The Canada Line rapid transit system is expected to open earlier than expected, possibly as soon as mid-August. That's nearly four months ahead of schedule.

Expected to cost around $2 billion, it will make Vancouver the first Canadian city to have a rapid transit link between its downtown core and its airport.

The massive project is expected to change the way tens of thousands of commuters get around the Lower Mainland area.

But before it can open, there are still plenty of finishing touches being done at all the stations along the Canada Line route.

"I think people have been seeing the trains run as we've been testing them,'' said Steve Crombie, spokesman for InTransit BC, the company contracted to build and help fund the project.

" I think there has been a lot of curiosity and interest in what is this thing and how does it work."

"We have 19 kilometres of line and 16 stations,'' he said.

Once the system opens, each one-way fare to and from Vancouver International Airport is expected to cost between $5 and $6.

Travelling at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour, it will take passengers 25 minutes to get from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver to the airport.

Transportation engineers and planners at the City of Vancouver say the Canada Line is expected to help ease traffic congestion, by getting more commuters out of cars, cutting pollution.

At full capacity, each Canada Line train will hold 400 passengers. They will be running trains every three minutes during peak service. The cars are much wider than SkyTrain, allowing them to accommodate luggage.

Travellers will ride for free on opening day, which could come as early as mid-August.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger