TRANSLINK on Tuesday announced that it will be proceeding with a major upgrade to Burrard SkyTrain Station beginning in early 2022. The project will take approximately two years to complete and will require the closure of the station to allow the work to be done safely and more efficiently than were it to remain partially open during construction.
Burrard SkyTrain Station was originally built in 1985 and has not had a significant upgrade in its 36 years of operation. It is the fourth busiest station on the SkyTrain system and at peak times it is congested with only three escalators and one elevator to move people in and out. Station entrances are hard to access and the station will require upgrades to the electrical equipment in order to meet the power demands of the new station.
The upgrades to Burrard Station will:
- Double the number of escalators and elevators to provide greater accessibility and relieve congestion on platforms and at the concourse level;
- Relocate the Burrard Street entrance to align with the pedestrian crossing making it easier to get in and out of the station, and provide better access to buses along Dunsmuir;
- Redesign the station’s outdoor plaza to put pedestrian needs at the forefront; and,
- Upgrade the station’s power supply and mechanical systems.
“These significant upgrades are necessary to keep our transit system operating effectively and efficiently for our customers,” said TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo. “With more than 7.6 million annual boardings in 2019, Burrard Station is the fourth busiest station on our SkyTrain network. These upgrades will greatly improve the customer experience and as the region prepares to welcome one million new residents by the year 2050, this important project allows us to be prepared for additional future demand.”
To best manage construction during these important upgrades, Burrard Station will be closed for approximately two years starting in early 2022.
Closing the station during construction:
- Improves customer and worker safety by eliminating the risks of customer movement through a major, underground, active construction site;
- Minimizes confusion associated with multiple changes to customer travel patterns through numerous complex phases of construction;
- Reduces overall construction time for the project and therefore shortens impacts to customer travel by approximately two and a half years; and
- Provides cost savings of approximately $35 million.
TransLink will work with the City of Vancouver, and local businesses and residents to minimize impacts while it completes these upgrades.
Based on pre-COVID-19 ridership data, Waterfront and Granville Stations can accommodate the additional passenger flow during the Burrard Station closure. Additional bus service will also be added in the area to help minimize passenger impact.
To minimize impacts on our bus and HandyDART customers, bus service will remain largely the same throughout the construction period and HandyDART customers connecting to the Expo Line will have access at Waterfront Station.
As plans are finalized later this year, TransLink will provide more details to help ready customers for the start of construction in early 2022.