Renovation work on SkyTrain’s Metrotown Station has reached another major milestone ahead of the project’s full completion later this spring.
The station’s east stationhouse entrance – the approximate location of the now-demolished original entrance into the station – opened yesterday and it provides passengers with four new escalators. These escalators about 33 ft. tall, about a full storey shorter than the west stationhouse.
This adds to the central stationhouse entrance, which opened March 2017 with a staircase and high-speed elevators.
A second entrance, the west stationhouse, opened a month later with four super-tall escalators that are some of the highest in the province with a height of 43 ft – just a few feet shy of SkyTrain’s tallest escalators at Granville Station, which reach 46 ft.
Altogether, the rebuilt Metrotown Station now has eight escalators, three elevators, and a large main staircase.
Other improvements to the station as part of the $55.5 million retrofit include platform extensions on both ends of the station, new roof structures, improved lighting, better connections to buses, a new bike parkade, and other aesthetic upgrades.
However, a new replacement pedestrian overpass that provides a direct connection between the central stationhouse concourse level and both Station Square and Metropolis at Metrotown shopping mall is not in the horizon as it is dependent on approval and funding from the City of Burnaby, which is in favour of having passengers cross at street level.
The project has significantly increased the station’s capacity and accessibility as it previously only had one staircase, one up escalator, and one elevator, despite being one of the busiest stations on the transit system with 50,000 train passengers and 25,000 bus passengers per day.
A major capacity boost was needed not only to meet existing traffic volumes but also to provide the station with the capacity needed to accommodate future growth in the area from all the planned redevelopments, including the potential redevelopment of Metropolis at Metrotown.