Transit riders support several changes to the SkyTrain, including a few new features, according to a recent survey by TransLink.
The survey, which received about 13,500 responses, was released Friday as the transit authority prepares to procure more than 200 new SkyTrain cars – the single largest order of new cars in the history of the system.
Forward seating was respondents’ most preferred option, but one-third would also like to see the return of perimeter side seating. The oldest existing trains have some perimeter seating, but newer trains on the Expo and Millennium lines do not.
Nearly 60 per cent of respondents also supported doubling the flex space from two spaces per train to four.
They had a few ideas for what to do with that extra room: Nearly 90 per cent favoured adding leaning rails, which would be totally new to the system, and two-thirds supported bike racks, which would also be new.
TransLink said the request for proposals for the design and delivery of the vehicles will close at the end of the year.
Bidders are required to consider the survey respondents’ preferences, while maximizing overall seating capacity.
New cars will replace the oldest cars in the system and support fleet expansion.
The first new train is expected to arrive in 2023.