Train2Main highlights how far Skytrain has come, how much further it must go

The impending upgrade of the 32 year-old Main St. Science World Skytrain station, the first built in the entire system, will mean an upheaval for users of the busy hub, which will be partially closed for many months.

It’s a reminder of how old the original system is getting, how well it has served the region and how much more investment is required to serve the one million additional residents expected in Metro Vancouver in the next 30 years.

Since the first track went up,  Skytrain Expo Line and Millennium Line ridership has risen to 77.8 million trips in 2014. The Canada Line will account to another 41 million trips.  Buses and shuttles handle 238 million trips, with overcrowding and pass-ups commonplace.

With 500,000 new residents arriving in the region in the next 10 years, more investment is clearly needed.

For about six months starting March 30, construction will require shortening of first one platform and then the other, making the platform too short for four or six-car trains. This will force Translink to serve the shorter platform with a shuttle between Waterfront and Commercial-Broadway.

Depending on the stage of the rebuilding project, travellers heading to Main St. will have to get off the through train at another station and change to the Train2Main shuttle to complete their trip, adding up to 10 minutes to the journey.

But when the work is done, Main St. Science World will be ready, I hope, to receive the increased ridership to come from the Evergreen Line.

Too bad, we can’t say the same for the Broadway Corridor west of Commercial-Broadway, where many of the Evergreen travellers will be headed. Yes, Skytrain has come a long way, but has a lot further to go.