An additional SkyTrain station on the Canada Line’s existing route in Richmond is one big step closer to becoming a reality following a funding decision made by Richmond City Council earlier this week.
The City of Richmond will provide TransLink with $3.5 million to launch the design and planning phase for the new Capstan Way Station located between Capstan Way and Sea Island Way – between Aberdeen Station and Bridgeport Station – serving the new dense residential district being built in the area.
This includes $1.1 million towards preliminary design, with the remainder for the detailed design work to come.
Overall, the entire station project – including all design work – is currently expected to cost $27.79 million, and it is being entirely funded by developments in the area.
In 2012, the municipal government made an agreement with developers to permit extra density in exchange for funding for the proposed station. These new developments are expected to house between 13,000 and 16,000 people upon completion.
As of this fall, the contribution for each new residential unit built in the area, in developments built by developers such as Concord Pacific, Pinnacle International, Yuanheng, and Polygon, is $8,562.97. The rate is adjusted to inflation each October.
The municipal government says $19.36 million has already been raised, which means the project is nine years ahead of schedule in its 15-year funding timeline.
At this rate, the full funding could be achieved as early as spring 2018, meaning it took just six years to raise the capital needed. When this occurs, a report will be sent to City Council to determine whether extra funding is required to fulfill the station design plan.
While there is no established design at this very early stage, the City already has some design parameters set for the station.
The station could be integrated with the adjacent developments on the lower level, similar to the relationship between the Marine Gateway mixed-use development and the adjacent Marine Drive Station. An integration with the platform level is currently not desired.
Concord is the developer for the development site immediately adjacent to the station.
“This design would feature continuous weather protection and a seamless walking surface and appearance of surroundings to enhance passenger convenience, comfort and safety which is strongly supported by all parties,” reads a City staff report.
“TransLink is very supportive of an integrated design concept at the ground level provided that any necessary additional lands are provided and incremental integration costs are funded by sources other than TransLink. Depending on the final detailed design, it is possible that a ground level integrated station model may incur additional costs versus a standalone station.”
Preliminary design work will determine the land requirements needed for the additional station as well as development integration possibilities.
Furthermore, the 2012 funding agreement states Capstan Way Station must use the existing Aberdeen and Lansdowne stations as the minimum design quality standard.
Additionally, depending on the availability of land and space, TransLink has established both up and down escalators as the new standard for its SkyTrain stations – a standard that began with the Evergreen extension’s stations and the Expo Line station upgrades.
Most of the existing Canada Line stations were built with just up escalators to limit construction costs.
Capstan Way Station is just one of four possible additional stations on the Canada Line.
Other stations are slated for the Cambie Corridor at 33rd Avenue and 57th Avenue, but construction will likely be significantly more costly and disruptive as both of these Vancouver sites are underground. Local developer Onni Group is expected to fund the construction of 57th Avenue Station as part of its Pearson Dogwood redevelopment.
Sea Island could also receive an additional station between YVR Airport Station and Sea Island Centre Station as part of a future Vancouver International Airport terminal expansion option that expands the terminal building east of the existing transborder terminal.
The inclusion of additional stations into the train system will not compromise the terminus to terminus travel time – Waterfront to Brighouse or YVR Airport – of 25 minutes.
The Canada Line’s trains are capable of running at higher speeds, but the service is currently operating at slower speeds to maintain frequency schedules.
There are currently 16 stations along the whole Canada Line route.