604 Now

Translink Shuts Down Extending Skytrain Hours On Weekends

skytrain extended hours

Photo: Benjamins Shutter / Flickr

Just last month, a petition was launched to “Keep Vancouver SkyTrains open until 3:10 a.m. on weekends,” by a Burnaby resident. The petition argues that the last SkyTrain leaves downtown Vancouver at 1:25am, which is unreasonable as most bars and clubs are open until 3:00am.

The petition also points out that with two extra hours, two times a week, the extension would help combat drunk driving – a rising concern in the 604.

Within the past month, the petition has collected nearly 7,000 names online, with a goal of reaching 7,500.

Translink however is stopping the petitions momentum in its tracks, and shutting the doors on the possibility of extended hours on weekends.

In an e-mail to the Province, Translink spokesman Chris Bryan points out that Translink needs non-service hours for maintenance work.

“We try to schedule all critical maintenance during our non-service hours to minimize impacts to the travelling public,” said Bryan, who also pointed out that the Tube in London, for example, sometimes closes tracks for an entire weekend for maintenance, “which we avoid by scheduling maintenance at night.”

Translink also believes that passengers in need of late night transportation are well served by the NightBus, which operates every 30 minutes, 7 days a week, and offers 12 routes leaving downtown Vancouver. One of the popular NightBus routes is the N19 Surrey Central/Downtown, which somewhat travels in the path of the Expo Line, and offers stops outside downtown, Metrotown, New West, Scott Road, and Surrey Central stations.

According to Translink, 2.5 hours of maintenance takes place every night for the 80 kilometres of track. However, it still seems a little unreasonable. The earliest SkyTrain travelling out of Waterfront on Saturday is just after 6:00am, and just after 7:00am on Sundays – giving Translink plenty of time for maintenance.

As with any organization, we’re sure Translink has its own timely schedule, but finding a way to give the community what it wants will go a long way in its current struggle to win back the people’s trust.


Image via Paul Brand / 604 Now Flickr Pool

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