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Millennium Line UBC Extension

TransLink is studying an extension of the Millennium Line SkyTrain from Arbutus to UBC that would better connect students, employees and residents who travel between UBC and other parts of Metro Vancouver with a high speed and frequent SkyTrain service.

We are working closely with the Province of BC, City of Vancouver, the University of British Columbia, the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Metro Vancouver, and the University Endowment Lands (UEL).

Over the first half of 2020, we’ll be undertaking technical planning work and engagement with stakeholders, the public and Indigenous groups.

This will help us to confirm the objectives of a SkyTrain extension, evaluate options for the guideway and station locations, and update key information, such as ridership, cost, and benefits.

This phase of work will result in a preferred concept, which will be presented to the Mayors’ Council so that they can provide us with direction about next steps.

We want to hear from you

Public engagement is a key component of rapid transit planning. We value your feedback and want to know what you think. Check back here for updates about public engagement opportunities or email us at UBCextension@translink.ca

 

How did we get here?

More than ten years ago, TransLink partnered with the Province, City of Vancouver, the University of British Columbia (UBC), University Endowment Lands, and Metro Vancouver on the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study, which looked at more than 200 possible technology and alignment options between Commercial Broadway and the University of British Columbia's Point Grey campus.

In 2014, the Mayors' Council 10-Year Vision recommended an extension of the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark to Arbutus, and that portion of the project is now funded and moving forward as the Broadway Subway Project.

Since late 2017, TransLink has been collaborating with the City of Vancouver and UBC on updating the prior technical assessments of connecting rapid transit the rest of the way to UBC, including updating ridership forecasts, capacity requirements, technology assumptions, and cost estimates.

The resulting Rail to UBC report concludes that a SkyTrain extension of the Millennium Line will provide enough capacity to meet demand beyond 2045 and is expandable to meet the longer-term transportation needs of the region.

 

In February 2019, the Mayors' Council recommended SkyTrain as the preferred technology for extending rapid transit to the University of British Columbia. This endorsement of the report allows TransLink to use funding allocated in the Phase Two Investment Plan to do more technical work.

The 99 B-Line route on the Broadway Corridor is the busiest bus route in Canada and the United States, moving up to 56,000 people a day on articulated buses that run every 2-3 minutes in peak times. Even with buses running this frequently, it is also the region's most overcrowded bus route.

The Broadway Subway Project will extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street and is scheduled to open in 2025. A further extension - from Arbutus to UBC - would allow us to meet ridership demand well into the future.

 

FAQs

Past studies, including the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study from 2010 and the Rail to UBC Rapid Transit Study in 2018 confirmed SkyTrain as the preferred technology to provide capacity to meet demand in 2045 and meet the long-term transportation needs of the region. In February 2019, the Mayors’ Council endorsed TransLink’s recommendation to pursue SkyTrain technology and approved the current work that is underway.

An updated cost estimate and discussions regarding potential funding contributions are part of the planning work that we are currently undertaking.

Identification of potential station locations is part of the work currently underway.

The outcome of the current phase of work is the development of a preferred concept for submission to the Mayors’ Council in 2020. Subject to Mayors’ Council approval, the next step would be to develop a business case based on the preferred concept, which is needed to seek funding and other contributions from government. Securing funding for the project is required prior to a decision to proceed into procurement and construction.

SkyTrain is not proprietary to a specific manufacturer. There are multiple manufacturers with the ability to construct vehicles and components for TransLink’s SkyTrain system. Procurement for rail infrastructure and SkyTrain vehicles go through a competitive bidding process. This process would be similar for all types of transit technology.