Burrard Chinook SeaBus takes maiden voyage across Burrard Inlet

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — After being delayed for nearly a year, TransLink’s new SeaBus took its maiden voyage across the Burrard Inlet Thursday.

The Burrard Chinook is the first SeaBus to also serve as an art installation.

The vessel is decked in art from the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and pays tribute to the Chinook salmon, one of the most iconic species in Pacific waters and with local First Nations.

TransLink’s new CEO Kevin Quinn made his first public appearance at the unveiling event and spoke about how the additional SeaBus will bolster commuter convenience.

“The SeaBus is an iconic part of Metro Vancouver’s transit system, providing a vital service that bridges the gap across the Burrard Inlet and connects the communities of our region. TransLink proudly worked alongside members of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to adorn the new Burrard Chinook SeaBus with artwork that honours local Indigenous history and culture. We look forward to future collaborations with First Nations as we continue our journey toward true and meaningful reconciliation,” he said.

Quinn started his new job at TransLink on July 19.

Previously he was the CEO of the Maryland Transit Administration in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area.

Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, was also at the event and spoke off-script about the vessel’s future.

“I do think we should probably adopt the nomenclature, ‘The People’s Canoe’. That’s really fantastic, she remarked.

“This additional SeaBus will increase reliability and increase resilience of this incredibly important connection in our region. And that’s important because every person we can get out of a car, means less congestion, less greenhouse gases, and more well connected communities.”

Representatives of the local First Nations spoke at the ceremony along with singers and drummers.

They played as the Burrard Chinook made its way between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay.

The designs and path of the new SeaBus are meant to draw parallels to how First Nations crossed the inlet by canoe since time immemorial and how the Burrard Chinook will carry people in a similar yet modern way.

Originally set to release in 2019, the Burrard Chinook encountered a series of construction issues causing delays.

TransLink’s former CEO Kevin Desmond said the vessel will be used to reduce sailing times during peak hours.

“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, ” he said in a release in 2019.

The Burrard Chinook is also the first SeaBus to offer USB charging ports to passengers.

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