Canada Line set to open three months early
Metro Vancouver's rapid transit line is set to open three months ahead of schedule, according to the provincial government.
The Canada Line is expected to open by Labour Day weekend, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Friday morning.
Campbell trumpeted the new line, saying it will remove an estimated 200,000 one-way car trips from Lower Mainland roads on a daily basis.
"I want to thank the thousands of people involved in the construction of the Canada Line for their hard work and determination in getting this critical transit project completed as quickly as possible," he said.
"This project, which is on budget and ahead of schedule, is good news for our economy, our communities our tourism industry and will help us host the world for the 2010 Olympic Games," said Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day in a release.
Project and government officials took an inaugural test ride on the line from Waterfront Station to the YVR-Airport Station Friday morning.
Although the train is running, there is still much work to be done. Finishing work is still being completed at most stations and a concrete start date has not been set.
The $2 billion Canada Line project has come under heavy fire from merchants along the Cambie Street corridor, who say lost revenue during construction has hurt their businesses.
On March 18, B.C.'s former finance minister Carole Taylor testified at a civil trial launched by business owner Susan Heyes, who alleges her woman's clothing shop at Cambie and 16th has lost nearly a million dollars because of the project.
Taylor told the court that "the construction was far more disruptive than anyone had anticipated," and says when she realized the full financial impact on businesses she tried to bring owners' concerns to project officials but got nowhere.