Maple Ridge Coun. Ahmed Yousef is in favour of an electric river bus service on the Fraser River. (THE NEWS files)

Maple Ridge Coun. Ahmed Yousef is in favour of an electric river bus service on the Fraser River. (THE NEWS files)

Metro floats proposal for river bus service on the Fraser

Electric vessels would serve Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and other river cities

Metro’s Climate Action Committee will be asking TransLink to consider creating an electric river bus service for Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadow and other cities along the Fraser River.

On Friday afternoon, the committee voted unanimously to convey “the idea of introducing an electric river bus service for Fraser River communities for consideration and evaluation as part of the development of Transport 2050 (the regional transportation strategy).”

Coun. Ahmed Yousef is Maple Ridge’s representative on the community, and he was excited about the proposal.

“It’s going to definitely be a game-changer for our region,” said Yousef.

He describes a service where commuters could get on a river bus at the Haney Wharf, travel on the Fraser to New Westminster in 20 minutes, and there connect with Skytrain.

He said the service being discussed is not designed to be “touristy.”

“It’s meant to be for commuters, to get to your Skytrain station.”

That being said, it would also work well to bring visitors from the region up the Fraser on a scenic river voyage that would connect with the Haney Wharf, and “that would feed directly into our downtown area,” said Yousef.

The proposed service would likely fall under TransLink’s jurisdiction, but Yousef noted there is also interest from private operators in running a for-profit service.

“The numbers being built in for a business case are favourable,” said Yousef.

He added there is local expertise, and boat builders in B.C. who could provide the vessels, meaning the project would create jobs.

A report by Metro staff noted electric passenger vessels are being used around the world as a zero-emission transportation alternative to traditional diesel-powered ferries.

“If this technology was adopted in the Metro Vancouver region, battery electric vessels could be powered by clean hydroelectric power resulting in minor upstream emissions as well as zero emissions at the source,” said the report.

“Passenger ferries make good candidates for battery powered systems since they tend to operate on short and consistent routes, which simplifies the planning and installation of the necessary charging infrastructure at the docking locations. Battery powered vessels might be more expensive at the outset, but may have lower maintenance costs and fuel consumption over time, as well as lower engine noise and emissions,” said the report.

In Canada, there are examples of all-electric ferry service currently being planned in Ontario and a hybrid-electric ferry service is being planned in BC by BC Ferries.

The cities that could use the service include the Township of Langley, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, New Westminster, Vancouver, Electoral Area A, Tsawwassen First Nation and potentially more.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The City of Maple Ridge is looking for public input on new playground equipment. (City of Maple Ridge/ Facebook)
City of Maple Ridge looks for public input on new playground equipment

Albion Park is getting a re-haul as part of the city’s Lifecycle Program

The Pitt Meadows Paddling Club is looking for a new location. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows paddling club looking for a new location

Club has lost its former leased site on Harris Road

Samantha Lowe won more than $637,000 playing Lotto Max. (BCLC Media Relations/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman wins lottery

Samantha Lowe won Lotto Max on Feb. 23

Hospital outbreaks included in Fraser Health update Feb. 28, 2021. (Black Press file)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks at Chilliwack General and Surrey Memorial

The medicine units are temporarily closed but ERs remain open, according to Fraser Health update

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

Jury in 2017 found Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, aka Sonia Kaur Gill, guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 death of Amanpreet Bahia, 33

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read