Expo Line Upgrade Strategy

If you regularly travel on the SkyTrain Expo Line, you know that at certain times you may face crowded trains, be left behind on a station platform because there isn’t enough room to board, or line up to exit stations. More than 200,000 people already ride the Expo Line each weekday and this number will increase over the next 30 years. Our population is growing and new rapid transit lines, such as the Evergreen Extension, will feed even more passengers into the Expo Line.

The Expo Line Upgrade Strategy* looks at ways to increase capacity on the Expo Line to match projected demand. It also supports the objective of the B.C. Government’s Provincial Transit Plan to double the capacity of the line. In the coming years, the strategy will shape future discussion about increasing the Expo Line's capacity and the investment decisions needed to make this happen.

*Note that this Strategy was completed in September 2010 and reflects work completed in 2009-2010. Please consider this when looking at dates in the report.


Expo Line Upgrade Strategy: Recommendations

The strategy looks at two possible ways to add capacity to the Expo Line – using either 4-car or 5-car trains exclusively – but recommends the 5-car option because it's the only way to deliver maximum capacity on the line. A final decision can be held off until 2015, after reviewing projected ridership at that time.

To meet the infrastructure needs (e.g. power supply, yard space, station capacity) for either option, the strategy recommends that all work taking place along the Expo Line (station upgrades, for example), should assume that the line will one day be used at its maximum capacity (5-car operations).


Costs and Next Steps

The total cost, spread over the next 30 years, is estimated at $850 million for the 4-car option and $1.1 billion for the 5-car option. These figures include the cost of more trains and required infrastructure upgrades.

The cost estimates also include station upgrades taking place over the next few years at several Expo Line stations where upgrades are needed. These upgrades are recommended in the Expo Line Upgrade Strategy and are included in TransLink's 2013 Base Plan. The provincial and federal governments are also contributing $160 million to upgrade these stations for improved capacity, accessibility and installation of faregates.

Visit our Station and Exchange Improvements section for more information about station upgrades.