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Transcript of Transportation Timeline
BC portion of
This fulfills the promise made when BC joined confederation in 1871. The route crosses the Pacific Cascade Mountains in the Fraser river canyon, and the Rocky mountains in kicking horse pass. Its construction spanned three federal governments. The original contract to build the railway was for $25 million, but millions in additional loans were needed before the completion of the line
built in Vancouver
The original terminus of CPR is extended from Port Moody, at the end of the Burrard Inlet, to False Creek, in the small town of Vancouver. The arrival of the train prompts the incorporation of the city and the swelling of its inhabitants from 400 at the arrival of the railway to 13000 four years later
two decades of
Vancouver Electric Railway and Light Company established. This is the first urban public transportation company. It is public in the sense that the services are open the whole public, but the company is privately owned and operated, and the investments are from private capital. Over the next two decades, streetcar and inter-urban rail lines are added in Richmond, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Fraser Mills (southwestern Coquitlam), and Burnaby. Several other rail companied are established for the building and operation of the various lines in Vancouver's surrounding communities.
With the global depression in the 1890s, three streetcar and light rail companies ( National Electric Tramway and Lighting Company Limited, Vancouver Electric Railway and Light Company Limited, Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Company) are amalgamated in 1895 into the Consolidated Railway and Light Company
In 1886, the name was changed to the
Consolidated Railway Company, and transit services in Victoria were acquired
In 1887, the amalgamated company is reorganized as the British Columbia Electric Railway Company Limited after an accident in Victoria that resulted into 55 deaths. The company is thereafter known as BC Electric and Railway, or just plain BC Electric. It is responsible to delivery of electricity as well as transit services. It develops coal-powered and, starting from 1903, hydro-powered plants to expand its energy production, largely in order to supply power to the expanding streetcar network
Buses added to
is a major port
Vancouver's port was a major outlet for Asian tea and silk. After the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, shipping to Europe was easier, making exports from BC cheaper and more widely available.
After the growth in automobiles in the 1920‚ road surface paving increased to try to support the near 100,000 cars on the road at the time, although there were still large routes that were left untouched.
for private cars
1945 and on
to accommodate surge of private vehicles
After the war ends, roadwork increased to accommodate to the surge of cars, buses and trucks. Military engineers turned their attention to massive public works in highway building, and energy.
Highway building ensued, opening up BC and allowing more travel and growth as the population and economy continued to grow. Various transportation modes were created in response to building developments, damming and energy projects, and new pulp mills.
Trans-Canada Highway construction began in 1950, opening in 1962. It was mostly funded by the province and a small portion by the federal government. Bridges, railways, and ferries continued to expand at the same time.
Streetcars in metro Vancouver stopped operating in April, 1955, while various interurban were routes stopped in Nov 1956 and Feb 1958, after significant decreases in the number of routes, starting in the early 1950’s. By 1955, only one streetcar was located downtown, on Robson street, and two interurban routes to Marpole still existed.
Streetcars were partially replaced by trolly buses and eventually diesel buses.
soars to half million
After the Interurban routes and streetcars were closed down, automobile registration grew to almost 550,000 vehicles by the end of the decade, creating need for two-lane urban road systems. Multi-laneing began in Vancouver, and bridge projects such as the Second Narrows, Port Mann and Massy Tunney were begun. Funding for roads in 1954 was at $36 million, and tolls were used briefly, though removed in 1960, except the Coquihala, which had a toll until 1986.
BC Ferries is
Recognizing the need for reliable ferry service on the west coast, Premier W.A.C. Bennett announced that the BC Ferry Authority would be established under mandate from the provincial government. This was partially in response to employees from the Black Ball Line (a private operator that the north depended on) striking
BC ferries initially built two ships, and ran the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route, subsequently adding routes and buying several private ferry companies, including the Black Ball Line
The Chinese community joined together with white supporters to prevent the freeway from being constructed. The freeway plan would have seen the demolition of hundreds of houses in Chinatown and Strathcona.
By 1971, Chinatown was declared a historical area. While the freeway was never built in its entirety, the Georgia viaduct was constructed, destroying Hogan's Alley, an ethnically diverse street where Vancouver's black population was concentrated.
Today, municipal bylaws and geography have protected Vancouver from the spread of urban freeways
Hydro begins to
W.A.C. Bennet's government purchased BC Electric Railway (which was a private company) for the crown. The link between power nd transportation was historically close. BCER was in fact responsible for much of the power development in the province in the previous decades, in order to power the interurban trains and electric streetcars and trollies. The hydro projects at Buntzen Lake and on the Stave River were built for this purpose.
Transportation became a division of the newly created crown corporation BC Hydro. It was funded through a small levy on customers' electric bills until the transit system was taken over by BC Transit in 1980
1979 - 1982
BC Transit is
The provincial government establishes the Urban Transport Authority (UTA) to coordinate and increase the role of local governments in transportation decisions. The new organization took over Vancouver and Victoria's transit systems in 1980 from BC Hydro. In 1982, it was renamed BC Transit
SeaBus is created
The modern route between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay was established as part of the Transportation Division of BC Hydro. The Vancouver-North Shore route was originally served by a series of privately owned vessels, starting in 1900. After a decade of decline in the business, the last ferry ran in 1958. After this, nearly two decades passed with no regular service between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore. In the 1960's, a tunnel was planned as part of the freeway system that was proposed for Vancouver. After these plans were canceled, some of the funds intended for them were diverted into the establishment of the SeaBuses
The SkyTrain is an automated rapid transit system that was originally completed as a transit showcase for EXPO 86 World Fair to celebrate Vancouver's 100th anniversary through the theme of Transportation and Communication. The Expo Line operates from Downtown Vancouver through Burnaby, New Westminster and into Surrey
SkyTrain is operated by British Columbia Rapid Transit Company Ltd. which is a subsidiary of Translink
SkyTrain is built
in preparation for
George Puil was
elected as chair of
the GVRD board
(GVTA) was created
begins on the
bus drivers and
mechanics go on
TransLink & GVRD approve
10-year Regional Transportation
Plan and the U-Pass is introduced
A new governance structure
is established, and revenue
efforts to go green
The Golden Ears bridge
Bicycle Lane opens.
Electronic Compass Cards
Over 200,000 people used Canada
Line trains daily during the 2010
Vancouver early 1900's: streetcars on Granville, Hastings, Main, Cordova, Cambie, Robson, Davie and streets
Provincial government unilaterally declassified the responsibility of provincial secondary highways to municipalities, which created a burden of having to maintain newly acquired roads. Puil, with a priority of transportation, took the opportunity to negotiate new governance and funding agreements for transit systems and roads, beginning with the Livable Region Strategic Plan which sought to set a criteria for TransLink's governance and funding.
The Livable Region Strategic Plan was created to increase travel at both the intra and inter-municipal level, with funding for it coming from subsidies and collecting property taxes from other municipalities for transit system in Vancouver. However, the leading figures for GVRD and the provincial gov't were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Thus, Puil met with NDP minister of transportation, Joy McPhail in February 1997 to negotiate a new authority in which the GVTA was created. On July 1998, the GVTA was approved by the provincial legislature and the GVTA Act was signed. The GVTA has all functions of BC Transit within the GVRD, allocate funding to municipalities for capital improvements and maintenance of major road networks, offer transportation demand management program for residents, and ensure its services met region’s air quality objectives. Its funding comes from fuel tax, parking sales tax revenue, property tax, transit fares, and stakeholders.
In 1999, TransLink becomes the official name of the GVTA.
The Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMB), a subsidiary of TransLink operating 96% of the region’s buses with over 5000 employees, assumed responsibility of bus operations in the Vancouver area, excluding West Vancouver Blue Buses.
Translink itself would operates SkyTrain, SeaBus, Albion Ferry, Major Roads and Bridges, West Coast Express and the AirCare emission testing program for cars. Ridership was at 187,912,227 people, with over 4500 employees.
A new strategic
plan for Translink is
released, but remains
A new strategic plan (for 2000-2005) was released by TransLink with three main objectives: to expand existing transit services, to improve the existing Major Road Networks (MRN) & add new facilities such as the South Fraser Perimeter Road, and a bridge to replace the Albion Ferry, and to promote alternatives such as walking and cycling. At that time, TransLink proposed a Vehicle Levy to tax vehicle owners to pay a set amount of $75 each year through their vehicle insurance to generate $95 million by 2002. However, the government nixed the plan. Car lobby groups, The BC Trucking Association and BC Automobile Association, opposed the levy, as did a large portion of the public. Also, ICBC refused to collect the levy through vehicle insurance. Therefore, the new plan remained unfunded and could not be implemented.
It was the longest strike in Canadian history, in which CMBC wanted to employ more part-time drivers to increase efficiency and save $9 million over 3 years while members of CAW wanted 18% wage hike over 3 years. Riders began to express frustration in lack of services and members of Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association saw business drop by 39%.Thus, the Liberals under Gordon Campbell introduced the ‘back-to-work’ legislation to end the strike. It ended with a settlement that gave union members 85% wage increase over 3 years, plus a $1,000 signing bonus, and wage increase demands to 8%.
In 2001, TransLink is given permission from the provincial government to add 2 cents per litre for gasoline to generate $42 million annually to improve transportation.
A $4 billion plan, created through public consultation and municipal and stakeholder meetings, was constructed to increase services, buses and the future CanLine for the following ten years. In September, university students were targeted to increase ridership, implementing the U-Pass for UBC and SFU, which is later expanded to colleges in 2007.
A New Deal for Cities was created when federal policy changed and a portion of the fuel tax from the region was allocated to TransLink as a new source of revenue. BC would receive $635 million in federal gas tax funding over the next 5 years.
Richmond mayor, Malcolm Brodie, becomes third chair of TransLink, replacing Doug McCallum. A new governance structure for TransLink was established after Transport minister Kevin Falcon declared that TransLink lacked the expertise to deal with multi-billion dollar projects. Some changes included a board of 9 independent directors instead of the board of municipally elected officials, and TransLink no longer reports to the GVRD for change of plans. Instead, a new Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation makes key decisions: All 21 municipalities are represented by their respective mayors on this council. Translink introduced a new generation of electric trolley buses, replacing the old models built in the early 1980s.
Translink’s Transportation Demand Management group aims to reduce single-occupant vehicle trips within Metro Vancouver to improve air, fight climate change, and reduce congestion. These efforts included the Employers Pass, Park & Ride sites and several car pooling programs. TransLink also created the Transport 2040 Plan, with a 30-year sustainability-oriented strategy aligned with the provincial government’s 30-year transportation vision and Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy.
The 25-kilometer green bicycle corridor with routes forms a regional connection linking downtown Vancouver to Burnaby & New Westminster. Counts by City of Vancouver show almost 2,000 cyclists using the route within first month of opening.
32% of businesses along installed bike lanes responded to survey from City of Vancouver in which they reported a total of $480,000 in lost profits per year, which was categorized 'moderate economic impact'.
After the Burrard bike lane opened, data from City of Vancouver showed daily bicycle travel across bridge had increased by 30%.
The new six-lane $800 million Golden Ears bridge opens and replaces the Albion Ferry Service that was operated by Fraser River Marine Transportation Ltd.
As a result of the new gates implemented in each SkyTrain station, TransLink is introducing an electronic Compass Card to replace existing monthly and daily passes, tickets and cash. This is implemented in efforts to lower fare evasions. A former Deputy Minister of Transportation argues that as a result of this system, less transit police will be necessary.
The region's northeast communities felt cheated that the Millennium Line and now the Canada Line has taken priority over the EverGreen Line. But the province argues that the demand for Canada Line is higher. A 20 year forecast showed population in central Vancouver growing by 50%, and 75% in Richmond with employment in YVR increasing by 75%. The Canada Line is operated under ProTrans BC, a private concessionaire, but is funded publicly.
Ridership on the Canada Line has grown steadily since. Current daily ridership is over 120,000, 20,000 over the projected 100,000 ridership levels by 2013.
Translink maxes out
legislated funding sources;
The funding instruments mandated by the provincial government for Translink (federal gas tax, municipal property tax, parking taxes) are tapped out to their maximum levels.
Translink states that they cannot expand service, and suggest a list of funding options, including a vehicle levy, road pricing, and sales taxes. These are turned down, resulting in a freeze of service expansion (excepting small efficiency gains and re-allocation of service.
Despite opposition of municipalities that favoured light rail, the routes were chosen by provincial government since they funded 100% of the capital costs. It was built on a budget of $124 billion; however they were able to keep the costs $4 million below budget. The Millennium Line was originally expected to branch out to Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. This extension is now known as the EverGreen Line which is expected to open in 2016. Currently, TransLink is planning to extend the route from VCC-Clark station to UBC; though this plan remains unfunded.
Christy Clark's liberal government has said that they want a mandate from the people through a referendum on funding and expanding transit in the lower mainland. Therefore, no decision will be made on funding for the large capital projects (such as expanded rail transit networks) that Vancouver and Surrey are demanding until the issue goes to a vote in conjunction with the 2014 municipal elections. The wording of the referendum question will be decided by the government in consultation with the mayor's council and Translink board.
Construction began at New Westminster to expand the SkyTrain rapid transit system by adding the Millennium Line that links New Westminster and Burnaby to Vancouver.