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New Burrard Otter II makes a splash in Burrard Inlet

December 01, 2014

New, efficient SeaBus makes maiden voyage

North Vancouver, British Columbia – TransLink’s new SeaBus, the Burrard Otter II, set out today for its maiden voyage, with Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, Jordan Sturdy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, TransLink Board Chair Marcella Szel, and Greg Moore, Board Chair, Metro Vancouver Regional District, on board.

The updated design of the Burrard Otter II makes the vessel more efficient and more environmentally friendly. The new SeaBus uses less fuel and produces 20 per cent less carbon dioxide than older vessels and surpasses current marine performance standards.

The Burrard Otter II will eventually replace the original Otter, which went into service when SeaBus operations began in 1977. The original Otter will be heading off into retirement once the other SeaBus, the Burrard Beaver, is retrofitted.

The Burrard Otter II cost approximately $21 million to build, of which $19 million was provided by the Government of Canada through the federal Gas Tax Fund. TransLink provided the remaining $2 million.

The SeaBus has provided safe, reliable and efficient service between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore since 1977. Over six million passengers cross the Burrard Inlet on the SeaBus every year – an average of 16,600 people per day.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada provides $253,276,892 in annual funding for municipal infrastructure in British Columbia through the federal Gas Tax Fund.
  • The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.
  • Since 2006, Metro Vancouver has made $888,134,110 of its federal Gas Tax Fund allocation available to TransLink.
  • The Burrard Otter II has a passenger capacity of 395 people and 4 crew members. It is 34.29 metres long, 12.65 metres wide, 3.57 metres deep and has a lightship weight of 164,000 kilograms (net, 453,000 kilograms (gross)). It has four MTU/Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines with 1,600 horsepower.
  • The SeaBus officially went into service on June 17, 1977. In 2013, it made 43,920 crossings. The distance across Burrard Inlet between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore is 3.24 kilometres.
  • TransLink is Metro Vancouver's regional transportation authority that manages bus, SkyTrain, West Coast Express, SeaBus, and cycling routes as well as major roads and bridges. These bridges include the Pattullo, Golden Ears, Knight Street and Westham Island. The Canada Line cycling and pedestrian bridge is also under TransLink management. TransLink is the first North American transportation authority to be responsible for planning, financing and managing public transit in addition to major regional roads and bridges.


"Today, more than ever, modern and reliable transportation options are needed to get residents and visitors where they need to go. Through the federal Gas Tax Fund, our Government is providing permanent, predictable and indexed financial support to the Vancouver municipalities for infrastructure projects like the Burrard Otter II. This new SeaBus will cut commute and wait times, improving the ride and reducing carbon emission, all of which will contribute to improving the quality of life for North Shore residents."

Andrew Saxton
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver

“This is an exciting day for the residents of Metro Vancouver, who will now be able to travel on this new SeaBus, linking the North Shore with the rest of the region. The Burrard Otter II offers improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and it will provide a safe, efficient and reliable trip for local residents as well as visitors to this beautiful area of the province. What an excellent addition to the SeaBus fleet.”

Jordan Sturdy
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

“TransLink is excited to welcome the new Burrard Otter II to our SeaBus fleet. The SeaBus moves more than 16,600 people each day across Burrard Inlet, making it an important part of our regional transportation system. This new vessel helps us provide reliable and efficient service to these customers while also delivering on our commitment to create a sustainable transportation system for the region.”

Marcella Szel
Board Chair

“The SeaBus is a key connector for travel within our region. Investment in new and improved infrastructure will be critical to addressing the ongoing challenges of traffic and transit congestion, and population growth in Metro Vancouver.”

Greg Moore
Board Chair
Metro Vancouver Regional District

“The launch of the Burrard Otter II will support the continuation of dependable, efficient service for this critical link in the region’s transportation system. In response to a request from Metro Vancouver, the federal Gas Tax Fund is providing significant investments in public transit that will benefit residents across the region.”

Sav Dhaliwal
UBCM President

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