Transportation and Transit Plan 7 – Third SeaBus

Here’s the first of the projects in my list that is not a B-Line. It’s an improved SeaBus service. This is project #7 my look at the Regional Transportation Investments that will transform Metro Vancouver as we know it.

SeaBus – increased frequency and a third ship

photo by Riley Huntley

The SeaBus is one of the most popular and iconic routes in the TransLink system. The SeaBus is a popular experience for tourists who want a different view of Downtown Vancouver by traversing to North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. Lonsdale Quay is growing with some new condos in the area. The market at the Quay is also a popular draw for locals and tourists alike. The Quay is definitely a major transport hub with many major North Shore buses connecting the SeaBus to other places on the North Shore.

Currently, the waters are plied by only 2 SeaBus at a time. The original SeaBus were the Burrard Beaver and the Burrard Otter. A third SeaBus, the Burrard Pacific Breeze, started service in 2009. Three SeaBus were used during the 2010 Winter Olympics, but due to lack of funds, this service could not be kept up. With new funding, all 3 SeaBus could ply the waters of Burrard Inlet again. Funds would also help with the planned replacement SeaBus for the Burrard Otter.

Estimated captial costs are $31.2 million and annual operating costs are $4.7 million for the improved SeaBus service. Improvements to Lonsdale Quay are also part of the plan. Costs to improve the infrastructure there are expected to be $10.4 million. Changes to the SeaBus service are expected to be implemented within the first 5 years of a YES vote to the upcoming ballot.

The ballots will be sent out by March 16, 2015 and residents of Metro Vancouver will have until May 29, 2015 to mail in their votes. Voting YES for a 0.5% increase in the provincial sales tax will cost the average household only a 1-2 hundred dollars a year, but it will provide financial stability for a great variety of transportation projects that will transform Metro Vancouver. A YES vote will benefit your mobility and my mobility in the region. Please vote Yes to better transportation. 

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