Kenneth Chan in the DailyHive expands on what is known about transit for the Arbutus corridor. My general thoughts are: More choices to more places. A good thing — bring it on.
There’s an opinion poll in the article — running around 6:1 in favour of Arbutus’ light rail (at time of writing).
Why transit at all? Well, there’s that pesky matter of the agreement with CP Rail to buy their old abandoned rail line.
The City of Vancouver says its use of the former railway strip is defined by its purchase agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and this agreement establishes the Corridor be used for walking, cycling, and light rail.
“The City in its capacity as owner of the Lands will commence and expedite an internal planning process to design the portion of the lands for light rail use and walking and cycling use,” reads Article 9 in the agreement between both parties. . .
. . . Arbutus Corridor is suitable for light rail given it runs on a pre-existing railway right-of-way and there are only 10 street crossings along a 55-block stretch of the route. It could potentially complement the Canada Line, acting as a ‘relief line’ for the parallel route, especially with the underground Broadway extension of the Millennium Line terminating at the intersection of Arbutus Street and Broadway.
However, such a train system is likely many years away with the Broadway extension and the new light rail transit system in Surrey designated as regional priorities. TransLink and the Mayor’s Council have not identified the next rail rapid transit priorities following the completion of the current slate of transit expansion plans.
More of Mr. Chan’s earlier thoughts on light rail for the Arbutus Corridor and elsewhere:
An Arbutus light rail line would likely begin as a natural southern extension of the long-proposed Downtown Vancouver streetcar – from the existing railway right-of-way along South False Creek that starts near Granville Island and ends just west of the Cambie Street Bridge, behind the Canada Line’s Olympic Village Station entrance building. The Arbutus Corridor’s northern tip is just one block away, separated from the start of the South False Creek railway corridor by only a strip mall.