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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 5:49 PM
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Vancouver Downtown Streetcar | Proposed

Does anybody know what's happening with Vancouver's long-proposed streetcar system? It seems like there was quite a bit of progress on this front during Larry Campbell's mayorship, but I haven't heard a thing for at least a year now (perhaps longer).

I can only presume that it doesn't have the support of either Sam Sullivan, or Translink.

Regardless, it should be built. A downtown trolley line represents the most cost-effective way to move people between neighbourhoods such as Granville Island, Olympic Village/Cambie, Gastown, Chinatown and Coal Harbour.

As an aside, it would be great to see a streetcar across Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, pushing up Lonsdale from the Quay to the Upper Lonsdale corridor. (Lonsdale originally was a streetcar line, which is why it's perfectly suited for such an undertaking).
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 6:04 PM
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Checkout this link...
http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/engs...jectUpdate.htm

They had an update in October 2006 and it looks like things are still moving along. They might even have the first phase - "Phase 0" - in before the Olympics.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 6:08 PM
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Yeah I havent seen this image before. I hope its in before 2010.
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 6:56 PM
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side note from Council's October 2006 direction:

C. THAT Vancouver City Council request that TransLink begin planning the western extension of the Millenium Line along the Broadway Corridor in 2007 as this remains the City of Vancouver's highest transit priority.

http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/engs.../nextSteps.htm
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 7:35 PM
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It shouldn't be that difficult to implement phase 0. It already runs in the summer. If they wanted to, they could have phase 1 implemented before the Olympics.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 9:31 PM
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Remember, the rail that's already in place along Phase 0 is just one - there's got to be two. I'm not even sure if they're going to re-use the existing tracks, but you'd think they would. I know there's a PDF file kicking around somewhere on my computer, which shows the proposed routes. Anyway, we better be hearing some new news on this soon or I doubt anything will get completed by 2010.

WRT the request to Translink about the Millenium Line extension... I think that's going to be on hold for awhile. Isn't Translink being decommissioned or overhauled by Mr. Falcon?
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 9:41 PM
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I talked to a couple of the City's transportation planners at the EcoDensity fair a little while ago and they confirmed that Phase 0 is going ahead. The old tracks that were used to run the restored streetcars on in summer have been ripped up along 1st as part of the Olympic Village construction. When the repave the road and all of that the City is going to put in modern streetcar tracks and overheard wires, etc. that will be capable of running modern streetcars when the time arrives. Once the Olympics are done and the historic streetcars are back in operation, hopefully with a serious ridership boost because of the new neighbourhood, the City will forge ahead with Phase 1, which will run through Gastown and terminate at Waterfront Station. In one fell swoop the City creates a tourists streetcar that connects three of the city's biggest attractions; Granville Island, Chinatown (though I'm not sure why anymore, it is such a dump with the DTES spilling over), and Gastown.

My hunch is that the City will either start buying up working antique streetcars from elsewhere in the world to run on the route if they choose to keep it kitschy and touristy, or, in all likelihood, they will start buying modern low-floor streetcars to meet demand and do an end run around Translink that way. By the time Translink demands it be shut down, because afterall only Translink is allowed to operate transit service (what then exactly are taxis and the False Creek aquabuses?), the service will be too popular. Someone from Translink already sent the City a polite reminder that a streetcar system is not one of Translink's priorities and that Translink is the only body authorized to operate transit.

Regardless of how it is done, I am certain this thing is a go. It will start slow, it is already glacially slow, but I think it will pick up steam once the Olympic Village and the Canada Line are up and running and it fills a gap in transit access to Granville Island.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 9:42 PM
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true they need two rails... but the ROW is there now.

As for m-line West... I agree that it's probably on hold until the fall at least.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 10:02 PM
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sounds good - the streetcar will provide a good link between main street science world skytrain and the new canada line

people can avoid the mess of changing lines downtown
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2007, 10:48 PM
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I know when Woodwards was in the design stage, the streetcar network had to be taken into consideration. While Westbank did not have to give up any space due to the planned station being just east of Abbott, they did have to design the pedestrian overpass to the gastown parkade with the street car trolley lines in mind. I think as far as the city is concerned phase 0 and 1 will happen, when is the question.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2007, 3:48 AM
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Great information. Thanks everybody... I'm glad to hear the dream is still alive, if barely. I suppose Translink's disapproval of the trolley line is a non-factor now that the authority has been rejigged by Minister Falcon.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2007, 3:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Gull View Post
Great information. Thanks everybody... I'm glad to hear the dream is still alive, if barely. I suppose Translink's disapproval of the trolley line is a non-factor now that the authority has been rejigged by Minister Falcon.
Yea, but then Falcon will tell the City to make the streetcar a P3 project.
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2007, 6:37 AM
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Partnerships BC

A project is automatically referred to Partnerships BC when the requested provincial funding component is in excess of $20M.

I don't know how much it would cost to do any one of the phases but I would bet it would cost more than $20M. Then again, if the City was able to operate it and collect fares on what is likely to become a profitable route then I don't see why there would be a need for Provincial funding, the city could just borrow what is needed and pay it back.
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2007, 8:57 AM
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Im not sure that phase 0 needs to be runing or could be runing during the olympics since there will be a security buffer around the olympic vilage and the street it should run down (1st i think) will likely be closed to traffic which means the street car network would be shut down. In my opinion phase 0 will be completed by 2010 but wont be operational until after the olympics except maybe from olympic station to granville island.
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 9:44 PM
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Latest City report:

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/...uments/tt3.pdf

Quote:
RECOMMENDATION

A. THAT Council approve the replacement of the single-track infrastructure
between Granville Island and the 2nd Avenue Canada Line Station to allow
continued operation of the Downtown Heritage Railway on the alignment at a
cost of $8.5 million; source of funding to be:
i. $500,000 as a funding contribution from CMHC Granville Island
ii. $4,000,000 from the Southeast False Creek Project
iii. $4,000,000 from existing Engineering Streets 2006-2008 Capital Budget;
AND THAT the funding of $0.8 million to be approved in advance of the 2008
Capital Budget, source of funding to be the 2006-2008 plebiscite approved
borrowing authority.

B. THAT Council instruct staff to seek opportunities to develop the Downtown
Streetcar Demonstration Project for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games using modern streetcar equipment and infrastructure.

C. THAT Council approve up to $1.0M to safeguard the streetcar alignment during
the 1st Avenue reconstruction for modern streetcar operations including cost
sharing with Metro Vancouver for the cost premiums of relocating the regional
forcemain between Columbia Street and Quebec Street; source of funding to
be provided from the existing Engineering Streets 2006-2008 Capital Budget.
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  #16  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 9:56 PM
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interesting
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  #17  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 10:04 PM
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Looks good, the rest of the document has some good info in it as well. With so little money needed to get this going I've always been surprised it's taken this long. Hopefully Phase 3 gets the go ahead shortly after the Olympics. The only negative I can see is a possible end to the the aquabuses.
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  #18  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
... using modern streetcar equipment and infrastructure.
Ya know, since the line extends from "historic" Granville Island, to/thru/nearby historic Chinatown and historic Gastown as well as the downtown loop, I wouldn't mind seeing a mix of some historic streetcars as well as modern streetcars.

Modern streetcars are too "cookie cutter" and sterile and besides older/historic streetcars adds some character to the ride both inside and out, which can attract additional tourist ridership through that relatively confined area.
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  #19  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Aquabusses will be fine... other than science world they dont really serve the same area as phase 0 of the streetcar will anyway. And once the Pacific Blvd. extension is in place the aquabusses can still get across False Creek faster than it takes to go all the way around it.

The aquabusses will always have a that niche market of tourists too.
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  #20  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 10:42 PM
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"for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games"

They'd better hustle in that case. Less than 2 years for all this?
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