Rapid transit on central Broadway would boost ridership right across Metro

Rapid transit development on the UBC Broadway corridor, at least as far west as Arbutus,would boost ridership right across the region, city transportation enginner Jerry Dobrovolny told council today.

The corridor already carries 110,000 riders a day on the groaning 99 B-Line and other routes, equal to the Millennium line and more than the proposed Evergreen Line will carry for many years.

Dobrovolny said new analysis emerging from Translink’s study of rapid transit options on the corridor is reinforcing the case for an early decision to build the new Broadway line, along with transit options in Surrey.

More than half the Broadway riders are from outside the city, but more importantly, extension of the Millennium Line at least to Arbutus would build ridership in Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri Cities, creating regional benefits.

His comments came as council reviewed the latest update on Translink’s consultations, which head to a new phase later this month with the release of detailed analysis of the current options.

While the case for rapid transit strengthens, the argument for continued reliance on buses or even a step up to streetcars is fading. There simply is no more room for buses, which run just minutes apart, and retired city engineer Don Adam told council a streetcar option, with the cars trapped on defined routes, might even be slower than the current arrangement.