Mayoral hopeful Suzanne Anton has announced an expansion of the streetcar service that runs along the heritage rail corridor on False Creek’s south shore ahead of Vancouver’s upcoming civic election.
The line would run from Granville Island east along the existing tracks through the Olympic Village, up north through Chinatown and the Downtown East Side and west to Canada Place. Future extensions would see service to Stanley Park and into Yaletown.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the City of Vancouver ran a demonstration line between Granville Island and the Olympic Village Canada Line station with Bombardier’s Flexity streetcars, which were brought over from Belgium. The experiment proved very popular with both locals and visitors alike.
Improving the streetcar service with links to existing Canada Line and SkyTrain service would increase access to some Vancouver’s core tourist attractions and provide a more environmentally friendly transportation option for those looking to get around.
There has been word that TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transit authority, would not be involved with operation and that the city would work with private organizations and various levels of government to develop, build and maintain the system. However, there may be the possibility of integrating fares in with TransLink’s system to allow for ease of travel.
A report published in 2005 put the cost at approximately $81 million for building the infrastructure and an additional $21 million for a six car fleet. The cost would need to be reviewed and updated.
Suzanne Anton is the only member of the Non-Partisan Association in city council. Vancouver’s civic election is on November 19th, 2011.
Source: The Vancouver Sun