VANCOUVER -- Looking to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, TransLink is seeking proposals to add efficient SeaBuses to its fleet.

The transit authority put out a request for proposals last Friday in hope of finding a contractor who can conduct a feasibility study on alternative propulsion options. 

TransLink says the request is part of its plan to replace its second original 1977 aluminum catamaran with something more efficient. It also aligns with TransLink's sustainability targets to use 100 per cent renewable energy in all of its operations by 2050 and to reduce is greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent that same year. 

"TransLink has adopted a sustainability policy to foster the development of a sustainable transportation system that aims to meet the needs of people, organizations and businesses, and promotes the ecological, economic and social well-being of Metro Vancouver and beyond," TransLink's request says. 

Right now, TransLink operates three SeaBus vessels and a fourth is expected to join the fleet in 2020. Over the next five to seven years, the final 1977 vessel is set to be replaced with the more efficient design. 

Possibly moving away from diesel operation, TransLink says it requires information on possible power demands a new propulsion system could have and to show the contractor engaged with BC Hydro to determine available power capacity. 

Those submitting proposals would also need to explain the vessel's possible impact on the environment including its emissions and exhaust, as well as how leaks and submarine noise could be prevented. 

On the bus system, TransLink already operates 262 zero-emission trolley buses. This past September, the transit authority added four battery-powered buses, with another six expected to join the fleet next year. 

Those buses produce no tailpipe emissions, allowing each one to avoid roughly 100 tonnes of greenhouse gases that would be emitted by a conventional diesel bus.

The deadline for SeaBus proposals is Dec. 20.