Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 14th, 2006

Put the trolleys back on Cambie

with 6 comments

This just got posted to the LRC (Livable Region Coalition) list and I am posting it here in full and uneditted, just in case my reader wants to do something about it

I appologize for the last minute message but I wanted to let fellow LRC
members know about an important issue coming up on Friday at the GVTA
meeting we hope we can get more speakers out for.When RAV/Canada Line
construction is completed the original plan was to
use "mini-buses" for service between stations.  Fortunately Translink has
woken up to what we've been telling them for months, that the passenger
projections show minibuses just won't cut it.  It's a long way between
some stations and there are a lot of apartment buildings (eg. between King
Edward and 10th), RAV will not be the magic bullet for Cambie corrodore
transportation needs.

In the original budgetting Translink had set aside money to reinstall
trolley overhead, at a minimum as an emergency route in case of problems
on Oak or Main Streets.  However staff is currently recommending NOT to
proceed with this, but instead simply using 40-foot Diesil buses for the
route and forget about reinstalling trolley overhead all together.

To lose this clean, efficient means of transportation, something which has
added to Vancouver remaining so liveable is something I hope the LRC would
be interested in fighting against.  My group and I are hoping members
would both write Vancouver city council telling them to demand Translink
keep it's promise and reinstall trolley traction poles, at least keeping
the option open for future trolley usage (the price different between
trolley traction poles and standard light poles when installing new is not
that significant, one might as well keep their options open).  As well to
write the GVTA board supporting trolley usage on Cambie Street.

The meeting is this Friday morning at Surrey council chambers, and
unfortunately the deadline to register to speak is tomorrow (Wednesday)
morning at 8am.
To register to talk, the website is:

Vancouver city mayor and council is:

GVTA Board is:

Some of the wire is actually still there – though not in usable condition. And I suspect that there will be a shortage of trolleybuses by the time the Canada Line is finished because they did not order the same number (244) that is being replaced. At one time an option being considered was getting some artic trolleys for the heaviest loading routes. I don’t know what happened to that idea.

UPDATE November 17, 2006

From Translink’s “Board in Brief”

4.2 Cambie Street Bus Service Following Introduction of Canada Line
The Board approved not reinstalling the trolley overhead system on Cambie Street between Marine Drive and Broadway; and directed staff to advise Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc. (CLCO) of this decision. The Board also directed staff to work with businesses along Camb ie Street to meet some ‘non transportation’ needs, such as ensuring that lighting poles are re-installed after Canada Line construction. Specifically, there is interest in providing electrical outlets on the poles for illuminated street decorations such as during the Christmas Season.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 14, 2006 at 4:31 pm