82% of Metro Vancouverites support UBC SkyTrain extension: survey

Feb 8 2019, 8:16 am

The findings of a recently conducted survey that gauges the public support of a SkyTrain extension all the way to the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus has been released.

UBC commissioned Research Co. to perform the survey, which was conducted in November 2018 and saw 1,900 participants from across Metro Vancouver, with a margin of error of +/- 2.3%.

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It found that 82% of regional residents support the UBC extension beyond Arbutus Street, with the City of Vancouver at 89%, North Shore at 86%, Burnaby-Richmond-New Westminster at 84%, Tri-Cities at 79%, and Surrey at 78%.

Support was lowest in Delta-White-Rock-Langley at 73% and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge at 62%.

Overall regional support for an extension to UBC is higher than it is for the approved project of extending the line mid-way to Arbutus Street (71%).

Less than a quarter (24%) of regional residents believe there are other more important transit projects that should be finished before SkyTrain is extended to the campus. Surrey had the highest proportion (31%) of respondents stating this belief.

Across the region, 65% believe SkyTrain is the right technology to the campus, with the Tri-Cities most supportive (71%), followed by North Shore (69%), Vancouver (69%), Surrey (67%), Burnaby-Richmond-New Westmisnter (62%), Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge (52%), and Delta-White-Rock-Langley (51%).

If UBC were to provide a significant financial contribution to the project, as first proposed by university administrators last year, 65% of regional residents would be more likely to support the project.

Moreover, 60% of all regional residents understand a SkyTrain extension to UBC will benefit the entire region, with support highest in Vancouver at 70%. Only Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge saw a support level under the 50% threshold.

Nearly half of Metro Vancouverites (46%) stated they are more likely to visit the campus if they can get there by SkyTrain.

Last month, TransLink management announced a seamless extension of SkyTrain technology is their preferred technology choice for the remaining journey to UBC, and Vancouver City Council also voted in support of this technology choice.

TransLink’s Mayors’ Council is expected to make a decision on the technology direction next week.

It is expected the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to UBC, approximately seven kms in length, will cost between $2.8 billion and $3.2 billion in 2018 dollars.

TransLink expects a full SkyTrain extension between VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street will attract 192,700 daily boardings by 2045, plus 118,800 daily boardings coming from the span between Arbutus and UBC.

This would bring the total ridership of the entire extension between VCC-Clark Station to UBC to a staggering 311,500 per day — about twice the current ridership of the Canada Line. The end-to-end travel time along this entire span from VCC-Clark Station to UBC is estimated to be about only 20 minutes.


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