Friday, April 20, 2018

UBC wants SkyTrain extension to campus

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UBC wants SkyTrain extension to campus University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Board of Governors approved an advocacy strategy on April 19 to accelerate completion of the SkyTrain line to UBC's Point Grey campus.

The university said the need for improved regional transit connectivity emerged as a key theme during consultations on UBC's new Strategic Plan and pursuing an accelerated investment in rail rapid transit to campus directly supports the plan's three themes: collaboration, inclusion and innovation.

"Extending rail rapid transit to UBC is a key component of a regional approach to transit improvement, and directly supports UBC's Strategic Plan. Enhanced transit connectivity between UBC and the rest of the region will benefit individuals, businesses and organizations across Metro Vancouver," said UBC President Prof. Santa Ono. "Today's board approval of the advocacy strategy enables UBC to advance conversations with senior levels of government, regional partners, and with the UBC community about expediting the project."

UBC's Board endorsed an exploration of a direct contribution from UBC along with other partners towards the project, provided this contribution does not affect funding for UBC's academic mission. UBC says a contribution could take many forms, including: land for stations; charges collected from developers; and/or a financial contribution from new revenues enabled by rapid transit. The amount and nature of UBC's contribution will depend on the outcomes of technical work to understand project scope and costs, consultation with the UBC and external community and discussions with other partners.

The university's actions follow two announcements of funding agreements within the past month between British Columbia and the TransLink Mayors' Council, as well as between the governments of Canada and British Columbia. The funding agreements allow for the second phase of a 10-year plan to progress, which includes the Millennium Line Broadway Extension. Any future UBC campus line would be an extension of the Millennium Line.