What is UBC’s vision for rapid transit to the Vancouver campus?
UBC envisions an extension of the Millennium Line to the UBC Vancouver campus. The University is engaging our community, regional partners and senior levels of government to determine the best way to accelerate and fund this second phase.
Why is rapid transit to UBC needed?
The region is growing by one million more people and over 500,000 jobs in the next 25 years. Transit investments must serve the areas of greatest need to manage this growth and provide benefits to all of Metro Vancouver.
UBC is B.C.’s third-largest employment centre after downtown Vancouver and Central Broadway, and one of the region’s busiest transit destinations. Overcrowded buses on the UBC-Broadway corridor pass-up around 500,000 passengers each year, and force countless more back into single-occupant vehicles, exacerbating congestion in the whole region. Rapid transit to UBC would solve this challenge by providing capacity for the next century.
Rapid transit would also help assist with housing affordability – a growing challenge for the region, for UBC’s recruitment of faculty and staff, and a critical pressure point for students. A continuous 43-km SkyTrain line from UBC to Coquitlam would open up housing options for students, faculty and staff, by connecting seamlessly to North Burnaby, Port Moody, and Coquitlam and with single connections to central Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey and Richmond. The completed line would provide crucial support for the recruitment and retention of top talent.
Additionally, a rapid transit line to UBC would better integrate one of Canada’s top research and teaching institutions into the region, enhancing access to education, medical, recreational and cultural services, reducing congestion and improving UBC’s efficiency on several fronts. The project is crucial for the entire Lower Mainland. Check out the Impact and benefits section of this website for more info.
Where would the station(s) at UBC be located?
It’s too early to say. For now, the university is focused on advancing discussions with government and other partners. Station locations will be identified as part of the planning and design of the system. UBC is exploring the potential for two stations; one to serve the heart of the academic campus and one to serve the growing community of south campus. An illustrative map of the corridor can be found in the overview.
How much will the UBC extension cost?
UBC is working with our partners to better understand the project scope and costs. Estimates will be developed and refined during planning and design stages. Projects of this scale typically require support from all levels of government. UBC is exploring a contribution along with other partners, ensuring no funding is diverted from the university’s academic mission.
What will UBC contribute to make this project a reality?
The scope and nature of a UBC contribution has not yet been established and will depend on conversations with community, government and agency partners. Such a contribution could take many forms, such as providing land, collecting development charges, or contributing revenues enabled by rapid transit, which are all variations of models used to fund the Canada Line.
UBC is exploring a contribution along with other potential partners, ensuring no funding is diverted from the university’s academic mission.
Why embark on this project now?
Rapid transit to UBC has been studied for more than 20 years. It’s time to act now.
The current Mayors’ Council Vision calls for rail rapid transit to UBC but identifies only the first phase (to Arbutus Street) within the first 10 years. Completing the second phase to UBC promptly emerged as a key theme in recent consultations on UBC’s new Strategic Plan, as it directly supports the Plan’s three themes of Collaboration, Inclusion and Innovation. In a time of unprecedented provincial and federal support for transit infrastructure funding, it is prudent to confirm the UBC completion as the region’s next investment priority. The longer we wait, the harder it will be for UBC and the region to achieve the benefits of connecting UBC with rapid transit. That’s why we’re acting now to encourage all levels of government to prioritize the project.
When will the UBC extension be built?
The Millennium Line Broadway Extension to Arbutus is expected to open by 2025 if committed. Planning and design for the completion of the extension to UBC could advance during construction of the first phase, leading to an opening day as early as 2028. This timeline assumes full funding commitments by all levels of government by 2021. An illustration of the overall timeline can be found in the overview.
What are the next steps?
The Board of Governors’ decision in April 2018 to explore a UBC contribution allows us to begin discussions with government and agency partners on how to accelerate a commitment to the project. Our next step is to ensure rapid transit to UBC is identified as a near-term priority in TransLink’s next long-range plan. We’ll also work with our partners to develop a better understanding of the project scope and costs. See how you can get involved.