Evergreen extension opens doors to public
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
The long awaited Evergreen extension finally opened to the public on December 2.
Passengers lined up for hours to take a trip on the new line. Celebrations near the new stations, with elegant and cultural plazas and artwork, started at 10:30 a.m., with the largest of the celebrations taking place at Coquitlam Central Station. The trains began operating through the Evergreen extension at 12 p.m.
Premier Christy Clark was one of many public figures present at the opening of the extension, and rode on the inaugural ride, along with other government officials and mayors.
“When people start to see how they’re going to get home faster, and they see that their travel time is cut by about half, we’re going to see people flocking—to not just take this transit, but to become members of the incredible, beautiful communities that are growing here,” Clark said to CTV.
The path that led to the opening of the Evergreen extension was a difficult one. After years of proposals and planning—including delaying the project in lieu of creating the Canada Line—construction on the line began in 2013.
Issues during construction delayed the project to open in Summer 2017. However, with hard work, the train was able to begin operating this December, and under budget.
The trains to Coquitlam will operate every 3–5 minutes during peak hours, and every 7–8 minutes outside of peak hours.
The opening of the extension also marked a milestone for Metro Vancouver and TransLink. Now that the Evergreen is operating, the SkyTrain network is the longest automated rapid transit network in the world.
Evergreen will also lead to changes in traffic around the entire transit network. The 97 B-line will cease to operate, as Evergreen replaces its service route.
Commercial-Broadway and Lougheed will also be experiencing more traffic in the next several weeks, as the two are the connections between the Expo line and Millennium line. TransLink began preparing for the changes in traffic in October by dividing the Expo line to have two terminus stations (King George and Production Way-University).
Passengers can expect trains to Coquitlam to be crowded in the first few weeks of their operation before leveling off to normal levels.
“[The Evergreen Line] can be seen as a beginning for how we’re going to be investing in transit, particularly in Vancouver, like with the Broadway subway line,” said Isaiah Bemrose-Fetter, a transit user, to the Vancouver Sun. “We so need it.”