On 22 February transport authority TransLink announced that new metro cars will be ordered for delivery three years ahead of schedule. The move aims to boost capacity and frequency amid fast-growing ridership in the Vancouver area.
Along with its provincial and federal partners, TransLink (also known as South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority) are accelerating the purchase of 28 additional SkyTrain cars on the Expo and Millennium Lines.
By 2020, a total of 80 new cars are to be available for use on the system: 28 for the Expo and Millennium line cars by early 2019, 28 additional Expo and Millennium line cars by the end of 2019 and 24 Canada Line cars by the end of 2020.
Bombardier will supply the Expo and Millennium cars; Hyundai Rotem those for the Canada Line.
TransLink expects the additional 80 SkyTrain cars will increase capacity by about 10% for the Expo Line, 23% for the Millennium Line and 30% for the Canada Line.
In 2017 alone, ridership grew by more than 12% on the Expo and Millennium lines, and over 6% on the Canada Line.
2017 was the first year that Expo/Millennium boardings exceeded 100 million (105.12 million boards).
The order, costing 298m Canadian dollars, is funded through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), itself funded by the Government of Canada at 50%, Province of British Columbia at 33% and TransLink at 17%.