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Monday, November 16, 2009

New elevator escalator highlight upgraded Commercial Broadway Station

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Greater accessibility, better use of platform space and more natural light are features of the newly upgraded Commercial-Broadway Station on Vancouver's SkyTrain.

"This re-design reflects how important Commercial-Broadway has become in recent years," says TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast. "With more than 140,000 people passing through this hub every day, we have needed to make greater use of the space we have and enable people to use the system more efficiently."

When it was first built, Broadway Station was not envisioned as a major transfer point, but that has changed with the addition of the Millennium SkyTrain line and the growth of the 99 B and #20 bus lines.

The upgraded station features a new entrance off 10th Avenue, with an escalator and elevator as well as stairs. This will make it easier for disabled customers - particularly those using HandyDART - to get to and from the platform. Replacing the north side elevator, which was in the center of the platform at the south end of the overhead walkway across Broadway (Avenue), provides more space for customers waiting for SkyTrain and eliminates tricky and potentially dangerous "dodging" to get around the elevator shaft.

The upgrade was completed more than two months ahead of time, and more than C$4 million under budget at C$9.2 million. The provincial government provided C$4.27 million, with the remainder coming from TransLink and contributions from Transport Canada and the City of Vancouver through the federal Urban Transportation Showcase Program.


The station is built according to CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles to improve safety and security. The glass wall on the concourse level, which has replaced the metal mesh on the west wall, provides more natural light and allows for better neighborhood surveillance. The new entrance off 10th Avenue removes the "dead-end" on the ground floor. The electric lighting is now at the same standard as that at Millennium Line stations (part of an overall upgrade to the lighting along the Expo Line).

The station has been designed as more of a community "focal point", especially when seen in conjunction with the nearby community garden project, which opened in the past year on a lot contributed by TransLink and the BC Rapid Transit Company. It is expected that increasing the community element in the area will make the station itself safer and more inviting.

The upgrading of Commercial-Broadway Station is part of a general makeover planned for the original Expo Line stations to meet the capacity needs of the Metro Vancouver region. Plans for future phases, subject to funding, include a doubling of platform capacity at Commercial-Broadway and renovations at Main Street-Science World Station (including a new elevator on the east side).