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Province looking at rapid transit to connect Vancouver and North Shore

Last Updated May 15, 2019 at 3:28 am PST

File Photo. (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

SkyTrain, LRT, gondola, and expanding the SeaBus are all options as province explores rapid transit across Burrard Inlet

Rapid transit study will take until early 2021 to complete

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – North Shore commuters are a small step closer to having another option to get downtown.

The province is kicking off a study looking at what rapid transportation options across the water are technically possible and feasible, and that includes SkyTrain, LRT, gondola, or maybe expanding the SeaBus.

“Basically we’re looking to find a project that is competitive with other potential transportation projects in the region in terms of benefiting costs,” says North Shore MLA Bowinn Ma.

“SkyTrain like LRT, something with the rail, something that’s fixed from end-to-end, potentially a gondola.”

Expanding transit from the North Shore was a key recommendation out of a planning committee looking at connecting the shore with the rest of Metro Vancouver.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says the first step is examining technical feasibility, along with cost.

“What we’re looking at is making sure we have options in front of us. We want to see what is feasible for the North Shore at the early stages but we know that we really need to be dealing with congestion there, like congestion’s throughout the Lower Mainland,” she says.

RELATED: North Shore gridlock a top priority for new District of North Vancouver mayor 

“We’re looking at what we can do to alleviate congestion in the North Shore and people are frustrated and people need to move as easily as possible.”

The study will take until early next year but it will likely take several more years before any new or expended transportation is up and running.

“Very excited:” District of North Vancouver Mayor 

Mike Little, Mayor of the District of North Vancouver says the amount of traffic congestion in North Vancouver is impacting the quality of life for the people who live there.

“We’ve been working on it in the background for a while, very excited to have this be announced publicly,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“Obviously transportation is a major issue for our community. We’re regularly behind 6 and 7 kilometres of traffic coming to or from our community.”

He says the current infrastructure can’t sustain the region’s growing population.

“We have a lot of people in our community that need to be able to get to the south shore for work, we have people coming to our community for work with the port properties and students coming to Capilano University this will help us get through.”

He points out the Massey Tunnel has about 80,000 trips a day while the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge has over 130,000 and 1963 was the last time there was a lane increase to the North Shore.

In order for the community to grow, Little say the region needs real, viable transportation infrastructure improvements.

– With files from Jonathan Szekeres