METROTOWN STATION REDESIGN
Starting in January 2006, Translink and the City of Burnaby hired a team of consultants to recommend options for upgrading Metrotown Station, the second highest ridership SkyTrain station in the greater Vancouver region. The team engaged a variety of stakeholders from both agencies, along
with representatives from SkyTrain and Coast Mountain Bus Company. A Station Assessment report was completed, “Metrotown SkyTrain Station Transit Village Plan – Site Assessment & Design Concepts Report.” That report identified five key issues for the station plan to address:
• Ridership at Metrotown Station exceeds the existing station capacity, and ridership is projected to grow.
• No direct, accessible paths are provided at the station from any direction.
• The bus loop does not meet existing capacity needs and presents pedestrian safety hazards.
• The superblock pattern of development at Metrotown reduces the station catchment area, particularly to high density housing to the north.
• The streets throughout the station area are oriented toward automobiles only and do not support high levels of walking.
In addition the site assessment recommended more detailed analysis of the following design options:
A) STATION BUILDING
1) West Entrance
- Improves circulation and expands capacity, including both vertical circulation and platform capacity.
2) Lengthened platform
- To improve the utility of a new west entrance, the platform may be lengthened by 20 metres to the west.
3) South platform
- Possible means to expand vertical circulation and platform capacity, but introduces operational, wayfinding and circulation challenges.
4) Expanded Mezzaine
- Connecting the east Station House to the existing elevator can provide accessible connection to passarelle and mall.
- Connecting the existing elevator to a future Station Square passarelle can provide an accessible connection to the mall.
- The existing passarelle to Metropolis can be widened to improve capacity
- A new passarelle can connect the existing elevator to Station Square.
- A new passarelle could connect a new west station house to a redeveloped Station Square
6) Bus Exchange
- Narrow Exchange: In this option, buses are looped around the station
building, with a new bus-only road between Central and Beresford. The BC Parkway would be routed on a dedicated path between the busway and Beresford.
- Wide Exchange: In this option, buses are looped around the station building, with a new bus-only road between Central and Beresford. The BC Parkway would be routed on a dedicated path between the busway and Beresford.
7) Bus Layover
- Central/Beresford: Buses laying over would be provided curb spaces
alongside the BC Parkway along Central and/or Beresford, immediately adjacent to the bus exchange
- Bus Loop: The existing bus loop would be used for layover.
- $25.071 million
Station Area Strategies
Planning Area Strategies
Recommended Upgrade Elements
There is a package of station improvements that clearly meet the study’s technical requirements and evaluation criteria. These include:
• Lengthened platform. The original Metrotown Station was designed to allow the platform to be lengthened to the west, in acknowledgement that this would be a high ridership station. Lengthening the platform allows trains to be staggered at the station, reducing crowding from passengers waiting to board trains. Lengthening the platform also puts the base of the stairs and escalators for a new west entrance precisely at the middle of a relocated bus exchange.
• West Station House. This is critical for two primary reasons: 1) It balances loads of passengers waiting for trains on the platform, relieving current crowding at the east end of the platform, and 2) It provides critical additional vertical circulation to the platform with out compromising passenger circulation on the platform through additional mid-platform stairs and escalators. A new West Station House strongly complements a lengthened plat form and relocation bus exchange.
• New elevators. The existing elevator is slow, opaque and inefficient. It would be replaced by a pair of modern, transparent elevators located at the new midpoint of the lengthened platform, allowing the existing elevator to remain in place during construction. The new elevators would provide redundancy, allowing one to maintain access to the platform while the other was closed for maintenance.
• Improved East Station House. Once the new West Station House is completed, the existing East Station House can be modernized. It would be made level with the passarelle, eliminating the existing steps. It would also be made more transparent, as in the Millennium Line Gilmore Station.
• Improved passarelle. The existing station passarelle would be widened and made more transparent to provide better passenger comfort and personal security. Stairs at the east Station House would be eliminated. The passarelle would also be redesigned to highlight the regional significance of the Metrotown station and area.
• Station roof and enclosure. A redesigned station roof and enclosure would not only provide weather protection for the entire length of the platform, but also provide more transparency and mark the station as a major landmark.
• Bus exchange. The bus exchange would be moved out of the current bus loop area and routed around the station itself. The bus loop would be maintained for bus layover, and as an important bus stop serving the front door of Metropolis.
• BC Parkway Improvements and urban plaza. Separated bicycle and pedestrian paths are included through the station area, connecting to continuous paths being implemented between New Westminster and Vancouver. At the station, care is taken to address conflicts between through cyclists and transit passengers. A very high level of design amenity is provided at the ground level to ensure both the functionality of the space as a major transit exchange, as well as a destination in its own right, as one of the symbolic “front doors” of Burnaby.
• Neighbourhood connections. Improved pedestrian access is provided on all sides, connecting to Maywood, ground level destinations north of Central, and second level destination at Metropolis and the MetroTowers.
Station poised for $25M refit
By Leslie Dickson
Oct 18 2007
Metrotown SkyTrain Station is set to get a $25 million facelift.
The expansion would address overcrowding on the SkyTrain station platform, an overtaxed transit exchange below the station off Central Boulevard, and poor bike and pedestrian access to the station among other issues.
Key upgrades outlined in the Metrotown Transit Village Study presented to Burnaby council Monday include:
• A new roof and enclosure for Metrotown SkyTrain Station, as well as an extended platform
• New westbound station access;
• Upgrades to the east entrance;
• A rebuilt passarelle, or passageway, to the station;
• New elevators; and
• A new transit exchange/public plaza under the SkyTrain station.
Improved signage and access for people heading to and from Metrotown SkyTrain from Kingsway and the Maywood and Grange residential neighbourhoods are also proposed.
The report notes TransLink has budgeted $25 million for improvements to the Metrotown SkyTrain Station in its 2008 Financial Plan. Metrotown is among TransLink’s three busiest SkyTrain stations, along with Burnaby/Commercial in Vancouver and Surrey Central.
Specific details will be brought forward in future reports, in partnership with TransLink and other groups. The Metrotown SkyTrain station refit would require TransLink to bring forward a rezoning proposal to the City of Burnaby to go ahead.
Coun. Nick Volkow, chair of Burnaby’s transportation committee, welcomed the major refit to the SkyTrain station.
“It’s long overdue,” Volkow said Wednesday. “Nothing’s really been done to it since it opened in maybe ‘83 or ‘84.”
Volkow noted the proposed extended platform would allow passengers to board a six-car train, or three of the recently redesigned cars, reducing the wait time for commuters.
The refit to the station also provides an opportunity to fix problems that have been an issue since the beginning, including the transit exchange below the SkyTrain station.
“We’ve been quite fortunate there haven’t been any major accidents between buses and people,” said Volkow.”
Volkow added one of the major things missing not just at Metrotown, but at every SkyTrain station, is public toilets, the lack of which could be deterring seniors and mothers with small children from taking transit.
“This is the 21st century. I think we should get with the program,” said Volkow.
Other TransLink transit improvements expected for Burnaby soon are B Line service between SFU and downtown Vancouver, and expanded service for the #130 route between Metrotown and North Vancouver, and #25 route between Brentwood mall and UBC.
Metrotown station bursting at seams
Study says $25 million in work needed to upgrade Skytrain Station
Brooke Larsen, Burnaby Now
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Burnaby's Metrotown SkyTrain station is bursting at the seams and needs more than $25 million in upgrades.
That's according to a transit study funded by the City of Burnaby, TransLink and the federal government that highlights overcrowding at the station. Released this week, the study calls for a longer platform and wider walkways, along with improved access for cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchairs.
TransLink is expected to pay for the upgrades, with some help from the city and the province.
City councillors will consider the plans - still in the early stages - at a council meeting Oct. 22. In 2005, council agreed to share the cost of the $150,000 study with TransLink and the federal government.
The study shows growth and development in Metrotown has stretched capacity of the SkyTrain station, causing overcrowding and blocking access for bikes.
"The centre platform, escalators, ticketing concourse and elevators are undersized to meet current demand," the report states.
"Current crowding of the station platform during peak periods does not allow bikes to access the system."
The report also points out that the overhead walkway from the bus loop to the station is crowded and not accessible to those in wheelchairs. The walkway is now used by 40,000 people each day.
Coun. Sav Dhaliwal, who sits on the city's transportation committee, said he's glad to see so many people using transit.
"Obviously, we are victims of success," Dhaliwal said in an interview Tuesday.
But he believes the station needs major upgrades to make transit safer and more inviting to users.
"The station needs to be looked at in terms of accessibility - I don't think it really handles the volume of people safely."
The report calls for a redesigned station roof and enclosure similar to those on the Millennium Line, along with an extension of the station platform to boost capacity.
Plans also include the replacement or improvement of the existing overhead walkway so that it could be used by wheelchairs.
New elevators, upgrades to the east station entrance and a new mezzanine, a new bus loop and a possible second overhead walkway connecting Metropolis to the upgraded station are also part of the plans.
The study also looked at boosting access for pedestrians and cyclists, calling for improvements to pedestrian and cyclist routes.
Dhaliwal said Burnaby could start a trend by including public washrooms at the station.
"I think it would make travellers more comfortable," he added.
TransLink's 2008 financial plan includes $25 million for the station upgrades, the report states. Additional funding could come from the city and province. If design starts this fall, construction could follow in 2008.
Changes would be advanced through rezoning applications from TransLink.
© Burnaby Now 2007