Burnaby’s mayor says it’s a case where the cheaper option may not be the better choice; TransLink is considering closing the second-busiest SkyTrain station for more than a year for renovations.
The Metrotown station is due for an upgrade, starting in 2014. It’s going to be a big job, and one of the options under consideration is closing it for up to 15 months.
That’s the cheaper option.
But Derek Corrigan says in this case, cheaper is not better. “I always want TransLink to be looking at whether or not they can use public money efficiently, but there’s a point of diminishing returns.”
Corrigan expects a public outcry if the station ends up closed for that long. “I think our community is going to react fairly negatively to that kind of impact on a transit station that is taking the most passengers in our city.”
SkyTrain’s Jennifer Siddon emphasizes no final decision has been made about the Metrotown station. “We are just beginning the discussions with our stakeholders, including the city of Burnaby about how best to proceed with this important upgrade project.”
Siddon says safety during the upgrades will be the top priority.
If the station is shut down, a temporary one would be built nearby. Another option would involve 28 months of construction.