Did you know that there’s a proposed extension of the Millennium Line, right to the UBC Vancouver campus?
There's already been construction to extend the Millennium Line, as part of the Broadway Subway project. But that extension only brings the SkyTrain service to Arbutus Street...which is more than 5 km away from campus.
So, what if the extension to UBC does get built?
This extension will significantly improve the lives of so many in Metro Vancouver, particularly those of us in the UBC commuter community: We’ve got students, faculty, and staff travelling from every municipality beyond Vancouver!
Students like Elias Rieger, an Economics and Urban Studies undergrad, are particularly excited to see it happen. To Elias, the SkyTrain to campus means faster intercity travel and even more sustainable transportation; increased public transit helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the SkyTrain extension, we can expect fewer cars out on the street—and reduced noise, air pollution, and traffic accidents. The bus routes themselves can get decongested (at last), paving the way to a cleaner city.
“Students’ commutes can be transformed into a time to relax, rather than a source of stress,” Elias says. “The lives of UBC students will be much more integrated with the city: They’ll get to go places between classes, whether it’s back home for a nap or out to study in a local café.”
Future students commuting across long distances can also take advantage of this freed-up time. They can spend the extra minutes (or even hours!) by hanging out more with friends in their home communities, and exploring more on-campus events and opportunities.
Why the SkyTrain to UBC project should matter to you
Because the extension to UBC is still up in the air, we have to actively push for its construction. After all, as Elias points out, “the power to actually fund the project lies in the hands of regional, federal and provincial governments.”
If the project goes ahead, it likely won’t open until we have graduated (or are close to graduating)—but that doesn’t mean that this topic isn’t worth caring about.
“Past students advocated for a lot of the changes that we get to enjoy today—whether it’s the renovation of the Old SUB, the construction of the Nest, or the replacement of aging lecture halls and athletic facilities," says Elias.
“As current students who’ve benefited—and continue to benefit—from past changes, we have a duty to advocate for the future of our campus. And that’s true, regardless of where we’ll be when improvements actually happen.”
Elias also notes that students like us might actually stick around Vancouver post-grad, in which case we’ll get to explore the new transit options!
“For those who will be looking for jobs, the SkyTrain extension will connect and stimulate job-creation in the three largest employment centres in BC, which are Downtown, Broadway Corridor, and UBC.
“UBC is also continuing to build more mixed-use communities like Wesbrook Village; you might even look to campus for a place to settle down. And if you do decide to live in a different neighbourhood, you may want to visit campus spots with old friends every now and then.”
The SkyTrain extension will benefit—perhaps most of all—future students, who could very well be our younger siblings (or even children?).
How you can get involved
You can help make the SkyTrain to UBC project gain even more traction! Here are 2 ways you can make this transformation happen:
1. Visit Skytrain to UBC to learn more about the project and its benefits—and share your opinions
2. Send an email to your local Member of Parliament (MP) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), detailing who you are and why you want to see a SkyTrain to UBC built