Evergreen Line set for early opening
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
Transit users in Coquitlam are getting an early Christmas present this year, as TransLink announced on September 8 that the Evergreen Line will now be open before Christmas, instead of the previously projected opening for Spring 2017.
The Evergreen Line has experienced a lot of delays in its construction. Originally set for a Summer 2016 opening, problems that arose during the construction phases—such as sinkholes and tunnel boring—delayed the opening to Fall 2016, and then to Spring 2017.
However, Transportation Minister Todd Stone said in a news release that the project was now 90 per cent complete.
While the exact date of the opening has yet to be announced, TransLink is already rolling out new information about how the new line will affect the transit network. Evergreen Line will operate beyond Lougheed–Town Centre station in Burnaby, through Burquitlam and Port Moody, to its terminus station of Lafarge Lake-Douglas, located near the David Lam campus. As a result, the 97 B-Line will cease its operation, and its buses will be sent to service other areas around Metro Vancouver.
The opening of the Evergreen Line will also change the boundaries of both the Expo and Millennium Lines. The Millennium Line will no longer operate from Waterfront. Instead, it will operate between VCC–Clark and Lougheed–Town Centre. As a result of this change, the Expo Line will now have two terminus stations—its original terminus at King George, but a new terminus at Production Way-University. Dual service will run between Production Way–University and Lougheed–Town Centre.
When the Evergreen Line opens, Metro Vancouver will be host to the longest automated rapid-transit system in the world.
“This milestone achievement is to be celebrated not only for the transportation needs it meets, but also for providing the necessary support to enable the growth of affordable, interconnected, and sustainable communities in the region,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development, in a press release.
The opening of the Evergreen Line will have a major impact on those living in Coquitlam and beyond.
“This vital public transportation improvement project will make the City of Coquitlam a more inclusive and sustainable city. It is thanks to projects like the one being celebrated today that Canadian communities will remain among the best places in the world to live, work, and raise a family,” expressed Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi in a press release.
For one, the line will make Douglas College more accessible than ever before, and will make it easier for students to take classes at both campuses.
As well, more people can be expected to leave their cars at home and opt to take transit instead. Along with announcing a closer opening, the provincial government announced that it would be investing an addition $5 million towards more parking spaces around the new stations, mainly at Lafarge Lake-Douglas.