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Vision Vancouver promises to make Broadway subway line to UBC ‘top priority’

The Broadway subway project is currently designed to add 5.7 kilometres of track and six stations to the existing SkyTrain Millennium Line from VVC/Clark to Arbutus.
The Broadway subway project is currently designed to add 5.7 kilometres of track and six stations to the existing SkyTrain Millennium Line from VVC/Clark to Arbutus. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Paul Wright

Vision Vancouver is promising to complete the Broadway subway line all the way to UBC if mayoral candidate Ian Campbell is elected on October 20. But there were no details provided on how the municipal government could afford the projected $2.6- billion price tag for the project.

Campbell is promising to ‘immediately initiate a third-party economic impact study’ of building the extension out to UBC’s Point Grey campus. The goal would be to bolster the case for government funding in advance of the 2019 federal election.

READ MORE: Federal government confirms investment in Surrey LRT and Broadway subway line

“A vote for Vision Vancouver for mayor and council is a vote to make Vancouver’s top transportation priority for the next four years extending Broadway Subway all the way out to UBC,” said Campbell, who is a hereditary chief in the Squamish Nation. “The subway needs to go all the way out to UBC so Vancouver’s biggest post-secondary institution connects with the Broadway Corridor, the second biggest jobs hub in the province.”

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The Broadway subway project is currently designed to add 5.7 kilometres of track and six stations to the existing SkyTrain Millennium Line from VCC/Clark to Arbutus. The extension would be an additional 8.5 kilometres to the university.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and the Broadway extension is scheduled to open by 2025.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier John Horgan and TransLink finalized financial commitments for both a light rail transit line in Surrey and the Broadway subway line extension in Vancouver. The province will contribute $1.82 billion to the two projects, the federal government will contribute $1.37 billion, and TransLink, the City of Vancouver, and the City of Surrey will contribute $1.23 billion.

READ MORE: Cost of Broadway subway line grows to an estimated $2.83 billion

The UBC expansion was not part of the funding.

“In the phase 2 mayors’ plan we have a little bit of money to continue very early, preliminary design in consultation with the university and the City of Vancouver to study conceptual alignments to UBC,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said. “Down the road we need to figure out how to fund it.”

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

The UBC expansion is part of phase 3 of the Mayors’ Council plan for transit. Campbell is also promising to work with TransLink and city transportation staff to enhance the existing bus service to UBC.

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“It is absolutely critical that the next mayor of Vancouver is firmly committed to getting the subway built out to UBC. We can’t have someone who will waffle or doesn’t know where they stand,” Campbell said.

“We have provincial and federal governments that are making transit investment a priority. UBC President Santa Ono says UBC will pay its fair share and contribute financially to making the subway extension happen. The next four years are a huge opportunity for our city.”

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