Northwest route chosen for TransLink Evergreen line

TransLink has selected the northwest route connecting Lougheed Town Centre with Coquitlam Town Centre through Port Moody for the Evergreen rapid transit line to the Vancouver suburbs of Port Moody and Coquitlam.

TransLink has selected the northwest route connecting Lougheed Town Centre with Coquitlam Town Centre through Port Moody for the Evergreen rapid transit line to the Vancouver suburbs of Port Moody and Coquitlam.

The announcement came at a news conference on Friday, where B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon and TransLink chair Dale Parker announced the route and the kind of train that will be used.

Minister Kevin Falcon told reporters the Tri-City route was cheaper, faster and had the support of all three mayors in Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Coquitlam.

The new line will use the existing SkyTrain-like technology, TransLink also confirmed on Friday. 

Falcon said in February that SkyTrain technology makes the best business sense for the Evergreen line, which will connect to an existing SkyTrain station in Burnaby that runs into Vancouver. The SkyTrain runs primarily on an elevated rail line.

A significant funding gap remains, as the project is estimated to cost $1.4 billion, and though the B.C. government has pledged $410 million, TransLink has already committed $400 million and the federal government has provided $67 million, there is still a funding shortfall of $523 million.

Falcon said he is still in talks with Ottawa for more funding, and may look at real estate development along the route.

In March, TransLink formed a real estate division in hopes of generating $30 million a year to go into the transit system. 

The line should be completed in 2014.