Translink’s Skytrain Announcements Disappoint, Yet Again

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North Shore Rapid-Transit Line

After a week of speculation, and hope, Translink has revealed new changes, but have left many disappointed and wanting more.

The biggest improvement almost everyone wanted — skytrains running later into the night, if not all night — was resoundingly rejected.

RELATED: Opinion: 24/7 Transit Would Revolutionize Metro Vancouver Nightlife

This follows a year long study into running skytrains all night Fridays and Saturdays, and the implications of such a change. Their conclusion, summarized by Translink CEO Kevin Desmond: “Running SkyTrain all night on weekends would negatively affect more customers than it helps due to the significant scheduling and cost trade-offs required.”

He would elaborate that what makes this change difficult is the fact that our transit system is 30 years old, which requires much more maintenance than a newer system, and, accordingly, more manpower. Compound this with the amount of boardings this change would draw, which the study estimated to be less than 700,000, and the trade-off becomes even less desirable.

Regardless, many are still disappointed.

Possibly in anticipation of this, the new improvements they did announce appear to be attempts to address this disappointment. Mainly: an increase in Night Bus operations. Starting September 2nd, trips will be increased on the following routes:

  • N19: (Surrey-Vancouver)
  • N17: (Downtown-UBC)

More additions to Night Bus services will be announced at a later date, and Translink is also exploring express-buses that would mimic skytrain routes. Whether those changes will be impactful, and whether or not people will be happy about them, remains to be seen.

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