The western terminus station of the underground extension of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line will be in the area of where Broadway meets Arbutus Street, but the exact location of the station’s entrance has been somewhat elusive.
While Pinnacle Living’s retail and residential building at 2080 West Broadway (located near the intersection) includes an open plaza space adjacent to Arbutus Greenway and BC Liquor Store that was originally intended to be reserved space for the subway, this spot may no longer be the intended site for the primary Arbutus Station entrance.
When the municipal government struck a deal with the developer a decade ago to set some space aside on their property for a possible station entrance, any notion of a subway assumed a full extension that reached the UBC campus.
But with the Broadway Extension project currently slated to terminate at Arbutus Street, and with the remaining route to UBC as a future second phase, this station must be designed to be capable of handling the large volumes of passengers transferring between the train and the remaining 99 B-Line bus journey westward.
According to TransLink, the 99 B-Line currently sees about 57,000 boardings per weekday, and 51% disembark at stops west of Arbutus Street, with Alma Street taking on 6%, Sasamat Street at 1%, and UBC at 44%.
Until the final extension to UBC is complete, that means Arbutus Station could, theoretically, see about 30,000 boardings per weekday from just the 99 B-Line alone based on current ridership levels, and that does not even include the growth in riders lured by the improved, quicker transit service provided by the subway and the new riders from the possible future streetcar on the Arbutus Greenway. With that said, some riders may also opt for other options that do not require an extra transfer.
But overall, the passenger volumes this station may experience could make it one of the busiest stations on the entire SkyTrain system.
For these reasons, Arbutus Station will likely require a large footprint that allows for a relatively significant station entrance building and a bus exchange.
City records indicate the municipal government owns the site at 2097 West Broadway at the northeast corner of the intersection of Arbutus Street and Broadway, which is currently occupied by a single-storey building currently leased to Rogers and Fido. Another parcel immediately north, 2096 West 8th Avenue, is also listed as municipal government property.
Dulux Paints’ longtime home at 2091 West Broadway, located near the intersection on the opposite side of the Arbutus Greenway, recently closed its doors due to skyrocketing property taxes from its close proximity to the station.
Altogether, the City-owned properties framed by Arbutus Street to the west, West Broadway to the south, the Arbutus Greenway to the east, and West 8th Avenue to the north span a total land area of about 20,000 sq. ft.
Municipal and transit authorities have not noted any of the precise station locations for the Broadway Extension, but a new listing for a nearby property at 2145-2165 West Broadway denotes this very corner as the site of the future station entrance.
Such a site could conceivably fit both a large station entrance building and a small bus exchange or bus layover facility large enough for the articulated buses used by the 99 B-Line.
The only publicly available artistic rendering of a station design for the Broadway Extension appears to depict Arbutus Station.