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GVTA is looking at the future implementation of a Smart Card system. Smart Card

technology can operate in either a POP or gated environment, or a mixed POP/gated

environment. GVTA is currently studying the potential application of smart card

technology across all transit modes. GVTA may review its fare payment policies and

operational processes as part of subsequent developmental and design phases of the

Smart Card project. Similar to prepaid fares, smart cards may provide some reduction in

fare evasion due to accidental or fraudulent zone underpayment by automatically

charging the rider the proper fare. Smart cards can also result in fewer paper transfers,

which reduces the opportunity for fraudulent transfer passing or re-sales.

Smart Cards can also help to improve public perception of fare evasion on SkyTrain by

implementing procedures such that all customers are required to “tag” their smart card

upon entering a station. This will result in some level of inconvenience for pass holders,

but would help to address the incorrect perception that prepaid fare holders are fare


The current phase of work is preliminary evaluation of opportunities and benefits,

identification of business requirements and development of a preliminary implementation

plan. This work will be completed in early 2006, and a full business case is planned for

completion by the end of 2006 to allow recommendation of the Smart Card procurement

and implementation as part of the 2007 Capital Program.

The GVTA is in the near stages of completing the first phase of a Smart Card

major initiative, the development of which will provide opportunities to make

significant changes and enhancements to improve the overall fare payment

system, reduce fare evasion and improve public perception.

Our SmartCard will be similar to London's Oyster and Hong Kong's Octopus!  Hopefully though, we'll come up with a better name for the card (or better not, after naming NES the "Evergreen Line"....yuck).

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Yeah, the first thing it reminded me is the Octopus Card in HK (Picture Shown).


The name itself is 'okay', although I would prefer it to be changed (Vancouver Card?). Something stunning and yet sounding good.

The Marine Drive Station Design and Portal Design is coming on June 23 I believe. That is going to be a while.. I can`t wait!!!!

Although I prefered the portal to be in the middle, it seems to me they are going to build it on the side. Oh well. Either way is okay (but middle made more sense to me).

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Many of the Canada Line PDF Files have been updated. One of which is the design around the Olympic Village (False Creek South). The City of Vancouver has purposed the following design for Second Ave. and Cambie Street Bridge Onramp and Exit:


Two options have been presented:


The two design plans both introduce new traffic lights and are compatible with the future Vancouver Downtown StreetCar Project (Projected to complete in 2010).

For some reason, I prefer the StreetCar Project to be owned by TransLink instead of the City of Vancouver. Maybe I think I prefer all transit in Vancouver to be the same? I believe so.

From the two different design plans, I prefered Option 2 because I think it would reduce speeding in the area by having the onramp used as a pedestrian/bicycle lane. It would be much safer and would promote the use of bikes and walking. Option 1 would be fine but I don't think the Onramp design is good...

Express your opinions. When you post, please express which option you prefer. You may send your option to the City of Vancouver or InTransit BC.

Please excuse any spelling/statement error(s) I have made in the above statement(s)

Yeah, the first thing it reminded me is the Octopus Card in HK (Picture Shown).


The name itself is 'okay', although I would prefer it to be changed (Vancouver Card?). Something stunning and yet sounding good.

The Marine Drive Station Design and Portal Design is coming on June 23 I believe. That is going to be a while.. I can`t wait!!!!

Although I prefered the portal to be in the middle, it seems to me they are going to build it on the side. Oh well. Either way is okay (but middle made more sense to me).

*Next update is June 13... Marine Drive Portal... Sorry for the error! =p

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little beauty and a great big boring beast

Raina Delisle, The Province

Published: Sunday, June 11, 2006

Four-year-old Leilani Henry was bestowed a "boring" honour yesterday, but she was excited.

The 440-tonne tunnel-boring machine that will dig a pair of 2.5-kilometre tunnels under downtown Vancouver for the Canada Line rapid transit system was named after the little girl.

Leilani's father, Brendan Henry, is chief engineer of the boring operation.

"With the machine, we go into places where no one has ever been before," said Henry, who works for SNC-Lavalin. "Going into uncharted territory is adventurous. My Leilani's an adventurous girl, so it's fitting."

A bottle of champagne was thrown against the machine, "Sweet Leilani," by Canada Line president and CEO Jane Bird, InTransitBC president and CEO Jean-Marc Arbaud and Jim Burke of SNC-Lavalin.

"The champagne is a tradition for good luck and good tunnelling," said Richard Lovat, chairman of Lovat, the company that built the machine. "We always name the machines after a lady."

Sweet Leilani is parked in a huge pit at West Second Avenue and Cambie Street.

The machine was revved up as engineers, construction workers and officials in hard hats cheered.



- Weighs 440 tonnes

- 86 metres long

- 6.1 metres in diameter

- Guided by a GPS laser tracking system

- Electrically powered

- Will bore two 2.5-km tunnel

- Will dig 10 metres a day at depths of 10 to 30 metres

© The Vancouver Province 2006

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Today (2006-06-10) was the dedication ceremony for Sweet Leilani, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) being used to construct the section of the Canada Line that stretches from 2nd Avenue near city hall (Olympic Village Station), under False Creek and extending under downtown Vancouver to Waterfront Station.


The 52 ton gantry crane in mid-erection. This crane is used to move parts of the Tunnel Boring Machine within the pit, load supplies, and to raise up materials extracted as the tunnel is cut. Note the rails along both sides of the pit to allow the gantry to move north and south along the extent of the pit.


The crane used to erect the gantry crane and to assemble the TBM is the largest street-legal crane that I have ever seen. It takes up two lanes of traffic when driven down a street. It can lift up to 440 tons.

In total, there were five cranes at the construction site.


Looking to the South, down into the pit, one can see the TBM on the right. Two short tunnels have been cut into the north end of the pit to allow the running space for the train that carries the cut materials out of the main tunnel.


Looking to the North, inside the pit, the main cutting section of the TBM can be seen.


The entire TBM is mounted upon rollers, which allows it to move along the tunnel as it is cut.

Continued in next post........


Inside the front assembly of the TBM.


In the center, the hydraulic drive that is used to turn the cutting head of the TBM can be seen. In less than a week, this section will be underground.


The logos of the construction partners and the TBM name adorns the TBM head.


The TBM Cutting Face rotates and scrapes away material as it cuts through the rock. The green triangular pieces are the cutting blades. They can be extended outwards and retracted back to vary the amount of material that is scraped of as the face rotates. The red rollers press against the face and turn under friction. The circular opening near the top left is the inspection portal. It connects to an airlock that can be opened to allow people to enter to inspect the condition of the bore and to troubleshoot any encountered problems.

The range of materials that need to be tunnelled through range from glacial till to sandstone containing dikes and sills of volcanic rock. Having the cutting blades adjustable allow such a wide range of material hardness to be handled by the same cutting head, dramatically reducing the time required to bore the tunnel.


As the TBM moves forward, these sections of pre-cast concrete casing are placed around the bore. These pieces interlock and float in concrete grout that is forced under pressure between the tunnel walls and the completed casing.


The priest arrives with his holy water to bless the machine, concluding the dedication ceremony.

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The Next Station is Marine Drive

The Marine Drive Station Designs are now up. InTransit BC has posted up the Marine Drive Stations as well as an opening house at 4:30 PM. But screw the opening house when you got the following:

Station Surroundings



Station Designs


Bus Loop Level (purposed):


Concourse Level:




Please view next post for Marine Drive Portal Designs

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Marine Drive is the most southerly, and the only elevated,

station of the nine Canada Line stations located within the

City of Vancouver. This station site, at the southeast corner of

the busy Marine Drive and Cambie Street intersection, slopes

southward toward the Fraser River flfl ood plain.

North of the station, the guideway emerges from

underground to transition to an aerial guideway, clearing

Marine Drive before reaching the station. It then climbs

again to the south to bridge across the north arm of the

Fraser River to access both Richmond and the Airport. The

station will serve as a gateway for those both entering and

leaving the City of Vancouver.

Partially located on the western edge of the former ICBC

Claim Centre site and partially within the existing Cambie

Street right-of-way, the new station will be served by a new

bus loop to the south and future redevelopment to the east

on the remainder of the ICBC site.

The segment of Cambie Street south of Marine Drive will

provide limited access to the new bus loop and will act as

an important bike route that will link to the new Fraser River

bike crossing.

Land use around the station is organized north and south of

Marine Drive. Single and multi-family zones dominate to the

north, punctuated with small scale retail at the intersection.

To the south of Marine Drive, the predominant land use is

light industrial, but with a small multi-family complex on the

west side of Cambie, directly opposite the station.

Views from the station platform will reveal distant glimpses

of water and mountains.


The Marine Drive Station location will defi ne the place where the Cambie Street Boulevard of trees and landscaping terminates at a Fraser River industrial zone. The image for the Station, as it emerges from green landscaped walls symbolizing the end of the boulevard, will be a dramatically elevated platform resting on a fulcrum, launching the Station and the guideway as it continues south arching over the Fraser River. The Station itself will have a design influenced by the long history of sawmill activity in the area with simple industrial building forms, log flumes and bee-hive burners, and materials of steel and wood.





From the Richmond Review:

European-style facelift coming for main drag


City planners have produced preliminary plans for a new downtown streetscape meant to give Richmond the memorable commercial corridor it lacks.

By Matthew Hoekstra

Staff Reporter

Jun 10 2006

A concept familiar in Europe but foreign to the Lower Mainland will be in the heart of downtown Richmond’s metamorphosis.

For months, city planners have been attempting to fit several kilometres of elevated grey concrete—the Canada Line—into No. 3 Road, for function and aesthetics.

They’ve now produced the preliminary plans for a new downtown streetscape meant to give the island city the memorable commercial corridor it lacks.

The four-lane road will have three tiers: one for vehicles, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians. Northbound and southbound lanes will be separated by a treed boulevard and the rapid transit line columns will tower east of all No. 3 Road traffic.

Next to each right vehicle lane will be a raised bike lane for cyclists and sidewalks for pedestrians separated by a curb and landscaping.

Although on-street bicycle lanes are common in the region, raised bike lanes aren’t. The city based its plan, in part, on a similar three-tiered roadway in Eugene, Oregon and is meant to minimize conflicts between vehicles and cyclists.

Richmond community cycling committee chair Larry Pamer said vehicles often encroach into on-street bike lanes when passing, turning, loading or unloading and illegally parking. A raised bikeway would eliminate those conflicts.

“The physical separation from vehicles provided by a raised bikeway improves the safety of cyclists which, in turn, will encourage greater use of the facility, particularly by novice cyclists and children,” said Pamer, in a letter to the city.

City spokesperson Kim Decker said while Richmond’s system will be unique to the region, Vancouver is building a two-tier system in downtown on Carrall Street that incorporates bicycle and pedestrian lanes at a grade different from vehicle lanes.

“It is happening in other places, but not in the Lower Mainland,” she said.

The road improvements, stretching from West Bridgeport to as far as city hall, will also include left turn bays at all existing east-west cross streets and decorative street lights and a long-term plan to separate the west bike lane and sidewalk with treed medians.

It all rings in at up to $17.5 million.

“They’re planning to have it all rolled out around the same time as the Canada Line will be ready,” said Decker.

The plan has been approved by the parks and recreation committee and is awaiting council’s formal endorsement. City staff will then work on a more detailed design.

The only councillor who favoured the elevated guideway over the at-grade option said he’s excited to see the “great street” vision for No. 3 Road come together, but cautioned it will have a price.

“I’m really interested to see what other detail comes out of it and what the price tag is for that,” said Coun. Rob Howard.

“As excited as I am about that (the plan), that does have a price tag and we’ve got to find the money to make it happen.”

According to a staff report, TransLink has committed $4 million to the project and Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc. has committed another $2 million.

The city is also dedicating funds it collects from development around the area to the project in the form of its new transit-oriented development fee.


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  • 3 weeks later...

City of Vancouver is considering funding to move the Broadway City Hall station a half block further north.


Advantages of the more northerly "mid-block" site:

The mid-block location was superior for the following reasons:

• A shorter walking distance to buses and shops on Broadway. This is particularly

important as there will be a very significant number of transfers between the Canada

Line and buses on Broadway, particularly the existing 99 B-line service to UBC. As

well, the Broadway Station will serve the jobs and retail district of Central Broadway

and by moving the station closer to Broadway will contribute even more to achieving

the transit mode split targets to Central Broadway.

• A technically less complicated and less costly future underground pedestrian

connection between the station and the NW corner of Broadway and Cambie into the

Crossroads development. As part of the approval of the Crossroads development, the

owner is required to provide space for a future station entrance to better connect the

station with westbound buses and shops on the north side of Broadway. A connection

between Crossroads and the mid-block location would be via the “Dairy Queen” site

(Figure 1). A connection to Crossroads from the platforms under 10th Avenue would

require a more complicated and expensive excavation into the basement of the

VanCity building.

• A location that is “balanced” with respect to future underground connections to a

Millennium Line extension that could be under either 10th Avenue or Broadway

• An “accessible” connection that is less physically demanding for all transit users but

particularly the disabled, the elderly and those with strollers and carrying suitcases,

heavy packages, etc. A mid-block location requires less vertical change in elevation.

The horizontal distance is also less.

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Now regarding to the Canada Line (actually, I should post this on the Canada Line section, maybe I will), how will display the Canada Line in the future. I mean, will they display the red Canada Line to both YVR and Vancouver? Like a red like from Waterfront down Yaletown, down Cambie, and then this same red line goes to YVR and Richmond? I think that would confuse many. Example:

/------------- Richmond

Waterfront -------------------



Do you think they would use two seperate colours, like Orange and Red for example and call the orange one YVR Line, or will they use one same colour?


Oh... I forgot to post my other comments.

I thought that the Broadway Station was at their North Option the whole time... didn't know it was at 10th Ave....


MUCH BETTER CHOICE!!!!!! Compatible w/ future M Line on Broadway as well...

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it really won't be that big of a deal. i would assume that it would be all on colour, since i am also assuming there will be direct YVR-downtown trains as well as richmond-downtown trains (judging by the frequency numbers...)

but then, i guess that is the same thing that happens on the shared expo/millenium line track. but the millenium line was branded as something different, while RAV is all one. meh.

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The process at 29th Avenue:









June 2006 - Backfilling the trench that was excavated from cut & cover


Late-June 2006 - Above, the section finished on Cambie Street is repaved. Below, the completed cut & cover tunnel section - work will now begin on installing the rails - lights have already been installed. Of course, a lot more finishing work still has to be done.


This is one of the great pros of the cut and cover tunnel construction method. Sections are quickly done with lower cost than boring.

Last note: trench cut and cover digging is well under way from 49th Avenue to Marine Drive.

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What Deasine is trying to say is two different colours on the line maps to represent different final destinations for the trains (Richmond City Centre and YVR-Terminal), such as the existing SkyTrain map as the Expo Line diverges into Surrey and also into the new Millennium Line.


Another example, the Copenhanagan Metro built in 2002 (which is very similar to the Canada Line. it is also an automated system, with 17 stations and a total length of 17 km). I've got to say that this is one of my favourite rapid transit lines:









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Yeah, that's a nice one, although I think the SkyTrain 'Mark II' train looks nicer, less bulky. But I have to say SkyTrain is still lacking many major metro components, which I wouldn't consider a 'World Class Metro System'. For example, it lacks turnstiles (very important, because of fare invasion, which btw Translink loses +6 million per year, which it will also cost Translink 100 million to place turnstiles in every station). It also lacks Platform doors, that seperates the train tracks from the platform (less people dying and suiciding on SkyTrain). Although this is only a personal opinion, I don't like their messages either (i.e., the next station is Main Street - Science World) (I heard worst though, like the BART). Doesn't sound good and too simple. I've actually heard many complained about the voice, I think they said they can never hear what the voice is saying. Best voice, the MTR, 3 languages (which I liked 2 better) and explains the next station, the major transfers (i.e., switching lines), and which side the doors open at (AND IT'S BY ROTEM, WHICH THE CANADA LINE IS BY ROTEM AS WELL).

I generally like the MTR, although I do not like the interiors of the train, stainless steal, red, white, yuk! BORING! My favorite is how you transfer between lines. One just walks across the platform to transfer lines, much easier. My favorite line is the Disney Resort Line, view pictures:


Other Links:



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^ well, by the looks of it the Canada Line trains will have stainless steel exteriors - not painted with the Canada Line logo (blue, yellow, red) on the bottom.


I like the logo, but I don't like its font.....and instead, "SkyTrain" instead of "Canada Line".........if only it were called Canada SkyTrain Line (it should be since it's part of our network).

i prefer a Mark II style instead, painted white.


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The first wave of new urban trains for Rio de Janeiro have just arrived.....and guess what, they're made by ROTEM and they are the XG-EMU; also our Canada Line trains. These Brazilian trains have a lot more in common with the Canada Line rendering than the ones I've shown you (including the doors which open inside, not outside).




lateral safety







Seat for 2 passengers


Seat for 3 passengers + waste basket


Seat for 4 passengers (back to back)


Seats 2 e 4 passengers



Light and hand-pole


Hand-pole detail




lateral safety + waste basket









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No offence to the designers, but the train looks horrible. It's way too bulky looking (making it more 'round' will lift that problem). The interior is boring too, maybe because it's missing plasma TV screens =P. Jkjk..., I mean the color. The seats are ugly too.


Dammit. I liked the Mark II style, white with the SkyTrain logo. The Canada Line trains are okay, but like what Mr. X said, call it SkyTrain and not Canada Line. That stupid name. RAV or Olympic line would have been a much better choice (in my opinion).

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^ i actually really like it. i really like the exterior and the interior, well there's a lot of room.

i've seen different interiors of these XG-EMU's and they've all had different designs/types of seats.

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are they cheap to maintain? high capacity? good acceleration? efficient? etc. etc...

1) Maintenance - unlike SkyTrain which has very little moving parts because it uses linear motors, there will be more maintenance with the Canada Line trains because they are simply "third rail" - rail tracks and a third rail for supplying power to trains.

2) Capacity - each car can hold 167 people (334 per train). SkyTrain Mark I's can hold 80 people/car and the Mark II's can hold 128 people/car. Dimensions for the cars are 20 m x 3 m (41 metre length trains if you include a 1 m gangway). SkyTrain Mark I is 12 x 2 metres and II is 18 x 2.67 metres.

3) Acceleration is faster than the Mark II. Also, maximum operation speed is 80 km/h - same as Mark I/II but built design speed is well over the Mark's at 110 km/h.

4) These trains have been proven to be very efficient. The same model is used by HK's MTR.

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A few new pics of Canada Line construction:

Aerial of Cambie Street at Queen Elizabeth Park/King Edward where cut and cover tunnel construction has been underway for nearly a year:


Near Arthur Laing Bridge, construction of the Middle Arm Bridge guideway:


Columns on Sea Island (looks like the area lowering to the at-grade section):


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You have the see that the Hong Kong MTR has it's doors outside of the train I believe (it should be, and that's my preference, outside of door means more window space).

Our Canada Line trains would have EIDS (Electronic Information Display System) and may have a LCD/Plasma Display Unit to display advertisments, route information (metro system map), door opening direction, movement direction, and station information or may have a FSM (Flash System Map) which displays movement direction, 'next station', and door opening direction.

In terms of seating in the Canada Line Trains, we would have the 'Urban Seating Type' where all seats are on the side, providing extra luggage space and more standees.

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^ actually, seating would be like the Mark II trains. Some seats will be transverse, but there will also be seating down the corridor because it's more comfortable, according to InTransitBC.

regarding the doors, I actually like how it opens inside rather than outside. it may mean less windows but it certainly looks better from the outside.

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