Significant service level improvements will be made to the SeaBus ferry starting September 3, as the frequency of the peak hour sailings between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay will be increased to every 10 minutes — up from the existing frequency of 15 minutes.
TransLink says this fulfills one of the improvements identified in the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year transit expansion plan. Peak hour service for SeaBus is defined as 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6:30 pm from Monday to Friday, except for statutory holidays.
“This is wonderful news for the region and particularly those commuting to and from the North Shore,” said City of North Vancouver mayor Linda Buchanan, in a statement. “Additional sailings and 10-minute service will not only increase SeaBus capacity, this provides opportunity and convenience for even more people to use public transportation.”
To achieve this increased frequency, one of the original vessels, the 1976-built Burrard Beaver, will enter regular service. Currently, it has been used as a spare vessel when the newer SeaBus vessels undergo regular maintenance.
Eventually, at some point in the future, the newly-built Burrard Chinook, constructed at a cost of $32 million in the Netherlands, is expected to be used as the third regular service vessel, with old Burrard Beaver returning as the spare vessel in the SeaBus fleet.
TransLink says the new vessel is scheduled for its final sea trials in local waters over the coming weeks. This vessel is also one of the first on TransLink’s fleet to include plug-in USB chargers, the newest passenger amenity on the transit system.
The other SeaBus vessels are the Burrard Pacific Breeze (2009) and Burrard Otter II (2014).
Each vessel can hold 385 seated passengers.
In 2018, the public transit authority recorded a total of 6.63 million boardings on SeaBus, with weekday boardings averaging at 19,690, Saturday boardings averaging at 17,020, and Sunday and holiday boardings averaging at 13,030. This is a year-over-year ridership increase of 4.5%, and its ridership level is equivalent to TransLink’s 11th busiest bus route.
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