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Vancouver's Canada Line opens with free rides

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Continuing on a subject that I have been following for years...

The SkyTrain line has opened just twenty something minutes ago in that Canadian city on the West Coast. 16 stations are inaugurated into service, providing a seamless commute for people on the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver corridor.


As a mode of celebration, all rides are free for today. But from tomorrow onwards, everyone has to pay.


News article from CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/08/17/bc-canada-line-opens-vancouver-richmond.html

Vancouver's Canada Line opens with free rides

Last Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009 | 9:16 AM PT

Tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out for the opening of the $2-billion Canada Line in Vancouver and Richmond on Monday afternoon.


Riders will be able to take a free ride between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. PT on the new rapid transit line. The route will provide alternating service between Vancouver and Richmond or the Vancouver International Airport in about 25 minutes — making it Canada's only rapid transit link from a city core to an airport.


Spokesman Drew Snider is warning people to expect long waits for the free rides, but said TransLink will provide entertainment at some of the stations.


"We've got buskers at various stations. I know Bridgeport's got various entertainers like Rod Stewart and Elvis. There's going to be line-dancing at the Richmond-Brighouse station," said Snider, referring to musical impersonators and other talent hired to entertain the crowds.


Premier Gordon Campbell and federal Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day will take part in a ceremony at the airport and will be among the Canada's Line first riders.


Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will join them at the Broadway-City Hall station, and VANOC CEO John Furlong will be getting on the line at the Olympic Village station.


The only park-and-ride lot located at the Bridgeport station will likely be very busy, Snider warned, and that's why TransLink is asking those who need to drive to their Canada Line stop to respect the parking rules around residences and businesses near the station.


Bikes will not be allowed on the train on Monday, but will be permitted at all times starting Tuesday when the first train leaves the waterfront station at 4:50 a.m., followed by another every four to six minutes.


Regular TransLink fares will also apply starting Tuesday. An undisclosed extra fare for riders heading to the airport stations will be added sometime in 2010.


Narrated slideshow: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/features/soundslides/canadaline/

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Sweet! Those Bombardier trains are definitely worth the ride!

The Canada Line, unlike other SkyTrain lines is using ROTEM trains. It is fully automated, but it uses traditional motors as opposed to the linear induction motors found on the Expo and Millennium lines.


You still get a large RFW though, :cool:

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Nice to see it is open, definently stopping at Canada next year on return trip from China to railfan this line, :P!

There will be an Airport Fare for the YVR Stations. I would recommend you to take a bus to Bridgeport (if there is still one) and then ride the Canada Line from there. Otherwise you will probably be slapped with an additional fare.

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I would not even take the train to my hotel, I'd rather just railfan from the city and a roundtip back into the city.

Well here's the tip, go before the Olympics. Because after December, things get REALLY hectic, you have people from all around the world swarming in. Some visitors will actually arrive during mid December (to spend Christmas and New Year there and what not). More importantly, after the Olympics, there are plans to implement the Airport surcharge fare.


There will probably be staff at Bridgeport and up and down the YVR branch checking for the Airport surcharge fare and I don't think "railfanning" is a good excuse. The number of these guys hanging around the system will disappear only when the Canada Line (as with other SkyTrain lines) get fare barriers, but that is not going to happen soon.


So I would suggest to you this, go around Thanksgiving or Christmas break. Before the Olympic visitors start to swarm the place. The Canada Line is your best way to go from the Airport to the city, hey $3.25 and 20 something minutes is really a good bet. And actually, here's an even better tip, get a DayPass or a weekly pass, that way you could ride through all three zones (IINM) for that specific period of time without fearing the fare inspector.

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