Transportation is a vital component of a dense, eco-friendly community. Our riding of Vancouver-False Creek is well served by a bus network and seven Skytrain stations. These provide people with options to enter and leave downtown with great efficiency.

I was pleased to play a key role in the approval and development of the Canada Line which gave citizens an environmentally sustainable transit option.

But more and more folks want to enjoy the urban lifestyle that we currently enjoy, which means our downtown population is increasing. An urban, dense environment like ours requires greater options for moving around our neighbourhood, so we can have less cars downtown and transit that is environmentally sustainable.

We need to enhance our transit system by adding new alternatives. During the Olympics, I initiated a project that successfully demonstrated the viability of streetcars.

I want to actively promote the development of a modern streetcar network to connect our downtown neighbourhoods; from Granville Island, to Olympic Village, International Village, Chinatown, Yaletown, and the Convention Centre.

Vancouver’s early development occurred around streetcars. In the late 1800’s tram lines began to stretch the distance early residents could live from work or commerce. Clusters of density began to emerge at stations and line intersections. Tram lines went south to Steveston and east to Chilliwack with a comprehensive grid in between. However, by the 1950’s, as with many North American cities, roads and freeways filled with automobiles and buses pushed the streetcars away.

There are some considerable advantages to implementing a streetcar approach.

Streetcar systems are less expensive than Skytrain type systems that require tunneling or elevated lines. They also require less power. They tend to foster development and vibrancy along corridors, as opposed to just at station nodes.

They are ideal in dense areas where circulating passengers is important and are a complement to regional transit lines like Skytrain. They have greater capacity than buses and last over twice as long.

My vision is a Streetcar line connecting the high density neighbourhoods of Vancouver False Creek. This would be a contribution to our community that would truly attract residents out of their cars, encourage greater mobility, increase transit accessibility, and be environmentally sustainable.


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