New to SkyTrain? Here’s your how-to guide

With the opening of the Evergreen Extension scheduled for next week, many Tri-City residents are getting ready to take SkyTrain regularly for the first time. Here are a few helpful tips for those who may be new to using the service or have not ridden transit in a long time. 

 

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GETTING AROUND

• Downtown Vancouver: The easiest way to get downtown is to board the train at any Evergreen Extension station and ride westbound to Commercial-Broadway Station. On arrival, transfer to the Expo Line, which continues toward Waterfront Station. A person leaving Coquitlam Central Station on a weekday at around 7:54 a.m. will arrive at Waterfront Station at approximately 8:42 a.m.

• New Westminster/Burnaby: Riders heading from the Tri-Cities to Burnaby or New West — for example Metrotown Station or New Westminster Station — will have to transfer from Evergreen to the Expo Line at Lougheed Station. From there, the westbound train runs to New Westminster Station, Metrotown Station and points beyond. The ride from Coquitlam Central Station to Metrotown takes approximately 37 minutes while a ride to New Westminster Station will take approximately 27 minutes. 

• Surrey: Getting to Surrey requires two train transfers but it is still a quick ride on SkyTrain. A Tri-City rider heading to King George Station — the final eastern stop on the Expo Line — will transfer from Evergreen to the Expo Line at Lougheed Station. From there, they will catch a westbound train to Columbia Station before switching to an eastbound Expo Line train, which will take them across the Fraser River into Surrey. The ride from Coquitlam Central Station to King George Station takes approximately 39 minutes. 

To find out the easiest way to get to your destination, go to tripplanning.translink.ca. Make sure to plug in dates and times that take place after the Evergreen opening Dec. 2 to see how the new line will change your commute.

 

YOUR FARE SHARE

Before paying a fare on the SkyTrain a rider must know how many zones they will be traveling. While buses are all one zone, SkyTrain has three zones and fares vary depending how far a person is commuting. 

Vancouver is considered Zone 1 while Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster and the North Shore are considered Zone 2. Zone 3 includes the Tri-Cities, Surrey and Delta.

On weekdays from the start of service to 6:30 p.m., a person traveling within a single zone will pay $2.75 for an adult and $1.75 for a concession; a person traveling from one zone to another will pay $4 for an  adult and $2.75 for a concession; and someone traveling all three zones — for example from the Tri-Cities to Vancouver — will pay $5.50 for an adult and $3.75 for a concession fare. 

After 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, as well as on weekends and holidays, a single fare of $2.75 for adults and $1.75 for concession can be paid for travel to all zones. 

 

COMPASS CARDS

An Evergreen Extension rider will need a Compass card or Compass ticket to ride the rails. Compass Cards can be purchased at any Compass vending machine, which are located at each SkyTrain station. 

 

 

Passengers can load the cards with money at the machines, at compasscard.ca or by calling 604-398-2042.

For riders who do not use the SkyTrain regularly, single Compass tickets can be purchased at all machines along the system. Once either a ticket or card is purchased, the rider can use it to tap in and tap out at the turnstiles of their station. SkyTrain riders must be sure to tap out when they leave the system.

 

SKYTRAIN SAFETY

Passengers who feel they are in danger or have a security concern are encouraged to press the passenger silent alarm, which is a yellow strip located above every window on every SkyTrain. There is also a speakerphone located near the train doors that can provide communication with SkyTrain control operators in cases where urgent assistance is required. SkyTrain attendants are a common sight throughout the system and all stations have closed-circuit cameras for security surveillance. 

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

@gmckennaTC

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