Seats hard to come by on popular Canada Line
Ten months after the first train left the station, the Canada Line SkyTrain is already packed with riders, and TransLink is fighting to keep up with the demand.
Since starting up last August, the line has exceeded even the wildest ridership expectations, averaging about 5,300 passengers every hour.
Original projections had 100,000 riders taking the line every day by 2013. Less than a year into operation, that landmark number is already very close in sight.
"We thought we'd carry in the mid-80s -- about 80,000 people a day. In fact, for the month of May, we're averaging about 95,000 people a day," TransLink Executive Vice President Doug Kelsey told CTV News.
TransLink has said that it will order more cars to keep up with the demand, but for now, all it can do it tweak the existing system to try to keep people moving.
"We're going to be doing a review here in the not-too-distant future, and as part of that review we'll be looking at what adjustments can we make around the frequency between trains," Kelsey said.
More existing trains could also be put into service -- currently, 14 of 20 Canada Line trains are in operation. By the end of next summer, 16 will be running.
TransLink is optimistic the line's success might help fast-track other projects, like the long awaited Evergreen Line to Coquitlam. Despite being announced more than a decade ago, the $1.4-billion project remains stuck in the planning stage.
Minister of Transportation Shirley Bond said that the roaring success of the Canada Line has reinvigorated the province's interest in the Evergreen Line.
"We are far exceeding targets that were expected and I can assure you it gives us renewed motivation to build the Evergreen Line," she told CTV News.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart