The province is set to begin the first-ever study into the feasibility of a rapid transit line connecting the North Shore and downtown Vancouver.
But the study’s genesis is in the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project, which was spearheaded by North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma in 2018. That project brought together all three levels of government to study and prioritize transportation improvements for the North Shore.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to see us move forward,” Ma said. “This one is definitely a very exciting opportunity for us.”
INSTPP recommended further study of a 3.2-kilometre Lonsdale Quay-Waterfront Station tunnel, “which also happens to be the widest, deepest part of Burrard Inlet,” Ma acknowledged.
The study approved by the province this week will consider all possible routes spanning the inlet. The study will be broken up into two pieces. Over the summer, the province and TransLink will determine whether it’s even physically possible to build a tunnel or bridge to Vancouver, how it could plug into the rest of the system, whether the existing and future land use plans could support a rapid transit line with ridership, and some notional costs.
“To be realistic about this, crossing the Burrard Inlet with rapid transit is not straightforward,” Ma said. “There was some preliminary geotechnical work that was done in the 1960s, specifically looking at a Brockton Point connection but there has, to this date, been no comprehensive feasibility study to fully assess what viable connections there are in terms of rapid transit.”