About the Project
Making Metro Vancouver transit better
Metro Vancouver is a thriving region set to grow by one million people and more than 500,000 jobs in the next 25 years. As the region grows, a SkyTrain connection to UBC is crucial. It supports regional affordability, sustainability and economic growth by connecting research, health, innovation, employment and housing destinations across Metro Vancouver.
In 2022, TransLink released a new Regional Transportation Strategy that ensures the transit and transportation system keeps pace with our growing region. The new strategy sets out to add 300 kilometers to the rapid transit network, build out an 850-kilometre traffic-protected major bikeway network, and promote electrified and shared bikes, scooters and cars.
A rapid rail connection to UBC has been part of the long-term vision for Metro Vancouver’s transit strategy for years. The Broadway Subway project—extending the Millennium Line SkyTrain to Arbutus Street—is an important start and is now under construction but, on opening day in 2025, the majority of the line’s passengers will still have to wait for buses to get to and from campus. Now is the time to extend SkyTrain all the way to UBC and complete this long-standing regional transit priority.
The extension of SkyTrain to UBC is good for the region
Connecting UBC’s Vancouver campus to the broader community will have tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits for people living throughout the lower mainland. It will:
- link the region’s education, employment, research, innovation and health centres;
- improve access to affordable housing by opening housing options across the entire length of the line;
- increase sustainable transit usage along the entire length of the Broadway corridor, reducing congestion, GHG emissions and air contaminants while improving personal health and wellbeing; and,
- enable people in communities across Metro Vancouver to engage with the educational, research, cultural and employment opportunities at one of Canada’s leading universities.
UBC is advocating for the line be further extended to the Vancouver campus now. The university is committed to exploring, along with external partners, a financial contribution towards the regional share of this project to accelerate its completion, provided the contribution does not affect funding for UBC’s academic mission.
A unique partnership behind the UBC SkyTrain Extension
Extending the SkyTrain through the Jericho Lands now jointly owned and being developed by Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations provides a notable step toward reconciliation in BC. The three nations are working with the community to develop an inspiring, progressive and sustainable new neighbourhood on the 90-acre Jericho Lands. Connecting this development to the UBC Extension will further integrate the socioeconomic development aspirations of these nations into Metro Vancouver long-term planning, while creating thousands of new housing units for the region. The City of Vancouver and UBC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations committing to close partnership in an effort to extend SkyTrain from Arbutus to UBC. Learn more about the partnership.
Metro Vancouverites say yes! to the project
In April and May of 2021, TransLink surveyed over 15,000 people from across Metro Vancouver and found that 92% of respondents support the extension of SkyTrain to UBC. People who live further from UBC, beyond the City of Vancouver, were even more likely to say they support the extension (93% support). Read the report and learn more about this current phase of work.
A poll commissioned by UBC also confirms that residents from across Metro Vancouver agree with the regional mayors. A full 82% of survey respondents said they supported extending the Millennium Line all the way to UBC and 60% said the extension should be considered a regional priority.
Planning is underway
TransLink is currently undertaking technical planning work. This, along with the feedback TransLink received from a public engagement process completed in April–May 2021, will help confirm the objectives of a potential SkyTrain extension to UBC, and evaluate possible route options and station locations.
Learn more about the project timeline and what’s happening now.
UBC remains committed to exploring a meaningful financial contribution
UBC is exploring a financial contribution to the regional share of the project, provided the contribution does not divert any funding from the academic mission. Funding will not be derived from the provincial operating grant, current endowments, research funding nor student tuition.
A UBC contribution to rapid transit could take many forms:
- Land for stations – Land for routes and stations comprise a major part of rapid transit costs. UBC could contribute land for stations on campus.
- Charges Collected from Developers – Local governments collect charges from developers to pay for the infrastructure and amenities that support growth. UBC collects charges from market land development, some of which could support rapid transit construction costs.
- Transit-Enabled Revenue – Rapid transit can help generate new revenue. For UBC, some revenue could come from land development as well as from more people accessing the campus for recreation, culture and services. This new revenue will only be realized with a SkyTrain connection to campus.