Bombardier Streetcar

streetcarCLOSED: Known as the Olympic Line, this will be a demonstration project between Granville Island "French Quarter" and the Olympic Village Canada Line station. A modern and "high-end" European streetcar will shuttle passengers by rail between the Canada Line and the “French Quarter” at Granville Island. It is free to ride, but they are expecting over 500,000 people will take the trip over the two month period when it will be in operation. The train is scheduled to start running on January 21st (open ceremonies take place at 9:30am at Cambie & 2nd Avenue, beside the Olympic Village Canada Line station) through March 21st, and it will run 18 hours per day. CityCaucus.com also took some great photos of the Olympic Line, and has this exclusive first look video. Here's the map to the Granville Island stop, and here is the map to the Olympic Village stop.

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39 Comments

I took a ride on the Bombardier today, and everyone was really friendly except for an older male volunteer who growled at me when I wished him a "good morning".

I can understand his reaction after seeing thousands of people go by, but please, if you don't enjoy what you're doing, just quit.

We don't need grumpy volunteers to spoil it for everyone.

Great idea, leaving from the Canada line station to get to Granville Island.If they kept this train(summer tourist season) then I would leave my car @ home and take transit,provided its not to expensive.Maybe make it part of your transit pass?
They could extend it to Science World as well.Using existing rail lines more cost effective than Skytrain style trains.

I can't believe we spent so much money on a train that we won't keep. The train was on loan from Brussels and we spent 8 million just to revive that line, only to go a few kms. We could have spent that money on affordable housing. Money frivolously spent on the Olympics.

If you all love it so much, why don't you take the old style one that runs every summer from FOR FREE from Granville Island to Scienceworld? Switching over to the new, expensive, sleek one only makes sense if we have a commitment to expand its usage throughout the city.

The existing one works, is sustainable (no new materials needed, although a renovation wouldn't be bad) and fits the demand. Don't get fooled by the shiny new toy.

Loved the streetcar and would love to see it stay after the games... and extended to other areas!

The Olympic Line route is great for zipping down to Grandville Island from the Canada line or Cambie Street area. Also there is Valet Bike Parking right by the Olympic Line. If you are in Vancouver you can bike down to this point, drop off your bikes and go either to Grandville Island or Downtown Vancouver and know that your bikes are safe! Downtown Vancouver is way to busy for even getting around on bicycles.

Nice tram...but really..they do go much faster than they are currently being driven. The thing feels like its being pulled by a horse!! and if that's the case, I'd rather be in an old tram.

Its not much of a scenic route, so why not get the people to the venues quicker and really show off the technology?!!

Translink: Please, please keep it going after the Olympics!!!

Thousands of us live and work in the vicinity of the Olympic Line, not to mention millions of visitors who are using the line during the two months, and it has made daily trips to the Canada Line a welcome commute.
I really can't imagine not having it after March, and will be quite disappointed when it is dismantled - what a waste. Charge a loonie, and make it part of our Translink passes.

...and I agree, continue the line to Science World.
This is the way of the future - let's follow it!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE....

Can we start using this excellent technology across the GVRD for both lower speed, city centre and high-speed out of town transit (as they do in Portland)?

THIS is the way forward, not mega expensive Skytrain

I took this train yesterday from Waterfront Station to the olympics Village and it was great. THe lines were huge, but they moved quickly. I think I only waited about 15 minutes eventhough the line was HUGE. My family were lucky to get seats. THey are really comfortable. My 2 year old enjoyed the ride!

I really enjoy riding the street car to or from work. It's a great alternative to the buses, which tend to be overcrowded. I buy a zone 1 transit pass every month so it would be awesome if it was eventaully included.

Don't be afraid if you see a long limeup, it moves ahead quickly and before you know it - zip - you're there! Love how it makes Granville Island accessible to canada line. superb. Love vancouver these days - everyone's so nice!!

I felt like I was on the Stanley Park Ghost Train, now they just have to add a few cut outs of the Olympic mascots along the way

Great experiment, but only if the City wakes up and extends line up Arbutus corridor and keeps it FREE. Otherwise this is a huge waste of money.

Seriously? That was a "State of the Art" train? Please, that was the slowest train I've ever been on. I thought perhaps it was broken when I rode it part way to work. The original old street car style trains are far better and say more about Vancouver than these expensive imports.

I thought Bombardier was a Canadian company, so why did we have to import this one from Belgium? I would have preferred a chocolate Thank you very much.

I will agree with some the other posts, it certainly was a smooth and quiet ride but very short.

We are Australians(Melbourne)living in Vancouver, Canada and it is very similar to the trams we use everyday at home.Smooth,comfy ,quiet and energy efficient.My only hope is for this line to be extended and make it a real trip.I know there are plans for the extension but is this only a plan????

As a resident living just back of Granville island I love the idea of this and the proposed extensions in future.

For visitors, HIGHLY recommend riding the Streetcar one direction and walking south False Creek in the other, OR, looping around False Creek by taking either of the 2 Aquabus Companies services across the Creek.

Have a Great VISIT!

It was a smooth quiet ride. Should have used these cars at grade down Cambie all the way to Steveston. Would have cost half the price of the Canada line and moved more people.

Loved the ride. The kids don't ride transit much so it was a neat change from riding in the back of the gas guzzling suv. Very Ikea like interior with chairs I could sit and watch TV on. The highlight of the trip was the young lady trying to shift gears and talk on the phone at the same time as she was pulling on to the tracks in front of a tram going 50 km. The brakes worked better than most of those Prius autos. A tram load of people waving and indicating to the lady - put down the phone and pay attention. Would love to see something like this permanent!!

Nice ride but REALLY short. When the lineups start happening and it's a nice day walk to Granville Island, it may be faster.

Condon has provided one vision. There are others. It's good that we're debating this, and the presence of this system is a great catalyst.


Light rail like this can service all of Surrey for the same price as twinning the Port Mann bridge.

see further UBC Design Centre for Sustainability, Sustainability by Design: A Vision for a region of 4 Million
Patrick Condon and Jacqueline Teed, Eds. 2007.

Took the Flexity train the other Saturday. [What on Earth kind of word is Flexity?]
Nice train, nice enough staff. VEEERY crowded. But a good way to get from GI to the skytrain, or to Cambie St.

I like streetcars. Too bad Vancouver tore up the tracks in the 1950's. I lived in Toronto for awhile and I loved taking the Streetcars there. The
"rich" folks on the westside would never allow a streetcar on the Arbutus line because it would ruin their views. In the old days from what I have read you could have taken the Interurban from downtown Vancouver to New Westminster when the streetcars still were around.

This is what we SHOULD have had instead of RAV-Line. Would have saved at least $1B and had a much more extensive system. Imagine... might have even made it all the way out to Steveston and points beyond. What a concept here in the "Land of Skytrain".

Bring on more! Let's put a line like this on the Arbutus line - NOW.

It's an awesome little trip. If you are going with a stroller it's best to use the entrances on the ends. The ones in the middle have poles for people to hold on to and it's hard to move a stroller around them. They allow two bikes on each trip.

It's unfortunate that it costs Vancouver taxpayers $140,000 a day for the temporary Olympic Streetcar

Love it.. walked from Arbutus to Granville Island ... took the streetcar to Cambie.... should have extended to Science World. Also be nice to have it go through to Arbutus!! Great Project. Will be using this every day during the Olympics

it is very short and very cute ride.
I would like longer lines as Arbutus
Corridor connecting centre town to
Fraser River. ?

Great way to commute, I use it every day. Translink should have used their brains and pushed it through to Science World though. It would have made more sense to have access to both the Canada Line and Skytrain.

the olympic village is where the athletes stay in vancouver (although there is also a smaller one in whistler). this street car runs from the olympic athletes village to granville island (just a few blocks) just south of downtown vancouver, across false creek.

Does it take you to whistler, im so confused by, "olympic village"

I dont really understand the point of this streetcar? It only runs from Granville Island to Cambie Street which is already serviced by the #84 bus.
I think the money could have been spent better than on a "loaner" streetcar...

I have taken this new streetcar already 3 times. It provides a much needed rapid transit connection to Granville Island and would really be a great help in reducing car traffic to the island if it could be maintained after the Games. The streetcar itself is really nice -- comfortable seating, accessible and attractive, high quality finishes.

This is absolutely brilliant. I am from Belfast and wish we had something like this there. Great. Many thanks. Love it

I rode the line on the weekend & connected to Waterfront Station via the Canada Line.

The whole trip took 10 minutes - Translink needs to find a way to help the Heritage Railway Society keep the line open year round.

Run that thing from Marpole to Stanley Park. There will be one more car off the road as I will ride it every single day.

It's fantastic! I live within 7 blocks of the Granville Island Station and it will connect me to the Canada line and to Richmond and YVR. Great project! I look forward to keeping it going after the Olympics and expanding it on the Arbutus corridor.

I think that this is an amazing project!!! I plan to ride it at least 2 times while I am at the games. Coming fron Nova Scotia where trains of any form are almost non existent I applaud your efforts and the your concern for the envir.

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