Vancouver mayoralty candidate Susan Anton serious about streetcars!

Interesting and welcome news from Vancouver where right leaning mayoralty candidate, Susan Anton, is endorsing streetcars for Vancouver.

Vancouver’sAi??current streetcar planning is extremely amateur, and what can one expect from a city, whose engineering departments have been so anti LRT! I do not think a private consortium will step forward to fund the current inept streetcarAi??plans, but may offer to be involved in a real winner such as a Marpole to downtown streetcar, using the Arbutus Corridor or a Hastings Street to Stanley ParkAi??or Broadway to UBC streetcar instead.

What Ms Anton has really done is open up the streetcar/LRT Pandora’s Box of public transit debate, where a lot of very old anti LRT rhetoric will tossed about by the ‘roads‘ and ‘SkyTrain‘ lobbies. Their main fear, of course, is to prevent any workable streetcar/LRT solution other than a heritage lineAi??for the city, lest politicians, the public and importantly, the bean-counters, make an apples to apples comparison with LRT/streetcar and SkyTrain or bus.

The sad part of this announcement is the so-called green Vancouver Vision civic party and the recently dumped COPE councilor, the self proclaimed environmentalist David Cadman, have been left in the dust with this announcement.

Ms, Anton, I believe, is doing what the taxpayer wants, build streetcars and whether this ultimately happens, only the future will tell.

The Siemens Combino tram, offers one of the largest streetcars in the world, with a capacity of 350 persons.

It carries more customers than a 4-car SkyTrain Mk1 train set!


A candidate for mayor in Vancouver promises to bring back the downtown streetcar as a top priority. Suzanne Anton says her team will act within 60 days, if elected, to speed up the city’s transit plan. The announcement comes ahead of Anton’s platform being released next month.

She says the city already owns all the right of ways but stations would have to be built and streetcars brought in. She tells News1130 it will likely pay for itself within a decade.

“Ridership forecasts for the streetcar exceeds some of Vancouver’s most heavily-used bus corridors by providing a year-round connection to two transit lines and Granville Island’s 11 million visitors a year.”

The initial route would connect Granville Island with the Canada Line, Science World, Chinatown, and Waterfront Station. A second and third phase would include extensions to Yaletown and Stanley Park.

In a 2005 report, the cost for phase one was $80 million, a number Anton admits needs an update. It would be a public-private partnership and she doesn’t expect TransLink to invest, but hopes they can work out an agreement on fares with two rapid transit lines connected.

“But they will need to be a partner, and it needs to be integrated with the regular transportation system. Assuming at the moment that the cost will be the same as the TransLink ticket, people expect all their transportation to be integrated.”

A downtown streetcar plan has been in the works for decades and has been the subject of numerous trials and studies. The latest happened during the Olympics when Bombardier demonstrated its cars on a line between Granville Island and the Canada Line.

Anton says shutting that transit line down after the 2010 Games was a big mistake.


One Response to “Vancouver mayoralty candidate Susan Anton serious about streetcars!”
  1. Andree says:

    Dear God make it stop.Ok, I’m biased. After 40 years of reaidng about, riding, and, so help me God, modeling streetcars, I have just run out of patience with young people of any age who think we had perfectly good streetcar lines until (dum-ta-dum-dum) GM and Firestone killed them dead.The fate of many an American urban transit system is probably found in a marginal comment in a book on Detroit’s street railways that I’m reaidng right now- In retrospect it probably would have been better to rebuild the lines [in the 30s] on private ROW in the form of today’s [early 80s] light rail .Having considered the matter at some length, I’m inclined to agree. The streetcar fought the buses and automobiles for possession of the city streets, and lost. Any serious student of transit policy will, of course, be looking hard at the franchise requirements, regulatory environment, shifting demographics, and technological change.Some readers at this point will triumphantly declare that this proves streetcars are a bad choice today, because they will be caught in congestion. This simply ignores changing times. In the 30s gas got cheaper and cars got better in a way that will never be seen again. There are other factors and in my opinion they all add up to streetcars being something we should add to our cities. YMMV.Having read about the GM conspiracy years ago (and read about it and read about it and read about it) I can only say, enough already! It was a symptom, not a cause.