Beginning on October 22 there will be a significant change to the Vancouver SkyTrain system. This change will make better use of rolling stock and also prepare the system for the long-awaited Evergreen extension to Coquitlam scheduled to open before the end of the year.
To help understand the changes we have made a GIF of the old map and the new map so you can easily visualize what is changing.
There is no doubt this change makes good sense. The old system where the Millenium Line ran around the city in a big loop, overlapping the Expo line from Waterfront Station to Columbia Station was aways a bit confusing, especially for out of town visitors.
Vancouver SkyTrain – What’s Changed
Under the new plan, the Expo and the Millennium Line will only overlap between two stations – Production Way/University and Lougheed Town Centre.
Travelling west from downtown Vancouver you’ll just have the Expo Line and you can transfer to the Millennium Line at Commercial/Broadway as you always would have since it would take longer to ride the Millennium Train all the way around the loop.
Coming from Vancouver, if travelling beyond Columbia Station the only difference is that instead of choosing between an Expo and Millennium line train you just choose a train based on your destination. If heading to Surrey, you will board a train destined for King George Station. If you’re not going across the river to Surrey, you will board a train destined for Production Way/University Station. If you accidentally board the wrong train you can still transfer at Columbia Station.
For trips on any portion of the Expo line that remain west of Columbia Station the destination of the train will not matter.
So why did they overlap the two lines between Lougheed Town Centre and Production Way/University? This is logical, as Production Way/University is a busy station serving 1000s of commuters heading to and from SFU. For those commuters heading east to Surrey or south into New Westminster, it eliminates the need to go one stop and change trains again. That will reduce congestion in Lougheed Town Centre Station and save time for many commuters.
When the new Evergreen extension opens later this year the Millennium Line Trains will simply continue all the way into Coquitlam which is great news. It will also allow us to add some new places to our website for tourists to check out.
The following video from Translink also provides a good conceptualization of the change.