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Expo Line upgrades to total $1 billion: TransLink 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

The total budget to upgrade all 20 stations of the Expo Line and add to the SkyTrain fleet over the next three decades could cost $1 billion, according to TransLink.

Jeff Busby, a senior manager at TransLink, said late last week $164 million is already being spent to upgrade seven of the SkyTrain line’s stations.

Many of the upgrades are designed around improving station access points such as stairs and escalators, he said. Some platforms will receive new station houses. Four will have new large-capacity bike storage cages installed.

“Right now the line’s capable of moving 14,000 people per hour,” he said. “These station upgrades … would eventually allow the line to carry 25,000 people per direction.”

He said the money needed to upgrade the remainder of the line would require investments over 30 years.

“We don’t need the funding all at once … over time it could total about $1 billion of upgrades.”

The next major traffic disruption would be early next year to summer 2014, when regular service at Main Street Station will be halted for construction. Instead, “shuttle trains” connecting Commercial-Broadway and Waterfront, with a frequency of every 10 minutes, would stop there.  

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