| Code: 59479 |

TIN news:       Transport operator TransLink and the governments of Canada and British Columbia (BC) have announced the start of upgrades at Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain stations to improve accessibility, capacity, safety and security.
 
Construction work has already been initiated at Metrotown, Commercial-Broadway and New Westminster stations.
 
For the C$66.6m ($51.3m) Commercial-Broadway Station upgrade, the Canadian Government is contributing C$9.4m ($7.2m), BC is contributing C$18.8m ($14.4m), and TransLink is contributing C$38.4m ($29.5m).
 
The Commercial-Broadway Station is the busiest station on the network with 90,000 rapid transit trips and 60,000 bus trips a day using the 99 B-Line and two other frequent bus routes. The station upgrade is expected to complete by early 2017.
"Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain system belongs to the citizens of this region."
 
When the Evergreen Line opens, the number of passengers using the station is expected to increase.
 
The upgrades to be carried out at this station include a new platform for westbound Expo Line trains, a new pedestrian walkway over Broadway connecting to the Millennium Line and the westbound 99 B-Line stop.
 
Scope of work will also include widening of the walkway that provides access to the north station platforms, construction of new elevators and escalators, an expanded Broadway concourse, widened entrances to the Broadway Station and a new bike parkade.
 
The Canadian Government is contributing C$$11.6m ($8.9m), BC is contributing C$23.2m ($17.8m), and TransLink is contributing C$23m ($17.6m) towards the C$57.8m ($44.4m) Metrotown SkyTrain Station and Exchange upgrade, which is expected to complete by December 2017.
 
The Metrotown SkyTrain Station is SkyTrain's second busiest station serving 50,000 rapid transit trips a day including 25,000 trips from the bus exchange.
 
Work under this upgrade will include a rebuilt east stationhouse, new centre and west stationhouses, new escalators, stairs and three new elevators to improve access, improved station design with better lighting and visibility, improved bus connections and a new bike parkade.
 
Upgrade work on the C$12.3m ($9.4m) New Westminster Station is expected to be complete by mid-2016 and will include a replacement elevator and escalators to improve access for customers, improved station design with better lighting and visibility, and better integration with the surrounding community.
 
TransLink board of directors vice-chair Barry Forbes said: "Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain system belongs to the citizens of this region.
 
"By leveraging the funding provided by our federal and provincial governments, TransLink's investment of approximately $68m will strengthen public transportation and help our customers get where they need to go, safely and efficiently."

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