1. We acknowledge that the amenity we are proposing would exist on the unceded ancestral lands of the Tseil Wahtuth and Musqueam peoples. We acknowledge that transportation along the shores of False Creek is strongly linked with their culture and history. It is hoped that at some point in the future, we will be able to work with First Nations in partnership to extend track from Granville Island through their property to Vanier Park. This might happen right away or at some time in the future, but either way, it must be entirely on their terms.
2. Everything we propose to do must be as environmentally sound as possible. Clean, green and efficient are obvious starting points. This must apply to infrastructure as well as rolling stock. One of the reasons for choosing modern replica equipment is that the materials used in construction include a minimum of plastics. Modern low-floor equipment is efficient and pretty to look at, but contains materials that represent a heavy carbon footprint. The extensive use of plastics is not only a problem in terms of recycling at some future point, but also presents a negative impact for people who suffer from environmental sensitivity syndrome. It is hoped that the public space we are promoting will be safe and welcoming to as many people as possible.
3. Rights of way should be multi-purpose wherever that is practical. In most places along the existing track, there is room for a bike lane, and an area that can be dedicated to other purposes, such as a pollinator corridor. There are also spaces along the route which may be suitable for public sculpture installations. Wherever possible, the track alignment should be lawned, or otherwise planted with low-growing greenery that will make the right of way an aesthetic asset.
4. Aesthetics should be considered for all infrastructure design. Good sight lines, station platforms and roof covers should be attractive, and use durable materials that fit the immediate context of the site. Form and function support one another: why build it at all if it can’t be beautiful?
5. Advertising inside and outside of streetcars and station stops should be respectful of the built and natural environment as well as the historical reference made by the replica streetcars themselves. “Wrapping” of streetcars or structures should be avoided as this can convey a negative message. The style of advertising should reflect styles current during Vancouver’s streetcar heyday, from 1910 – 1950. This would give a lot of lattitude for creative design work in Edwardian, Art Nouveau, and Art Moderne styles (for example). Such a practice would provide a steady stream of quality art pieces that could be sold to the public after use in or on the streetcars and station structures.
6. Public involvement should be seen as an essential part of the building, operation, and enhancement of the Vancouver Civic Railway. Crowd-funding could be used to finance stations, either wholly or in part. This would be accomplished by offering engraved bricks for sale. Individuals, groups, and businesses could subscribe for various amounts to pay for building materials. Each brick used to pave a platform would have an inscription on it, and purchasers could also state their preference as to which location they wished the bricks to be placed.
7. Wherever possible, station signage should reflect the name given to the location by First Nations peoples. For example, the settlement west of Granville Island was once known as Sinnauq. These names and their meanings should be brought back into the public consciousness.
8. Governance should be through a board of directors who would be a combination of appointed and elected people. These would maintain a connection to City Council, but would also maintain an appropriate distance: it is important that partisan politics should not influence decision making and day-to-day operation of the railway. The operation of the railway should be as responsive as possible to public input and interaction. For this reason, most likely the first paid position would be that of a public relations manager. Initially, governance could be through a society, probably named “Friends of the Olympic Line,” with the operating company being named “Vancouver Civic Railway.” Society status could keep the operation and governance democratic and focused on the interests of the railway.
9. The most desirable financing of the Vancouver Civic Railway would be directly from the City budget and from Federal sources.
The most direct beneficiaries of the line would be the City and Federal governments, so it is fair and logical that the profits
go directly back into public coffers. Should those sources of financing be denied all or in part, private investors would be sought, ideally investors with philanthropic interests, so that some public good comes of the revenues that would be developed from operating the line.
10. In building the Vancouver Civic Railway, the fundamental purpose would not be mass, rapid transit, but rather the function of a local neighbourhood connector. There is no pressing need for speed in this environment, yet the speed of operation will be efficient and timely. Notwithstanding, nothing should be built that precludes the natural growth, expansion and evolution of the neighbourhood connector into another form or function. If public demand was such, then the line would become fully integrated into the mass, rapid transit system, and though that is clearly not desireable from the outset, nothing should be done that would preclude or put an obstacle in the way of growth.
11. Operators will be trained by Gomaco Trolley Company as part of the purchase price of the streetcars themselves. Likewise, maintenance staff from City of Vancouver Engineeering would also be trained. Having City staff perform maintenance is one way of maintaining a respect for the unionized work force that keeps our city running. Initially, operators would be qualified volunteers, but when the hours of operation expand, part-time paid positions would be required in addition.
12. There are positions which would be suitable for people with disabilities. On-board hosts may be desirable during the summer when tourists are most numerous. Since the streetcars will be fully accessible, there is no reason why an on-board host needs to be fully able. Other abilities could be considered, with help and guidance from public agencies which support them.