Investigating Vancouver: SPP student on his study trip to Canada

Alexey Smirnov is the 4-year student studying urbanism at the RANEPA School of Public Policy. He is an experienced traveler. Along with the built-in internships, he is shaping his abroad activities pack by his own. Last year the School approved his participation in the Summit of Leipzig International Transportation Forum, and this year he applied for having a study trip to Vancouver to have a chance to investigate the local transport infrastructure that was specially built for the Olympic games. So here is Alexey's story.


As soon as I got an approval for my Vancouver study trip, I understood that the 2018 start will definitely be great — and I should say at once, it was right. After a long-haul flight from Frankfurt to Vancouver, I found out that I am on the other edge of Earth. My trip dedicated to the research of the transportation projects for the Olympics-2010 began. So what I’ve got?

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From my point of view, transportation system of Vancouver is perfect for the cities with the same structure. They have three SkyLink (Light Rail Transit) lines: Expo, Millennium, and Canada. This system is fully autonomous: all people I saw in SkyLink vehicles, were passengers. You can purchase a ticket or a “Compass” card (it’s like “Troika” in Moscow) by means of a vending machine. There are no train drivers, or staff at all: everything is controlled from another place. And I love this approach.

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2
Canada line was constructed specially for the Olympics, that’s why all modern systems and architecture styles are on here. This line connects Vancouver Airport with the city center and transit system of Metro Vancouver region (West Coast Express, SkyLink, B-Buses and Waterbuses to North Vancouver) which is very convenient for everyone: citizens and tourists. Roger Bayley, an architect of the Olympic Village, noticed that the construction of this line made his trip to YVR Airport twice shorter than before!

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Another part of Vancouver Olympics Transportation plan was the redevelopment of Highway 99 to Whistler — Mountain Cluster to host the Olympics. They built four lines instead of two and created new infrastructure to make it faster. I would like to mention that this road is not just amazing as the part of the infrastructure, but as the new point for tourist to collect impressions — numerous forests and mountains grow all along the road, so you can enjoy the landscapes on your way to Whistler and Blackcomb peaks.

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And one more point. Of course, I visited museums and galleries of Vancouver. But nevertheless, I did not understand for what reason so many people consider this city the tourist one. If you want nature — parks, forests – they are here. Mountains and the Pacific Ocean put into one place — so British Columbia and Vancouver is your best choice. But in case you have some other purposes, then you’d better think twice.

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