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Waterfront Transit Oriented Development. Bay Area Symposium on Waterfront Transit Oriented Development June 23, 2006. Background on the GVTA and Greater Vancouver region Existing GVTA marine services & waterfront oriented development Future directions. Presentation Outline.

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Waterfront Transit Oriented Development

Bay Area Symposium on Waterfront Transit Oriented Development

June 23, 2006

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Background on the GVTA and Greater Vancouver region

Existing GVTA marine services & waterfront oriented development

Future directions

Presentation Outline

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Regional Transportation Authority - unique to Canada

Integrated approach to:

GVTA Overview

Intelligent Transportation Systems


Transportation Demand Management


Roads & Bridges

Vehicle Emissions Testing

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Established 1999

Funding primarily from transportation sources (transit fares, parking taxes, fuel and property taxes)

15 member Board appointed by the Regional District Board and Provincial Government

Legislated to support regional growth and air quality plans

GVTA Background

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Regional Growth Management Objectives

Protect the Green Zone

Build Complete Communities

Increase Transportation Choice

Achieve a Compact Metropolitan Region

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Transportation Fast Facts

  • Approximately 6 million person trips/day

    • 11% by transit

    • 14% by walk and bicycle

    • Balance by private means

  • Public transport use up 24% since 2002

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The Region & Its Waterways









False Creek




of Georgia



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Downtown-North Shore, 1909 – 1947

Albion Ferry (GVTA)

SeaBus (GVTA)

False Creek ferries (private)

BC Ferries (inter-urban)

New GVTA services under review

Ferry Services in Greater Vancouver

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SeaBus Concept

  • Passenger only ferries

  • Minimize in-terminal time

    • Rapid boarding and alighting

    • Proof of payment

    • No vessel turning required

    • Level access - floating terminal

  • Part of rapid transit network

  • Fully integrated with buses, SkyTrain, commuter rail

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SeaBus Concept

Scheduled at 3 minutes

Designed at 90 seconds

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SeaBus Operations

  • Every 15 minutes; 30 minutes evenings & Sundays

  • 6:00am – 12:30am

  • 16,000 daily rides

  • 99%+ reliability since 1977

  • Full accessibility

  • Bikes permitted

  • 2 vessels, 400 seats each

  • Double-ended aluminum catamarans

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SeaBus Route

Lonsdale Quay

(North Shore)

Waterfront Station

(Downtown Vancouver)

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Lonsdale Quay (North Shore)

  • 1977 – catalyst for waterfront development

  • North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay and corridor

  • Offices, public market, high density residential

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Lonsdale Quay Development

Public plaza next to market, bus exchange, and SeaBus terminal

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Lonsdale Quay Development

Office building above bus exchange

  • Bus to SeaBus

  • Bus to bus

  • Auto drop-off / pick-up

  • Taxi drop-off / pick-up

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Public Transit: SeaBus, SkyTrain, bus, commuter rail

Private sector: heliport, float plane terminal, Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre

Future: Canada Line rapid transit, Convention Centre expansion

Waterfront Station (Downtown)

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Waterfront Station (Downtown)

Current & future SkyTrain connection

Waterfront Station: transportation hub

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Waterfront Station (Downtown)

SeaBus terminus and West Coast Express commuter rail station

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Waterfront Station from the Air

5. Coal Harbour high-density residential

1. Convention Centre

2. Station Building

3. West Coast Express Commuter Rail

4. SeaBus walkway and terminal

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Downtown Vancouver:

A High Density Success Story

  • By 2021 Projected 120,000 living downtown (2 miles2)

  • Past 20 years Residential population has grown from 40,000+ to 85,000+

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Downtown: Corresponding Transportation Changes

Vehicle volumes down 5% (20,500)

Transit volumes up 40% (40,000)

1996 – 2004 Screenline Surveys:

Decreased traffic volumes in and out of downtown

Increased transit, walking & cycling volumes

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“Transit Villages” TOD Initiative

  • Urban Transportation Showcase Program

  • Partnership of TransLink, Federal Government, and municipalities

  • Model partnership to improve all transit oriented development

A Transit Village combines vibrant streets and sidewalks, places to shop, work and live, with convenient access to transit. Transit Village plans and improvements will be implemented at four existing SkyTrain Stations.

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Vancouver Harbour Passenger Marine Study (2003)

  • TransLink study of the feasibility for new passenger marine services in Vancouver Harbour

  • Examined:

    • Market size

    • Costs

    • Service delivery models

  • Revenue potential

  • Operating issues

  • Vessels

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Passenger Ferry Routes Considered

in the 2003 Study


Eastern Routes

Deep Cove – possibly Belcarra – Waterfront

Future: Port Moody/Ioco – Maplewood – Lonsdale

Western Routes

Snug Cove (Bowen) – Ambleside – Waterfront Stn

Lonsdale – Ambleside – W.End – Jericho/Kitsilano

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Support waterfront TOD development

Travel time/distance savings over land based travel

Reliability (avoids traffic congestion, road work…)

May attract customers who would not take a bus


New partnerships (public & private sector)

Opportunities for Passenger Ferries

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High capital costs

Needs critical mass of waterfront development

Ridership forecast difficult

Higher fuel use and emissions than same trip by land

Route directness and vessel capacity – must have advantage over same trip by land

History of region’s private commuter services reinforces challenges

Challenges for Passenger Ferries

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Future Waterborne Transportation

  • New high-density, mixed use development continuing around Lonsdale SeaBus

  • The “Pier” - approx. 1.16 million ft2 of residential, commercial and institutional (proposed)

  • Waterfront walkways, public piers and a shipyard heritage character

  • 3rd SeaBus in 2009 will support policy for 10 minute peak service to regional town centres

Bus exchange

New ‘Pier’ development

SeaBus terminal

Source: www.pinnaclepride.com