Vancouver gets ridesharing – what will it do to a heavily congested city?

Vancouver gets ridesharing – what will it do to a heavily congested city?

By R. Bruce Striegler

After tolerating the dubious distinction of being the only major location in North America where ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft have been prevented from operating, residents and visitors to British Columbia will soon have the option of using a rideshare service to get where they’re going. In July this year, the government of British Columbia announced its regulations on licensing and insurance for rideshare firms to operate in B.C., while inviting companies to apply to operate through the Passenger Transportation Board. Claire Trevena, the Province’s Transportation Minister, said, “Our plan has made it possible for ride-hailing companies to apply to enter the market this fall, with vehicles on the road later this year, while ensuring the safety of passengers and promoting accessibility options in the industry.” She continued, saying, “British Columbians have been asking and waiting for these services after more than five years of delay by the former government. We took action to allow for the services people want and we’re delivering on that promise.” What the Minister didn’t say in her announcement was that on top of the five years of waiting under the previous government, the public further waited another three years under her government. (more…)

Alaska ferry system ends service to Prince Rupert due to lack of security personnel at Canadian terminal

By R. Bruce Striegler

A critical transportation link between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan, Alaska, has been suspended over a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirement that Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) secure Canadian law enforcement presence to protect CBP personnel in Prince Rupert while inspection tasks are performed. The ferry system operated two sailings per week during summer months and once weekly in winter. In 2018 there were 5,700 passengers and 3,000 vehicles. The ferry terminal is unusual – a U.S.-funded project on land leased from a federal Port Authority in Canada. (more…)

Vancouver port dispute with container terminal tenant over capacity expansion

Vancouver port dispute with container terminal tenant over capacity expansion

By R. Bruce Striegler

Volumes of containers handled at the port of Vancouver’s terminals have grown substantially through past decades, increasing at an average rate of ten percent annually since 1995. Projections of growth up to the year 2040 are now predicted at about 8.0 million TEUs (or 20-foot-equivalent units), and to give some perspective, in 2018 Vancouver handled 3.4 million TEU’s. The port is deeply engaged in capacity expansion, either directly or in cooperation with private terminal operators, and it points to projects already approved or somewhere in the approval pipeline, designed to reduce the potential capacity jams. Capacity improvements are at the heart of an unpleasant row which has developed between the Port Authority and one of its larger tenants, GCT Terminals Canada. (more…)

Ports Asset Transfer Program reduces number of Transport Canada-administrated marine facilities

By R. Bruce Striegler

As we reported in a June 2015 issue of Canadian Sailings, the mission of the federal government’s Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP) was to expedite the transfer of Transport Canada-administrated port facilities across the country to other federal departments, provincial governments, First Nations and local communities as well as individuals or private corporations. This national collection of marine facilities has been accumulated by Transport Canada over the decades, and includes ports, docks, breakwaters as well as upland and submerged real property. Federal ownership of some of these properties goes back to the time of Confederation. (more…)

B.C.’s Carbon Engineering Ltd positioned to commercialize technology that creates clean fuel from air, and attracts world-class investors

B.C.’s Carbon Engineering Ltd positioned to commercialize technology that creates clean fuel from air, and attracts world-class investors

By R. Bruce Striegler

The reports continue to mount, outlining what scientists around the world define as the dire, life-threatening effects of climate change. But in Canada, the federal government is engaged in a political battle with several provinces who fear the costs of the national plan are detrimental to their economic interests and are reluctant to join the national effort to reduce GHG, opting, they say, for more local, provincial plans. Fortunately, there are significant organizations in Canada who believe that reducing GHG (and the federally-proposed carbon tax) is not only good science, but good economics as well. From its Squamish, B.C. facility, Carbon Engineering Ltd. is conducting some of the most advanced research in clean energy anywhere in the world. Over the past nine years, the company has moved forward with studies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, in a closed loop, where the only major inputs are water and energy, and the results are a stream of pure compressed CO2. (more…)

Electra Meccanica making its mark in the North American electric car market

By R. Bruce Striegler

According to Jerry Kroll, CEO of Vancouver-based Electra Meccania, it all began in Italy in 1959, where Frank Reisner built custom sports cars. In 1975 the company relocated to California where it built replica cars, such as the Porsche 356 Speedster and Checker taxis. In 1982, the company moved to Vancouver, and in 2012, Kroll and the son of Frank Reisner began work on what would become the company’s first electric vehicle. In 2017, nearly 200,000 electric cars were sold in the U.S., representing less than two per cent of the total 17 million vehicles sold over a year. In Canada, that market has risen from 5,300 vehicles in 2014 to over 34,000 in 2018. The acceptance of electric vehicles has been expanding rapidly due to government subsidies, their increased range and lower battery costs, and environmental sensitivity. However, the stock of plug-in electric cars represented just about one out of every 250 motor vehicles on the world’s roads by December 2018. (more…)