About the Project

All the Way to UBC!

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 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.

Connecting UBC’s Vancouver campus to the broader community will have tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits for people living throughout the lower mainland.

Metro Vancouver mayors reconfirmed in 2014 that a rail connection to UBC is a regional priority. Funding was secured from all levels of government in 2018 to deliver the first phase of this vision, the Broadway Subway, which will extend the Millennium Line to Arbutus Street through a tunnel beneath Broadway.

A poll commissioned by UBC confirmed 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.

UBC is advocating for the line be further extended to the Vancouver campus, rather than have UBC-bound passengers transfer to buses at Arbutus for many years. 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.

We are now at a critical juncture: In January 2019, Vancouver City Council endorsed a SkyTrain extension to UBC and in February 2019, TransLink Mayors’ Council endorsed SkyTrain to as the technology of choice for subsequent stages of concept design and business case development. If funding is secured quickly, the full extension could be built within the next 10 years.

Your voice is critical during this narrow window while regional, provincial and federal government agencies are learning more about the significant benefits of completing the line to UBC.

A Seamless, Rapid Connection

The currently-funded Broadway Subway project will extend the Millennium Line SkyTrain to Arbutus Street, adding six underground stations along a 5.7-kilometre tunnelled route. Travellers headed to UBC will have to transfer to B-Line buses, which will follow the current route of the 99 B-Line through Point Grey to campus.

Technical analyses reveal that these buses will be at their practical capacity on opening day, carrying similar peak volumes as today’s 99 B-Line at Commercial-Broadway. Extending SkyTrain service to UBC would eliminate this inefficient and inconvenient transfer to the B-Line buses at Arbutus. Passengers will benefit from faster, more convenient transit times, and the businesses and residents along the Broadway corridor will benefit from less noise and congestion.

Commute time graph

The detailed route and station locations would be determined as part of the planning process led by TransLink. UBC envisions two stations on campus: one to serve the heart of the academic campus and one to serve the growing residential community on campus.

Map of proposed UBC transit line

There is strong public support for better transit that connects UBC with Metro Vancouver:

UBC is a big contributor to our local economy, our culture and has worldwide status. It needs to be more accessible to the entire lower mainland as not everyone can/wants to live on/near campus. Pacific Spirit Park, adjacent to UBC, is also world renowned and should be more accessible, along with beaches, to those who live beyond Vancouver’s west side.

UBC is Exploring a Financial Contribution

UBC is committed to working with regional partners, agencies and governments to accelerate planning and construction of a SkyTrain extension to campus.

Recognizing that Metro Vancouver transit projects are typically cost-shared between three levels of government (regional, provincial and federal), UBC is exploring ways to make a meaningful financial contribution to the regional share of the project without diverting any funding from its academic mission including provincial grants, current endowments, research funding nor student tuition.

Project costs will be more fully understood as detailed planning and design advances, but UBC’s contribution may take many forms:

  • Providing land for stations as York University recently did for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Expansion
  • Charges collected from developers as the City of Richmond is doing for the new Canada Line Capstan Way station
  • A direct financial contribution from new revenues enabled by rapid transit as YVR did to support the Canada Line

All On Board

There are a number of ways that you can support our efforts. You can write a letter to your local, provincial or federal government representative, talk to the local media or share information and benefits of the project with your friends, family or co-workers. You can also submit your transit story to this website.