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UBC wants in on the Broadway subway, but TransLink says it’s a no-go

Click to play video: 'UBC offers to pay for some Broadway SkyTrain' UBC offers to pay for some Broadway SkyTrain
UBC is pushing for the Millenium Line SkyTrain extension to cover twice the distance planned, and is offering to pay for some of it. Aaron McArthur has the details – Apr 19, 2018

UBC says it’s willing to consider paying for a portion of the cost in extending the Millenium Line SkyTrain — better known as the proposed Broadway subway — all the way out to the University’s Point Grey Campus, as long as it does not affect academic funding.

The amount of UBC’s contribution will depend on technical work, consultations with the UBC and external community, and discussions with other partners.

WATCH: Growing support for extension of Millennium Line

Click to play video: 'Growing support for extension of Millennium Line' Growing support for extension of Millennium Line
Growing support for extension of Millennium Line – Apr 20, 2018

But the university says it’s willing to consider contributing land for stations, charges collected from developers or even cash raised from new revenues enabled by rapid transit.

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READ MORE: Province promises $2.2 billion toward Metro Vancouver transit plan

“Extending rail rapid transit to UBC is a key component of a regional approach to transit improvement, and directly supports UBC’s Strategic Plan,” said UBC president Prof. Santa Ono in a media release.

“Enhanced transit connectivity between UBC and the rest of the region will benefit individuals, businesses and organizations across Metro Vancouver.”

The province has provided $2.2 billion to match the federal government’s $2.2 billion promise toward the Phase Two of Metro Vancouver’s transit and transportation plan.

That money covers 80 per cent of the funds needed to finance the 10-year plan, with the region covering the remainder through a mixture of property tax, transit fare and parking fee increases.

READ MORE: Phase two of Metro Vancouver’s transit plan still has funding gap of up to $70M/year

TransLink says it is open to discussing the idea with UBC but the expansion is not part of the approved plan.

“‘While this project is something to look at in the future… TransLink is currently focused on delivering improvements in the Mayors’ 10-year vision.” Chris Bryan from TransLink told Global News in an e-mail.

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“A future phase of investment will likely include rapid transit to UBC, but there are no plans to start construction on rapid transit beyond Arbutus. Planning, design, and construction of this extension have not been funded.”

The university argues that an extension of the Millenium Line to UBC would providing capacity for the next century. It argues that in the next 30 years, Metro Vancouver is expected to welcome one million more people see 600,000 new jobs.

READ MORE: TransLink reveals new images of Surrey LRT

The extension would result in Canada’s longest rapid transit line, ranging 43 kilometers from UBC to Coquitlam.

Travel times for UBC commuters could drop by up to 20 to 25 minutes each way, and could increase affordable housing options for students, faculty and staff across the Lower Mainland, according to the university.

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