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Vancouver city council votes to support future SkyTrain extension to UBC

Looming battle over UBC transportation?
WATCH: Looming battle over UBC transportation?

Vancouver city council has voted to support extending the future Broadway subway line all the way to UBC.

The vote was 9-2, with only COPE Coun. Jean Swanson and Non-Partisan Association (NPA) Coun. Colleen Hardwick voting against it.

READ MORE: New report concludes SkyTrain is the best transit option to get to UBC

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart took to Twitter to call it a “great day for Vancouver, UBC, our core First Nations and the entire region.”

The vote came the week after TransLink presented a report to the TransLink Mayor’s Council, making the case that SkyTrain was the only technology that would be able to meet future ridership demands for the university corridor.

Under the currently-approved and funded Phase Two of TransLink’s 10-Year Vision, the Broadway subway would only extend to Arbutus Street.

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The SkyTrain option was being offered in contrast to light rail models, including a light rail between Science World and UBC, which TransLink said would be at capacity within 15 years of being built.

LISTEN: Vancouver City Council has voted to endorse an extension of the planned Broadway SkyTrain line, so that it goes all the way out to UBC. But some councillors have major concerns – including transit fares going up, the impact on businesses during construction, and land values skyrocketing which could push people further out from Vancouver. 

READ MORE: TransLink report says SkyTrain the ‘only technology’ to meet UBC rapid transit demands

Critics had argued that light rail options were more cost effective than SkyTrain, and voiced concerns that development along the future line would raise property values and displace affordable housing.

According to TransLink’s report, extending the line from Arbutus Street to UBC would cost between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion.

The currently-approved Phase Two subway plan, from VCC-Clark station to Arbutus Street, is expected to cost about $2.83 billion.

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