VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Today marks ten years since passengers were first able to catch a ride on the Canada Line.
It took four years to build, with a price tag of more than $2 billion, and the 19 kilometre route wasn’t an automatic hit with taxpayers and some politicians.
TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy says while there was some uncertainty about ridership targets, the line is now a transit staple in Vancouver and Richmond.
“People didn’t think it would achieve the ridership targets we were planning. It really smashed those targets pretty much immediately,” he says, adding it’s clear it has become a ‘success story’ for the region.
“Back when this was being planned there were people who wanted it to be light rail,” he says “We went with the SkyTrain option because over the decade, it’s proven to be hugely popular and one of the big success stories for the region.”
In its first year, the Canada Line recorded more than 36 million boardings, and ridership continues to grow year over year. Murphy says since then, the average weekday ridership is 147,000 passengers, up five per cent from last year. He adds ridership is growing at YVR Airport Station, as there were three million boardings from the station, up 14 percent from last year.
“You’ve also got YVR, that’s been a success story in its own respect,” he says. But they did a survey last year and according to their numbers nearly one in three people are using transit to get to YVR. Of course the Canada Line plays an enormous role in that.”
The Canada Line received a Gold Award for Infrastructure from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships in 2009.