Via Zweisystem, here’s a Matthew Burrows piece in the Straight about plans for rapid transit along the Broadway corridor and out to UBC — a plan that, like a mirage, seems always to recede into the distance just as we think we’re getting closer to it.  Burrows’ piece is about the fight about whether a rail line along Broadway should be surface-level light rail or a light-metro subway.  But that’s not the fight I want to have right now.

Instead, I want to flag something that Vision’s Geoff Meggs’ says in the piece:

“We already have a high-speed line ending at the Millennium Line at VCC–Clark,” [Meggs] noted. “It just makes sense to complete it somehow, either over to the Canada Line or, better yet, take it to Arbutus. It could be the hub of a future extension down the Arbutus corridor or over to UBC.”

This is something you hear from time to time — that maybe the Broadway corridor only needs rapid transit to Arbutus, and that extending the line all the way to UBC would be something to do later, rather than when the first stretch of rail gets built.

This is a deeply, deeply stupid idea.  It fundamentally fails to recognize just how big UBC is.  UBC is already second only to downtown in Vancouver as a destination for transit trips.  (Go to p. 81 of this Translink report for that factoid.  Warning: it’s an enormous pdf.)  And looking to the future, UBC is again second only to downtown in Vancouver as an area of significant job growth (p. 55).  So how stupid would it be to run a rail line to Arbutus but not all the way to UBC?   Only slightly less stupid than running the Expo line to Commercial, but then not going downtown.  Or running the Canada Line to Broadway, but then not going downtown.  In other words, epically, monumentally, enormously stupid.

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