After months of delay, the Evergreen rapid transit extension connecting Vancouver to Coquitlam will be open to the public Dec. 2, government officials announced Monday.

Linda Reimer, MLA for Port Moody and Coquitlam, said the project is expected to carry 70,000 people every day by 2021.

“As a resident of this Tri-Cities community I understand how important this $1.43 billion rapid transit project is going to be for families, businesses, students, and visitors to our area,” she said. “This major construction milestone has been greatly anticipated by so many people,” she said.

Reimer said the project created 8,000 jobs and now that construction is complete, TransLink will train staff and complete final preparations before the line opens.

Pamela Findling, TransLink communications director, said the 11-kilometre extension with six new train stations will be a “major milestone.”

“When the extension opens Metro Vancouver will have the longest fully-automated driverless rapid transit system in the world,” she said.

TransLink announced a public awareness campaign with ads and posters to ensure people are aware of the changes and outreach staff will be on hand throughout the SkyTrain system from Nov. 21 to Dec. 22.

Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay said the extension opening will transform the community.

“This is probably the most exciting day we’ve had here in 150 years or so,” he said. “December 2, one of the great days that will stand out in the history of Port Moody."

Clay also acknowledged the challenges with the project calling it a “really, really tough go.” The extension was originally scheduled to open this summer before being pushed back to the fall. Officials blamed construction issues around the boring process, which led to sinkholes forming in nearby communities, for the last delay.

When the Evergreen Line is open, the Millennium Line will operate from VCC-Clark all the way to Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station in Coquitlam, with no transfer required.

Ron McKinnon, federal MP for Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, said the government of Canada contributed $424 million to the project, and will invest nearly $29 billion over 12 years in public transit systems across Canada.