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We want your thoughts on rapid transit to UBC!

As you may know, our staff has been hard at work over the last year in partnership with the Province of B.C., studying rapid transit options for UBC and in Surrey!

Stakeholders in both communities have helped us get to know the key issues and concerns. And with their feedback in mind, we’ve now identified six preliminary concepts for the Broadway corridor to UBC—and we want to know what you think. (The Surrey consultation is coming soon!)

Check out the video above to learn more about the corridor and the study (um, yes, that is me in the video, in case you’re wondering.)

Then visit our UBC Be Part of the Plan page to learn more about the alternatives, and share your thoughts in our questionnaire, on our online discussion boards, or at one of our five in-person workshops held throughout April and May.

Just like last time, I’ll be helping moderate the discussion boards—hope to see you there!

The challenge and the proposed solutions

Six alternatives are proposed as preliminary concepts for the Broadway corridor.

Six alternatives are proposed as preliminary concepts for the Broadway corridor.

The 99 B-Line is the busiest bus route in our system, and it shows. Buses are crowded, waiting passengers are being left behind, and journey times are unpredictable, affecting quality of service for customers.

Conventional buses are already working near capacity, even though buses arrive every two to three minutes during peak times. And as demand is only expected to grow, we’ve been working with the Province to assess a range of alternatives for future rapid transit service, to determine the preferred solution.

There are six suggested alternatives for the Broadway corridor, and each one uses one of three rapid transit technologies—Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Rail Rapid Transit (RRT)—or some combination of these technologies.

As you explore the alternatives at the UBC Line Study page, make sure you look at the diagrams: they show the possible route options, and some of the concepts have two or three routes!

Help us shape these early concepts: the fine details are yet to be determined

It’s important to stress that we are still in the early stages of planning for rapid transit service, and the presented alternatives are all preliminary concepts that we want you to help us shape. The questions we really want you to answer are:

  • For each alternative, imagine that it has been selected as the final decision. Even if you don’t like it, what would you do to make the selected alternative the best possible option that works for your community?
  • What other information do you need about this alternative to help you make an informed choice?

Join us at the online discussion boards to share your thoughts on both these questions.

Remember, we haven’t yet identified the station locations, whether the service is in a tunnel or elevated, or where it is on the street yet. Once we get to Phase 2 of the study, designs for these alternatives will be developed and will undergo a detailed evaluation.

Your thoughts are needed!

Your feedback is key—our planning team will listen to your thoughts as they shape the options for the Broadway corridor. They’ll take your suggestions, refine the options, and we’ll present them in the fall for more public discussion.

So again, make sure to share your thoughts in our questionnaire, on our online discussion boards, or at one of our five in-person workshops held throughout April and May!


42 Comments

  • By Cliff, April 19, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    An extension of the Millennium line to at least Cambie is needed at a minimum.

    A problem I see if the comparison of trams and buses to true rapid transit like SkyTrain. In no way shape or form can the Olympic line ever compete SkyTrain and this needs to be made clear from the beginning.

    The Olympic line has its own merits and serves to benefit areas like Kitsilano quite well. It really needs to be compared with a bus and not LRT. It, however is not an alternative to true LRT for people getting to UBC. A tram would likely result in similar times to taking the 41/43/49 that uses Marine Drive (80km/h) and transferring to the SkyTrain at Cambie.

    Level crossings need to be avoided at all costs. Vancouver is not Edmonton or Calgary and I have little faith in drivers here to understand LRT never mind avoiding accidents with them.

    I’ll be attending the open houses and look forward to be able to voice my opinion.

  • By Gregory Marler of BritishStudent.ca, April 19, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    Just the other day I was informing a fellow student friend that there were plans/talks for a sky train to UBC. We discussed what the Broadway residents and shops would be less likely to refuse: above-ground or underground. Do you have an idea of that answer?

    The options have names that I don’t understand, so I would rename them as follows to give a quick summary:
    Option 1(BRT) – kerb-separated bus/cycle only lanes or a bus guideway.
    Option 2(LRT) – tram (bus on rails in the shared road)
    Option 3(LRT) – as option two but with a spur to Olympic Village and Science World
    Option 4(RRT) – skytrain, underground, elevated, or street level but protected from other traffic
    Option 5(LRT/RRT) – Light rail(tram) would go from UBC and Broadway but turn off to go to Olympic Village and Science World. Rapid(skytrain) would be a spur that goes the rest of Broadway to City Hall and VCC Clark (and continue as the Evergreen line).
    Option 6(best bust) – improve the existing system through more buses, lanes, alternative routes etc.

    I expect Option 5 will be most popular. It allows Translink to spend any money it has(borrows,begs,ste) on the Evergreen Line and maybe extend in the future. Meanwhile if UBC cares at some point it can build/fund it’s own system to join up with it.

  • By Daniel, April 19, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

    I’m a ubc student.
    this is more than necessary; it’s overdue.

  • By Jimbo, April 19, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

    There’s no way a streetcars/tram could go 80km/hr and/or would be allowed to go 80km/hr. Certainly on Broadway your average tram speed would be less than the speed limit, 50km/hr, probably a bunch less.

    As the Olympic line showed (or Calgary/Portland/Seattle) unless you are fully separated from traffic & pedestrians your train will be slow slow slow. You get what you pay for and you ain’t payin’ much for a streetcar.

  • By Tim, April 19, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

    The video feels so weirdly sad! C’mon, guys, this is exciting! And if you can rig it so I don’t have to open six tabs to get a sense of all the alternatives, that would be super-fab, especially because there’s not a whole lot of info on the table right now.

    I don’t have a good sense of which of the alternatives I’d prefer… How many people per hour can each of these move? What kind of service frequencies would they have? How many stops would even be possible along the corridor? Or if that’s all fodder for Phase 2 and we’re just getting together to agree that we’re not excited about building a super-highway or a passenger canal system, then great. :)

    Thanks so much for posting to blogs & Twitter about all this — it’s great that this isn’t some pro forma public comment notice buried in the back of a newspaper; as a transit rider I really appreciate it.

  • By Brandon (CMBC), April 19, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    Not to sure if I can comment on these types of things, being that I am a CMBC operator, but I do have a few ideas. I like the idea of dedicated bus lanes, such as the BRT option suggests. In Seattle, they have the bus tunnel in downtown alowing several buses to avoid downtown traffic and avoids having large crowds on busy streets. Once out of the downtown tunnel, the buses continue on a dedicated bus road with stations, just like an LRT. Also, I think that having these dedicated bus lanes will be the cheapest option as the equipment and operators are already trained. Adding light priorities will help as well so that the only stopping the bus would have to do is for pickup and drop off. I know that the Broadway corridor is very busy and has limited room so this may be tough to do. I also like the LRT idea. While it may be slower or take just as much time, maybe it could serve mostly people wanting to shop or jsut needing to go somewhere on Broadway or 4th ave, leaving the express service dedicated mostly to UBC traffic. One last comment regarding the last option, best bus. The UBC loop need to be upgraded big time. It needs to be bigger and built in a way that it does not share an entrance with a parking lot and so that the passengers can move freely without interfering with the traffic. Maybe have overhead walkways to the bus bays and one central island for the bus bays like Metrotown loop.

  • By Chris, April 19, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

    Human Transit has the best analysis I’ve seen so far. http://www.humantransit.org/2010/04/vancouvers-broadway-corridor-options-announced.html

  • By David, April 20, 2010 @ 12:13 am

    Broadway needs capacity more than anything. Contrary to what the study says LRT in a dedicated lane can move well in excess of 10,000 per hour per direction. In Europe and Asia on-street tram lines carry 20,000 per hour every week day.

    With added capacity comes greater reliability (no pass-ups) and comfort from fewer stops/starts for traffic lights and the advantage of smooth running rails versus bumpy pavement.

    Speed is a function of the number of stops and the quality of the right of way, but is at best a tertiary concern. Even for those who see speed as important, a system that picks you up near your origin and drops you off near your destination can be faster than one with a much higher speed that makes you walk 5 blocks.

    I’ll let the urban designers explain why on-street rail or bus contributes to neighbourhoods in a more positive way than grade separated transit.

    Finally I hope Cliff has a spare $3 billion in his back pocket because that’s the approximate price difference between option 2 and option 4.

  • By NicS, April 20, 2010 @ 12:24 am

    This site http://bit.ly/aUY4wt has some great comments from people who have studied all these systems and more!

  • By Jordan, April 20, 2010 @ 3:46 am

    I certainly believe a SkyTrain extension all the way to UBC is the most logical option. It definitely warrants the extra money. And perhaps if funding is the problem, have SkyTrain to Arbutus and the B-line the rest of the way. We can complete the rest when money is available. Commercial to Arbutus is the busiest part anyways. I just feel that the combination won’t allow SkyTrain to be continued as we have already invested in LRT to UBC, when UBC certainly will (if it doesn’t already) need SkyTrain.

    In my opinion i don’t see how LRT will work on Broadway AND be faster than the buses.
    How will LRT even fit on the street? The blocks are small (limiting train length) and street width is narrow. We all saw the congestion at Cambie and Broadway when there was only two lanes for the Canada Line construction; imagine that virtually the whole length of Broadway to accommodate the tracks and stations. Also if LRT is going to be grade separated, it might as well be a continuation of SkyTrain! And if not, and LRT is mixed with traffic, it certainly cannot be faster than the 99 (or even the 9) now. The 99 has the flexibility to move around traffic (and when there are occasionally accidents). And for those of you suggesting signal priority, that can be just as effectively applied to buses, without the costly infrastructure of LRT which essentially have no benefit to service over buses.

    I would also like to point out that the 9 is usually only 10 minutes longer than the 99 because of the massive usage and congestion on the 99 experiences. Therefore if capacity is a problem, I feel using articulated trolleys on the 9 will serve the same purpose as LRT along broadway.

    I like the idea of continuing the Olympic line at Arbutus, but I think it would be a better system if the SkyTrain continued to UBC and the streetcar continued down Arbutus. Also the Olympic line should be extended up to Main Street Stn and to the potential future downtown streetcar network through Gastown and to Stanley Park.

    Wow I hope this isn’t too lofty of a goal. Wouldn’t it be nice though… :)

  • By ;-), April 20, 2010 @ 6:58 am

    There’s a few things that needs to be considered…..

    None of the options appear to have a dollar figure next to them. If they all cost the same…. a Skytrain bored tunnel all the way to UBC is preferred. If that is the most expensive, then how much more expensive is it? Are UBC students willing to pay a premium like YVR and WCE passengers? Perhaps make UBC…. Zone 2? Is there a P3 option?

    With regards to at grade solutions on Broadway…. are retailers willing to give up their street parking? The 98BLine was a kneecapped in Marpole and Granville South. Only Richmond and Downtown were willing to have the Bus Only lanes. At the residential sections, large Granville residential groups came out to protest the 98BLine bus lanes. As a result, no bus priority lanes came between Marine and the Granville Bridge. Have we learned nothing from these NIMBY’s? Do you really thing Broadway residents and retailers will be so accepting? At grade solutions will not be able to guarantee reliable service.

    For the bus only lanes to be successful, how will right and left turning traffic be impacted? 99BLine is often held back by cyclists, right turning and parking vehicles….. buses need to drive around them. If the priority lanes are in the centre, will there be no left turns until your reach arterials like No 3 98BLine lanes? Will there be UTurns? Is the road really wide enough to support a dedicated lane without adding more congestion?

    I think a grade separated transit solution is essential between Burrard and Commercial. Perhaps even grade separation is needed between Alma and Larch as well.

    I agree with the above comments that if UBC is too costly, Commercial to Cambie and possibly to Burrard…. now is ideal. This was the original plan 25 years ago…. not East to the suburbs.

  • By Cliff, April 20, 2010 @ 7:02 am

    The issue is that trams simply can’t move as many people as LRT. Trams are just fine for Kitsilano and maybe even Kerrisdale, but not for moving large groups of people to UBC. At least not with as many stops that trams typically have and would be necessary for service in the English Bay area.

    There’s also an issue with competing street space for LRT stations and rails. Broadway only has a 6 lane cross reference in most places. Even if station platforms were offset that’s still a minimum of three lanes (and a VERY narrow platform) for LRT. An outside configuration might be a little bit better for street space but not by much. It also restricts right turns.

    SkyTrain at a minimum to Cambie. At that point other alternatives can come into play. SkyTrain needs to be extended west so as to provide obvious connectivity with the other SkyTrain line at Cambie.

    Also, the city of Vancouver needs to be careful that they are not competing with the Evergreen line for funding. It’s starting to look like they are and the Evergreen line was promised over 15 years ago. It should receive priority before any extension westward.

  • By Jimbo, April 20, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    The curb lane isn’t a great option for non-grade-separated train. A City of Vancouver study found the big hindrance with the right hand lane was cars turning right, which you’d still have with a train in that lane.

    http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20070724/documents/tt1.pdf

    And you’d have the same problem with the train in the left hand lane with cars turning left. Not to mention the problem of the platform.

    The only logical solution is a tunnel to at least Alma or Blanca, or beyond.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 20, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    More links: the Transport Politic has an article about this discussion too.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 20, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    Okay all, I want to offer a bit more perspective on the consultation, so you know exactly where we’re at and what we can get you at this point. I’m glad to see everyone asking questions and discussing in-depth, and I just want to make sure you know exactly what we’re asking and what we can and can’t answer right now!

    Essentially, this stage of the consultation is a very high-level discussion, looking at optimizing the routes that could be possible contenders for the line.

    We’re well aware that people want more detailed information: but we actually don’t have any of that information yet, because a lot of the details (cost, station locations, etc) are actually dependent on creating a specific design for each alternative (picking alignment, elevated/at-grade, etc). And we haven’t identified any of the specific designs at this stage.

    Why haven’t we identified the specific designs? Well, it’s because we want your feedback before we even start the design phase. Before we evaluate alignments, elevations, station locations and more, we want to know what YOU want us to consider in the actual design of the route.

    This way, we can take your priorities into the design phase and ensure it is reflected in the designs we produce. (For example, from the discussion we’re having above, speed of the route is important, and so is cost.) The design phase is also quite expensive and time consuming, so it would be silly to go into it if we aren’t abundantly clear about what you want for the line.

    This also means that we aren’t looking for you to pick your favourite route yet, even though this is obviously what everyone instinctively does! We don’t want you to pick a favourite because no decisions have been made, and all of the routes are possiblilities for the corridor. There’s also very little detail with which you can compare and make a decision — since we don’t have a specific design, we can’t tell you what the costs are for each, how fast they will go, etc. As I mentioned, we’re actually asking you to tell us what you want us to consider in the actual design of the route, so that we can come out in the fall with a more detailed design, and you can then start comparing and contrasting. And we’re also looking for you to tell us if these are the right range of options to even start designing with.

    (Tim: this is why you have to open up six tabs to look at the options—it’s really messy to put on a map, and we don’t want you to compare them at this point anyway.)

    If you are really focused on specific details that you think are make-or-break, try to identify the underlying concepts behind your suggestion, and make sure those are clear to us so we can move forward with them. For example, if you really think a station should be at Arbutus and Broadway, ask yourself why. Is it because you know that major growth is expected at that stop, and you want a hub there before it expands? Is it because it’s located near necessary services that you think are key to the line? Or if you are focused on cost: what’s the key issue behind it? Do you want us to cut costs as much as possible? Do you want us to spend as much as it takes to make this work?

    So just to sum up, here’s what we are looking for and what we can answer:

    a) We want to know whether these are the right alternatives to start creating a detailed design with, or if other alternatives should be considered.

    b) We want to know exactly what considerations we should take into account as we develop the designs further.

    c) We want to know what would make each alternative the best that it could be, so we can ensure that is captured in the designs going forward. Try to resist picking a favourite, since all of the possibilities are in play right now, and there’s not enough information to make a good comparison of them at the moment.

    d) We can’t answer with the specific details on cost, station location yet because we don’t know the specific design.

    I hope this helps!

  • By David, April 20, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    People seem to be worried about traffic congestion with all the on-street options. Guess what folks, that’s actually one of the goals of on-street systems, and getting people out of cars and onto transit is one of this region’s long term goals.

    Taking out just two of the six lanes on Broadway and replacing them with rail multiplies the people moving capacity of the road by a factor of 4.

    Merchants will be pleased to hear that LRT increases sales. We need look no further than Cambie to see that underground rail does the opposite.

    Cost isn’t being discussed at this point which is a shame because people probably think the options are at least close in cost when they’re not. The most expensive option is approximately 10 times the cost of the BRT option and there are significant differences in operating costs too.

  • By CJ Stebbing, April 20, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

    Couldn’t we do something like from futurama and travel by tubes. Or even jet packs?!

    Lol. Wanted to give a lighter side comment :p

  • By Erik G., April 20, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

    Buses get stuck in traffic
    Surface Trams/Light Rail help Darwin candidates win their awards
    Only SkyTrain, either the speedy and efficient Bombardier version or the slow and overwhelmed Rotem version is going to make a difference with the ability to run 30-second headways and not require a Union “Brother” (they occasionally need to pee or eat) to operate it.

  • By snowystar, April 20, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    Actually, people is also worry about the travel speed in the on-street option. Unless the LRT is completely fenced off, the train can travel no faster than the speed limit of Broadway. This along with the traffic/pedestrian interaction, make the system no faster than the current B-Line. In fact, in the last study done by CoV, LRT would be 1 minute slower than the B-Line. The reality is, most people like driving because transit is slow; if the LRT is slow, people will continue to drive. Even if Broadway is congested, there are more than 40 other streets they can use. Until every street in CoV is congested, driving will still be the faster option. Why is it that, during the olympics, SkyTrain ridership doubles, triples, or quadrupled while bus ridership increased by a mere 8%? Because the latter does not provide a competitive travel time and people would choose the faster option.

  • By fp252, April 20, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    David:

    In reality it is unlikely that the number of cars on the road will be reduced by enough that there will be a substantial impact on the amount of traffic. With Broadway being such a major arterial route for cars and trucks it is likely that: a) Broadway will become very congested; and/or b) they will head to another major route.

    Also, while a LRT/streetcar down Broadway can hold more people than an articulated bus, it would only bring a marginal improvement in total travel time. This would be due to city road speed limits, the need for an at-grade tram to watch for obstructions, and the many intersections along Broadway and traffic lights (even if they are optimized to stay green longer for LRTs). These would be issues even if the tramway were placed in the middle of the road.

    Therefore, if there is not much improvement in travel time going from B-Line to LRT, there is less incentive for people who don’t normally use the Broadway corridor to start using it. Therefore, these merchants will likely not see as much of a increase in business as they thought. While I agree that a subway would make this issue worse, at least on-surface local bus service (such as the #9, 17) can supplement it and continue to run just as frequently as before (and potentially bring in more customers). That isn’t really possible if there’s an tram route blocking 2-4 lanes…

    While I don’t completely object to an LRT/streetcar running on-street, Broadway is not the best place to do so (east of Arbutus, that is; it’s not as bad of an option west of Arbutus). However, I would prefer SkyTrain all the way to UBC, or SkyTrain + BRT, to allow for the BRT portion to be upgraded to RRT in the future.

  • By Dave 2, April 20, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    Taking away 2 travel lanes in the ‘village’ section of Broadway will leave only one lane per direction for cars. Which is fine.. until one car attempts to turn off of Broadway, which blocks everyone behind, including local buses.

  • By ericmk, April 20, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    In response to Jhen’s and the TransLink team’s questions, I think these are all very good plans for UBC and the Broadway corridor. Better transit is really needed now for this area, but it’s also important to take into account what ridership may be like in the future and develop plans that could handle expansion, service increases, etc. Also, the walk-ability of Broadway must be considered as there are many businesses there that would benefit from transit, and in return transit ridership would benefit from. I, too, am hoping for something fast, efficient, as well as future-ready. At the moment, the 99 B line is really stressed (yet still doing a good job, as I mentioned in a previous post, it’s my favourite bus line)but it’s time for something even better! I can’t wait for the future of Broadway and UBC transit! :)

  • By Cliff, April 20, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    If capacity is reduced on Broadway, people will shift to 12th and 16th Avenues. Arguably this is what is happening now.

    In my mind there’s two main concerns:

    1. Fewer transfers. The fewer the better. The reason ALRT (SkyTrain) and not LRT is being preferred in Coquitlam is the ability to get from place to place with minimal hassle, thus having it compete with the motor vehicle.

    The 160 is hugely popular even though SkyTrain’s travel times are in the same league. It’s why I switched to using my car when the 152 stopped going downtown. Fewer transfers reduce the perceived inconvenience factor of using transit and this is important.

    2. Business. People who use vehicles tend to make larger and more expensive purchases. It’s easier for people in vehicles to move around and they will tend to visit more businesses as a result. I’m not saying that people on public transit don’t patronize shops on Broadway, but the notion that someone looking out a bus window and seeing something they like in the display window and getting off and buying it doesn’t happen nearly as often as we like to think. Many of the people on buses that run through the area are UBC students and being a former student myself, students don’t have deep pockets with which to patronize local businesses.

    Locals in the area either walk or drive. The ones who walk will obviously take rapid transit if it’s available, but the sort who drive in Vancouver’s west side will not. They will not be persuaded to use transit even if a red carpet to the SkyTrain station existed and they were carried all the way.

  • By Cliff, April 20, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    When I say walk, I mean they’ll use transit to get to the area they’re shopping in then walk around. Then, they’ll use transit to go home or go to another completely different area.

  • By zack, April 20, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

    I think the RRT option would definitely ease the congestion along Broadway, this due to several factors

    1. This first of all would eliminate the overcrowding crisis on the 99-B-Line, and encourage more people to take public transit. One perfect example is the Canada Line which initially eliminated the 98 B-Line, and traffic along Granville was eventually eased.

    2. The UBC-Broadway trips are probably the busiest and most congested in Metro Vancouver. One of the benefits of the RRT option is that it bypasses all the traffic lights in the area and much faster, a real benefit for UBC students.

    The only concern would probably be the impact along 10th ave.

  • By Henry, April 20, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    There’s a cheaper and effective way of this without building new infrastructures. Do what they did during the olympics, put the 24 hour bus lane back. During the olympics riding the 99 Bline from one end to the other was fast and the bus lane allowed the b-lines to by pass traffic line ups. Yes businesses will not like the idea and the city might not like the idea of not making money off parking meters but this is honestly the cheapest and most effective idea. This idea can be implemented right away.

  • By Andrew S, April 21, 2010 @ 8:54 am

    Streets like Broadway and others with heavy traffic and priority bus service should not allow any parking on the street, until bus service ends for the day (for example) or just no stopping anytime. Even though it might be a residential area where people would like to park in front of their home, most people have a back lane for them to park in. Now that would be the cheapest alternative.

  • By Cliff, April 21, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

    The cheapest idea of bus only lanes down Broadway are actually a pretty good idea. Though I don’t think it would be any trouble to expand that to 6+ Vanpool to encourage students to carpool and have the folks over at Jack Bell organize carpools along the route.

    There’s actually lots of parking on the side streets around Broadway. Getting rid of the parking lane is a fantastic idea. Starting at Victoria Drive, the lanes could run all the way to Alma.

    To speed things up even more, right turns (except HOV) could be prohibited where a bus stop exists on the far side of a given block.

    At 8PM the lanes could become parking lanes for restaurants, then returning at 6AM to HOV.

  • By Eugene Wong, April 22, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    I’m quite disappointed that we are discussing Vancouver, when Vancouver just finished getting a new line. It’s disturbing that this is even an option. Vancouverites pay only 1 zone fairs, yet they have 4 rail lines [i.e. West Coast Express, Expo Line, Millenium Line, Canada Line], plus the #99.

    Somebody is playing politics, if you ask me.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, April 22, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    Eugene:
    Yeah, I can see where you’re coming from. But we’re really not trying to give Vancouver priority above all others: it’s just the way the study timing has worked out. Here’s a couple of other things to bear in mind:

    – This is the beginning of a much longer process, and years of ongoing work are still ahead of us. As well, just because we’re studying the route options now doesn’t necessarily mean it will be built first.

    – We are also doing a parallel study on rapid transit in Surrey, and that is slated for its round of public consultation in the fall. (Surrey and UBC are among the big priorities in the Provincial Transit Plan.)

    – The UBC Line won’t necessarily serve just Vancouver riders — the Broadway corridor is a big backbone for the region, and lots of people travel along it from outside Vancouver.

    Maybe that helps explain things a bit?

  • By Eugene Wong, April 22, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

    Yeah, it does help to explain things a bit. I’ve been going to through some tough times, and seeing fare increases plus the discussion of the UBC Line just about made me flip my lid! :^D

    Thinking *early* is the way to go. I see what you mean now. I can’t criticize you for that, plus I applaud you for that.

    Thanks for your time, Jhenifer. :^)

  • By Tim, April 22, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

    Thanks for clarifying, Jhenifer!

  • By Chikinlittle, April 24, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    1) To Broadway merchants: you would be short sighted to not support rapid transit down Broadway. Exposure to new customers by linking the neighbourhoods to the rest of the system, plus future residential density (ie more neighbourhood customers) will only stand to improve your businesses in the long run. While I can understand the fear of disruption during construction (eg Canada Line), there is a very real and likely possibility that any subway construction can be done on 10th Avenue instead of Broadway itself, minimizing the impact to the businesses on Broadway. Also, if bored tunnel construction were permitted, construction disruption would be limited to station house entrances, and boring machine entrances/exit at the beginning and ending of the line.

    2) Street based LRT is NOT rapid transit. It can be suitable in some applications, but not when you’re trying to replace the existing 99-Bline and boost capacity for an over-crowded line.

    3) While cost is definitely a concern if a subway were approved, to spend any less and water down the line negates the reason we are looking at these options to begin with.

    4) To use SkyTrain technology in a subway brings synergistic and other benefits. Eg. Shared maintenance yards, fewer transfers, higher frequencies, faster travel times, better reliability, less accidents. All of these factors are advantages of SkyTrain over any sort of street-based rail system.

    5) To those who think that we should be focusing rapid transit in other parts of the region: Yes, we also need to look at and ensure further rapid transit development in Coquitlam and Surrey, this corridor and Vancouver in general, already has the density to support high-frequency, high-capacity rapid transit. While rapid transit is also important out outlying areas to help shape future growth, we are already well overdue in having this line built.

    Build the SkyTrain subway (perhaps cut-cover down 10th if that is the cheapest subway option?). It’s the right thing to do for current and future transit users who would use the system.

  • By zack, April 25, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    If a SkyTrain subway tunnel to UBC is proposed, my idea is these would be the best stops along Broadway.
    VCC Clark
    Main
    Cambie
    Granville/Broadway (Connecting to the Canada Line)
    Burrard
    Macdonald st (probably Kitsilano station instead)
    Point Grey
    UBC – Terminus station

  • By Bill Kinkaid, April 27, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

    Is there any reason it can’t be continued along the “Olympic Line” route to Burrard or thereabouts and then tunnel beneath the hill along Fourth instead of Broadway? Then continue with street running from Larch or Trafalgar along Fourth and Chancellor to UBC.

    Extend the M-Line to Main or Cambie, then build LRT From there, above ground stops at Leg in Boot, Laurel, Alder, Fir/Granville Island, Burrard, underground at Vine or Balsam, and then Macdonald, Waterloo/Blenheim, Alma, Jericho/NW Marine, Tolmie/Blanca, and then into the campus via Wesbrook.

    It won’t directly cover as many commercial/institutional areas as Broadway/10th but might it not be more logistically possible?

  • By Paul C, May 1, 2010 @ 3:01 am

    @David

    “Speed is a function of the number of stops and the quality of the right of way, but is at best a tertiary concern. Even for those who see speed as important, a system that picks you up near your origin and drops you off near your destination can be faster than one with a much higher speed that makes you walk 5 blocks.”

    I do agree that the closer any stop is to your destination the less walking you have to do. Where speed a line is most important is when you are passing those areas that are of no concern to you.

    It is the difference between why people prefer the 99 B-Line to the #9 bus. If people were more concerned with getting off at the closest point they would be taking the #9. But more people realize it is probably quicker to get off at stop that is a few blocks away and walk the rest of the way.

    “People seem to be worried about traffic congestion with all the on-street options. Guess what folks, that’s actually one of the goals of on-street systems, and getting people out of cars and onto transit is one of this region’s long term goals.”

    I’m not worried about the traffic congestion that is going with the train. Really doesn’t bother me if someone is stuck in traffic while the train goes by. What I’m concerned about is the traffic crossing in front of the train. If there is an accident even if it doesn’t involve the train. I now am forced to wait until that the accident is cleared. Or I’m forced to get off and try and find another way around it.

    “Merchants will be pleased to hear that LRT increases sales. We need look no further than Cambie to see that underground rail does the opposite.”

    I wouldn’t say business is worse on Cambie. In fact I’ve noticed a lot more people at Oakridge than before. The problem is there was no station built at 16th Ave which is the epicentre of the Village. Also people have to have a reason to go shopping in that area. Even if they had built an street level LRT line along Cambie. There is no proof that more people would shop there.

    “Cost isn’t being discussed at this point which is a shame because people probably think the options are at least close in cost when they’re not. The most expensive option is approximately 10 times the cost of the BRT option and there are significant differences in operating costs too.”

    The cost won’t be known until there are further details. This first step isn’t about the cost. It basically is what would you like to build if cost is not a factor.

    @Eugene Wong

    “I’m quite disappointed that we are discussing Vancouver, when Vancouver just finished getting a new line. It’s disturbing that this is even an option. Vancouverites pay only 1 zone fairs, yet they have 4 rail lines [i.e. West Coast Express, Expo Line, Millenium Line, Canada Line], plus the #99.

    Somebody is playing politics, if you ask me.”

    First off those this line most likely won’t be started until 2015-2020.

    While I can see how it would seem that Vancouver seems to get “everything.” The sad fact is the buses in Vancouver are over capacity on a lot of routes. I’m sure people SoF would be quite annoyed when they see a bus drive by saying it was Full. And this happened to them on an almost daily basis.

    @Bill Kinkaid.

    While your suggestion would most likely cheaper to build. The biggest downside is that you would be completely by passing the 2nd largest trip destination in the region.

    This line is probably more important for Broadway than it is for UBC. Although UBC is the 3rd largest trip destination in the region. So running it along Broadway or 10th Ave. Would in a sense kill two birds with one stone. :)

    On a personal note and my opinion.

    If cost was not a factor. I’d have it as an extension of the M-line all the way to UBC. But at the minimum we need to run it to at least Arbutus. After that I’d the 99 B-line for a 5 year trial and see how things are. If need be extend the skytrain do the rest of the Combo option with an LRT line.

  • By Jacob, May 20, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    Paul is right. If we had the money, we wouldn’t have this discussion, and the M-line would automatically be extended.
    The best stops in my Opinion are:
    VCC, Main, Cambie (canada line), Granville, Macdonald/Arbutus, Alma, and UBC. That’s only 7 stops.
    Burrard doesn’t have many shops, and there’s no other bus connections.
    Also worth considering is east of Comm’l Bdway, like renfrew or Nanaimo. Those busses are almost full everyday during rush hours. Maybe consider it as an extention after the main line.

Other Links to this Post

  1. uberVU - social comments — April 19, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » Amelia Shaw, our manager of public consultation, shares some background on the UBC Line process — April 20, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  3. Kitsilano.ca – Kits’ Neighbourhood blog. » Translink wants your input on rapid transit to UBC — April 20, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  4. The Buzzer blog » A roundup of UBC Line blog posts and articles — April 23, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  5. The Buzzer blog » UBC Line consultation closes tomorrow, Fri May 21 — May 20, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

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