Vancouver opens innovative rail line
Vancouver is officially the first Canadian city to make a direct transit link to a major airport. The SkyTrain just unveiled their new “Canada Line.”
The cost of the project was $2 billion and was spread between all three levels of government, with Ottawa pumping in the most funds.
It was designed with Vancouver’s hosting of the 2010 Olympics in mind and was completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
TransLink is the company that has operated the SkyTrain for the last 10 years.
Ken Hardie a spokesperson for TransLink said that it was because of the dedicated people working on the project that it has been so successful.
“Everything has simply exceeded expectations,” he said.
The SkyTrain’s ridership has been steadily increasing since the first line opened in the 1980s and it is expected to break 300,000 passengers daily by 2010.
Jeff Casello, a professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning, believes that projects like this are important to the growth of a city.
“A rail connection to the airport certainly makes things much more convenient and makes the access into the city much more readily available,” he said.
This development of Vancouver’s transit will be the key to keeping the city accessible because the population is expected to take on one million more people by 2030.
By population, Vancouver is Canada’s third largest city and Vancouver International
Airport is the country’s second busiest airport.
Toronto ranks number one in each of these categories but has no plans to incorporate their own transit link to Pearson.
It has a lot of experts like Casello realized how far Toronto has fallen behind.
“It’s really unbelievable at this point. Given the amount of volume that goes through Pearson on a daily basis, the fact that you can’t get there from the downtown by rail is really surprising.”
In fact, as Casello points out, the majority of Canada seems to be falling behind the rest of the world.
“Nearly every European city, you land in has a direct train into the downtown core.”
Currently there are no plans in motion for the rest of Canada’s largest cities.