Vancouver’s streetcar experiment: The Olympic Line

I’ve been watching this streetcar project come together for a while now, and in the past few weeks, the Olympic Line has off-loaded, all the way from Belgium.

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Two trains and just a short stretch of track between Granville Island and Cambie Bridge along False Creek, this is only an experiment in mass transit that will only run just before and during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Meaning, if this works well and people take to it, perhaps the city will look into expanding streetcar service across the city.

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

Olympic Line Media Preview

It works in Toronto and certainly works in Europe, and I have to say that I like the concept so far. As to if this is the end all answer of all the transit problems in Vancouver, I don’t think so. Still, right step in an excellent direction.

Aside from the special media sneak preview that Rebecca and I got to be apart of, I ran down to the ribbon cutting this past Thursday to snap a few shots of the people gathered to ride the new streetcars on their first day of service.

Olympic Line Opening Day

Olympic Line Opening Day

Olympic Line Opening Day

Olympic Line Opening Day

I met this woman and her daughter and feel really bad for not writing down their names, but she told me about 3H Craftworks, who made the felt maple leaf on her hand. The organization has been around since 1966 and is a therapy program for adults with disabilities. A pretty great item to get your hands on for locals to show their Canadian support while supporting a worthwhile group who make these gloves.

Olympic Line Opening Day

Olympic Line Opening Day

The rumor was that some people lined up starting at 4:30AM, just to be first to ride the Olympic Line. Sounds crazy but you do get a certificate saying that you were among some of the early passengers on this experimental streetcar system. Worthy of a good frame to hang on your wall for sure.

I haven’t had a chance to take this myself, and hopefully that will happen pretty soon. What I’ve seen so far was pretty impressive. I could handle seeing more of this in Vancouver, if not being adopted in more cities around the world.

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