Translink narrows UBC Broadway corridor transit options to six

Translink has quietly posted the six scenarios for  UBC Broadway Corridor rapid transit development — including everything from rapid bus to full-on Skytrain to UBC — that it will take out this summer for a second phase of consultation and detailed evaluation.

The main surprise: two options that will consider the possibility of building at least part of the city’s proposed streetcar line, although the city has never suggested the streetcar could be a substitute for rapid transit on Broadway.

The options were unveiled at a stakeholders’ meeting in Vancouver Thursday but do not include cost or ridership estimates. Those will come later. City council, meanwhile, will consider revised principles for its approach to the project on April 22.

Welcome as the Translink process is, there is little likelihood any development will occur soon on the corridor, which has the highest potential ridership of any alignment in Metro Vancouver.

First Translink must build the Evergreen Line to the Tri Cities. Victoria is adamant that Metro municipalities must shoulder the lion’s share of capital and operating costs for the project, but has not yet said how. Rumours of imminent legislation or direction from Victoria have faded as the Campbell Liberals wrestle with HST, cabinet resignations and school board funding.

Premier Campbell, however, made it clear in his pre-election transportation plan that the UBC-Broadway project was a priority as well.

Early feedback from the UBC Broadway consultation indicates that  residents feel strongly that any investment must take long-term needs into account and avoid the dislocation caused by the cut and cover construction used on the Canada Line.

But for now, both council and Translink will be listening more than talking.

For readers now jammed onto the existing Broadway buses, here’s the best bus scenario, essentially an update of the status quo. A combination light rail and rapid rail system might look something like this if it included Skytrain to Arbutus. Here’s the big one: all Skytrain all the way with optional alignments that could include or leave out East False Creek.