Vancouver's Street Car Gift: Keep It? (PICS and the Tyee Weigh In)

March 2, 2010.
A video documentary by the Tyee has shown that Olympic travelers on Bombardier’s demonstration Olympic Line streetcar believe it to be a positive contribution to Vancouver’s mass transit system. Bombardier’s ‘Flexity Outlook’ streetcar is on loan from Brussels and has been in operation for the duration of the Games. The streetcar was an instrumental part of Translink and the City of Vancouver's plan to keep cars off the road and control traffic during the Olympic games.

However, there are tentative plans, supported by Mayor Gregor Robertson, to extend the Olympic Line into a full downtown streetcar line that would carry passengers from Granville Island through downtown, and extend all the way to Chilco Street in Stanley Park.

Much of BC’s transportation runs on fossil fuels and as a result is responsible for 37% of BC emissions and the generation of local health impacts from air pollution. Increased mass transport running on clean electricity (90% of BC’s energy is from renewable hydro electric sources) can make a significant contribution to BC’s emissions reduction goals.

Support for the streetcar feeds into both broader debates on the role of mass transit in climate policy, and active engagement of the population in new sustainable transport options for a growing city.

See also the Tyee article: