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Steveston Interurban tram dream alive again

Martin van den Hemel   Apr-19-2018

Steveston Interurban Tram

Photo by Chung Chow

Could an operational tram be in the cards for Steveston in the not-too-distant future?

It’s certainly now more than a pipe dream after the City of Richmond on March 22 issued a request for proposals to “engage the services of a team of transportation professionals” to prep a feasibility study. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 23 at 5 p.m.



According to the request for proposal, the Steveston Interurban Tram would run from its current location at 4011 Moncton St. to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery on Fourth Avenue.

The City of Richmond wants to connect with interest parties who are capable of carrying out the work, including making submissions that form the basis for evaluation, the potential interview and selection.

City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend said the feasability study will look at the costs and larger implications of putting the tram car into service.

“Council passed a motion last September allocating funding to undertake a feasibility study that includes a transportation and engineering analysis of the operation of the tram…,” he said. $50,000 was set aside for the study, which would also look at the capital and operating costs of the tram itself, as well as a business case analysis that would include a cost versus benefits analysis.

Following the April 23 deadline, city staff will review the proposals.

The fact the tram’s restoration is now “substantially complete” has prompted council to revisit the issue.

Putting the tram into service was last considered in 2005, and was met with some opposition, including from condo residents who were, among other things, concerned about the noise the tram would create if built along certain routes.

At the time, council considered a few options, including running the tram between Steveston Village and London Farm, between Britannia Heritage Shipyard and London Landing, and between Britannia Heritage Shipyard and Steveston Village.

The cost of laying the track, providing stations, road crossings, crossing protections and power were estimated at between $1.9 million and $2.9 million depending on the route.

“These estimates did not include costs of any land acquisition required.”

But council passed a resolution to “abandon any tram routing options in Steveston” on Jan. 24, 2005.

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