What’s bugging me about the Canada Line

I’ve been riding transit more than usual this fall and it’s been mostly the “Canada Line” subway from Oakridge to Georgia St. and back with occasional stops at most of the stations along the way. It’s a bit of love/hate thing. They’re “real” metro cars, I suppose. Reasonably comparable to the cars on the new line in Munich, for example. There’s been lots of talk. Everyone says it’s scandalous that the station platforms are too short so they can’t expand but that’s a red herring. Modern train systems can run with very short intervals between trains. That’s how they’ll up the capacity.

No, it’s not the short trains, it’s the crappy, cheap, unfriendly station designs that basically say, “you aren’t worth spending the money on”. Look at this metro station in Lisbon. Now *that* is what metro stations are supposed to look like. Lisbon, in little old poor-cousin-of-Europe Portugal can build grand metro stations that tell the passengers that they’re worth something. Us? No, we get the cheapest possible small cramped station with the least possible exits, several of them with no adequate bus transfer zones and no alternate exits on the other side of the street (even though there are *emergency* exits on the far side, but no exits that people can actually use).

To top it off, translink had the brilliant idea of re-routing the busses from South Delta and White Rock so they dump all their passengers onto the Canada line at rush hour. Brilliant, the service is immediately full without  attracting any new transit riders and no cars have been taken off the street. Thanks, BC Liberals, for ramming this through!


  1. the only regret i have leaving vancouver, is i could have taken the new line to the airport rather than a taxi, as the plane was an hour late. i hear there is no metro signage in the airport terminal

    baden | January 4, 2010 # 11:06 pm
  2. […] as soon as I arrive  but, actually, I love the idea of huge underground tunnels and stations and compared to our puny stations in Vancouver, it all makes me jealous even if it is mostly likely that they have to spend all this […]

    The Digital Cobbler » Blog Archive » Big tunnels for more trains | November 6, 2013 # 5:53 pm
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