British Columbia

Study looks at 5 possible rapid transit routes to ease North Shore traffic woes

A study looking at a high-capacity rapid transit crossing that would connect the North Shore to Vancouver, Burnaby and beyond has narrowed its scope of technically possible crossing options, says B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation.

Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit project will be part of TransLink and Mayors' Council Transport 2050 plan

Phase 2 of a study into the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit link looks at 5 possible routes to the North Shore. (B.C. Government)

A study looking at a high-capacity rapid transit crossing that would connect the North Shore to Vancouver, Burnaby and beyond has narrowed its scope of technically possible crossing options, says B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation.

In the second phase of the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit study, or BIRT, the ministry released its short list Tuesday of five possible, technically feasible routes that would use either a bridge or a tunnel as options to connect to existing transit infrastructure.

"This study shows possibilities that can be considered in future planning," said Claire Trevena, B.C.'s minister of transportation and infrastructure.

Four of the options originate in the City of Vancouver but all connect along North Vancouver's Lonsdale corridor to the region's existing rapid transit network, according to the study which forms part of TransLink's Transport 2050 plan.

Short list of 5 crossings

  • Tunnel crossing from downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via First Narrows.
  • Tunnel crossing from downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Brockton Point.
  • Tunnel crossing from downtown Vancouver to West Vancouver via Lonsdale.
  • Bridge crossing from downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Second Narrows.
  • Bridge crosssing from Burnaby to Lonsdale via Second Narrows.

The sixth route considered during the first phase of the BIRT study explored using the existing Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridge to support a rail line beneath the structure but was rejected due to the impact on shipping and modern seismic requirements, according to the study.

Stage 1 of the BIRT study considered the existing Second Narrows crossing to support a new rapid transit line but was rejected due to its potential impact on shipping and the lack of modern seismic infrastruture. (B.C. Government)

TransLink will now analyze which options would work best within the existing transit system to help meet ridership demand, according to a written statement from the B.C. government.

The study was funded by the province, the City of Vancouver and several North Shore municipalities. 

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