Category Archives: Marine transport

Metro column: Ferry boss laments state of maritime travel

22 June 2009 05:35

Just because Ihab Shaker is disenchanted with the state of passenger ferries in Metro Vancouver doesn’t mean he’s planning on sailing away from the region anytime soon.

The owner of Coastal Link Ferries — which serves walk-on commuters between Bowen Island and downtown Vancouver — fumes over the uneven playing field for his privately run service, and the layers of bureaucracy he is constantly up against.

But far from giving up in the face of adversity, the sea captain is gamely expanding his business.

Since the winter, he has tripled the number of sailings between Bowen’s Snug Cove and Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. An upswing in customers has naturally followed.

More recently, according to Shaker, he has reached an agreement with the Port of Vancouver to construct a new, albeit modest, terminal for his ferry between the SeaBus station and the Helijet landing pad on the south shore of Burrard Inlet. Continue reading


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Filed under British Columbia, Commuting, Environment, Marine transport, Politics, Tourism, Transportation

Coastal Link’s nautical nightmare voyage

In better times, the story of Coastal Link Ferries was not unlike the old television program The Beachcombers. The passenger ferry service featured colourful characters, a plucky boat and a picturesque B.C. coastline backdrop.

But times have changed.

Nowadays, Coastal Link’s story reads like a Joseph Conrad novel — a turmoil-fuelled nautical nightmare.

The company’s winter of discontent actually started during the fall on a blustery November day when the Coastal Runner vessel hit rough waters. Continue reading

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Filed under Marine transport, Nimbies, Parks, Transportation

TransLink’s fashion sense

Earlier this week, TransLink took delivery on the first of its 48 new SkyTrain cars. The vehicles have increased passenger capacity — a much-needed feature, given the Lower Mainland transit crunch in recent years.

But what has some transit enthusiasts turning their heads is not the functionality of the new SkyTrain cars, but rather, their fashion sense. The cars sports a blue-grey (with yellow line) look, matching the existing colour scheme for TransLink’s new fleet of buses.

It’s not just new SkyTrain cars that are sporting the team colours. The third vessel in the SeaBus fleet — set to ply the waters of Burrard Inlet later this year — will also be delivered in the blue-grey look. Ditto for the other two vessels in the SeaBus fleet, both of which will be refurbished during the next couple of years.

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Filed under Commuting, Marine transport, Transportation

Metro column: David vs. Goliath, or fog of bureaucracy?

15 December 2008

Last week, while TransLink was talking up expansion plans and funding needs for the future, it was also taking some heat on a very different issue, and from an unlikely source.

An upstart ferry service is crying foul over the way it claims it is being treated by Metro Vancouver’s transit authority.

Coastal Link Ferries, which operates a walk-on service daily between Bowen Island and Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver, wants to pick up and drop off passengers at an unused dock at the Waterfront Station SeaBus terminal.

The prime location would allow its customers to link up with SkyTrain and buses, not to mention the popular SeaBus service.

The problem is, despite its persistence in trying to iron out a deal with TransLink for the space, Coastal Link — which plans on expanding its service to the Sunshine Coast and Port Moody — has so far heard nothing. Continue reading

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Filed under British Columbia, Commuting, Marine transport, Real Estate, Sydney, Transportation