The Canada Line is here, ahead of schedule and under budget. :D
I’m looking forward to being able to go to Richmond in 25 minutes — either at the airport or at Richmond Centre –, but this inaugural day was painful… It took us close to an hour and a half to finally board the train at the Yaletown/Roundhouse station (and there were worse stations: I heard a police officer say that people at the Waterfront Station had to wait up to 4 hours before boarding). But that day was special and some measures had to be taken to ensure that everybody had a chance to experience the new SkyTrain line (otherwise, people coming from Waterfront would fill up the train immediately and people at subsequent stations would not have a chance to try it out). I expect the first few days of operation to be quite busy, but things should settle down once people who just want to try it out have had their kicks.
The new train cars have more room than the older models — which is great for the luggage you’ll be carrying to and from the airport –, cell phone coverage works even underground and as you wait for your train, the electronic display lets you know when the next three are coming.
Some improvements could be made in the looks department, though. Coming from Montreal where each metro station has its own personality and style, Vancouver’s underground stations strike me as quite bland. Gray is the dominant color, just like a typical Vancouver sky and works of art in whatever form are nowhere to be found (did I miss them?).
All in all, the new Canada Line is a great asset to the Greater Vancouver Area and I have a feeling I’ll go to Richmond more often now that there’s a quick and easy way to get there. :)