TransLink to roll out 80 more SkyTrain, Canada Line cars by 2020

The transit authority is accelerating delivery of 56 cars to the Expo and Millennium lines, with 24 more Canada Line cars expected to come online.

$298-million investment is expected to increase space for an additional 8,200 passengers per hour

TransLink is accelerating delivery of 56 SkyTrain cars, with another 24 new cars planned for the Canada Line. (Atomic Taco, via Wikimedia Common)

TransLink will add 80 cars to its SkyTrain and Canada Line networks over the next two years. 

The transit authority is accelerating delivery of 56 cars to the Expo and Millennium lines. The first 28 cars will be delivered by early 2019 and the remaining will come by the end of 2019. 

The SkyTrain cars, which are supplied by Bombardier, are coming three years ahead of schedule as part of the $2-billion first phase of the Metro Vancouver mayors' 10-year transportation vision. 

Another 24 Canada Line cars will be made available in 2020 as part of a procurement agreement with Rotem. 

The 56 SkyTrain cars will cost $210 million and the Canada Line cars $88 million.

The funding is coming from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, half of which is covered by the federal government. 

The province is pitching in 33 per cent and TransLink will pay for the remaining 17 per cent. 

'Back-to-back record years' 

The move is expected to increase space for an additional 8,200 passengers per hour on the SkyTrain network. 

"We wanted to make it a priority to get relief for our customers as quickly as possible," said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond at the Friday announcement, which was attended by government officials including Premier John Horgan.  

The Expo Line's capacity will grow by 10 per cent, he said. The Millennium Line's capacity will increase by 23 per cent, while the Canada Line will see up to 30 per cent growth. 

Desmond said commuters will experience shorter wait times and fewer pass-ups from full trains. 

Transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has seen "back-to-back record years," Desmond said. 

Ridership in 2017 grew by more than 12 per cent on the Expo and Millennium lines and over 6 per cent on the Canada Line. 

Metro Vancouver is expected to have more than 1.2 million new residents over the next 30 years. 

"As the region to grows, it's absolutely vital that we continue to improve our transit infrastructure," Desmond said.