There’s been a flurry of transit related news this past week. Most of it about funding transit from the local Metro level and the BC provincial level. I haven’t had time to sift through the numbers, let alone blog!
So let me work on something that’s a bit more tangible and easier for me to blog quickly about. My local SkyTrain station is under reconstruction. The whole east stationhouse is being rebuilt.
Here’s the complete copy-and-paste info from the TransLink page about the Joyce-Collingwood Station upgrades.
The Joyce–Collingwood Station Upgrade project includes:
- new elevator and up and down escalators in the east stationhouse
- improved station design with better lighting and visibility
- better integration with the community for easier SkyTrain connections
- glass panels that replace the existing mesh screens to improve station visibility from street level
- new commercial retail unit
A long term vision that identifies future upgrades at Joyce–Collingwood Station is also being developed; these additional upgrades will be constructed as a separate project when necessary funding is secured. Upgrades identified in this longer term vision include:
- new bus pick-up areas adjacent to the east stationhouse that provide a larger passenger waiting space and new bus shelters
- new pedestrian and bicycle path on the north side of the east and west stationhouses that connects to the BC Parkway
- new bus lay over area at the east stationhouse
- improvements to Vanness Ave. to accommodate transit vehicles accessing the west stationhouse
- upgrades to the existing elevator and escalator in the west stationhouse
- improved station design and lighting
However, for regular users of Joyce Station, you will notice that the east entrance was just redone not too long ago. From my recollection, the east entrance was rebuilt and gates were installed last year in anticipation of the Compass Card rollout.
The new Compass fare gates needed to be installed. So the east stationhouse was expanded and redone with a larger footprint. It was bright, shiny and new, and, of course, decked out in glass in all four directions.
However, yesterday as I came home, I discovered that the entire east stationhouse was demolished.
I don’t usually poop on TransLink because I think they do a mostly decent job. However, when something was only rebuilt less than a year ago and then demolished, I start to question their decisions.
The Expo Line Upgrade Strategy has been around since 2013. So the powers-that-be knew that Joyce Station would eventually undergo this major renovation this year. So why did they rebuild the east stationhouse temporarily last year only to demolish it yesterday for the larger upgrade?
TransLink could have done what they’ve done at Metrotown Station. They knew that Metrotown was undergoing major reconstruction. So instead of trying to reconfigure the existing entrance to the station to accommodate fare gates, they used the gate-less Compass tap-in/tap-out machines.
TransLink could have done the same at Joyce Station. If they held off on rebuilding the east entrance of Joyce Station and just used these tap-in/tap-out machines instead of installing the fare gates, it would have been a cheaper and more effective solution than installing fare gates and then ripping them out less than a year later.
I do look forward to new expanded east station entrance; however, I think the way TransLink went about rebuilding the entrance could have been much better. Sigh. And we wonder why people don’t want to give more money to TransLink?