Mayors, TransLink commit to rapid transit connection to congested North Shore

·2 min read
The Iron Workers Memorial Bridge links Vancouver to the North Shore. (Christer Waara/CBC - image credit)
The Iron Workers Memorial Bridge links Vancouver to the North Shore. (Christer Waara/CBC - image credit)

TransLink and Metro Vancouver mayors have unveiled the first set of 10-year priorities under the Transport 2050 strategy, including a commitment to build a rapid transit connection to the traffic-snarled North Shore.

"We have challenges with congestion and really for people moving not just to and from the North Shore, but through the North Shore," said North Vancouver City Mayor Linda Buchanan.

The method of rapid transit to the North Shore has not been determined, nor has the cost, funding, route or potential date of completion.

Buchanan said she could see a future that involves one technology to get people onto the North Shore, and something different to move people east and west across the region.

She told the CBC's The Early Edition investments in local mobility strategies will, in the shorter term, allow buses to move through traffic more easily, including on the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.

"We're going to invest more money into transit priorities which really allows the buses to move faster and more competitively than driving, so people see [transit] as an option."

TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said building out bus rapid transit (BRT) infrastructure is the quickest, easiest and most cost effective way to increase transit service.

Quinn described BRT as "essentially rail on wheels" and said it should not be confused with the RapidBus system.

"In some corridors, there is opportunity to reconfigure some roads where we do have some space. And some will involve hard conversations around trade-offs, around congestion and around parking ... but that's part of the process, part of engaging with communities," he said.

Quinn said the plan does not envision putting dedicated bus lanes on the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.

"The Second Narrows is clearly a significant pinch point and I don't think this plan is suggesting any road or lane reallocation," he said.

TransLink and the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation are gathering feedback through a survey that is open to the public through May 4.

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