Take it all the way: Why it’s time to bring SkyTrain to UBC
Planning for an extension of SkyTrain from Arbutus Street to UBC is underway – a project that is part of the long-term vision for an integrated transportation system that ensures Metro Vancouver continues to be a great place to live, work, learn, play and visit. TransLink has been evaluating potential route options and station locations and is now seeking input from the community to shape the project’s future. Visit TransLink’s engagement site to get involved and show your support for a project that will make life easier for so many members of the UBC community.
Imagine the Vancouver campus transformed: It’s 8:25 a.m. and faculty and staff are streaming out of a newly completed SkyTrain station just a quick walk from the academic heart of UBC to start their workdays free from traffic-induced stress. Many are coming from as far as Surrey or Coquitlam, where they can live more affordably and still get to work in under an hour by SkyTrain. Ride to the next stop at the south end of campus, and you’ll find a vibrant and walkable community where thousands of people live. Cyclists and pedestrians who used to tolerate the noise, exhaust and brake pollution of the main roads leading to and from campus move around with ease. Most commuters to UBC have left their cars at home, but those who drive find Broadway and Marine Drive clear of congestion.
Now envision a UBC campus more accessible from the rest of the Metro Vancouver region. More people living across Metro Vancouver can pick UBC as their post-secondary choice, opening new doors. UBC researchers across a breadth of disciplines, including the ones who this past year have assisted in helping stop the COVID-19 pandemic spread, can more easily collaborate with partners in healthcare centres like the Royal Columbian Hospital district or innovation hubs such as Mount Pleasant. And, UBC students and entrepreneurs link up with tech companies in Surrey, Burnaby and downtown Vancouver, driving economic prosperity. With Metro Vancouver and the university fully connected, the distance the UBC community can travel together is boundless.
With strong support from residents across Metro Vancouver to bring SkyTrain to UBC, this vision is closer than ever to becoming a reality.
UBC is looking to the future and the role the university plays locally and globally. This includes improving transit connectivity between the university and the region. Better transit access to the Vancouver campus will enhance mobility, affordability, sustainability and access to education for people living throughout Metro Vancouver. And, it will help realize UBC’s full potential as a regional contributor by connecting the university to research, health, innovation, employment and housing destinations across the Lower Mainland.
The extension of SkyTrain to UBC is an important regional project and it has strong support from residents from across Metro Vancouver. UBC has partnered with Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and the City of Vancouver to jointly advocate for the line. Our aim is to help ensure the project be built as a seamless continuation of the Broadway Subway Project, which is now under construction and will terminate at Arbutus Street. If we are successful, we could see a station at UBC by 2030.
While UBC continues to advocate for a SkyTrain connection, the safe return to on campus activities, managing the financial impacts of COVID-19 and continuing to deliver our core mission of teaching, learning and research remain the focus. As the Vancouver campus returns to a thriving place to learn, live and play, the need for a SkyTrain connection to UBC will once again be clear.
With shovels about to hit the ground on the Broadway Subway Project, which terminates at Arbutus Street, the time has come to get the line all the way to its destination. Take part in TransLink’s public engagement process and show your support for SkyTrain to UBC.
Three reasons to support extending SkyTrain to UBC
Shorter, easier commutes
UBC is home to the busiest bus exchange in Metro Vancouver with more than 1,000 buses per day bringing students, faculty, staff and visitors from all over the region. Even on opening day of the Broadway Subway to Arbutus Street (2025), the 99 B-Line from Arbutus to UBC will be at capacity, meaning crowding and pass-ups at peak hours. SkyTrain to UBC will reduce transit times, helping get more cars off the road and improving the lives of commuters.
Better access to affordable housing options
UBC is BC’s third largest employer and the largest provider of employee housing in the Lower Mainland. While the university offers a range of on campus market and affordable rental housing options for faculty and staff, many choose to live in more affordable parts of the region. The UBC extension will connect campus to housing options in Langley, Surrey, New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Vancouver, helping the university to attract and retain top talent in the Metro Vancouver region.
Better for the environment
By boosting regional transit ridership by more than 54,000 new transit trips per day, Broadway Subway plus SkyTrain to UBC will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help us reach our 2040 target of having two-thirds of all trips to and from campus made by walking, cycling and transit a decade earlier.