North Shore Connects Requests Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit be Prioritized in
the Next Mayors’ Council 10-year Vision and Investment Plan
For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2022
NORTH VANCOUVER — North Shore Connects is requesting that Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit (BIRT) be prioritized in the new Mayors’ Council 10-Year Regional Transit and Transportation Vision and Investment Plan, following supportive council votes by all three local North Shore governments on February 7 and support from the host Nations.
The three municipal government partners of North Shore Connects all received staff reports at their respective council meetings seeking a formal endorsement that BIRT be considered a priority investment given its significant local and regional benefits. All three councils were in unanimous support.
BIRT has been included in TransLink’s recently adopted Regional Transportation Strategy (Transport 2050), but it must be prioritized in the new 10-Year Vision and subsequent Investment Plan to ensure planning, design, and construction will begin within the next decade. Once an investment in rapid transit across the inlet is confirmed, North Shore Connects will support TransLink, government agencies and stakeholders to determine the most appropriate alignment and technology.
The North Shore is the last large population base in the region without planned 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.
- 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. For more information visit: northshoreconnects.ca
Mayor Mary-Ann Booth, District of West Vancouver:
“We know how vital the movement of people and goods is on the North Shore, and we’ve heard loud and clear from people both here and across the region who want to see improvements to transit. The partners of North Shore Connects believe Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit must be prioritized in the TransLink Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Regional Transit and Transportation Vision so we can make it easier for people who live, work and play on the North Shore to get around.”
Council Chair Khelsilem, Squamish Nation:
“Bringing rapid transit to the North Shore has the potential to support and enhance the sustainable development of Squamish Nation’s lands and support our economic development goals. It could improve access to jobs, affordable housing and education for our members, while also providing better connections in the region and between our lands.”
Mayor Linda Buchanan, City of North Vancouver:
“We all want to move from place to place as efficiently as possible. But for too long people haven’t had a competitive option for moving to, through, and from the North Shore. That’s why City of North Vancouver Council has endorsed prioritizing rapid transit over the inlet and are asking that it be included in TransLink’s next 10-year Vision and Investment Plan. Enhancing the movement of goods and people through this busy corridor is critical in growing regional prosperity, lowering emissions, and supporting the wellbeing of people.”
Mayor Mike Little, District of North Vancouver:
“Transportation continues to be a pivotal issue for our community. Rapid transit will help address this key challenge as it will enhance connections between local communities and the region, improving access to jobs, education, and recreation. Providing a more reliable form of transportation significantly benefits the local economy by helping local employers attract and retain workers from across the region. On behalf of the District of North Vancouver Council, I recommend a rapid transit link to the North Shore is included in the TransLink Mayors’ Council’s next 10-year Vision and Investment Plan.”
Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation:
“Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit is an important piece to add to our regional transportation network. It will provide our community members with increased access to public transportation and support long-term sustainability and livability for our community members and people in the region for generations to come.”
Mark Lamarre, CEO, Seaspan Shipyards:
“Attracting and retaining employees is critical for Seaspan, as is the timely delivery of materials to our North Vancouver sites. Transportation remains a key challenge for our business. Prioritizing investment in Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit is vital for us and our supply chain partners so we can continue to drive significant economic impact for the North Shore, as well as for our region and across Canada.”
Bill Mooney, President, Western Group; Chair, City of North Vancouver Mayor’s Business Advisory Working Group:
“The North Shore is a gateway for local, regional and national economies. Reducing congestion to ease the movement of goods and people is a top priority for many businesses. The endorsement of BIRT in the next Mayor’s Council 10-year Vision and Investment Plan by North Shore Connects is a welcomed step forward in securing long-term jobs that are vital to healthy communities.”
Paul Dangerfield, President, Capilano University:
“Even with recent advances in instructional technologies, Capilano University students continue to prioritize location-based learning. CapU programs are highly experiential and our economic contribution to the region is significant. We believe that affordable, efficient rapid transit holds the potential to ease traffic congestion on the North Shore and represents a critical aspect of infrastructure that will broaden our accessibility to students and employees from across the Lower Mainland.”
Chris Catliff, President and CEO, BlueShore Financial:
“As one of the North Shore’s largest private sector employers, BlueShore Financial confirms that the economic competitiveness of our region is dependent on the prioritization of Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit. Sustainable, efficient and reliable transit options are needed now to support employees working on the North Shore.”
District of West Vancouver
Michaela Garstin, Communications Advisor
District of North Vancouver
City of North Vancouver
Tamara Connor, Research and Communications Specialist, Mayor’s Office
Pardeep Purewal, Manager of Communications,
City of North Vancouver
Victoria Levy, Communications Manager