VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Not even a day later, and some critics are already trying to pick holes in Vancouver’s plan for a new rapid transit line out to UBC.
That includes one urban economist who has issues with how the city wants to see the proposed subway funded. Vancouver is pushing for the University of British Columbia to partially fund the planned line, much like Vancouver International Airport did for the Canada Line.
Tsur Somerville with the Sauder School of Business at UBC says the real need for increased service is between Commercial-Broadway Station and Burrard, and that doesn’t affect the school.
“You’re asking UBC to pay for improvements in transit that they don’t really need or would benefit as much from as other areas,” Somerville argues.
He says YVR’s contributions to the Canada Line offered a clear benefit to the airport.
“Before, they had nothing, a lousy transit link, horrible transit link for employers and people going to and from downtown. It’s not nearly as understandable why UBC would pay for [rapid transit along the Broadway corridor],” he adds.
Sommerville is questioning the entire idea.”How much better served would UBC be than it is already? How much would it cost for that improvement in service? I’m saying the improvement in service for UBC is relatively small compared to how much it would cost them.”
Vancouver has identified rapid transit along Broadway as key to a plan to get two-thirds of city trips by foot, bike, or transit by 2040.