Metro Vancouver mayors to vote on SkyTrain for UBC

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      Lower Mainland mayors are expected to vote on a proposed rapid transit project to UBC from Arbutus Street in Vancouver.

      The region’s transportation agency, TransLink, has asked the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to endorse SkyTrain as technology for the transit extension.

      The line will connect with the Broadway Subway of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line, which will terminate at Arbutus Street.

      Construction for the subway is scheduled to start in 2020, with completion projected in 2025.

      Geoff Cross, vice president for planning and policy with TransLink, prepared a report included in the agenda Friday (February 15) of the mayors’ council.

      Cross recalled that staff advised the mayors at a meeting last month that “with the Broadway Subway project underway to Arbutus, an extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line is the only technology option that can provide sufficient capacity to meet demand beyond 2045 to meet the longer-term transportation needs of the corridor, the region”.

      “Ridership in 2045 for a new rapid transit line from Arbutus to UBC is projected to exceed 118,000 (over 50% of whom will be residents from outside of the City of Vancouver), which for comparison’s sake is more than the current Millennium Line corridor and less than the current Canada Line corridor,” Cross explained in his report.

      A TransLink report indicates that extending the Millennium Line from Arbutus Street to UBC would cost between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion in 2018 dollars.

      The transit authority estimates that if procurement begins in 2025 and the extension to UBC is completed in 2030, the cost would increase to $4.1 billion and $4.8 billion.

      On January 30 this year, Vancouver city council endorsed a SkyTrain extension to UBC. Councillors Jean Swanson and Colleen Hardwick voted against the idea.