New $22 million SeaBus ferry vessel arrives in Vancouver (VIDEO)

Dec 19 2017, 11:37 am

TransLink’s newest SeaBus, the Burrard Otter II, has arrived in Metro Vancouver and will go into service this fall.

According to TransLink’s Buzzer Blog, the ferry vessel was transported on the BBC Vesuvius heavy lift cargo ship from Singapore where the vessel was built and underwent sea trials in June. It departed Singapore on July 7 and arrived at Burrard Inlet’s Lynnterm Terminal 24 days later.

The 395 passenger capacity vessel will replace the original, 1976-built Burrard Otter. Meanwhile, sister ship Burrard Beaver, built during the same year as the first Otter, is slated for a lifespan renewal refit for use as the SeaBus fleet’s spare vessel.

Plans were in place several years ago to introduce 10 minute frequency SeaBus service using three vessels, an increase from the existing maximum frequency of 15 minutes with two vessels, but this was postponed due to TransLink’s financial issues.

The Burrard Otter II joins the 2009-built Pacific Breeze as the complete, all-new SeaBus fleet to replace the aging vessels. The newest vessel cost $22-million, with the federal government’s gas tax funding $20-million and TransLink providing the remaining $2-million.

TransLink is required to use federal gas tax program revenues to purchase new bus, trains and ferries – it cannot be dedicated towards its operational budget, even though approximately $120-million goes unspent each year. In addition, the federal gas tax cannot be used to pay for the cost of an entire project: the federal gas tax can be used to cover 90 per cent while the remaining 10 per cent comes from the transportation authority’s capital budget.

Time lapse video shows the Burrard Otter II being lifted off the cargo ship and escorted by tugboats to the shipyards for final work to be performed before it can be placed into service.

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Featured Image: TransLink YouTube screenshot