I live on the airport side of the bridge approximately 14kms away. The cheapest I've ever gotten home for in a cab is about $30 flat. Luckily I cabcharge thanks to work. Welcome to Sydney indeed.

The train price is crap - which is why most people catch a shuttle bus to and from their nearest hotel/motel (there are tons hidden away in the inner city) for about a tenner each way.

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You mean the cross-town tunnel has rendered it all away?

I should've also said I lived in Sydney 2003-2005, first in the CBD, then in the inner West and inner East. When I was in the CBD and travelling back to Vancouver 3 or 4 times a year, I explores various options. I took the train because Town Hall station was about 200m from my front door.

On occasion I did take a taxi though, since I was entitled to and after a looong trans-Pacific flight it seems like every minute between Customs and my bed seemed vitally important.

With all due respect you are woefully underestimating Sydney traffic. 10am on a weekday - just off a flight from Beijing - from Mascot to my home in Ultimo costs about $38-$42 in a cab. Why? Gridlock traffic and no direct link to the inner city suburbs. I live on the airport side of the bridge approximately 14kms away. The cheapest I've ever gotten home for in a cab is about $30 flat. Luckily I cabcharge thanks to work. Welcome to Sydney indeed.

The train price is crap - which is why most people catch a shuttle bus to and from their nearest hotel/motel (there are tons hidden away in the inner city) for about a tenner each way.

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