UBC Transit – Rapid transit for UBC has priority over Surrey’s, students and university say

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Well now, someone should instruct the UBC Alma Matter Society on the economics of subway/light-metro and light rail, because there is no way that a $4 billion subway can be funded by $1.00 a day U-Pass ticket holders. That Translink still wastes the taxpayer’s money planning for yet more SkyTrain for the region only confirms that this ponderous bureaucracy is completely out of touch with reality.

The problem with transit planning in the region is that TransLink, abetted by the province and the city of Vancouver, have convinced themselves that building subways is the only way to go and have forgotten that SkyTrain (Read SKY train) was so designed to be elevated to mitigate the high cost of subway construction. The notion failed, but Translink carries on with this SkyTrain nonsense and have created a rosy little world of the SkyTrain myth. Reality check boys and girls, because there is absolutely no way one can fund a $4 billion subway, while letting other regions in METRO Vancouver go wanting.

To put the estimated $4 billion cost for a subway under Broadway to UBC in perspective, this is what $4 billion will buy you if we build with light rail.

  1. A BCIT to UBC/Stanley Park LRT.
  2. A full build, Vancouver/Richmond to Rosedale TramTrain.
  3. A new Fraser River Rail Bridge.
  4. TramTrain from Vancouver to Whiterock/Maple Ridge/Queensbourgh/Annicis Island.
  5. 40 to 50 km of LRT in Surrey and Langley.

Yet Translink still thinks in the terms of truncated subway lines that will not attract the motorist from the car!

One can see the concern with the UBC Alma Matter Society, but demanding rapid transit (a.k.a. SkyTrain) instead of light rail, shows contempt for the already over burdened taxpayer and instead should hire a out of province consultant to give an independent view on improving transit along Broadway.

Rail for the Valley did and now has a bona fide plan for LRT or TramTrain, from a respected consultant, at an affordable cost.

https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/groundbreaking-report-on-interurban-light-rail-released-today/

Rapid transit for UBC has priority over Surrey’s, students and university say

By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun

October 24, 2010 10:04 PM

The push for rapid transit to the University of B.C. is heating up, with the Alma Mater Society urging Metro Vancouver to make the issue an “urgent priority.”

Society president Bijan Ahmadian has sent a letter to the regional district saying rapid transit to UBC should be considered as “equally urgent” as that for south of Fraser communities in Metro Vancouver’s draft regional growth strategy.

The move comes after Metro cited the Evergreen Line, a Surrey SkyTrain extension and the Broadway corridor as the top priorities in its draft plan, bumping the UBC rapid transit line to the bottom.

Metro chief administrative officer Johnny Carline has said Surrey will bear the brunt of the region’s growth in the next 30 years, and more transit is needed to help shape that city’s development.

Only after Surrey gets improved transit should TransLink consider extending rapid transit to UBC, the draft strategy says.

But UBC argues the demand is already there for more transit to and from the university. About 4,000 students are passed up by full 99 B-Line buses every day.

The Alma Mater Society last week launched a campaign to demonstrate support for rapid transit. It said transit use to UBC is expected to grow by 10 per cent each year.

“We are concerned that Metro Vancouver is playing politics on the issue, and that students will suffer as a consequence,” Ahmadian said in the letter. “This is not just a UBC issue. This is your issue too. UBC students, faculty and alumni live throughout Metro Vancouver.”

Nancy Knight, UBC’s associate vice-president, planning, at UBC, agreed the university is a significant employment centre not just for the region but for the province.

The university is proposing to build more affordable student and faculty housing on campus, in hopes of building a more sustainable community where people can live, work and study closer to home.

“It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a significant centre like this not be connected by rapid transit,” she said.

TransLink is preparing technical reports for both a UBC rapid transit line and extending SkyTrain in Surrey.

ksinoski@vancouversun.com

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/Rapid+transit+priority+over+Surrey+students+university/3720075/story.html#ixzz13LVRrBY5

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3 Responses to “UBC Transit – Rapid transit for UBC has priority over Surrey’s, students and university say”

  1. Richard Says:

    More lazy reading.

    The Sun that you copied states:
    “Society president Bijan Ahmadian has sent a letter to the regional district saying rapid transit to UBC should be considered as “equally urgent” as that for south of Fraser communities in Metro Vancouver’s draft regional growth strategy.”

    Equally urgent means that they feel rapid transit to UBC should be the same priority as rapid transit in Surrey not greater than as your headline that you blindly copied from the Sun stations.

    Zweisystem replies: And that is all you can complain about, I just don’t know why you bother.

    The problem is that if we keep building with SkyTrain, we will bankrupt the system and incur massive new tax hikes. I think you are the one guilty of “lazy reading”.

  2. Marie Says:

    @ Richard:

    No, actually UBC students ARE saying that rapid transit to UBC is a higher priority than Surrey. Bijan may have written “equally urgent” to the regional district, but I can confidently tell you that 90% of students on campus in support of the motion feel it’s THE most important thing in the near future. Take a look at the UBC LINE NOW Facebook group and all the other things that students and the AMS are putting out — they assert that UBC needs a rapid transit line NOW and they’re very, very insistent on NOW rather than later.

    For a supposedly bright community of young people, they sure aren’t thinking. For one, funding is so tight that Translink, the government, and we the taxpayers can only afford so much at a time. The way it seems is that with such limited resources, only one large project can be underway at once. Now, let’s look at this practically:

    Given that we can only fund one large project at a time, there needs to be a priority hierarchy. The Evergreen line sits at #1 at the moment, and since they’re just starting to choose a contractor now, it looks like it will be finished by 2014/2015. They’ve gained so much momentum on the project now that I highly doubt its first-priority position will change — and the hell it shouldn’t, because it has been in the works for so long. For UBC to get a rapid transit line anytime soon, the Evergreen line would have to be pushed back. This is the first indication of how stupid UBC students are for demanding a rapid transit line NOW.

    Now considering the one-project-at-a-time model, whatever comes after the Evergreen line will probably have to wait at least another 5 years until it’s completed. We’re looking at 2020 here. But wait, by 2020, the population south of the Fraser is going to be really huge–and is projected to have nearly as many people as Vancouver. Surrey is the fastest growing city on the entire continent and yet people who want to use public transit are left with few options because the inter-city network is absolutely useless. We can’t wait until Surrey has 600K+ residents before we think of improving transit there — you need to build that kind of infrastructure ahead of the boom and by 2020 we’ll definitely be feeling it.

    Anyway, I’m a UBC student, have grown up in Surrey and have also been a commuter to campus for a number of years. I’ve been on the crowded B-Lines, I’ve been passed by full buses, and I’ve had my face elbowed numerous times on the bus. But you know what? I still think that UBC students who want a line NOW are being completely thoughtless. Many students here have barely been outside the city limits, and out of a class of 30 maybe one person knows what the Port Mann bridge is. UBC students have great transit and they’re spoiled. If I miss a 99, there’s another one in 5 minutes. At least I can actually GET to school within a reasonable time frame, whereas missing a bus in Surrey means being an hour late for something important…and don’t even get me started on being unable to go home anytime after 8 pm because there’s no bus to my neighbourhood after that time.

    I love UBC, have loved living in Vancouver, and go home to Surrey as infrequently as I can. But I for one am completely angry about the official stance of the AMS + university administration and am pretty ashamed that so many of my fellow students are selfish and ignorant enough to think that UBC, which is full of students for 8 months a year (and completely deserted in the summer) is such a high priority when other areas in the region are in far greater need of attention.

    Zweisystem replies: This argument would be moot if we used light rail. It is light-metro that has beggared the transit system and the continued planning for light-metro is both fiscally and professionally irresponsible.

  3. David Says:

    One of the primary arguments used by some people to push for improved transit to UBC is the fact that despite having over a dozen different bus routes feeding campus, including one that operates 22 articulated buses per hour in the morning peak, demand exceeds supply at certain times of day. The sheer number of people using those routes both on transit and in cars is huge and so there is an element that believes the money should be spent where demand already exists rather than in places where transit numbers are currently low.

    Those pushing for “rapid transit” for Broadway ignore the fact that getting bodies off buses and onto trains only makes sense if the cost of moving those bodies (and new ones attracted to the train) is lower than before.

    Unlike proposals involving a tunnel all or part way across the city, a light rail line on Broadway could lower per passenger operating costs if it was designed to replace enough buses and constructed at a reasonable cost/km.

    If UBC was pushing for a $400-500 million LRT line on Broadway then I’d be willing to lend my support. It’s well known to regular readers that I think the current Evergreen proposal is a mistake (and I’ve told TransLink that in great detail) so I’d gladly push LRT for Broadway and Surrey/Langley ahead of it.

    Zweisystem replies: Light rail/streetcar on Broadway would cost about $15 mil/km to $20 mil/km as it would be a reinstatement of service on an abandoned streetcar route. Let us not forget that the overhead and power stations are already in existence, being used for the trolley buses! no one has asked the real question: “How cheaply can we build light rail as a tram/streetcar on Broadway?”

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