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everything you need to know about the upcoming changes to vancouver’s transportation system
Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Changes to Vancouver’s Transportation System
everything you need to know about the upcoming changes to vancouver’s transportation system

Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Changes to Vancouver’s Transportation System

A new app to manage trips in Vancouver is coming

After a small pilot project between October 2019 and August 2020, TransLink is preparing to release an official transportation app that could help users plan and manage trips when using public transportation, car-share, and bike-share services in Metro Vancouver. With rising costs in car ownership and gas, there’s been a sharp spike in the number of people opting to get around by bus, rental cars, rental bicycles, and so on. 

The new app, which currently has no release date, is expected to work in conjunction with TransLink (bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, etc.), Evo (car share), Modo (car share), and Mobi Bike Share. If successful, Modo CEO Patrick Nangle claims that the app could expand to include other services like False Creek Ferries, the Aquabus, and the new Hullo ferry service that operates between Vancouver and Nanaimo. Be sure to keep an eye out for any updates!

New passenger-only ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver

In mid-July, it was announced that two new high-speed ferries, operated by the ferry company Hullo, would start providing passenger-only rides between Vancouver and Nanaimo (on Vancouver Island). Bookings for the vessels opened on August 14 and the initial rides were well-received by its passengers. The ride from Vancouver to Nanaimo (and vice versa) will take approximately 70 minutes on Hullo’s ferries, and the ferries themselves can carry a maximum of 354 passengers per ride. 

Since the ferry is passenger-only, no vehicles are allowed on board. Passengers will board and depart from two terminals: the Nanaimo Port Authority and the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre. Fares start at $29.99 CAD for the first booking, with three service tiers to choose from comfort, premium, and business. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on both ferries, and passengers can bring on cats, dogs, and bicycles at no additional cost if they are under 10 pounds. 

Burnaby Mountain’s Gondola Project

About the project

The Burnaby Mountain Gondola, a topic of discussion for several years, aims to improve transportation options in British Columbia’s Burnaby region by providing fast, frequent, and reliable access between the SkyTrain’s Production Way-University Station to Burnaby Mountain and Simon Fraser University (SFU). The proposal was initially created to address challenges related to road congestion, which often worsens during peak hours due to the increasing population of students arriving and departing and vehicular traffic in the area. 

Why a gondola?

With over 25,000 trips made up and down Burnaby Mountain daily, it gets incredibly busy on the roads that lead up to the mountain. By providing an efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation, the gondola can alleviate the strain on existing roadways while reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other emissions. While the initial costs of building a gondola can be significant, the operational costs will be much lower than maintaining buses and roads for the next 30+ years. 

Projected timeline 

Construction for the Burnaby Mountain Gondola has not yet been started, but Infrastructure BC’s recently published update on the project lists a potential start in 2026. The project has been included in the Mayors’ 10-Year Priorities, which means that citizens will continue to receive updates as the project progresses in the next ten years. 

Millennium Line UBC Extension

About the project

Like the Burnaby Mountain Gondola project, the potential extension of the Millennium Line to the University of British Columbia (UBC) has been in the talks for a long time. TransLink, which is in charge of Metro Vancouver’s transportation network, has been studying the benefits of adding a SkyTrain extension to UBC to meet transit demand along the Broadway Corridor. The 99 B-Line bus that runs along Broadway Corridor carries up to 60,000 people per day and is one of Vancouver’s most crowded bus routes. 

Preparing for future demand

With an increasing number of students and residents in the area, TransLink believes that extending the Millennium Line to UBC will address the issue of overcrowded buses, bus bunching, and long wait times. The Millennium Line extension to UBC could mean that by 2050, roughly 130,000 people can be transported per day, more than double the number of passengers that can be carried on the 99 B-Line bus. Since the SkyTrain can efficiently transport a more significant number of people, it would also reduce the need for individual cars, and traffic congestion and promote sustainable transportation options. 

Sources: Vancouver to soon get inter-modal transportation app, New passenger-only ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver to open bookings next week, Burnaby Mountain Gondola, Millennium Line UBC Extension

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