Noon opening Dec. 2 for Evergreen Extension

Here's what you can expect on opening day

Next stop, Evergreen Extension.

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The dulcet tones of the SkyTrain station announcer will soon be heard across the Tri-Cities when the long-awaited Evergreen Extension opens at noon on Dec. 2.

But if you're scheduling your commute for that morning, you'll have to alter your plans.

The Evergreen Extension will open and mid-day in what TransLink is touting as a soft launch and community celebration to get people to try out the system during a relatively quiet period.

Starting at noon next Friday, the stations will be open and SkyTrain cars will start picking up and dropping off passengers at the six stations along the route through Coquitlam and Port Moody.

There will also be a ribbon cutting and family friendly activities at each station along the extension, kicking off at Coquitlam Central Station, where festivities will run from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"People will see things happening at stations right through the Tri-Cities on Dec. 2. It will be a fun day and an exciting one for the Tri-Cities," said Chris Bryan, TransLink spokesperson.

Here are some of the things people can expect:

• performances and activities at the stations on opening day;

• cars picking up and dropping off passengers along the extension starting at noon;

• outreach workers wearing bright blue Compass jackets assisting passengers (they will be available to assist through to the holiday season);

• an official ribbon cutting, featuring representatives from the province and federal government, along with TransLink officials.

Riders should also note that bus routes will stay as they are now until Dec. 19 but riders can use TransLink's trip planner as early as next Monday to find out how their routes will change.

Some signage has already gone up on bus stops giving people advance warning that their routes will change but Bryan encourages transit users to log onto the TransLink trip planner after Nov. 28 to get specific information.

TransLink has also been rolling out an extensive advertising campaign to let people know about the Evergreen Extension opening.

There are bus ads, traditional and online media, Bryan said, as well as announcements on the SkyTrain and West Coast Express trains, and platform announcements at transit stations.

"A key part of it is the information campaign, getting this information out to customers… We really want to make sure it gets so out there and they are so aware of what's going on they're a little bit tired of hearing of it."

On Saturday, Dec. 3, the first train westbound leaves Lafarge Lake-Douglas Saturday at 6:05 a.m. Plan your trip at tripplanning.translink.ca.

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