Vancouver’s Transportation Tale
Urban Sustainability Agent, Pinellas County Extension
Continued from A Short Stop in Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver can certainly boast of its transportation system with multiple modes of transit from buses to trains to ferry services (SeaBus) and Sky Train. TransLink is Vancouver’s transit information hub. There you’ll find schedules, maps, station locations and travel time for every mode of public transit in the metro area.
Vancouver also has trolleys that include the customary double decker tourist attraction as well as trolley buses. These trolley buses look like regular buses but draw its electricity from overhead wires. Two wires and two poles complete the electric circuit for these “green” buses which rely on hydro-electric power producing fewer emissions. They also reduce noise pollution since they are quieter than diesel buses.
I was particularly impressed with the Waterfront Station on Cordova Street. Its modern interior was a contrast to its old architectural style indicating its reuse as a premier transit hub. The station was clean and comfortable with shops, eateries and security. It had great signage displaying the various transit modes available as well as maps displaying other metro connections and what was available within a five-minute walk from the station. SeaBus service was also available at the Waterfront Station which as it’s aptly named is located along the Port of Vancouver within close proximity of Canada Place. Canada Place, a mixed use commercial facility, is home to the Convention Center, World Trade Center and the Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal.
It was easy to navigate Vancouver’s street grid and I certainly wasn’t alone. Pedestrian traffic was steady and heavy at the intersections and no matter what time of day it was, I certainly always had company. In Vancouver, sidewalks were well maintained and cars actually yielded to the pedestrian!
With such a variety of transit options residents can choose which one works best for them. Vancouver’s emergence as a leading green city is certainly tied to its transit system since it encourages residents to own fewer vehicles, drive less, and rely on alternative modes of transportation. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions, conserves energy, improves public fitness and health, increases household wealth, and contributes to vibrant local economies. With such positive implications, it’s easy to see why the sustainable lifestyle has taken root in Vancouver.