TransLink to buy 28 new SkyTrain cars for $93 million

Cars expected to start to arrive in 2018 and be in service by 2019

Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain network expanded December 2 when the Evergreen Line opened to extend the Millennium Line | Chung Chow

TransLink has placed a $93 million order with Bombardier to provide 28 new SkyTrain cars that will start to arrive in 2018 and be in service by early 2019, the Metro Vancouver transit operator announced December 16.

The new cars would increase TransLink's fleet to 314 cars.

The federal government will cover half of the cost of the new trains and use some of the previously announced funding that the Justin Trudeau government said would be earmarked for infrastructure and transit enhancements.

The B.C. government is shouldering one third of the cost of the new trains while TransLink will cover the remaining expenses.

“Today’s announcement is just one in a series of steps we’re taking to expand service for our customers and reduce wait times and crowding,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

This is the first investment in the $2 billion Phase 1 of TransLink’s 10-year vision to improve transit service.

The mayors’ council and TransLink’s board of directors agreed to that plan on November 23.

Other investments in Phase 1 are expected to be:

• a 10% increase in bus service;

• a 15% increase in HandyDART service;

• a 20% increase in rail service following delivery of new rail cars for lines such as the Expo Line, Millennium Line, Evergreen Extension, Canada Line, and West Coast Express;

• pre-construction and consultation on Broadway subway and Surrey-Langley light rail;

• new funding for improvements to the major road network; and

• expansion and improvements to cycling and pedestrian networks.

Funding for the plan includes $370 million from the federal government, $246 million from the provincial government and $1.3 billion from TransLink’s existing funding sources, cost savings and efficiencies as well as new regional revenue sources, which include some property taxes and transit fare increases.

TransLink is slated to roll out its largest-ever set of changes to bus routes on December 19 to maximize the efficiency of having the Evergreen Line operational.