Alyse Kotyk, CTV News Vancouver
Published Monday, September 16, 2019 11:18AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, September 16, 2019 11:19AM PDT
Transit users want to see more open and flexible spaces in SkyTrain cars, a survey conducted by TransLink says.
Earlier this year, about 13,500 transit users weighed in on changes they’d like to see inside SkyTrain cars as the transportation authority prepares to get more than 200 new cars.
Results from the survey, released Friday, found that front-facing seats were the most popular, with 53 per cent of respondents preferring them. But perimeter seats were firmly in second place, with one-third saying they’d like some side seating in the new cars.
Transit users were also very interested in seeing more leaning rails next to windows, particularly for those who have difficulty sitting. Across both its public survey and the TransLink Listens survey, 90 per cent of transit users were in favour of leaning rails.
Opening up areas entirely for flex space was also a popular option, with about 60 per cent of respondents saying they’d like to see flex space on trains doubled. Right now, the newest train cars have two flex space areas – one at each end of the train. In those flex spaces, two-thirds supported bike racks being included.
SkyTrain users also wanted improved signage showing the upcoming stop, destination and exit side.
They also called for policies on washrooms to be reviewed. Currently, only washrooms at SeaBus terminals or on the West Coast Express are open to the public. There are also staff washrooms at stations, which are only accessible to the public with the permission of a TransLink staff member.
However last December, TransLink’s board of directors approved a recommendation to create a policy that would see public washroom facilities on the transit system.
According to a January staff report from the City of Richmond, TransLink staff have developed a washroom demand index for all stations and bus exchanges. Based on Compass card data, a draft “score” has been given to each station that considers the number of visits each site has per day.
Data on those scores has not yet been released and there is no timeline on washrooms being made available at stations.
The request for proposals for design and delivery of new cars will close at the end of this year. The new train cars will be used to replace the oldest “Mark 1” cars and will be in service sometime between 2024 and 2027.
Read through the full report below.