|Locale||Metro Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations||53 (List of stations)|
|Daily ridership||477,500 (Q1 2018)|
|Annual ridership||151 million (December 2017)|
|Began operation||December 11, 1985|
British Columbia Rapid Transit Company|
(Expo and Millennium Line)
Protrans BC (Canada Line)
|Character||Underground, at-grade, and elevated|
|Number of vehicles||298|
|Train length||2-, 4- or 6-car trainsets|
|System length||79.6 km (49.5 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
650 V DC four rail system linear induction (Expo and Millennium Lines)|
750 V DC third rail conventional traction motors (Canada Line)
|Average speed||45 km/h (28 mph)|
|Top speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
SkyTrain is the metropolitan rail system of the Metro Vancouver Regional District, serving Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and surrounding municipalities. SkyTrain has 79.6 km (49.5 mi) of track and uses fully automated trains on grade-separated tracks running on underground and elevated guideways, allowing SkyTrain to hold consistently high on-time reliability. The name SkyTrain was coined for the system during Expo 86 because the first line (Expo) principally runs on elevated guideway outside of Downtown Vancouver, providing panoramic views of the metropolitan area. SkyTrain uses the world's longest cable-supported transit-only bridge, known as SkyBridge, to cross the Fraser River.
With the opening of the Evergreen Extension on December 2, 2016, SkyTrain became the longest rapid transit system in Canada and the longest fully automated driverless system in the world. The total lengths of the Singapore MRT's automated lines have since surpassed those of SkyTrain.
SkyTrain currently has 53 stations serving three lines: Expo, Millennium, and Canada Line. The Expo Line and Millennium Line are operated by British Columbia Rapid Transit Company under contract from TransLink (originally BC Transit), a regional government transportation agency. The Canada Line is operated on the same principles by the private concessionaire ProTrans BC under contract to TransLink, and is an integrated part of the regional transport system. SkyTrain uses a fare system shared with other local transit services, and is policed by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service. SkyTrain Attendants (STAs) provide first aid, directions and customer service, inspect fares, monitor train faults, and operate the trains manually if necessary.
- 1 Network
- 2 Operations
- 3 History
- 4 Design
- 5 Future expansion
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Expo Line connects Waterfront station in Vancouver to King George station in Surrey, principally along a route established by the Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Company as an interurban line in 1890. The Expo Line (originally referred to as simply "SkyTrain" until the opening of the Millennium Line) was built in 1985 in time for Expo 86. It now has 24 stations. The Expo Line ran only as far as New Westminster station initially. In 1989, it was extended to Columbia station and in 1990, once the SkyBridge was finished, it continued across the Fraser River to Scott Road station in Surrey. In 1994, the terminus of the Expo Line became King George station in central Surrey. It was built on a budget of $854 million (1986 dollars). Effective October 22, 2016, Expo Line trains began operating on a new branch to Production Way–University, taking over the previous Millennium Line service between Waterfront and Production Way–University. During peak periods, every third Expo Line train provides service to Production Way–University; off-peak, trains alternate between the two branches.
Prior to October 22, 2016, the Millennium Line shared tracks with the Expo Line from Waterfront station to Columbia station in New Westminster, then continued along its own elevated route through North Burnaby and East Vancouver, ending at VCC–Clark station, near Vancouver Community College's Broadway campus. It was built on a $1.2-billion budget and the final extension from Commercial Drive station (now Commercial–Broadway station) to VCC–Clark station was opened on January 6, 2006. From October 22, 2016 to December 1, 2016, the Millennium Line operated from VCC–Clark to Lougheed Town Centre station. As of December 2, 2016, the Millennium Line operates between VCC–Clark station in Vancouver and Lafarge Lake–Douglas station in Coquitlam. The Millennium Line has 17 stations, three of which are transfer stations with the Expo Line (Commercial–Broadway, Production Way–University, and Lougheed Town Centre) and two which connect with the West Coast Express commuter train (Moody Centre and Coquitlam Central). The original Millennium Line's stations were designed by British Columbia's top architects and are very different from those on the Expo Line. In 2004, Busby and Associates Architects, designers of the Brentwood Town Centre station in Burnaby, were honoured for their work with a Governor General's Medal in Architecture.
Construction on the Millennium Line's Evergreen Extension, from Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby to Lafarge Lake–Douglas in Coquitlam, was completed in 2016 and it was opened for revenue service on December 2, 2016. This extension adds 11 km (6.8 mi) and 6 new stations to the Millennium Line.
The Canada Line begins at the Waterfront station hub, then continues south through Vancouver into the City of Richmond and Sea Island. From Bridgeport station, the Canada Line splits into two branches, one heading west to the YVR–Airport station at Vancouver International Airport and the other continuing south to the Richmond–Brighouse station in Richmond's city centre. Opened on August 17, 2009, the Canada Line added 15 stations and 19.2 km (11.9 mi) to the SkyTrain network. Waterfront station is the only station where the Canada Line directly connects with the Expo Line; however, Vancouver City Centre station is within a three-minute walk from Granville station via the Pacific Centre mall, making an unofficial transfer to the Expo Line. The Canada Line cost $1.9 billion, financed by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, TransLink, and InTransitBC. The Canada Line's trains, built by Rotem, are fully automated, but are of a different design from the Expo and Millennium lines' Bombardier-built fleet. They use conventional electric motors rather than linear induction motor technology. Canada Line tracks do not interconnect with the rest of the SkyTrain network, and there is a separate fleet maintenance depot.
|Line||Opening year||Route length||Stations||Terminus stations||Travel time||Frequency||Combined frequency|
|Expo Line||1985||28.9 km (18.0 mi)[a]||20[a]||Waterfront||King George||40 min||2–5 min||6–10 min||2–3 min[b]||3–5 min|
|2016||29.7 km (18.5 mi)[a][c]||20[a][c]||Waterfront||Production Way–University||41 min||6–7 min||6–10 min||2–3 min[b]||3–5 min|
|Millennium Line||2002[d]||23.5 km (14.6 mi)[c]||17[c]||VCC–Clark||Lafarge Lake–Douglas||36 min||3–4 min||6–10 min||—||—|
|Canada Line||2009||14.4 km (8.9 mi)[e]||13[e]||Waterfront||Richmond–Brighouse||25 min||6 min||6–20 min||3 min||3–10 min|
|15.1 km (9.4 mi)[e]||13[e]||Waterfront||YVR–Airport||26 min||6 min||6–20 min||3 min||3–10 min|
- Expo Line service is interlined for 16 stations, accounting for 22.2 km (13.8 mi) of route, between Waterfront and Columbia.
- Additional peak hours-only service operating between Waterfront and Commercial–Broadway.
- Expo and Millennium Line service is interlined for two stations, accounting for 1.8 km (1.1 mi) of route, between Lougheed Town Centre and Production Way–University.
- Evergreen Extension started revenue service on December 2, 2016.
- Canada Line service is interlined for 10 stations, accounting for 11.1 km (6.9 mi) of route, between Waterfront and Bridgeport.
SkyTrain provides high-frequency service, with trains arriving every 2–7 minutes at all stations during peak hours. Trains operate between 4:48 a.m. and approximately 1:30 a.m. on weekdays, with reduced hours on weekends on the Expo and Millennium lines. SkyTrain has longer hours of service during special events, such as New Year's Eve, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and marathons.
|Fare class||One zone||Two zones||Three zones||Airport AddFare|
TransLink's SkyTrain service area is divided into three zones, with fares varying depending on how many zone boundaries are crossed during one trip (two- and three-zone passengers are charged the one zone rate after 6:30 pm rush hour, and on weekends and statutory holidays). Customers may purchase fares using cash, debit cards, or credit cards from self-serve ticket vending machines at the mezzanine level of each station. A variety of transit passes are available, such as the pre-paid FareSaver ticket, daily DayPass, monthly FareCard, annual EmployerPass, post-secondary student U-Pass, and other specialized passes. Canadian National Institute for the Blind identification cards are accepted without the need to be read by the fare box. One-time fares are valid for 90 minutes on any mode of transportation with any number of transfers, including all SkyTrain lines and bus and SeaBus routes. Concession fares are available for children (ages 6–13), secondary school students with a valid Go-Card and the elderly.
Until April 2016, SkyTrain's fare system was a proof-of-payment system; there were no turnstiles at the entrances to train platforms. Instead, fares were enforced by random ticket inspections – usually by police or transit security but occasionally by SkyTrain attendants – through trains and stations, or at special events such as after BC Lions or Vancouver Canucks games. The fine for failure to show proof of payment, fare evasion, ticket reselling, or other scams is $173.
Installing faregates to prevent fare evasion was considered, but was rejected because the expense of implementing, maintaining, and enforcing them would exceed the losses prevented.[when?] In 2005, TransLink estimated it was losing $4 million (5% of revenue attributed to SkyTrain) annually to fare evasion on SkyTrain. The Canada Line opened in 2009 without fare gates, despite stated intentions to include them. The Canada Line and Millennium Line stations were designed to allow for future fare gates. Expo Line stations have been redesigned and retrofitted to accommodate the new fare gate system.
The 2008 Provincial Transit Plan outlined several SkyTrain system upgrades, including replacement of the proof-of-payment system with a gated-ticket system. According to then-Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon, the gated-ticket system would be implemented by a private company by 2010. In April 2009 , it was announced that the provincial and federal governments would spend $100 million to put the gates in place by the end of 2010. However, in August 2009, a TransLink spokesman said the gates would not be installed before 2012, and that a smart card system would be implemented at the same time.
It was announced on August 14, 2013, that bus-issued transfers (magnetic strip paper cards) would continue to be issued for cash fares paid on buses, but that these transfers would not work at SkyTrain or SeaBus station fare gates, which require a Compass Card or a 90-minute paper Compass ticket to operate. This means that a bus rider paying cash is required to pay a second fare to transfer to SkyTrain or SeaBus. Those transit users paying cash but beginning their trips at a SkyTrain or SeaBus station are not subject to this second fare because they are issued Compass tickets which are accepted as valid transfers on TransLink buses.
Construction of SkyTrain fare gates was completed in May 2014 but they remained open until April 2016 owing to multiple system problems. While open for the nearly two-year period, holders of paper-based monthly passes, bus-issued transfers, and FareSaver tickets continued to pass through the gates into the stations' fare-paid zones unimpeded, although they were subject to having their fare inspected by transit security or transit police once inside the fare-paid zone. Starting in April 2016, they were initially fully closed only during peak hours, with one gate remaining open during off-peak times for people with accessibility issues who could not reach their Compass Cards to the fare gates to tap in or out. Full implementation of the fare gates was also delayed by problems with Compass Cards when riders were tapping out as they exited buses. The tapping-out process on buses was too slow and did not always record the tap which—because the system initially deducted a three-zone fare until a tap-out was recorded and a refund was issued to those having only travelled one or two zones—often resulted in customers being charged for travelling through three zones when in fact they had only travelled through one or two. This was a serious setback for TransLink as the entire system was supposed to be operational by 2013. A solution was finally implemented where the requirement to tap out of buses was removed and all bus travel was considered as within a single zone, creating significant savings for those travelling multiple zones using buses only and in some cases changing transit usage patterns. The last fare gates left open for users with accessibility issues were closed on July 25, 2016, and the system has been in full operation since.
Single-use Compass tickets purchased with cash at Compass vending machines in stations on Sea Island include a surcharge, the "YVR AddFare", of $5.00 on top of the normal fare. This charge is also added to trips initiated at Sea Island stations for travel east to Bridgeport station and beyond using Compass Card Stored Value or DayPasses. It is not applied to trips using monthly passes, nor to trips using DayPasses or single-use Compass tickets which were purchased and activated off Sea Island. The YVR AddFare came into effect on January 18, 2010. The revenue collected from the AddFare goes back to TransLink.
Passengers on SkyTrain made an average of 477,500 entries on weekdays by the end of March 2018. Overall in 2017, the network carried a total of 151 million passengers. This compares to 117.4 million passengers in 2010: 38,447,725 on the Canada Line and 78,965,214 on the interlined Expo and Millennium Lines. The Canada Line carried an average of 110,000 passengers per weekday in early 2011, and is three years ahead of ridership forecasts.
SkyTrain's highest ridership came during the 2010 Winter Olympics when each event ticket included unlimited day-of transit usage. During the 17-day event, Canada Line ridership rose 110 per cent to an average of 228,000 per day, with a single-day record of 287,400 on February 19, 2010. Expo and Millennium Line ridership rose 64 per cent to an average of 394,000 per day, with a single-day record of 567,000 on February 20, 2010. At times, every available train was in service on all three lines. After the Olympics ended, overall transit usage remained 7.8 percent above the previous year.
This article uses citations that link to broken or outdated sources. (October 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The cost of operating SkyTrain in 2008, with an estimated 73.5 million boardings, was $83 million. To cover this, TransLink draws mostly from transit fares, advertising ($360 million in 2008) and tax ($262 million from fuel taxes and $298 million from property taxes in 2008), funds which are also shared with bus services, roads and bridge maintenance, and other infrastructure and services. The capital costs of building the system are shared with other government agencies. Capital expenses were $216 million in 2008. For example, the cost of building the Canada Line was shared between TransLink ($335 million or 22 percent), the federal government (29 percent), the provincial government (28 percent), the airport authority (19 percent), and the City of Vancouver (2 percent). While TransLink has run surpluses for operating costs since 2001, it incurs debt to cover these capital costs. As a whole, TransLink had $1.1 billion in long-term debt, in 2006, of which $508 million was transferred from the province in 1999 when responsibility for SkyTrain was given to TransLink. The province retained ownership of the causeway, bridge, certain services, and a portion of SkyTrain's debt.
Law enforcement services are provided by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service (SCBCTAPS), formerly the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Police Service (GVTAPS). They replaced the old TransLink Special Provincial Constables, who had limited authority.
On December 4, 2005, GVTAPS officers became the first and only transit police force in Canada to have full police powers and carry firearms. There was public concern in March 2005 when it was announced that transit police would carry firearms. Then-Solicitor General of British Columbia John Les defended the move, saying that it was necessary to enhance SkyTrain security. Transit officers receive the same training as officers in municipal and RCMP forces. They may arrest people for outstanding warrants, enforce drug laws, enforce the criminal code beyond TransLink property, and deal with offences that begin off TransLink property and make their way onto it. They issue tickets for fare evasion and other infractions on SkyTrain, transit buses, SeaBus, and West Coast Express.
Transit police officers and Transit Security personnel inspect fares at Skytrain stations as part of TransLink's Fare Audit. Transit Security mostly focus their efforts on the bus system, bus loops, and SeaBus. As of September 2012, Transit Security Officers have the authority to issue tickets for fare evasion.
SkyTrain Attendants provide customer service and first aid, troubleshoot train and station operations, and perform fare checks alongside the transit police force. SkyTrain Attendants can be identified by their uniforms which say "SkyTrain" on them.
Over the years, violence and other criminal activities have been concerns at time, but TransLink maintains that the system is safe.[needs update] Then-Inspector Kash Heed of the Vancouver Police Department says that little crime takes place in the stations themselves; however, criminal activity becomes more visible 400–700 metres (1,000–2,000 ft) outside them.
Each station is monitored with an average of 23 closed-circuit television cameras, allowing SkyTrain operators to monitor passenger and station activity. Designated waiting areas have enhanced lighting, benches, and emergency telephones. Trains have yellow strips above each window which, when pressed, silently alert operators of a security hazard. On-board speaker phones provide two-way communication between passengers and control operators.
In 2007, it was reported that the entire surveillance system was upgraded from analogue two-hour tape recording to digital technology, which was to allow police to retrieve previous footage for up to seven days. However, incidents since the upgrade have still limited police to a two-hour loop, resulting in loss of potential evidence.
By November 2008, at least 54 deaths had occurred on the platforms and tracks of the Expo and Millennium Lines. 44 of those deaths were suicides, while the remaining ten were accidental.
Vancouver had plans as early as the 1950s to build a monorail system, with modernist architect Wells Coates to design it; that project was abandoned. The lack of a rapid transit system was said to be the cause of traffic problems in the 1970s, and the municipal government could not fund the construction of such a system. During the same period, Urban Transportation Development Corporation, then an Ontario crown corporation, was developing a new rapid transit technology known as an "Intermediate Capacity Transit System". In 1980 the need for rapid transit was great, and Ontario needed buyers for its new technology. "Advanced Rapid Transit" was selected to be built in Vancouver to showcase the Ontario project at Expo 86.
SkyTrain was conceived as a legacy project of Expo 86 and the first line was finished in time to showcase the fair's theme: "Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch". Construction was funded by the provincial and federal governments. It was built through the Dunsmuir Tunnel under downtown, which had originally been built for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Until 1989, SkyTrain terminated at New Westminster station; in 1987 construction began on an extension including the SkyBridge, Columbia station, and Scott Road station, extending service to Surrey. The line was expanded again in 1994 with the opening of the Gateway, Surrey Central, and King George stations. SkyTrain is part of the 1996 Greater Vancouver Regional District's (GVRD) Livable Region Strategic Plan, which discusses strategies to deal with the anticipated increase of population in the region. These strategies include increasing transportation choices and transit use.
The first section of the Millennium Line opened in 2002, with Braid and Sapperton stations. Most of the remaining portion began operating later that year, serving North Burnaby and East Vancouver. Phase I of the Millennium Line was completed $50 million under budget. Critics of the project dubbed it the "SkyTrain to Nowhere", claiming that the route of the new line was based on political concerns, not the needs of commuters. One illustration of the legitimacy of this complaint is that the end of the Millennium Line is located in a vacant field, chosen because it was supposed to be the location for a new high-tech development and is close to the head office of QLT Inc., but additional development was slow to get off the ground. That station, VCC–Clark near Clark Drive and Broadway, did not open until 2006 because of difficulty in negotiating the right-of-way from BNSF[clarification needed], but it is still five kilometres short of the original proposed Phase II terminus at Granville Street and 10th Avenue. At the time the VCC–Clark station opened, it was revealed that the additional westward extension and its three stations was out of favour and "not a high priority anymore".
The Evergreen Extension, formerly known as the Evergreen Line, is the second phase of the Millennium Line, extending from Lougheed Mall in Burnaby to the Douglas College campus in Coquitlam. Originally referred to as the Port Moody-Coquitlam (PMC) Line, it provides a "one-seat ride" from Coquitlam to Vancouver. Switches to the PMC Line were installed to the east of Lougheed Town Centre station during its initial construction and a third platform at the station was roughed-in in anticipation of the extension. Phase II was postponed following a change in provincial government and a shuffling of priorities that led to prioritizing building the Canada Line due to Vancouver's hosting of the 2010 Olympics. Preliminary construction of the Evergreen Extension began in July 2012 and major construction started in June 2013 with the construction of support columns for the line. The extension began revenue service on December 2, 2016.
The Canada Line was built as a public–private partnership, with the winning bidder, led by SNC-Lavalin (now known as ProTransBC), contributing funds toward its construction and operating it for 35 years. A minimum ridership was guaranteed to ProTransBC by TransLink. The Canada Line opened on August 17, 2009, 15 weeks ahead of schedule and on budget. Ridership has risen three years ahead of forecasts, hitting 100,000 passengers per weekday in May 2010 and 136,000 passengers per weekday in June 2011. The Canada Line is operationally independent from other SkyTrain lines, using different rolling stock (shorter overall train/station length, but wider cars) which is incompatible.
SkyTrain has had a significant impact on the development of areas near stations, and has helped to shape urban density in Metro Vancouver. Between 1991 and 2001, the population living within 500 m of SkyTrain increased by 37 per cent, compared to the regional average of 24 per cent. Since SkyTrain opened, the total population of the service area rose from 400,000 to 1.3 million people. According to BC Transit's document SkyTrain: A catalyst for development, more than $5 billion of private money had been invested within a 10–15 minute walking distance of the SkyTrain and SeaBus. The report claimed that the two modes of transportation were the driving force of the investment, though it did not disaggregate the general growth in that area.
There are three main routes, Expo Line, Millennium Line and Canada Line. The Expo Line travels between Waterfront station in Downtown Vancouver and Columbia station in New Westminster, serving the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster. From Columbia, the Expo Line splits into two branches. One branch travels through Surrey to King George station, while the other travels through New Westminster and Burnaby, terminating at Production Way–University station.
Millennium Line trains travel between VCC–Clark station and Lafarge Lake–Douglas station in the city of Coquitlam. Near the western end of the line is a major transfer point with the Expo Line at Commercial–Broadway station. Further east, Lougheed Town Centre station and Production Way–University station serve as two more transfer points with the Expo Line.
The Canada Line travels southward from Waterfront station in Downtown Vancouver to Richmond, where the track splits at Bridgeport station; trains alternate between a southern branch ending at Richmond–Brighouse station and a western branch ending at Vancouver International Airport.
Although most of the system is elevated, SkyTrain runs at or below grade through Downtown Vancouver, for the Vancouver portion of the Canada Line until just before it reaches Richmond at Marine Drive station, through the 2.1-kilometre (1.3 mi) tunnel used by the Millennium Line between Coquitlam and Port Moody, through the 0.6-kilometre (0.4 mi) tunnel between Columbia and Sapperton stations in New Westminster, and for short stretches in Burnaby and New Westminster.
SkyTrain's Expo Line uses the world's longest bridge dedicated to transit services. SkyBridge crosses the Fraser River between New Westminster and Surrey. It is a 616-metre-long (2021 ft) cable-stayed bridge, with 123-metre-tall (404 ft) towers. Two additional transit-only bridges, the North Arm Bridge and the Middle Arm Bridge, were built for the Canada Line. The North Arm Bridge is an extradosed bridge with a total length of 562 m (1844 ft), with shorter 47-metre (154 ft) towers necessitated by its proximity to the Vancouver International Airport. The North Arm Bridge also has a pedestrian/bicycle deck connecting the bicycle networks of Vancouver and Richmond. The Middle Arm Bridge is a shorter box girder bridge.
The signalling technology used on all three SkyTrain lines to run trains automatically was originally developed by Alcatel, and loaded from a 3.5" diskette. There are four systems called the VCC (Vehicle Control Computer) with three divided over the mainline and one for the storage yard. VCC1 controls trains from Waterfront to Royal Oak; VCC2 controls trains from Royal Oak to King George (it now also controls a portion of the Millennium Line); and VCC3 controls trains in the yard. Each VCC is a cluster of three IBM rack-mount computers with Intel-IA32 processors and proprietary hardware, configured in a fault tolerant setup. For every command that is sent to a VCC, at least two of the computers must agree with the action, otherwise an error is generated and the command is ignored. The VCCs communicates with the train's VOBC (Vehicle On Board Computer), whose data is transmitted through leaky coax cable laid along the tracks. There are up to two VOBCs per married-pair trains, i.e. 4-car train would have two VOBCs. If the VCCs fail or communication between the VCC and the VOBC is lost, the train will 'time-out' and (EB) emergency-brake through a Quester Tangent BAM (Brake Assurance Monitor) that controls propulsion and braking systems. The VCCs have a command-line-console, but normally the trains are controlled through a system known as the SMC, which also provides scheduling. All commands from the SMC are verified to be safe by the VCC before execution. However if the SMC fails, the system can still be operated through the VCC. This is known as 'degraded mode'. The SkyTrain HMU (Health Monitoring Unit) developed by Quester Tangent provides monitoring and diagnostic functionality for vehicle maintenance by connecting to CAN vehicle network and providing a maintenance display in the Hoslter Panel.
SkyTrain's signalling system later provided the basis of SelTrac, which is currently maintained and sold by Thales and has equipped many lines around the world. Largely as a result of this, the Expo and Millennium Lines have a combined punctuality record of over 96 percent; the principal cause of train delays is passenger interference with train doors. There has been one derailment and no collisions in the system's history.
The SkyTrain network is fully mobility-needs accessible, including vehicles and stations. Mark I train cars have one designated wheelchair position, Mark II, Mark III and Hyundai Rotem cars have two, and all stations have elevators. TransLink upgraded all Expo Line platform station edges to match those on the Millennium Line shortly after it was completed. The new, wider edges are brighter and are tiled to provide a safer environment for the visually impaired. The Canada Line also uses this safety feature in its stations. Since the opening of the Millennium Line, aside from platform tile upgrading, many Expo line stations have also been refitted with new signage and ticket vending machines. Beside minor English-language (electric) signage, the majority of the system is inaccessible to Deaf individuals due to audio-based announcements and notices.
The distinctive three-tone chime used in the SkyTrain system was recorded in 1984–85 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver. The automated train announcements have been voiced by Laureen Regan since the opening of the Millennium Line in 2002, and by Karen Kelm between 1985 and 2001.
Expo and Millennium Lines
The Expo Line and Millennium Line use Bombardier's Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) system, a system of automated trains driven by linear induction motors, formerly known as Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS). These trains reach speeds of 90 km/h (56 mph); including wait times at stops, the end-to-end average speed is 45 km/h (28 mph), three times faster than a bus and almost twice as fast as a B-Line express bus.
UTDC ICTS Mark I fleet
The initial fleet consists of 12.7 m (41.7 ft) lightweight Mark I ICTS cars from Urban Transportation Development Corporation, similar to those used by Toronto's Line 3 Scarborough and the Detroit People Mover. Mark I vehicles are composed of mated pairs and normally run as six-car trains and only on the Expo Line, but can be run in two-, four-, or six-car configurations. The maximum based on current station platform lengths is a six-car configuration, totalling 76.2 m (250 ft). The SkyTrain fleet includes 150 Mark I cars. These trains have a mix of forward-, reverse- and side-facing seats; red, white, and blue interiors; and four doors per car, two per side.
Bombardier ART Mark II fleet
When the Millennium Line was built, TransLink ordered new-generation Mark II ART trains from Bombardier Transportation, some of which were assembled in a Burnaby factory. Similar trains are used in Kuala Lumpur's Kelana Jaya Line, New York's JFK AirTrain, and the Beijing Airport Express. These trains are run in four-car configurations on the Expo Line, and two-car configurations on the Millennium Line. Each pair of cars is semi-permanently joined together in a twin unit or 'married pair', with a length of 33.4 m. Mark II trains have a streamlined front and rear, an articulated joint allowing passengers to walk the length of a married pair, white/grey/blue interior, and six doors per car, three per side. TransLink also ordered 48 Mark II ART (2009/2010 model) in 2009 to further supplement supply and integrate new features like CCTV and visual maps with LED lights.
Bombardier Innovia Metro 300 (ART Mark III) fleet
The Bombardier ART model has undergone several redesigns from the original UTDC ICTS model, and the Mark II design has been updated by Bombardier, with this newest offering being the Innovia Metro 300. Dimensions are similar to the Mark II, with capacity improvements offered over the outgoing model through redesigned car layout. TransLink ordered 28 Mark III cars, which began delivery in 2015, and went into service beginning in August 2016. The vehicles appear sleeker, with larger windows on the sides of the train, and redesigned windows and headlights on the ends of the cars. The interior is largely similar to the second generation of Mark II cars, with the some seats removed to better accommodate bicycles and strollers. TransLink has claimed that the interior of the Mark III offers better sound and heat insulation. TransLink ordered the cars for the Evergreen Extension in a 4-car articulated configuration, with two centre cars, to allow full-length train movements by passengers. However, due to a shortage of trains, the Mark IIIs are being used on the Expo Line, while 2-car Innovia 200 (Mk2) serve the Millennium Line. On December 16, 2016, TransLink ordered 28 more Mark III cars, which will bring the total number of Mark III cars to 56 once they go into service in early 2019.
Hyundai Rotem EMU fleet
The Canada Line uses different train propulsion technology than the other SkyTrain lines, with cars powered by conventional electric motors rather than linear induction motor (LIM) technology; therefore the trains are incompatible with the other lines. There are 20 trains, which operate as two-carriage articulated units, and can reach a speed of 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph). They are maintained at a yard next to Bridgeport station in Richmond.
Several possible expansions to the SkyTrain network have been announced. In 2005, TransLink released a ten-year outlook outlining a potential line to the University of British Columbia (UBC) and further expansion of the Expo Line into Surrey. In 2011, two separate rapid transit studies have given further examination and consultation into rapid transit options for expansion for the UBC/Broadway corridor, and Surrey and the South of Fraser region. Expo Line capacity upgrades are also being planned to meet future demand.
Broadway corridor extension
Early proposals planned to extend SkyTrain west along the Broadway corridor, but stopped well short of UBC because of the cost, estimated at $700 million in 1999. However, the Provincial Transit Plan, released in February 2008, included funding for the entire Broadway corridor to UBC. The line would replace the region's busiest bus routes, where over 100,000 trips are made daily. The line would also include an interchange with the Canada Line at Cambie Street. In 2008, the new line was estimated to cost $2.8 billion, with an expected completion date of 2020.
Government statements suggested that the UBC line would be an extension of the SkyTrain network from VCC–Clark station via elevated platforms or a tunnel along Broadway ending at the University of British Columbia in the University Endowment Lands. This would mean that commuters from Coquitlam to UBC would not need to change trains during their commute, as Millennium Line trains would continue to UBC from Lafarge Lake–Douglas station. Commuters from the Evergreen Extension east of Commercial–Broadway station would also have a secondary route to downtown with the option of transferring to the Canada Line instead of the Expo Line. However, light rail and higher-capacity bus rapid transit was also proposed.
In 2011, with the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study, SkyTrain was evaluated as a possible technology for rapid transit expansion along the Broadway corridor to UBC, along with light rail transit and bus rapid Transit. The June 2014 plan proposes a first phase that would extend the Millennium Line from VCC–Clark station to Arbutus Street using SkyTrain technology, with an interchange with the Canada Line at Broadway–City Hall station; a second phase would see the line extended from Arbutus to UBC. A plebiscite to raise 25% of the funds required for the Broadway extension to Arbutus, among other transit expansion plans, was defeated in 2015.
On March 16, 2018, the provincial government approved the construction of the "Broadway Extension" of the Millennium Line, which will extend the line underground west to Arbutus Street, while adding six new stations. Construction is slated to begin in 2019 with a completion date set for 2025. On April 19, 2018, the UBC Board of Governors indicated it would consider contributing funds towards accelerating the extension of the Millennium Line from its new planned terminus at Arbutus to the university.
Expo Line extension
The 2008 Provincial Transit Plan included a 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) extension of the Expo line from King George station in Surrey east to Guildford, then along 152 Street to the Fraser Highway and southeast to 168 Street.
In 2011, as part of phase 2 of the Surrey Rapid Transit Study, different possibilities were examined for expanding rapid transit along multiple corridors in the South of Fraser region. Several technology options have been considered for such an expansion, including SkyTrain, light rail transit, and bus rapid transit.
Expo Line capacity expansion
Ridership on the Expo Line is continually increasing, and plans are being developed for upgrading capacity to meet future ridership levels. Several options are being considered and/or planned, including:
- Purchasing middle cars to use with some of the Mark II/III trainsets to maximize available platform space. Current platforms can fit six-car Mark I trains and five-car Mark II or Mark III trains. Six-car Mark I trains are increasingly being used, but TransLink can only create two- and four-car Mark II trains with its fleet (2 or 2+2) as it does not own any Mark II middle "C" cars. By adding a middle "C" car to some Mark II couplets to create three-car trainsets, longer five-car Mark II trains could be used (2+3).
- Current operating headway between trains during peak times is maintained at 108 seconds. SkyTrain can run at 75 second headways, which will allow for more trains to operate at peak times.
- After using longer trains and running trains at 75 second headways, the next option would be to lengthen the station platforms to accommodate longer trains. This expansion option would be the most expensive as it would require heavy construction at all Expo Line stations.
- List of Vancouver SkyTrain stations
- Klang Valley Integrated Transit System (Malaysia)
- List of metro systems
- "APTA Q1 2018 Ridership Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. 2018. p. 35. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- "The Buzzer - 2011-01-14". TransLink. January 14, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- "Evergreen Extension opening today". NEWS 1130. December 2, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- "Quick Facts". Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- "Canada Line Fact Sheet The Canada Line Vehicle" (PDF). canadaline.ca (TransLink). December 14, 2007. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "SkyTrain". TransLink. November 17, 2011.
- "Expo Line Upgrades Improve Communications". TransLink. October 11, 2011.
- "Skytrain Bridge". Buckland & Taylor Ltd. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
- Slattery, Jill (December 1, 2016). "Evergreen SkyTrain Line launched". Global News. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Briginshaw, David (July 20, 2016). "Automated metros set to reach 2200km by 2025". Retrieved 2018-05-16.
- Heckenast, Joe; McGraw, Jim (2006). "Your Ride Guide 2006 (Vancouver Sun, with TransLink and Bombardier)". New Westminster, B.C.: McGraw Media: 14.
- Mason, Bruce (December 31, 1989). "SkyTrain and Cambie Bridge taking us down road to Expo Series: The Eighties; [1* Edition]". The Province. p. 20.
- "Skytrain: The Smart Choice for Greater Vancouver". American Public Transportation Association. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2007.
- Coling, Adrienne (September 19, 2016). "Everything Evergreen: New SkyTrain operating pattern for Expo and Millennium Lines". The Buzzer blog. TransLink. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- "Governor General's Medal in Architecture". Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2006.
- "Evergreen Extension - Opening at noon on Dec. 2, 2016!". TransLink. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- "Canada Line Financing". Archived from the original on August 8, 2009.
- "Canada Line Opens In November 2009." Railway Gazette International 162.(2006 Jul.): 47. Associates Programs Source Plus. Web. December 15, 2011.
- Translink; PTV America (February 2007), TransLink's Rapid Transit Model – An Operations Planning Model under VISUM Project Report and Technical Documentation – Phase A, pp. 12, 63
- "TransLink SkyTrain Schedules". TransLink. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Transit Tariff" (PDF). TransLink. January 1, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 13, 2005. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
- Thomas, Sandra (August 9, 2006). "'Helping hands' part of SkyTrain scam". Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on June 30, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
- "The Buzzer" (PDF). March 2, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 4, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
- "Riding without paying will cost $173". The Province. CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc. March 20, 2005. Retrieved December 14, 2006.
- "Canada Line Controlled Access, Safety & Security and Fare Evasion" (PDF). TransLink. December 1, 2005. p. 8. Retrieved June 18, 2007.
- Bennett, Nelson. "Beating boosts call for transit turnstiles". Richmond News. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
- "Provincial Transit Plan Brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 11, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "BGates and smart cards on the way at Skytrain". CTV British Columbia. June 12, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- "Faregates and Smartcards coming to SkyTrain in spring 2010". The Buzzer Blog. April 9, 2009.
- "No turnstiles for SkyTrains until 2012". CBC British Columbia. August 14, 2009.
- "Card system struggles with another glitch". The Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network Inc. October 29, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "SeaBus ridership hits all-time low after one-zone bus travel introduced". VancityBuzz. March 18, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- "TransLink to close accessible fare gates". CBC News. July 25, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- "Canada Line YVR AddFare". TransLink.ca. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- "The Canada Line YVR Add Fare Questions and Answers". TransLink.ca. January 11, 2010.
- "Canada Line YVR AddFare coming Mon Jan 18". The Buzzer Blog. TransLink. January 7, 2009.
- "TransLink 2010 Ridership". TransLink. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- "Rise in transit use called Olympic legacy". BC Local News. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- "Olympic transit may turn small profit". BC Local News. March 23, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- [dead link]"TransLink Annual Report 2008". TransLink.ca. TransLink. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
- [dead link]"TransLink 2008 Financial and Performance Report". TransLink.ca. TransLink. Retrieved February 8, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc. "Working: Annual Report 2006" (PDF): 33. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2007. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
- "TransLink Annual Report 2005" (PDF). TransLink.ca. TransLink. pp. 12, 22, 38, 45. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
- "TransLink Annual Report 2003" (PDF). TransLink.ca. TransLink. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2004. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
- Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations (August 31, 1999). "Debt Statistics 1998/99" (PDF). British Columbia: 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2007. Retrieved June 17, 2007.
- "TransLink board-inbrief- April 17, 2003" (PDF). Greater Vancouver Regional District. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- "SkyTrain gets armed transit cops". CBC News. December 5, 2005. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
- "Vancouver transit police begin packing guns". CBC News. December 5, 2005. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
- "Common Questions". Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Police Service. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
- Carrigg, David (August 5, 2004). "SkyTrain says system safe despite latest attack". Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on September 10, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- "Murder charge laid after teen killed at B.C. SkyTrain stop". CBC News. July 4, 2005. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
- Howell, Mike (August 28, 2005). "Cyclist warns of crime increase". VancouverCourier. Archived from the original on September 11, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- "Safety & Security on SkyTrain". Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
- "Safety and Security on SkyTrain". TransLink. Archived from the original on October 4, 2006. Retrieved December 26, 2006.
- "SkyTrain crime fear 'overblown'". The News, Maple Ridge. January 13, 2007. p. 17.
- "SkyTrain evidence taped over after alert failed". The Vancouver Province. May 7, 2008. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- SkyTrain's Mounting Death Toll at The Tyee. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- Clarke, John (November 19, 1977). "Rapid transit system still a pipedream". The Globe and Mail. p. 8.
- Keating, Michael (November 13, 1971). "$61 million experiment could go down the drain New money crucial to give 'sky subvway [[ [sic]]] a shot at markets". The Globe and Mail. p. P5.
- "Canada at International Expositions - Expo '86 in Vancouver". Government of Canada. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- Williamson, Robert (November 21, 1980). "Ontario train system may be used in Vancouver". Globe and Mail. p. 8.
- Davis, Chuck (1997). The Greater Vancouver Book: an Urban Encyclopedia. Surrey, BC: Linkman Press. ISBN 978-1-896846-00-2. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007.
- "Details of The Livable Region Strategic Plan". City of Vancouver. Archived from the original on January 3, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
- Sullivan, Paul (January 8, 2002). "B.C.'s SkyTrain to Nowhere". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on April 3, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2007.
- Carrigg, David (February 19, 2001). "SkyTrain critics have their say". Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on October 21, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
- "Google map showing location of VCC station". January 1, 1970. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- Carrigg, David (August 5, 2004). "SkyTrain extension off the rails". Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on October 19, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
- "Evergreen Extension". transLink.ca. TransLink. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
- Campbell's 'kaputski' on RAV line financing tops the list of keepers so far, Vaughn Palmer, The Vancouver Sun, December 3, 2004. p. A3
- "Canada Line Delivers a Smooth Ride". The Globe and Mail. December 28, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- "TransLink reports transit ridership heading for a new record". TransLink. August 22, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- "Frequently Asked Questions, Canada Line". Rapid Transit Office, City of Vancouver. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
- "Making the Connection to a World of Choice". TransLink. Retrieved April 23, 2009.
- Newman, Peter W. G; Jeffrey R. Kenworthy; Dr Peter Newman (1999). Sustainability and Cities. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. p. 221. ISBN 978-1-55963-660-5.
- "Vancouver BC SkyTrain" (PDF). City of Seattle. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 21, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2007.
- "Vancouver SkyTrain — a proven success story" (PDF). Japan railways and transport review. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
- Key Features of the North Arm Fraser Bridge Archived January 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Quester Tangent - SkyTrain for Fleet Operators
- "A Timely SkyTrain Safety Reminder / A near-miss: a timely reminder – wait for the next train!". TransLink. July 17, 2009.
In 2007 and 2008, 981 delays were caused by vehicle issues: 55% of those involved the doors, many of them held open by passengers.... With over 96% on-time performance, SkyTrain is rapid, ready and reliable.
- "TransLink investigates train derailment". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
- Thomas, Sandra (August 5, 2005). "TransLink putting in tactile strips on Expo Line to help visually impaired". The Vancouver Courier. Archived from the original on September 11, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- "Podcast: the story of the SkyTrain chime". The Buzzer Blog (TransLink). December 1, 2008.
- "Buzzer Podcast: Voice of the SkyTrain". The Buzzer Blog (TransLink). October 20, 2008.
- "Equipment Limits of Approach - Contractor Safety While Working Near SkyTrain" (PDF). The British Columbia Rapid Transit Company Ltd. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "Burnaby/New Westminster Area Transit Plan Summary Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 9, 2005. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
- "Questions about Skytrain $". CBC News. May 25, 2000. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
- Pabillano, Jhenifer (July 3, 2009). "The Buzzer rides the first of the new SkyTrain cars!". TransLink. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
- "TransLink launches first Mark III train". TransLink. August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "New SkyTrain cars coming to Expo Line". NEWS 1130. August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "More passengers, less noise: TransLink unveils SkyTrain Mark III". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
- "28 new SkyTrain cars ordered to improve transit in Metro Vancouver". TransLink.ca. December 16, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "The Canada Line Factsheet – The Canada Line Vehicle" (PDF). Greater Vancouver Regional District. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- "TransLink Three-Year Plan and Ten-Year Outlook" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 2, 2005.
- "UBC Line Rapid Transit Study - Alternative Designs". TransLink. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- "Rapid Transit Office Millennium Line Extension". City of Vancouver. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
- "Rapid Transit Principles for the Broadway Corridor and the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study" (PDF). City of Vancouver. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
- "Millennium Line Broadway Extension Project". TransLink. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- Bula, Frances (July 2, 2015). "Vancouver-region voters reject sales-tax hike to fund transit projects". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on February 24, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- Chan, Kenneth (March 16, 2018). "It's official: Broadway Subway and Surrey LRT will be built in $7-billion transit plan". Daily Hive Vancouver. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- "UBC to advocate completion of rapid transit to campus". UBC News. April 19, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- Nagel, Jeff (January 16, 2008) "More SkyTrains for Surrey". Surrey North Delta Leader. Retrieved on: January 25, 2008.
- "Rapid Transit Principles for the Broadway Corridor and the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study". TransLink. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Skytrain, Vancouver's advanced rapid transit system". Thales Group. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SkyTrain (Vancouver).|
- TransLink — The transit authority that owns and operates SkyTrain
- Evergreen Line — The Province of British Columbia's page for the Evergreen Extension of the Millennium Line
- Millennium Line Extension — Preliminary study by the city of Vancouver
- Google map of SkyTrain Lines Vancouver — Map of Vancouver SkyTrain via Google Maps
- TransLink Police – Official website of South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service