With Metro Vancouver, TransLink has made its largest funding request to date. A proposed budget of $358.48 million is included in the request for the creation of a next-generation SeaBus that will use “battery electric propulsion.”
The M/V Burrard Beaver, which began service when SeaBus began in 1977, will be replaced by the electric ferry.
TransLink notified Metro Vancouver in its financing application that the boat has been in service for 45 years and is “currently functioning beyond its estimated design life of 40 years.”
The M/V Burrard Beaver is being used as a spare vessel at the moment.
The ferry’s “ability to continue to fulfil rules beyond 2025 is not guaranteed,” according to TransLink.
The transportation agency claimed, “A zero-emission battery-electric Next Generation SeaBus will reduce considerable GHG [greenhouse gas] and criterion air pollutant emissions in support of TransLink’s 2050 emissions reduction targets as well as Metro Vancouver’s Climate 2050 Regional targets.”
A zero-emission, battery-powered SeaBus would save around 430,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year, according to TransLink.
It will also reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by 1,130 tonnes per year, as well as associated NOx (nitrogen oxide) and PM (particulate matter) emissions. The SeaBus design process will cost $2.65 million, and TransLink is asking Metro Vancouver for $2.51 million. TransLink stated, “This project is a crucial necessity for the ultimate procurement of the new vessel.” TransLink has requested $358.48 million in financing for five projects, including the new SeaBus design.
The most significant of these projects is a new electric bus depot at Vancouver’s Marpole Transit Centre.
Up to 350 battery-electric buses will be housed in the proposed depot.
The cost of the electric bus depot is expected to be $308.17 million. TransLink has requested $298.1 million from Metro Vancouver.
The other three projects include the replacement of 50 compressed natural gas buses, 46 HandyDart vehicles, and 27 community shuttles.
A study on the TransLink financing request was prepared by Mark Seinen, a senior planner of Metro Vancouver.
Seinen’s report is on the regional government’s finance and intergovernmental committee’s agenda for Wednesday (October 13).