An Open Letter to Mayor Robertson

I just took a survey as part of the Translink Listens panel regarding the proposed Millenium Line Extension through the Broadway corridor. And it pissed me off.

The Broadway corridor to UBC is hugely important, and will continue to grow in importance as it connects the largest western campus in Canada which is also one of the fastest growing populations in Metro Vancouver to the rest of the city. This has been one of the larger points made by the city in promoting the Broadway Extension – constantly mentioning the 99B line running to UBC 20 times an hour and nearly at capacity during peak periods.

But the proposal as outlined will not fix this because the train will end at Arbutus, not at UBC.

For the thousands of people trying to commute to UBC every morning during school terms this will do nothing but reapportion their time – a few minutes more on trains, and an additional morning sprint to another station to catch the extension and possibly requiring another fare for some of them. This is not an improvement for them, it is a deprovement.

Why would anyone think this is going to help transit from a financial point of view? It does not remove much if any infrastructure requirements – the 99B is still going to be needed. The Arbutus station will have to have at least as much infrastructure built new as is currently in use at the Commercial station for the UBC students. This will be a net increase in ongoing infrastructure maintenance without even counting the train itself. (Being fair, with only half the distance to cover by buses there will be a reduced – but still more than half – need for actual buses and drivers.)

More importantly, in my opinion, this will just kick the can down the road. The University community is adding units at a greater rate than Vancouver city, and is already strangled with only four primary auto traffic corridors each approaching capacity at peak. Yet it is almost certain there will be no extension to the Extension within a foreseeable future. Witness the Canada Line, specifically built to be extended to Delta yet not a word being breathed despite the controversy over the Massey Tunnel/Bridge even though it has been open and operating for 8 years.

It is so short-sighted and wrong to sell this as a transit corridor to UBC and then deliberately fail to do anything for the UBC community. I will certainly be advocating against this project across the Point Grey/Dunbar/UBC neighbourhoods.

Thank you

Thank you for contacting Mayor Robertson. We appreciate you taking the time to share your comments and feedback. Your case number is 101009736679.

Please keep this number for your records, and future communications regarding this case. If you require further assistance, please call:
3-1-1 (within Vancouver)
604-873-7000 (outside Vancouver)