BMT Designed SeaBus Ferry takes Maiden Voyage
The MV Burrard Pacific Breeze, a new SeaBus, designed by BMT Fleet Technology in Canada, is now officially in service. The ferry across Vancouver Harbour took its maiden voyage on December 23rd 2009, carrying federal and provincial representatives; the mayors of West Vancouver, the City, and the District of North Vancouver; and a special guest, Robert Waldman, who made the winning suggestion in the "Name The SeaBus" contest in 2008.
"I am pleased to be here with my colleagues from the Province of British Columbia and the Mayors of the three North Shore Communities to experience first hand the unique services offered by the Burrard Pacific Breeze SeaBus," said Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver. "Our government is strengthening local economies and creating jobs. By working with our provincial and municipal colleagues, we are delivering on the infrastructure priorities that matter most to Canadian communities."
"As a frequent user of the SeaBus myself, I am thrilled to be involved with the inaugural sailing of the Burrard Pacific Breeze," added Hon. Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and MLA for North Vancouver. "The SeaBus is a relaxing way for North Shore residents and visitors to travel downtown while lowering their carbon emissions."
"The Burrard Pacific Breeze is another great asset in the TransLink family that will serve the North Shore for many decades to come," said TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis. "Over the 32 years since the ferries went into operation, the SeaBus has become as big a symbol of this area as Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge and The Lions themselves."
The Burrard Pacific Breeze will join the MV Burrard Otter and MV Burrard Beaver to provide enhanced service during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. One of the original vessels will then be retired from service and the other upgraded; as funding permits, a new SeaBus will be built to replace the other original ferry.
The Government of Canada contributed up to $5 million for this project through the Federal Gas Tax Fund, an additional $5 million was provided by the province of British Columbia through the Provincial Transit Plan, and TransLink funded the remainder of the $25.5 million project cost.
BMT Fleet Technology oversaw the build of the Burrard Pacific Breeze at ABD Enterprises in North Vancouver and Victoria Shipyards in Esquimalt. The vessel features a more efficient hull design and a reduction in wake energy of up to 15 per cent.
Over the past five years, SeaBus has carried an average of more than 5.2 million passengers each year, eliminating the equivalent of 3.25 million private-vehicle trips annually.
The Gas Tax Fund is a tripartite agreement between Canada, British Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), delivering infrastructure funding to local governments for capital projects that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada extended the Gas Tax Fund to 2014, providing a total of $1.6 billion in funding for local infrastructure in British Columbia. UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C. in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.