By Gord Price
What makes me take the Evergreen Line?
Beer.
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There is a cluster of breweries and craft pubs within a kilometre of the Moody Centre station on the Evergreen Extension, including the Parkside – enough motivation to take the trains out to a corner of the region.
Yes, trains.  Inspiration struck on Saturday afternoon at Granville Island, and so I took a Mobi to Olympic Village station on the Canada Line, travelling to Waterfront to transfer to the Expo Line, and again at Commercial to the Millennium.  From there, an uninterrupted ride to Port Moody.
Altogether, just over an hour – short enough for a long distance, and not something I would have done without a car before the opening of Evergreen.
In a way, it felt like the line had always been there, despite the 30 years it took to get the provincial commitment.  And that’s in part because it seems very much like the Canada Line North.
You go through a long dark tunnel and come out at a geographically distinct part of the region – this time with mountains. There’s a stretch of industrial lands and automotive landscapes, with the memory of another era along the local highway.  Then the green glass skyline of contemporary Vancouver – and another ethnoburb clustered around a decades-old shopping mall at Coquitlam Centre (Koreans more than Chinese).
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The stations too are indistinguishable from the Canada Line.
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Everything was familiar, from Compass card to passenger interaction.  The trains were crowded on a Saturday afternoon, in part I’m sure from people like me checking it out – but mainly, I think, because Vancouverites are already conditioned and comfortable with taking transit.
There’s no doubt the Evergreen Line will be a success; it’s not even a matter of speculation.  I’d say the line will reach its 70,000 passenger count well before 2021.
We just have to provide the supply to meet demand.
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Comments

  1. I rode it on the weekend as well just to check it out and check out an area I hadn’t really been to more than once. It felt like yet more of the same of the Millennium Line, not any separate style or anything. This is good. People know what to do already. There are a few interesting places.
    Inlet Centre station has a nice park next to it and a really good walkable shopping area just a short walk away. The station is below Barnet Highway so you can get out either end you want and not have to cross it on the surface.
    Yes, they need to make the stations bigger than they estimate they will need. It’ll be cheaper in the long run than needing to expand them later on.

  2. Its funny to hear the downtown perspective of Port Moody as a remote ‘corner’ of the region – it’s about halfway between downtown Vancouver and downtown Maple Ridge, and is the last stop on the WCE before downtown Vancouver.
    But otherwise, yes, I think the line will be busy, and get busier as the forests of condo towers come to completion, at Burquitlam in particular.
    That trip sure would have been a lot easier if the Millennium line went to City Hall – and they wonder why train ridership comes in so much higher than the preceding bus ridership!

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