TransLink requests $2.5 million fund for design of electric SeaBus to replace M/V Burrard Beaver

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      TransLink has made its biggest funding request to date with Metro Vancouver.

      The $358.48 million request includes a proposed allocation for the design of a next generation SeaBus that will use “battery electric propulsion”.

      The electric ferry will replace the M/V Burrard Beaver, which started its run when SeaBus service began in 1977.

      In its funding application, TransLink told Metro Vancouver that the ferry has been in service for 45 years, and is “now operating beyond its expected design life of 40 years”.

      The M/V Burrard Beaver is currently used as a spare vessel.

      TransLink noted that the ferry’s “ability to continue to meet regulations past 2025 is not guaranteed”.

      “A zero emission battery-electric Next Generation SeaBus will eliminate significant GHG [greenhouse gas] and criteria air contaminant emissions in support of TransLink's 2050 emissions reduction targets as well as Metro Vancouver’s Climate 2050 Regional targets,” the transportation agency stated.

      TransLink explained that a zero emission, battery electric SeaBus would save about 430,000 litres of diesel fuel per year.

      It will also eliminate 1,130 tonnes CO2 or carbon dioxide emissions every year, as well as associate Nox or nitrogen oxide and PM or particulate matter emissions.

      The design process for the SeaBus will cost $2.65 million, and TransLink is requesting $2.51 million from Metro Vancouver.

      “This project is a critical requirement for ultimate procurement of the replacement vessel,” TransLink stated.

      TransLink’s $358.48 million funding request covers five projects, which include the new SeaBus design.

      The biggest of these projects is a new electric bus depot at Marpole Transit Centre in Vancouver.

      The proposed depot will house up to 350 battery-electric buses.

      The electric bus depot is estimated to cost $308.17 million. TransLink is asking Metro Vancouver for $298.1 million.

      The three other projects are bus replacements, consisting of 50 compressed natural gas buses, 46 HandyDart vehicles, and 27 community shuttles.

      Mark Seinen, a senior planner with Metro Vancouver, prepared a report on TransLink funding request.

      Seinen’s report is included in the agenda Wednesday (October 13) of the regional government’s finance and intergovernment committee.