If you watch the Amazing Race Canada, you would have seen the contestants riding the Skytrain in Vancouver. Like them, we travelled from the airport to our hotel in downtown Vancouver. The cost? 9 dollars. On the train, we noticed places for bicycles. A man in a wheelchair sat across from us. John Coplan told us that he travels all
over the lower mainland by bus and train for 52 dollars a month. He finds Vancouver transit easy to get on.
The cost for us from the airport to downtown Vancouver, stopping below our hotel was 9 dollars. A bargain compared to the chartered bus after our cruise of 43 dollars each.
The Skytrain was fast and efficient. I was also interested in the open places for bikes and wheelchairs, the seats that flipped up individually for strollers
We got on the train on the “honour system” but I noticed that when we got on the Skytrain at other times, a notice at the entrance to the stations said that turnstiles were coming. Something the region should think about eventually with the Ion.
Skytrain City Centers
As part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference, I took a guided tour of the Skytrain system. Like my visit to Portland’s suburban stops, the Greater Vancouver area is building walkable and bikable towncentres along its stops outside the Vancouver city center. This is the same idea Waterloo Region has for Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge.
New Westminster has built shops and condos around its Skytrain stop, other towns are building condos, commercial and office, and bike and pedestrian trails. The most interesting stop was in Surrey. A failing shopping mall was revived by building a campus of Simon Fraser University and an office tower as a new part of the mall. The mall now has thriving shops. An athletic club is also beside the Skytrain stop. It is very easy to ride the Skytrain and transit is heavily used.I should note that city officials told us they would have preferred ground level LRT for Vancouver but the province insisted on the Skytrain. Getting up to the platform required stairs or an elevator. The trains came quite often. I also took a city bus to Granville Island for a dinner. No problem getting around Vancouver.