Thirty years ago today, SkyTrain opened to much fanfair in advance of Expo 86.
A promotional video of the day (watch it above) predicted it would become “everybody’s people mover” and herald “a whole new way of city living” with driverless trains and payment “all on the honour system, random inspectors to keep us honest.”
And arguaby it has transformed Metro Vancouver, most notably by the massive residential development of downtown Vancouver and near many stations along the lines.
The rapid transit system has expanded from an initial 22 kilometres just to New Westminster to a 68-kilometre network crossing the Fraser River to Surrey and running to Richmond and YVR. Next year the Evergreen Line extension will push it up to 79 kilometres and 53 stations.
It remains one of the most notable legacies of then-Premier Bill Bennett, who died last week. (Read more about Bennett here.)
Here are some of SkyTrain’s major milestones, courtesy of The Buzzer:
• 1986 SkyTrain opens for regular revenue service
• 1989 – 1994 – three Expo Line expansion projects built – adding service to Surrey with King George Station as the terminus station.
• 2002 – Millennium Line officially opens – operating along the Expo Line to New Westminster Station and adding new service between Columbia Station and Commercial-Broadway.
• 2006 – Millennium Line service is extended to its current terminus station, VCC-Clark.
• 2009 – Canada Line opens connecting downtown Vancouver with Richmond and YVR airport.
• 2017 – A fourth SkyTrain line – the Evergreen Extension – is scheduled to open in early 2017.