(Black Press Media files)

TransLink lays out costs for light rail, SkyTrain to UBC

Routes could cost up to $3.8 billion

Metro Vancouver mayors are scheduled to debate rail to the University of B.C. at their upcoming meeting this week.

The idea of extending the Millennium SkyTrain Line to UBC’s Point Grey campus has been discussed for more than a decade by the region’s leaders, but a new report to be reviewed at the Thursday meeting reveals three possible options for the line.

The cheapest option is a $1.7-billion-to-$2-billion ground-level light-rail line from the Broadway SkyTrain extension at Arbutus Street, which is scheduled to open in 2025, to UBC.

The second option would place a $2.8-billion-to-$3.2-billion ground-level light-rail line from the Main Street-Science World SkyTrain Station out to UBC.

The third option would extend the Millennium Line from Arbutus all the way to UBC at a cost of $3.3 billion to $3.8 billion.

There is no funding set aside to build the line itself yet, but $3 million was put forward last year to study possible routes.

UBC has offered to pay part of the cost, but could not immediately be reached for comment on this report.

READ MORE: UBC offers to help pay for SkyTrain extension to campus

Those costs are calculated in 2018 dollars, with about a 25-per-cent increase if converted to dollars in 2030 – the year TransLink believes the line could feasibly be completed.

The report said only the SkyTrain extension option would provide sufficient capacity over the long-term.

SkyTrain is projected to be able to carry 10,000 people, while both light-rail lines are expected to carry more than 6,000.

SkyTrain, the report noted, could also double its capacity by bringing in longer train cars and increasing frequency, while ground-level light rail could not.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, campaigned on a promise to bring SkyTrain to UBC, said he wasn’t surprised TransLink recommended it as the only solution.

“Because we’re building the SkyTrain to Arbutus it really just adds to the overwhelming case that the extension to UBC also needs to be SkyTrain,” Kennedy said.

“SkyTrain is the preferred technology because people are used to it and they know it works really well.”

Kennedy believes MetroVancouver’s other mayors will support the line as a “regional project” that will help their residents get to the university.

“It’s a real drag for them to get their with the buses being so full,” he said.

“Most mayors are saying this is an essential part of the regional plan.”

Kennedy doesn’t see McCallum’s South of the Fraser SkyTrain plans, which have dominated Mayors’ Council meetings of late, as interfering with funding a UBC line.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver mayors vote to ‘develop’ $1.65B in Fraser Highway SkyTrain plans

“We have seven per cent growth in the region this year… this region is embracing transit more than any other region in North America,” Stewart said.

“This is giving us the ability to move ahead faster with these project. We’re facing enormous public pressure to accelerate our [transit] builds.”

Both light-rail options would be either nearing or over capacity by 2025, just five years after a projected completion date.

The Broadway corridor to UBC is the busiest bus route in North America, with 100,000 daily passengers, and according to the business case, 2,000 people are left at bus stops by the 99 B-Line bus every day.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

South Surrey/White Rock grandmothers raise $8,000 while reducing plastic waste

Oneness Gogos started making, and selling, reusable produce bags

White Rock butterfly release ‘emotional, uplifting’

Second annual event raises $1,250 for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Securing Olympic spot the latest test for Canadian softball squad at Surrey tournament

Softball hasn’t been included in the Games since 2008 when Canada finished fourth in Beijing

South Surrey-White Rock candidates weigh in on SNC-Lavalin affair

Polls show support for top federal parties even after ethics report

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read

l -->