Accelerating the extension of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line all the way to the UBC campus in Point Grey depends on the Mayors’ Council’s willingness in adjusting its 10-year plan.
In an email to Daily Hive, TransLink says it is encouraged by UBC’s Board of Governors interest in providing a financial contribution to bringing the subway to the campus – but only when the public transit authority is in the position to do so.
“It’s great to see UBC’s commitment to extending rapid transit to their campus in the future, and we look forward to more discussions,” reads a statement.
“A future phase of investment will likely include rapid transit to UBC, but there are no approved plans to start construction on rapid transit beyond Arbutus. Planning, design and construction of this extension have not been funded.”
TransLink says that it is currently only committed to fulfilling the 10-year plan approved by the Mayors’ Council, which is the governing body of the public transit authority. At the moment, that plan only consists of building the six-km-long, six-station extension from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street and preliminary planning for the remaining seven-km-long UBC extension – not construction.
But UBC believes there is a window of opportunity now to build the extension to the campus seamlessly, with the Arbutus Street phase opening in 2025 as planned and UBC’s suggestion of opening the final phase to UBC in 2028.
Yesterday, UBC announced that its Board of Governors had approved a possible financial contribution that could include land for stations, charges collected from developers, and other contributions from new revenues generated by rapid transit.
The university would also like to see two stations serving its campus. There would be one station located at the academic hub on University Boulevard near the existing bus exchange and Student Union Building and a second station, the Millennium Line’s new western terminus, serving the southern half of the campus at Wesbrook Village.
Previous studies by TransLink indicate the end-to-end travel time of a SkyTrain extension to UBC would be about 20 minutes from Commercial-Broadway Station.