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A smooth first day for Canada Line

It was smooth running for the Canada Line yesterday during its first full day of operations.

It was smooth running for the Canada Line yesterday during its first full day of operations.

By 6 p.m. 60,000 people had used the Canada Line, and 70,000 were anticipated by the end of yesterday, said Jason Chan, communications manager with Protrans B.C.

According to Chan, 9,000 people used the line from its opening to about 9:30 a.m. By 12:30 p.m. that number had increased to 23,000 riders and by 2:15 p.m. had exceeded 33,000.

“By all accounts travellers are definitely taking advantage of the line,” Chan said. “We see a fair number travelling with luggage.”

Paul Digney, a Vancouver man who caught the Canada Line to Broadway-City Hall after returning from Rio de Janeiro, was impressed by the smoothness of trip.

“It was super,” Digney said. “I was really glad they arranged to open it the day before I needed to come back.”

Riding the line yesterday was a far cry from the sardine-can experience of opening day, which saw 100,000 riders in a mere eight hours.

Heading to the airport in the morning, there were about 40 people on the train. A few stood and there were empty seats to be had.

Traffic on the platforms was heaviest at Waterfront, the airport and Bridgeport stations.

Coming back into Vancouver in the early afternoon was busier. Most of the seats were full, but the train didn’t feel overcrowded.

Chan said there were no significant problems on the first day, aside from new and “more finicky” ticket vending machines.

Dave Chu, a recently retired Richmond man who lives two blocks from Richmond-Brighouse, was excited that he could get from his house to Downtown Vancouver in less than half an hour.

“It’s much better than taking the bus. It’s much quicker, you save a lot of time.”

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