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In March of 2008, work began on the delivery of the Olympic Line, a demonstration section of the Downtown Streetcar and a showcase project for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The Olympic Line -
Vancouver's 2010 Streetcar
The City of Vancouver was thrilled to have a rare opportunity in 2010 to reintroduce the streetcar to Vancouver as a demonstration for the Downtown Streetcar Project. The streetcar provided a modern and exciting transit experience - a quiet and smooth ride in a fully accessible interior space with large open windows, complete with leather seats.
While TransLink, the regional transit authority, is responsible for public transit in the Metro Vancouver region, the City of Vancouver led the Olympic Line project. The City of Vancouver invested $8.5 million to upgrade the Downtown Historic Railway infrastructure, which includes a $500,000 contribution from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), owner and operator of Granville Island.
From January 21 to March 21, 2010, the Olympic Line: Vancouver's 2010 Streetcar, ran between Granville Island and the new Canada Line Olympic Village Station on 1.8 km of newly constructed dedicated track. State-of-the-art Flexity streetcars (on loan from Brussels, Belgium) were provided and operated by Bombardier Transportation, the City's partner and operator for the 60-day demonstration project.
The Olympic Line was free for all riders and operated between 6:30 am and 12:30 am, seven days a week. It provided reliable transportation for athletes, visitors and residents as often as every seven minutes. The demonstration streetcar extended the regional transit network during the 2010 Winter Games and decreased the number of private vehicles, motor coaches and transit diesel buses to and from Granville Island.
The Olympic Line won a CUTA Award!
The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) presented Bombardier Transportation with a 2010 National Transit Corporate Recognition Award - The Exceptional Performance / Outstanding Achievement Award for The Olympic Line - Vancouver's 2010 Streetcar. This award recognizes exceptional performance and outstanding achievement in the areas of technological advancement, new product or service development, and productivity and cost-effectiveness, among others.
The Olympic Line won
a Sustainability Star!
The Sustainability Star represents the telling of a story and about a product, service or initiative that represents a new solution to local and global sustainability challenges. All recipients are judged by a Sustainability Star Jury, comprised of VANOC partners, sponsors, external representatives and VANOC representatives for eligibility.