The University of British Columbia commends the Mayors’ Council on its regional transportation plan and on the renewed commitment to improving public transit along the Broadway corridor.
“Having the mayors of our region agree to this bold first step and commit to rail-based transit along Broadway to Arbutus is significant progress,” said UBC Communications and Community Partnership Vice President Pascal Spothelfer. “The mayors’ announcement makes clear that completing the line to UBC remains the ultimate goal.”
The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation today unveiled details of the regional transportation investment plan submitted to the British Columbia government. The plan includes the City of Vancouver’s number one priority, a rail-based public transportation line along the Broadway corridor from the Commercial Broadway station to Arbutus. The plan also calls for increased rapid bus service from Arbutus to UBC until the line can be completed.
“We will work hard with our partners to make sure the rapid transit line is designed and completed all the way to UBC as soon as possible,” said Spothelfer. “We need to make this happen so the Broadway corridor can reach its full potential, and benefit our region and the whole province.”
A study commissioned last year by UBC and the City demonstrated that rail-based rapid transit along Broadway to UBC could fuel innovation and create jobs by connecting the university’s Point Grey campus to the region’s health care and business centres.
UBC is the province’s third largest employer and largest single transit destination, with an annual economic impact of $12.7 billion. The university supports one of the fastest growing life sciences and technology clusters in North America through critical links with partners, including Vancouver General Hospital, BC Cancer Agency, Great Northern Way campus and technology companies.
Current transit limitations
- Broadway is the busiest bus corridor in North America, carrying over 100,000 transit riders per day, twice the ridership of the Millennium Line and similar to the Canada Line
- During peak times, current transit is insufficient to meet demand. An estimated 500,000 bus pass-ups occur along Broadway on the 99 B-Line Bus annually (2,000 daily)
- 200,000 people live and work in the corridor (104,000 residents, 95,000 jobs), which is projected to grow in employment and population by 150,000 over the next 30 years
Jobs and innovation
- The corridor represents the second largest business centre in B.C. after Downtown Vancouver. Central Broadway and UBC employ and are populated by more people than any other town centre in the region outside the Vancouver downtown area
- The corridor is home to one of the fastest growing life sciences/biotechnology clusters in North America, the largest health precinct in B.C. and 25 per cent of jobs in Vancouver’s technology sector
- UBC conducts 91 per cent of all industry-sponsored research at B.C. institutions
- UBC, ranked 31st among the world’s top universities, is the third largest employer in the Lower Mainland and a major driver of innovation through research, with an annual economic impact of $12.7 billion annually
- UBC leads Canadian universities in technology licensing revenues, accounts for 71 per cent of the $755 million in sponsored research funding in B.C., and has produced 158 spin-off companies
- The corridor shares key qualities of leading global technology centres such as San Diego, London, New York and Toronto – a leading university, nearby business, health and financial services, a technically skilled workforce, and high quality of life. However, a study commissioned by UBC and the City of Vancouver found that this significant potential is constrained by the lack of high capacity rapid transit along the Broadway corridor. The full report can be found here: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/KPMG-UBC-Broadway-Corridor-2013-02-26.pdf