UPDATE 3/28/22: TransLink has scrapped its plans to close Burrard Station for two years and is tightening the scope of upgrades. Read more about the change of plans HERE.
Public transit users in downtown Vancouver who use Burrard SkyTrain Station will find themselves adjusting their routes for about two years starting in early 2022.
TransLink announced Tuesday (July 13) the transit agency is going ahead with a "major upgrade" plan for the 36-year-old station. To facilitate the upgrades, Burrard Station will be closed down completely for approximately two years.
The closure is necessary "to allow the work to be done safely and more efficiently than were it to remain partially open during construction," explains TransLink in a media release.
Burrard Station was one of 15 original stations built and opened as part of SkyTrain's Expo Phase I, which ran from Waterfront to New Westminster. Constructed in 1985 and opened in January 1986, Burrard SkyTrain Station "has not had a significant upgrade in its 36 years of operation," says TransLink, noting currently it is "the fourth busiest station on the SkyTrain system."
Citing hard-to-access station entrances and congestion at peak times, TransLink is planning the following upgrades that will:
- Double the number of escalators and elevators to provide greater accessibility and relieve congestion on platforms and at the concourse level;
- Relocate the Burrard Street entrance to align with the pedestrian crossing making it easier to get in and out of the station, and provide better access to buses along Dunsmuir;
- Redesign the station’s outdoor plaza to put pedestrian needs at the forefront; and,
- Upgrade the station’s power supply and mechanical systems.
“These significant upgrades are necessary to keep our transit system operating effectively and efficiently for our customers,” said TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo. “With more than 7.6 million annual boardings in 2019, Burrard Station is the fourth busiest station on our SkyTrain network. These upgrades will greatly improve the customer experience and as the region prepares to welcome one million new residents by the year 2050, this important project allows us to be prepared for additional future demand.”
TransLink says closing the station for two years will save $35 million. The transit agency will be working with the City of Vancouver, and local businesses and residents "to minimize impacts" during the upgrades.
To accommodate Burrard Station riders, TransLink will have SkyTrain customers use Waterfront and Granville stations, and will also implement additional bus service in the area to help move passengers.
TransLink has released the following video about the project: