It’s been one year since TransLink launched the SkyTrain Evergreen Line extension, and while the train doesn’t appear to have added any tree rings — it’s certainly added passengers.
The line extension, which consists of 11 kilometres of track and six stations running from Burnaby to Coquitlam opened to the public on Dec. 2, 2016.
TransLink says weekday transit use in the Northeast Sector — which includes Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra — has skyrocketed, climbing by more than 25 per cent in September and October compared to last year.
The transit authority estimates about 34,000 people are riding the Evergreen line on weekdays, up about 13 per cent from January, and more than 8.6 million people have ridden the line since it opened.
WATCH: Evergreen Line tunnel boring complete
It also said about half of all transit rides in the Tri-Cities begin on the Evergreen line.
Those ridership numbers are expected to climb, TransLink said, with nearly 10,000 units of housing under construction along the line between Lougheed and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations.
Plans for a rapid transit link to Coquitlam have been in the works since before the completion of the Millennium Line in 2002, however, with Vancouver’s successful bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the new Canada Line was given priority.
The former BC Liberal government said the $1.4-billion project came in between $70 to $85 million under budget. However, the final share of that $1.4 billion shouldered by B.C. taxpayers grew from $410 million to $586 million over the course of the project.