Major service increases for SkyTrain, Bus and SeaBus

24 new SkyTrain cars, 40,000 more annual bus hours, SeaBus capacity up 50%

Photo by Chandra Bodalia

JUST ahead of the busiest week of the year for commuters, TransLink is increasing SkyTrain, bus, and SeaBus service to help increase capacity and lower wait times. For the first time ever, increases are being made to all three of those modes at one time as a result of significant investments from all levels of government.

“We know that the first week of September is the busiest week of the year for commuters,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “That’s why we’ve timed these increases to do our part in reducing congestion. Whether it’s SkyTrain, bus or SeaBus, these changes will help reduce wait-times for our customers all across the region.”

TransLink introduces service changes every three months to reflect seasonal demand and to bring more service where customers need it most.

“We’re very pleased to support these important enhancements that help address growing ridership throughout Metro Vancouver,” says Terry Beech, MP for Burnaby North–Seymour. “Investing in public transit is essential to creating strong sustainable communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. This service increase will allow residents to spend less time commuting and more quality time with their loved ones.”

Funding for expanded transit service is made possible through contributions from Phase One of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision, the Province of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada.

“More transit service means more options to keep people moving around Metro Vancouver – whether it’s by SkyTrain, bus, or SeaBus,” says Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “Improving service across the transit spectrum is a critical part of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision and aligns with our government’s commitment to help build liveable, connected communities across British Columbia.”

“Public transit provides key links around our region,” says Mayor of Burnaby Mike Hurley. “We are heading into one of the busiest travel weeks of the year and these increases couldn’t come at a better time. We are seeing the plan outlined in the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision become reality.”

The following increases will take place beginning September 3:


  • 24 new SkyTrain cars in service (six trains)
  • Five per cent capacity increase on Expo Line during peak times
  • Nine per cent capacity increase on Millennium Line during peak times


There will be 12 permanent bus service increases to key routes to help alleviate overcrowding with the addition of over 40,000 total service hours.

Key changes include:

503 (Langley Centre/Surrey Central): upgraded to a limited-stop express service

  • Monday to Friday
    • Service every eight to nine minutes during peak times
    • Every 10 to 15 minutes during day-time off-peak hours

301 (Newton Exchange/Brighouse Station)

  • Weekdays
    • Every 30 minutes from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • New double-decker buses (starting October)
    • Almost double the capacity
    • USB charging outlets
    • Panoramic views from the upper deck

N17 (Downtown/UBC NightBus): to help improve late-night connections to UBC

  • Half hour service until 5:00 a.m. (toward downtown)
  • Half hour service until 4:30 a.m. (toward UBC)

Other popular routes receiving permanent increases:

5 Robson/Downtown, 

6 Davie/Downtown, 

7 Nanaimo Station/Dunbar, 

19 Metrotown Station/Stanley Park, 

49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar Loop/UBC, 

99 Commercial-Broadway/UBC, 

112 Edmonds Station/New Westminster Station, 

116 Edmonds Station/Metrotown Station and 

342 Newton Exchange/Langley Centre.

These increases are in addition to the annual return to regular service levels for post secondary institution routes.


  • Introducing 10-minute sailings for the first time ever during peak hours
    • Weekdays from 7 – 9:30 a.m. and 3 – 6:30 p.m.
    • 50 per cent higher capacity during peak hours