The Burrard Chinook prepares to join TransLink's fleet of SeaBus ships this summer

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      SeaBus wait times are about to get a few minutes shorter during peak travel periods.

      A new boat has arrived in North Vancouver, increasing the number of SeaBus vehicles that run between Coal Harbour and Lonsdale Quay from three to four.

      “The addition of the Burrard Chinook to our iconic SeaBus fleet is a key part of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision to improve transit service and decrease travel times in congested corridors like those on the North Shore,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said quoted in a media release announcing the completion of the boat's construction last March. “A fourth SeaBus means our customers will benefit from increased frequencies and sailings every 10 minutes during peak times once the vessel is in service.”

      The ship was built in the Netherlands. It then sailed southwest across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Panama Canal, and then up the Pacific Coast and into the Burrard Inlet to a port in North Vancouver.

      The Burrard Chinook will now undergo testing in local waters and, if all goes well, begin ferrying passengers between downtown Vancouver and Lower Lonsdale later this summer.

      "The Chinook salmon is a big part of the West Coast vitality, lifestyle and culture. Naming the newest addition to the SeaBus fleet after this largest salmon species represents what the vessel means for the people who will use it,” Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, said quoted in the release. “When it goes into service as part of TransLink's extensive network, the Burrard Chinook will be a key part of helping people get to where they need to go safely and efficiently."

      The vehicle’s $32.2 million price tag was split between TransLink, the province, and the federal government.

      On May 14, t he B.C. ministry of transportation and infrastructure announced it will study the technical feasibility of a rapid-transit line that crosses Burrard Inlet, in the vicinity of where the SeaBus runs today. Work on the study is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2019.

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