The trip from Vancouver to Seattle is an awkward distance where it’s just long enough by car to be a hassle but just short enough by airplane that dealing with the crowds of a big airport like YVR are hardly worth it. The train from Vancouver’s main bus terminal to Seattle is a comfortable alternative but, at four and a half hours, takes quite a bit longer.
Now a fourth option is preparing to launch.
Soon a trial program by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) will allow people to travel by float plane from Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver to the Lake Union area of Seattle.
According to an April 2 report by Business in Vancouver, these flights won’t even last an hour and, because CBSA and U.S. Homeland Security are establishing checkpoints where they take off and land, travellers will avoid customs lineups at the border.
Vancouver’s Harbour Air Group and Seattle’s Kenmore Air will operate the route.
The Business in Vancouver article doesn’t say when the service will open to customers but notes iIt’s expected to launch with four flights per week.
Last February, the Straight reported that B.C. and Washington State authorities have discussed constructing a hyperloop-transportation system between the two jurisdictions' largest cities. Unfortunately, an analysis commissioned by Washington found that hyperloop research—championed by Space X's Elon Musk and the Virgin Group, among others—remains premature for serious consideration.
Washington and B.C. are however still considering building an “ultra-high-speed” rail line that would connect Vancouver, Seattle, and also Portland, Oregon. If completed, it would carry passengers at speeds exceeding 400 kilometres an hour.