A stretcar named Vancouver
False Creek trial heralds possible streetcar rebirth
Wednesday, March, 12, 2008
Vancouver councillors yesterday approved an $8.5-million trial project that could herald the rebirth of a streetcar system in the city.
The demonstration streetcar line could be in place for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
If all goes well, it will run on the old CPR right-of-way between Granville Island and the Canada Line rapid transit station at 2nd Avenue and Cambie, a short hop from the Athletes Village at the southeast corner of False Creek.
The $8.5 million will pay for the replacement of the track to allow the popular Downtown Historic Railway to continue its weekend runs while accommodating the modern demonstration equipment.
Future phases of the the "Downtown Streetcar" project could include a link to Waterfront Station, with spurs to Yaletown from
Science World, and to Stanley Park from Waterfront.
The proposal to have staff explore a private partner to help spread the costs around did not receive unanimous approval.
The five NPA councillors present supported the idea of enlisting a public-private partnership -- P3 -- to bring the scheme to fruition. Coun. Raymond Louie and his two Vision Vancouver cohorts voted against a public-private partnership.
"I think it's premature at this time to have staff undertake an extensive process to explore a P3," Louie said after the vote.
Coun. Suzanne Anton, who voted for the P3 motion, said: "Once the public sees it, there's no going back. I'd like to see it go on the Arbutus Corridor, too."
© The Vancouver Province 2008