Riders react: TransLink proposes 203 Skytrain cars with “sideways” seating

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skytrain cars
The Bangkok Mass Transit System , known as BTS or Skytrain, is an elevated rapid transit system in Bangkok. / Shutterstock

TransLink is asking for the public’s input as to how the new SkyTrain cars should be designed, but their survey doesn’t provide a great deal of options.

And, while each selection may have some positive aspects, a number of respondents feel frustrated by the choices.

For one thing, there aren’t that many options. There are really only a couple of major seating layouts proposed, and a number of people feel frustrated with the lack of selection.

TransLink plans to purchase an additional 203 SkyTrain cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines, which will arrive in 2023–2024.

When asked about choices included of the survey, TransLink provided the following statement to Vancouver Is Awesome in an email:

“If you take the survey, there is an open ended comment box at the end. This survey is exploring perimeter seating and flex spaces, but we are always open to feedback on how to improve customer experience.”

And while the space does allow for general comments, the survey itself was specifically focused on a couple of layouts. As such, some riders are concerned that these are the only areas TransLink plans to focus on.

“I completed the survey but I wondered why there isn’t an option to comment about the Canada Line cars? That’s the primary line I use and I do have lots of thoughts about it. Will this be a survey in the near future?”  wrote on Twitter in response TransLink.

Another user mentions how the heat is on too much on the trains:

“Overhead baggage rack please, and reduce the heat inside all trains and buses during winter, because more people equal to more heat generated. Thank you,” replied  on Twitter to TransLink. 

Tjoko’s image, as shown above on Twitter, shows the overhead baggage rack on a train. While this option would save space, it may pose some safety risk, such as falling baggage.

One of the proposed ideas is the perimeter, or sideways, seating arrangement. Numerous riders have shared their thoughts about this arrangement on social media. A number of people feel that it frees up space and creates less congestion during peak travel times. In contrast, other riders say it is uncomfortable, less private, and poses problems for elderly people or people with disabilities.

You may engage with TransLink in-person at one of the following public information sessions:

  • Waterfront Station: January 15, 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Lougheed Town Centre Station: January 16, 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • King George Station: January 17, 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Metrotown Station: January 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

You may take the survey here.