81% of Vancouver voters support SkyTrain to UBC: survey

Nov 20 2020, 1:50 pm

A new survey conducted last week by Research Co. shows 81% of “likely voters” within the City of Vancouver support the extension of SkyTrain Millennium Line between the future Arbutus Station and the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus.

Support is highest amongst respondents living in downtown Vancouver (81%), followed by Vancouver Eastside residents (81%), and Vancouver Westside residents (76%).

The survey also showed there is roughly equal support amongst respondents who rent their housing or own their housing, with each group of likely voters supporting the extension by about 80%.

It should also be noted that downtown Vancouver, Vancouver Eastside, and renters are more likely to say they “strongly support” the extension.

The currently approved and funded project is the six-km-long Millennium Line Broadway Extension between VCC-Clark Station and Arbutus Street, complete with six new stations. The project’s total cost is $2.8 billion, with construction to begin before the end of the year for an opening in 2025.

There is no funding and commitment in place for the remaining seven-km-long extension between Arbutus Station and the UBC campus at the edge of Point Grey. However, early in 2019, both the Vancouver City Council and TransLink’s Mayors’ Council approved the technology option of a SkyTrain extension, and the Mayors’ Council provided $3 million in funding for preliminary planning work.

It is expected that the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to UBC will cost between $2.8 billion and $3.2 billion without inflation from the 2018 estimate. It would roughly follow West Broadway, West 10th Avenue, and University Boulevard, with the potential stations located at Macdonald Street, Alma Street, Sasamat Street, and the core of the UBC campus.

The one-train ride travel time to UBC is about 10 minutes from Arbutus Station, 20 minutes from VCC-Clark Station, and just under an hour from Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station.

The university has expressed interest in bringing the extension all the way to Wesbrook Village to establish two on-campus stations, with the university providing some funding towards the project.

The First Nations developer behind the Jericho Lands redevelopment has also shown interest in placing a station on their property to better serve the new density.

Early this year, the municipal government, university, and First Nations developer signed a memorandum of understanding to advocate for an expedited completion of the extension to UBC.

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