Vancouver City Councillor

Third Skytrain platform at Commercial underlines urgency of Broadway investment

Translink’s call this week for bids to build a third Skytrain platform at Commercial Drive and Broadway to handle Evergreen Line traffic underlines the urgency of moving ahead with rapid transit on the Broadway Corridor.

The third platform will require part of the Safeway property east of the current station, raising the question of what investment is necessary long-term for a station already choked with 150,000 travellers a day. The Commercial Drive station is emerging as a crucial hub in the entire system and can only get more important as service catches up with demand on Broadway.

Ensuring the local plans take regional needs into account will be one of the big challenges facing the current Grandview Woodlands planning process. (The Commercial Drive BIA has already declared itself opposed to a bike lane on Commercial, suggesting that transportation will be a key debate.)

City staff believe the key easternmost stations on a future Broadway line — Commercial, Main, Cambie, Granville, Burrard, Arbutus — already have as many potential travellers as the burgeoning neighbourhoods around new Millennium Line stations in Burnaby. That reality needs to be factored into any discussions about Commercial, which is struggling to manage today’s traffic, never mind handling what must come.