TransLink’s Burrard Chinook SeaBus sails into service

TRANSLINK’S new SeaBus, the Burrard Chinook, sailed its maiden voyage on Thursday serving customers across the Burrard Inlet. TransLink wrapped the Burrard Chinook in art designed by local Indigenous artists, making it its first ever SeaBus displaying an art installation. 

Sailing on the shared unceded territories of xʷməθkʷəyə̓m (the Musqueam Indian Band),  Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw (the Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ, (the Tsleil-Waututh Nation), the vessel’s name and art were selected and designed as a tribute to the Chinook salmon, one of the most iconic species in Pacific waters. The Chinook salmon has played a central role in life on the West Coast for generations and is a critical part of the ecosystem in the Burrard Inlet and the Pacific Ocean. 

Designed by artists Kelly Cannell, Siobhan Joseph, and Angela George from the three local Nations, the art wrap surrounding the exterior of the vessel illustrates the lifecycle of the Chinook salmon, as well as the historical importance of the Chinook salmon to its ecosystem. A full artist attribution plaque on board the vessel conveys the artists’ design inspiration for SeaBus passengers to appreciate. 

TransLink said it acknowledges, respects, and celebrates the Indigenous Nations on whose territories we are fortunate to live, work, operate, and serve. It recognizes the importance of having Indigenous art on display in public spaces, and this artwork joins other Indigenous art on its system such as multiple installations throughout stations on the Evergreen extension, Surrey Central Station, and Commercial–Broadway Station. 

Identified as a regional priority by the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation, the Burrard Chinook will allow Coast Mountain Bus Company to be able to deliver 10-minute SeaBus sailings with more reliability and with more maintenance flexibility throughout the day. This additional vessel will allow an older SeaBus to be used as a spare vessel during peak sailing hours. 

This $32 million investment through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) is funded by the Government of Canada (50 per cent), the Province of British Columbia (33 per cent), and TransLink (17 per cent). The funding supported the purchase and commissioning of the Burrard Chinook vessel, as well as upgrades to the SeaBus terminals.

 Quick Facts

  • There were approximately 20,000 SeaBus boardings each weekday in 2019.
  • SeaBus boardings in June 2021 were 34 per cent of boardings in June 2019.
  • In 2019, TransLink initiated 10-minute peak hour SeaBus sailings.
    • This required all three vessels to be in service without a spare vessel.
  • TransLink is currently delivering 15-minute peak hour SeaBus service.
    • TransLink is monitoring ridership levels closely and will adjust sailing frequency accordingly.