We have been investing in rapid transit projects, expanding CNG fleets and transit operations. Vancouver's Canada Line opened in 2009 and the Evergreen in 2016. The Evergreen Line, part of Vancouver's SkyTrain system, is the longest rapid transit system of its kind in Canada.
Clean Energy Vehicle Program
In 2011, the B.C. government invested $14.3 million in an incentive program for clean energy vehicles that was backed by an aggressive charging infrastructure installation project. This initial investment supported the purchase of 950 electric vehicles and the development of about 1,000 charging stations. B.C. now leads Canada in clean energy vehicle sales per capita. The program was renewed in 2015, and in March 2016, B.C. provided an additional $6.89 million to continue to encourage adoption of clean energy vehicles.
Plug in BC is a collaboration between the Province of B.C., BC Hydro, the Fraser Basin Council, and academic institutions, regional governments, electric vehicle user groups and communities across B.C. Its focus is to promote the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and related infrastructure through outreach, education, policy development, incentives and research. B.C. leads Canada in clean energy vehicle sales per capita. Learn more about the outreach campaign, Emotive BC: the Electric Vehicle Experience.
As one of Canada’s most well-regarded vehicle replacement incentive programs, British Columbia’s SCRAP-IT program has removed thousands of polluting vehicles from the road to be properly recycled in an environmentally friendly way. With support from the Province and other partners, SCRAP IT has expanded its program over the years to include incentives for transit, car sharing, bikes, and most recently, the purchase of zero emissions electric vehicles.
HOV Lanes / Electric Vehicles (EVs)
High occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes were created to reduce air pollution and oil use, and move more people in fewer vehicles. HOV lanes are in place on several provincial highways and urban corridors in the Lower Mainland and Kelowna. Electric vehicles (EVs) displaying an official decal are allowed in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in British Columbia regardless of the number of passengers in the car, unless there is a sign posted indicating otherwise.
To encourage healthy living and to help address climate change, the B.C. government cost-shares cycling infrastructure projects with local governments through the BikeBC program. Projects include new bike trails and cycling lanes, bicycle/pedestrian overpasses and improvements to existing trails and lanes, as well as bike lockers and other equipment that makes cycling a safer, more convenient option for commuters.
BC Ferries is building three new vessels that will have propulsion systems that are dual LNG/diesel. The company is also planning to convert its two largest vessels, the Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia, to dual LNG/diesel propulsions systems during their mid-life refits. Converting these ships to LNG will reduce carbon emissions by about 25%, sulphur oxides by almost 100% and nitrogen oxides by 85%. Learn more about BC Ferries and the environment.
The Baynes Sound Connector is the first cable ferry introduced into BC Ferries' fleet. The cable ferry consumes less fuel, and with zero discharges to the marine environment, has minimal impact on marine habitat.
B.C.'s Inland Ferries: A Greener Way to Travel
In the past decade, the Province has introduced many new initiatives aimed at greening B.C.'s inland ferries fleet. The MV Columbia is powered by the latest generation of marine diesel engines satisfying the highest emissions standards established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The new ferry burns less fuel, and burns cleaner than the two previous ferries on the route.
In 2014, government refit the Harrop cable ferry as a battery-diesel hybrid. By using a battery bank, fuel consumption has dropped significantly. In the years ahead, B.C. plans to expand this system to other cable ferries.
Provincial Idle Reduction Campaigns
The Province has supported several outreach campaigns aimed at getting drivers to decrease the amount of time spent idling. This includes awareness-building through Idle Free BC, the Idle-free Ambassador youth outreach campaign and the Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe), which provides route-mapping and other resources to encourage students to walk and cycle to school. Learn more about the Provincial Idle Reduction Initiative.