C-TRAN marked the beginning of construction on the region's first BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Project, The Vine, with a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, August 24. More than 100 people joined in the celebration that was held late in the afternoon at the future Turtle Place Station in downtown Vancouver, which is also the western terminus of the new line.
C-TRAN's Executive Director/CEO Jeff Hamm, provided opening remarks and introduced each of the speakers. Key consultant and contractor leads shared their excitement with the audience, while community leader Mark Maggiora expressed his vision for what he believes The Vine will do for the Fourth Plain corridor. C-TRAN's Board Chair and La Center Mayor Jim Irish spoke about the benefits the entire system will see as a result of the enhanced bus project, and highlighted the ways C-TRAN will better be able to serve the public as a result of The Vine implementation.
The Vine will be C-TRAN's largest capital project in the agency's history with a total cost of just over $53 million; with 80% coming from a FTA (Federal Transit Administration) grant, 6% from the state of Washington, and the remaining 14% from C-TRAN.
Guests enjoyed food and beverages provided by local businesses, as well as cookies adorned with The Vine logo. The ceremony concluded with an unfurling of oversized large construction banner featuring images of The Vine in service at Turtle Place, which will be attached to the construction fencing while the Turtle Place station and plaza are being built. After a little more than a year of construction, The Vine is planned to open in late 2016. Please check out the video to the groundbreaking ceremony below and get ready to "Catch The Vine".