Scott Road is the worst, but what else is to be said about the SkyTrain and West Coast Express systems?

Cariad Keigher
10 min readAug 12, 2021

If you have not read my previous piece on Scott Road being the worst SkyTrain station, I suggest giving it a read first as it will help give better context to this article as well! If you want to take a look at the raw data, you can read this too.

All will tremble as they approach this sign.

After poll after poll, we have finally determined that the worst station operated by TransLink is Scott Road. However, Scott Road was not the only station given negative attention.

None of this should be taken as anything more than my uneducated observations as I don’t really think it’s that important overall. We all know Scott Road sucks!

Engagement and results

As mentioned in the original piece, this was a super-scientific Internet poll where there was absolutely no bias and everyone knows what they are doing.

One big thing: no station tied. I did vote in every poll and would have removed myself or gotten someone to break it had it occurred.

There were 5,455 total votes counted across six rounds. As the polls went on, the engagement did drop, which does make sense considering the number of match ups reducing with each step. Each match up on average had 104 votes, with the opening round having the most at 127 and the third having the least with 59. The final match stood alone of course at 222 total votes.

Losers in each match up (which are really “winners”) tended to get a score of just about 25 points. With exception to the first round which saw an average of about 29 votes, all losers received an average of either 15 or 16. The final loser saw a loss of 56.

Winners (or “losers”) saw stability in the same rounds with the second to the fifth seeing 47, 44, 53, and 66 respectively, but the first saw 98 votes. The winner received 166.

Some close matchups were to be had as well. When Gilmore faced Port Haney in the second round, the resulting score was 27 to 23, pushing Gilmore into the third round.

Then there were some matchups where the outcome was so obvious that it was tempting to break the rules. A good example was where in the first round, Joyce-Collingwood received a meagre 14 votes to Lansdowne’s 115.

The winner of the tournament, Scott Road, averaged 75% of the vote share in each poll, with the worst at 65.7% and the best with 85.7%.

Ranking the worst by round weight

The way data was presented by Challonge made some stations who lost in other rounds as being tied with others. This makes ranks rather awkward as we end up with four stations tied for fifth and eight for ninth with no indication of what sits inbetween.

To combat this, I came up with this idea: we have six rounds, so the first round would give a score a weight of 1/6th, second would be 1/3rd, and so forth until the sixth and final round just being a weight of 1. What we can do with this is then apply this to the scores awarded in each round.

An example would be where Royal Oak had a score of 16 to Gateway’s 29, meaning that it was actually a score of 5.3 to 9.6 due to the match being in the second round. Another would be the first round’s Metrotown’s 52 to Production Way-University’s 189 becoming 8.6 to 31.5.

With this information, let’s rank the top ten worst stations overall using their combined weighted votes.

  1. Scott Road (319.16)
  2. Lake City Way (214.16)
  3. Gateway (103.5)
  4. Holdom (103.17)
  5. King George (72.17)
  6. Port Coquitlam (64)
  7. Edmonds (48.67)
  8. Sapperton (47)
  9. Maple Meadows (43.17)
  10. Nanaimo (38.84)

Of note for municipalities, we have three stations in Surrey, three stations in Burnaby, one both in New Westminster and Vancouver, and then Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge each getting in as well. All stations mentioned are on the Expo Line except for Maple Meadows and Port Coquitlam being West Coast Express; and Lake City Way and Holdom being Millennium Line.

If you hate this idea, let it be known that I am not a statistician. The idea I have here is to look at the popular vote and which polls received the most engagement. If you wish to play with the data differently, please do check out the link at the start of the article!

Using the weighted scores on service and line

While the West Coast Express operates on regular locomotives, sharing tracks with freight rail services, the SkyTrain system is completely separate. There are however three stations where both systems do meet as transfer points, with all three SkyTrain lines having connections.


This system was first introduced in 1985 and has expanded since to provide via three lines.

Most of the stations in the tournament are shown here. (Source)

The Expo Line and Millennium Line both use the same technologies and service Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, and Surrey. The extension of the Millennium Line is the most recent addition, providing service as far east as Coquitlam. Presently, both lines are being extended with the Millennium going further west into Vancouver towards Arbutus Street and the Expo Line terminating to the southeast in Langley.

The Canada Line serves just Richmond and Vancouver and notably provides service to the airport. Unlike the other two lines, it only provides two car trains and has much shorter platforms and is incompatible physically and technologically.

The Expo Line is home to Commercial-Broadway, a station which lets you enter or exit a train on either side.

The Expo Line is home to the winner, Scott Road and also received a score of 32.05. It also received the lowest score for a single station, which will be discussed later.

It ranked as follows:

  1. Scott Road (319.17)
  2. Gateway (103.5)
  3. King George (72.17)
  4. Edmonds (48.67)
  5. Sapperton (47)
Somehow I only have one photo of a Millennium Line station.

With the Millennium Line, it had the runner up, Lake City Way, and received an average of 35.26. It is home to the youngest of all SkyTrain stations, with the extension to Coquitlam opening in 2016 alongside an upgrade of Lougheed Town Centre as well — all of those new stations plus Lougheed scored 14.67.

  1. Lake City Way (214.17)
  2. Holdom (103.17)
  3. Production Way-University (38.17)
  4. Renfrew (28.67)
  5. Gilmore (26.67)
Canada Line trains are wider than their Expo and Millennium Line siblings.

And lastly, the Canada Line, which has its trains physically separate from the other two lines scored 13.04, making it the least disliked of the three lines.

  1. Richmond-Brighouse (34.17)
  2. Yaletown-Roundhouse (32.67)
  3. Templeton (29.17)
  4. Lansdowne (22.5)
  5. Aberdeen (19.5)

Overall, SkyTrain received a score of 26.78.

West Coast Express

The service provided by the West Coast Express (WCE) is different from SkyTrain in that it doesn’t provide service throughout the majority of the day and it also is unusual in that it extends outside of TransLink’s jurisdictions with its one station in Mission.

One cool trick about the West Coast Express now is that you may have the option to use it if SkyTrain has problems but isn’t completely down.

Because of it being a commuter rail service with single-direction service in the mornings into Waterfront and in the evenings towards Mission City, its stations reflect that nature by being quite spartan.

It was anticipated that at least one of them would place top-five when I started the polls, but it fell short by only placing sixth after adjusting for weight. Challonge tied two stations for fifth — Maple Meadows and Port Coquitlam — but I am more interested in the weighted score.

Of the eight stations served, three tie in with SkyTrain, which I do believe alters the score quite a bit as there is a larger pool of non-WCE users available to alter the outcome.

With the SkyTrain stations included, we get the following result:

  1. Port Coquitlam (64)
  2. Maple Meadows (43.17)
  3. Pitt Meadows (34.33)
  4. Coquitlam Central (22.17)
  5. Mission City (17.67)

Of those above five, only one ties in with SkyTrain, which is Coquitlam Central. Stations without that connection produced a score of 34.8, which makes it score worse than SkyTrain. However, if we add the removed stations back in, the score becomes 25.

Transfer stations

As mentioned with the West Coast Express, many of the stations act as transfer points and the same is true with SkyTrain. With some stations, the service is interlined — such as Production Way-University having a single platform for Expo and Millennium Line trains — and in others, everything is separate — see Waterfront with its Expo and Canada Line platforms and also West Coast Express.

The platform just above where the SkyTrain vehicle is located is about as close as it gets for where the West Coast Express and Expo Line will meet.

I’ve opted to define the transfer points as any station where you must leave the train to go elsewhere without necessarily leaving the station. This would include connections to other lines or the WCE, but it also includes where the line would split into a spur such as what occurs on the Expo Line and Canada Line.

This gives us eight stations to work with, with two shared between the Expo Line and Millennium Line (Production Way-University and Lougheed Town Centre), one shared between the Canada Line, Expo Line, and WCE (Waterfront); two shared with the Millennium Line and WCE (Moody Centre and Coquitlam Central), one each on the Expo Line and Canada Line (Columbia and Bridgeport).

It ends up looking like this:

  1. Production Way-University (38.17)
  2. Columbia (35.17)
  3. Coquitlam Central (22.17)
  4. Bridgeport (15.5)
  5. Commercial-Broadway (5.5)

In reviewing Production Way-University, which is shared as a terminus station for the Expo Line and a regular station on the Millennium, it was interesting how it scored so poorly considering it didn’t make it past the second round and had only one comment about its lack of available escalators.

Columbia did make it into the third round and ultimately lost to Scott Road, but had received less votes. The complaints were all focused on it being a terrible transfer point as the stations two separate platforms means it is very difficult to make a quick transfer.

Overall, transfer stations received a score of 15.6.

Ranking by municipality

Using the weighted votes we determined earlier, we can determine how individual municipalities fared.


Stations within the city limits received an overall score of 10.87. It is the only municipality with all three SkyTrain lines and West Coast Express service.

One day I will write about my love affair with Waterfront.

Notably, the original SkyTrain station, Main Street-Science World received the lowest score of 0.83, making it the last-disliked station in the tournament.

  1. Nanaimo (38.83)
  2. Yaletown-Roundhouse (32.67)
  3. Renfrew (28.67)
  4. Rupert (23.17)
  5. Broadway-City Hall (12.33)

With the upcoming interchange at Broadway-City Hall, this score could change should this tournament run again.


This city was host to the runner up, so it is easy to determine which would place first. The scoring average here was 47.85.

  1. Lake City Way (214.17)
  2. Holdom (103.17)
  3. Edmonds (48.67)
  4. Production Way-University (38.17)
  5. Gilmore (26.67)
Escalators are plentiful at Metrotown which isn’t easy to be said for most stations.

Expansion of rapid transit in Burnaby isn’t in the near future, but I am curious to how Brentwood Town Centre’s changes will have an impact on things.


Richmond only has a single line (Canada Line) entering its city limits and is home to Vancouver International Airport, which is one of the two termini for the city. Its stations received average score of 19.9.

  1. Richmond-Brighouse (34.17)
  2. Templeton (29.17)
  3. Lansdowne (22.5)
  4. Aberdeen (19.5)
  5. Bridgeport (15.5)
On its first day open to the public, it was free to ride and I happened to be in Richmond at the time.

The city will receive its newest station, Capstan Way, in 2023, which will sit between Aberdeen and Bridgeport.

Tri-cities and elsewhere

The tri-cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody) plus Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Mission do not have enough stations to make a top five list each — Mission is also the only station completely outside of TransLink’s jurisdiction.

Combined, they received an average score of 19.24, but for the municipalities which have more than two stations (which is just Coquitlam and Port Moody), it changes. Port Moody with its two stations received an average of 2.83 and Coquitlam scored 17.5. Both municipalities each have one station which provides connecting service to the West Coast Express — Moody Centre and Coquitlam Central.

  1. Port Coquitlam (64)
  2. Maple Meadows (43.17)
  3. Pitt Meadows (34.34)
  4. Burquitlam (23.5)
  5. Coquitlam Central (22.17)

There are no plans to expand service further eastward for SkyTrain services although there are design considerations for it in place.

Surrey and New Westminster

With New Westminster having exactly five stations and Surrey just having four, it was given the thought to combine their stations into one list. However, the roles and areas the stations serve are different and it didn’t feel right to combine them as one list.

While Surrey did have the worst station and a high average score of 125.84, it did also have one of the least-hated stations with Surrey Central scoring 8.5, placing it 33rd out of 50 — many stations had tied despite the weights.

The challenge with this score is that the city does not have that many stations and it doesn’t extend as deep into its borders as elsewhere in the tournament, with this of course changing in the next few years.

At one point in their lifetimes, both Sapperton and Braid stations were exclusively Millennium Line stations.

New Westminster’s least favourite station, Sapperton received a score of 47, with Columbia getting 35.17. The average for the city was 23.17. Like Burnaby, there are no real major changes in the city’s future with perhaps upgrades to Columbia, proposed to alleviate its problems with being a transfer point for the Expo Line spurs.

I hate these numbers!

That is okay! So do I! Midway through writing this article, I wanted to talk more about the percentages rather than the weights, but I was already pretty tired of staring at spreadsheets and data. If you’re interested in playing with the data yourself, I have a separate piece you can read!



Cariad Keigher

Queer dork with an interest in LGBTQ+ issues, computer security, video game speedrunning, and Python programming. You can see her stream on Twitch at @KateLibC.