The above map outlines the City of Vancouver’s (COV) vision for the proposed future downtown streetcar network. That would be a great addition to our transit network and increase the vibrancy of the streets along the way. Further, it would connect Granville Island, Stanley Park, Science World and the convention centre, some of the cities biggest tourist attractions. Furthermore it would go through the Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood in transition, that would benefit immensely from this addition.
The Olympic line was simply a test, a multi-million dollar test and the public fell in love with it. At the present moment the COV is studying the feasibility and the integratation of the streetcar with our existing transit network permanently. TransLink has stated that Vancouver’s desire for a streetcar network is not on the list of their priorities and you can’t blame them for that as the Evergreen Line and their budget shortfalls need to be addressed first. Thus, Vancouver may go it alone with the support of Translink. Something I think many people would love to see as the streetcar just has a certain appeal to it that the SkyTrain and trolley buses just don’t have.
In the future who knows we may even see a line down the Arbutus Corridor and perhaps one day down Kent Avenue in South Vancouver linking the future East Fraserlands (which plans to house an additional 15,000 people plus some retail and office) developments with the Canada Line Station on Marine and Cambie (see Marine Gateway project).
Just don’t expect to see something like that down Broadway as the city is pushing hard and already has started to plan for what will become the SkyTrain to UBC.