The Canada Line, the latest addition to Vancouver's SkyTrain rapid transit system, has been up and running for a couple of weeks now*. It connects downtown to the airport, and my favourite bus route to a station one block from my work. Given that I usually only take transit in atrocious weather, I'll be very happy to transfer to the SkyTrain part way to work and avoid the extra five blocks walk from the bus stop down a treacherous icy hill.
This week has been an exception to the weather rule; I rode my bike in the torrential rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, but took the bus and SkyTrain yesterday and today, in blazing sunshine (I'm saving my legs for a planned assault on the Grouse Grind tomorrow). The crowds of confused people around the ticket machines and TransLink employees seemed to suggest that a lot of people are using the Canada Line (and the SkyTrain in general) for the first time this week - and an encounter this morning confirmed my suspicion.
I got off the bus and descended into the station, and was halfway down the stairs just as a train arrived at the closest platform. Three or four of us, including a woman with a small suitcase, made a run for it and bolted through the doors just as they closed.
As the train moved off, the woman turned to me and said, "which way is this train going?"
"Erm, downtown", I replied.
"Oh... I'm heading to the airport. It's my first time on this thing. Guess I'll be getting off and turning around at the next station..."
I hope she didn't get on the very first plane she saw at the airport.
*On budget and three months ahead of schedule. Now that the schools are back in session it's busy, but not overcrowded. An unqualified success. BITE ME, NIMBYS.