The SeaBus may soon have some company.
The B.C. government is working with TransLink and municipal funding partners to look at the feasibility of a potential rapid-transit crossing across the Burrard Inlet to the North Shore.
“Our government recognizes commuters on the North Shore are frustrated with congestion,” Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said.
“With this feasibility study, we’re exploring potential solutions that help people move around more easily, which will improve quality of life.”
The Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project proposed a connection between Lonsdale City Centre and the city of Vancouver. Governments have long grappled with the challenges of a third fixed crossing between the North Shore and Vancouver.
But a transit project would be something different and offer North Vancouver and West Vancouver transit infrastructure that they have missed out on in the past.
“Traffic congestion is intricately connected to issues like housing affordability,” North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma said.
“Over the years, the high cost of housing has forced people to move further from the places they work, resulting in longer commutes and serious traffic issues. This feasibility study is an extremely exciting addition to the many initiatives we have implemented so far and continue to work on to get the North Shore moving again.”
The study will look at the compatibility of a transit crossing with existing and future land use, as well as the potential for affordable housing as part of its evaluation metrics.
The study could also consider increased use of the Burrard Inlet through an extended passenger ferry network.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the District of North Vancouver, the City of Vancouver, City of North Vancouver and City of West Vancouver are contributing funding towards the study that will get underway this summer.
“This is wonderful news for us here in the City of North Vancouver and for the North Shore in general,” North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan said.
“Not only does approval of this funding demonstrate the benefits of intergovernmental co-operation, but it also brings us a critical step closer to addressing traffic issues in a meaningful way. This is the kind of bold action we need to take as we work to become the healthiest small city in the world.”