Commuters rush aboard Evergreen Line for opening day

The long-awaited Skytrain extension will connect Tri-Cities to downtown Vancouver



The long-awaited Evergreen Line opened to the public at noon on Friday.

The 11-kilometre, $1.43-billion SkyTrain extension connects 70,000 Tri-cities residents per day with downtown Vancouver, according to Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Linda Reimer, making Vancouver’s fully automated rapid transit system the longest in the world.

The construction and rollout hasn’t been smooth sailing. Difficulties with the boring machine during a two-kilometre underground stretch in Port Moody led to long setbacks. The original target operating date was in late 2014, set by then-Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon in 2008. The province did, however, beat its latest goal of early 2017.

People who came out to the Coquitlam Centre Station for the inaugural public train ride said they’re glad the Evergreen Line finally here.

“It’s almost shocking that it’s here and ready to go,” said Coquitlam resident Ken Scherk, who came out with his family to try out the new line. “We’ve been waiting a long time.”

The extension runs from Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby, with stations in Coquitlam and Port Moody, the last being next to Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam. It will connect to express buses running to Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

TransLinks shared the cost with the provincial and federal governments via an additional two per cent gas tax started in 2011.

The NDP have criticized the long wait times for the Evergreen Line’s completion.

“Evergreen joins a long line of projects for Christy Clark that are late and over budget, in this case costing our transit system over a hundred million dollars that should have gone into improving services,” said NDP TransLink critic David Eby.

 


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

 

Just Posted

RCMP investigate two shootings in Surrey

Incidents happened in Whalley, Newton

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Cloverdale’s 5 most-read stories of the week, July 12–19

Mayor dissolves public safety committee, Surrey killer foiled by bar ID check, and more

Surrey RCMP, firefighters support Cloverdale boy’s lonely lemonade stand

Parker, 7, had few takers until Surrey first responders heard his call

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Man with gunshot wound walks into Langley hospital

Injury suffered in Surrey incident, police believe

Most Read