Escalators that ascend and descend will be coming to all of the new stations being built for the Evergreen extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line.
The six new stations and the new third platform at Lougheed Town Centre Station will boast both up and down escalators to every level of a station structure, marking the first time planners have made this a design priority for an entire SkyTrain extension.
The move to improve station accessibility acknowledges the aging baby-boom generation, which will result in a significant growth of the senior population – those aged 65 and over – over the coming decades.
Currently, most of the stations along the existing Expo, Millennium and Canada lines are built with only up escalators. Only a handful of existing stations have both up and down escalators.
“As long as space allows, our practice with all new and/or upgraded stations is to provide both up and down escalators, for the convenience of our customers,” Chris Bryan told Vancity Buzz.
For the Canada Line, up and down escalators were not considered to keep construction costs at a minimum. At some station locations, further land acquisitions would have been required.
However, space has already been set aside at Vancouver City Centre and Yaletown-Roundhouse Stations to allow for the future installation of additional escalators between the platform level and the ticketing concourse – right next to the staircases.
The $1.43-billion Evergreen Line project is currently scheduled for an opening in early-2017. The project was previously delayed twice due to issues with the tunnel boring project, which was completed late last year, but contractor SNC Lavalin will be responsible for picking up any extra costs incurred.
The extension is expected to attract 50,000 riders per day upon opening and 70,000 riders per day by 2021. The 11-kilometre-long extension will increase the length of SkyTrain to 80 kilometres, making it Canada’s longest rail rapid transit system and the world’s longest automated rapid transit system.