Beginning this week, transit users will get an easier ride.
TransLink is rolling out the first of service improvements in Phase One of a 10-year program to upgrade public transportation in Metro Vancouver.
The improvements include extended weekday peak hour service for the Expo and Millennium Lines of SkyTrain.
Mid-day and early service on weekends will also increase on both rapid transit lines.
For Canada Line, there will be an 11 percent increase in passenger capacity during peak periods.
In addition, TransLink is doubling SeaBus service on Sundays and holidays. This means sailings every 15 minutes, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation approved Phase One improvements totalling $2 billion on November 23, 2016.
To fund the improvements, TransLink is increasing fares over the next three years, starting in July 2017.
Property taxes will also increase to help raise $1.3 billion as TransLink’s share in Phase One of the plan. The federal and provincial governments are chipping in for the balance.
TransLink will also sell surplus property, and cut costs. A new regional development levy will also contribute to the agency’s share.
“The service improvements we’re launching today make space for 185,000 more people on our transit system each week,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said in a media release Tuesday (January 17).
According to the news release, the improvements will “begin to reduce wait times and crowding”.
For riders, this means that peak level service will end 15 minutes later in the morning on the Expo and Millennium Lines. Service on the two lines will also last one hour longer around the afternoon and evening rush.
The Canada Line will have more frequent service during peak hours on weekdays.
TransLink will also hire and train new staff to run SeaBus at full capacity. Later this year, SeaBus will sail every 15 minutes every day.
More details here.