Skip to content
Buzzer logo

TransLink news, commentary, and behind-the-scenes stories.

Happy 40th birthday SeaBus! #SeaBus40

Happy 40th birthday SeaBus! #SeaBus40

The SeaBus on a sunny day during the Olympic period!
Fit and fabulous at 40!

Lordy, Lordy, look who’s 40!!

On June 17, 1977 the SeaBus (or Sea•Bus as it was known then) sailed into the Burrard inlet connecting downtown Vancouver and the North Shore. Retro SeaBus

This was the first passenger ferry connected to public transit in our region and has remained one of the region’s most popular transit modes with over 100 million boardings since TransLink came into being in 1999.

With one of the original vessels, the Burrard Otter I retired, we have the Burrard Otter II, Pacific Breeze and the recently refurbished Burrard Beaver on the water carrying up to 400 passengers on each crossing.

SeaBus sailed for over 11,000 hours in 2016!

A few SeaBus memories:

In May, TransLink added the SeaBus to the Frequent Transit Network with sailings every 15 minutes during the day until 9 p.m. starting at 6, 7 and 8 a.m. for weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays respectively.

We’re also upgrading both the Vancouver and North Shore terminals that will provide better access, safety and functionality for both riders and employees.

Seabus in orange livery, taken 1981-05-31
What rhymes with orange? The original look for the SeaBus, 1981

SeaBus fun facts!

  • Each of our SeaBus vessels is operated with a crew of four – The Master, one Mate and two Attendants.
  • SeaBus cruises at a speed of 11.5 knots

    Original SeaBus ticket machines
  • The crossing is 1.75 nautical miles
  • It takes approximately 12 minutes per sailing
  • Average boardings from Monday – Friday: 17,600
  • Average boardings on Saturdays: 15,000
  • Average boardings on Sundays and holidays: 11,400
  • The busiest day for the SeaBus was during the 2010 Olympics – roughly 48,000 people boarded the SeaBus using three boats
  • Our second highest passenger crossings in one day was 42,000 people on August 8, 2001 – it was one of three days of free transit using two boats
  • The original SeaBus ticket machines were the first ticket machines ever used on our transit system

Love the SeaBus? Us too! In fact, we love our SeaBus SO much that we just had to celebrate! Remember, tag your SeaBus social media posts with #SeaBus40. We’d love to share your memories on our channels!

Take a look at some of the pictures of the special event at Waterfront today!

Want more great news about SeaBus? TransLink is doubling down on this ferry service and adding another SeaBus to the fleet that will be put into service in 2019 as part of Phase One of the 10-Year Vision.

I propose a toast; To 40 years gone by and another 40 to come. Thank you, SeaBus!

Author: Adrienne Coling


Sorry, your website browser is no longer supported.

Upgrade to one of these browsers to visit