Video & photos: Canada Line's opening day crush

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      On opening day of the Canada Line, the wait for a ride at Waterfront Station wound around the block.

      Why is the Canada Line not free all week?

      After high passenger numbers on opening day today (August 17), this will surely be the question people will ask TransLink and the provincial transportation ministry. Hindsight is 20-20, but there is still time for TransLink to bite the bullet, swallow the temporary loss of revenue, and extend free service until Friday.

      In one of his half-hourly e-mail updates, TransLink spokesperson Drew Snider noted at 4:02 p.m. this afternoon that the Canada Line was awaiting a rush hour “surge”. Lineups were already huge at many of the new stations and on the spiffy north-south trains prior to the onset of the afternoon rush.

      Canada Line traffic hit 30,000 passengers in three hours, Snider said, and this reporter was present just ahead of the rush-hour madness that was to come.

      The line’s debut could be seen as a success, but the free service coincides with a sunny day, and the gross numbers of people waiting for a chance to see the trains up close suggests this should have been a free service that went on as long as the sun did—or at least as long as this week.

      The Canada Line is free until 9 p.m. tonight. Regular, paid service starts tomorrow morning (August 18).

      Photos by Matthew Burrows



      Aug 17, 2009 at 5:26pm

      30,000 people on a Monday waiting for a free ride! Doesn't anybody work? Right - it is the 'Canada Line'.

      Evil Eye

      Aug 17, 2009 at 7:56pm

      Now why did TransLink not offer free rides on the weekend, just like every new transit line has done. Could it be they wanted the pro Liberal media to take it eyes off a certain railway corruption case before the courts?

      Could it be?


      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:53pm

      Probably cuz they need the money a weekend of fares would bring in.


      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:57pm

      Trying to get people to your real estate website Larry? Cheap way of doing it.