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For Immediate Release June 30, 2022

NORTH VANCOUVER — North Shore Connects is pleased to see Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit (BIRT) confirmed as part of Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities.

Transport 2050, TransLink’s regional strategy, commits to:

  • delivering a traffic-separated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) connection between Park Royal and Metrotown as soon as possible by immediately beginning the required planning work to advance a BRT option so construction of rapid transit can begin within years 0-5;
  • advancing business case development concurrently to confirm whether the ultimate technology will be BRT, Light Rail Transit, or SkyTrain (or a combination);
  • confirming the associated alignment, terminus locations, and degree of grade separation including options for a dedicated transit crossing of Burrard Inlet; and
  • in the meantime, increasing bus service and transit priority measures, as feasible, between Park Royal and Metrotown to improve bus travel times, operating costs, and grow ridership in advance of a more permanent rapid transit investment.

North Shore Connects will support TransLink, government agencies and stakeholders to get the planning and implementation of this new rapid transit connection completed as quickly as possible. We look forward to working with TransLink to complete the planning work and business case to confirm the alignment, terminus locations and degree of grade separation, as well as engaging with our communities.

BRT provides fast, frequent and high-capacity service to high-demand corridors. It can be built at a fraction of the cost of rail-based technology and can be built in a fraction of the time, making this investment a cost-effective, competitive and fast solution. Many jurisdictions around the world use BRT to mitigate congestion and move people quickly and reliably.

BRT is different from TransLink’s RapidBus service in that it is traffic separated and has signal priority; has fast and convenient boarding to minimize the amount of time the bus remains stopped; and specialized vehicles that enable high passenger capacity. Vehicles would be electric or produce zero-emissions with advanced driver assistance controls, ensuring a smooth ride.

The Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities also include other investments to improve transportation on, to and from the North Shore, including a 25% increase in SeaBus service; a new BRT connection between Lynn Valley and Lonsdale and potentially downtown Vancouver; and completing up to three quarters of the 2050 Major Bikeway Network and other measures to make active transport a convenient choice for short trips. TransLink will also work with provincial and regional partners to explore express bus solutions connecting the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and Metro Vancouver.

The North Shore is the last large population base in the region without rapid transit. Over the last three years BIRT has undergone preliminary feasibility and economic impact studies. The findings of the economic impact study indicate that BIRT will assist the region in meeting goals related to reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions as well as enhancing economic opportunity and productivity.

Important local, regional, and provincial benefits include:

  • Shifting more than 50,000 daily vehicle trips to transit, resulting in decreased congestion, emissions, and collisions.
  • An investment like BIRT will result in at least $750M saved in the year 2050 compared to a business-as-usual future.
  • A near doubling of jobs accessible within a 60-minute transit ride for North Shore residents.
  • Improved connectivity and economic development conditions for four First Nations reserves across the North Shore.

About North Shore Connects

North Shore Connects is a partnership of the District of West Vancouver, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation), who are together improving transportation on, to, and from the North Shore. Partners are also working in tandem to advocate for long overdue transportation investments. North Shore Connects is focused on reducing congestion, supporting livable communities, strengthening regional transportation, and growing the economy.

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Mayor Mary-Ann Booth, District of West Vancouver:
“The inclusion of Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit in the Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities is great news for the North Shore. A traffic-separated rapid transit connection between Metrotown and Park Royal is something that North Shore Connects strongly advocated for, and we’re thrilled to see it moving forward. This investment will help relieve congestion for people moving on, to and from the North Shore, reduce our GHG emissions, grow our economy and improve liveability for everyone.”

Council Spokesperson, Sxwíxwtn, Wilson Williams​, Squamish Nation:
“The Squamish Nation strongly supports Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit as it will improve public transit between our lands and the rest of the region. The rapid transit system will make it easier and quicker for Nation members to get to work, access essential services, connect with their culture and visit loved ones.  We look forward to working with our partners to establish the rapid transit system, which will pass through the shared traditional territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations.”

Mayor Linda Buchanan, City of North Vancouver:
“I’m thrilled that North Shore Connects has successfully moved Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit forward and received this commitment from the Mayors’ Council. Congestion is frustrating for everyone. For too long people haven’t had a fast and reliable option for traveling across the inlet. That’s why we have been steadfast in securing this investment. We can implement Bus Rapid Transit quickly so that people can move more efficiently. This investment will put us at the forefront of modern transit solutions.”

Mayor Mike Little, District of North Vancouver:
“We know that people travelling on, to and from the North Shore need solutions now. Implementing Bus Rapid Transit at the beginning of the plan is great news and the first step forward in continuing to develop the rapid transit system to and across the North Shore. This new rapid transit connection will make commute times faster and more reliable, and link the North Shore to the rest of the region.”

Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation:
“We are pleased to see these transportation investments for the North Shore included in Transport 2050. Tsleil-Waututh community members living both on reserve and travelling to the reserve need better and more sustainable transportation options to support long-term livability and prosperity for generations to come. We look forward to the implementation of Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit soon as possible.”

Media Contacts:

District of West Vancouver
Donna Powers, 604-219-4806

District of North Vancouver
Courtenay Rannard

City of North Vancouver
Tamara Connor, Research and Communications Specialist, Mayor’s Office

Pardeep Purewal, Manager of Communications, City of North Vancouver

Squamish Nation

Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Cassie Brondgeest, Communications Coordinator