Extend the SkyTrain towards UBC, but go all the way

IMG_9290 It’s no secret that I have become fascinated with the SkyTrain since coming to Vancouver. It’s easy to do, and maybe it has something to do with a love I had for trains as a kid. I don’t know all of the technical ins and outs, nor do I own a set of train engineer pajamas. However, I have a certain appreciation for mass transit.

Suddenly, there is debate to extend the SkyTrain west to the UBC campus. This would be an add-on to the existing Millienium Line that has long been discussed as being extended, but I’m surprised to hear the sudden press for it.

Another transit line could also be extended through Vancouver. TransLink will vote this week on whether to approve a $1 million study into running the Millennium Line from Commercial Drive to central Broadway, and eventually out to UBC. Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan supports the idea. If the expansion is completed, it should be done by 2009. [news1130]

This is causing a battle between mayors because of the long, on-hold project of building the Evergreen Line that would connect the Millennium Line with out laying communities on suburban commuters.

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan supports a $1 million TransLink study looking at extending the Millennium Line west towards UBC. But politicians in other cities say it’s too soon to start thinking about that, while the Evergreen Line remains on hold.

The Millennium Line proposal would extend rapid transit from Commercial Drive to central Broadway and eventually west to the university. But Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan says the focus should instead be on getting the line to the northeast sector off the ground, which was promised ten years ago. The Evergreen Line still needs $400 million in government funding before it can go ahead.

TransLink Chair Malcolm Brodie says the Evergreen Line is a top priority, and the potential expansion of the Millennium Line is still many years down the road. [news1130]

All of these stories came out today, so it gets really confusing as to what’s going on where. Still, if there is a plan to push for the extension to UBC, the current plan only sees it to reach to Arbutus Street, barely half way to UBC. Chances are, the extension might never reach that far, a combination of construction issues seemingly the reason.

Like I said, I am all for expanding mass transit. I’m a firm believer that more should be done in extending services to outlaying areas and suburbs where commuters clog up the roads on a daily basis. More so, I think expanding SkyTrain service throughout Surrey and Langley would be a far better option than twinning the Port Mann[wiki], but the ball already seems set for that project.

However, if you are going to help fix the situation, then go all the way. Stopping at Arbutus would seem half-assed, and even the news reports all say, “and eventually out to UBC.” Traffic is rough in Vancouver, but providing just partial fixes isn’t going to make it any better.


5 Replies to “Extend the SkyTrain towards UBC, but go all the way”

  1. I agree it needs to go all the way out to UBC, and I think that’s actually pretty important. Skytrain was once regarded (in 1995 I think) as one of the best transit systems in North America. But now that I’ve seen other major cities, our Skytrain is really lagging far behind. Maybe we should have bit the bullet and starting building an underground system years ago.

  2. Does this mean we need to put train engineer jammies on your Christmas list?

  3. Aw geez… how does any of this, besides you Duane, address the need for better mass transit in the lower mainland of British Columbia?? :p

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