British Columbia

Vancouver council picks spots for 3 stations on proposed SkyTrain extension to UBC

Macdonald Street, Alma Street and Jericho Lands: if the City of Vancouver had its way, that’s where stations for the proposed UBC SkyTrain extension would be located.

Only 1 councillor opposed locations recommended by city staff

A map in the city staff report shows where they recommend placing stations should the UBC Skytrain extension go forward. (City of Vancouver)

Next stops: Macdonald Street, Alma Street and Jericho Lands.

If the City of Vancouver had its way, that's where stations for the proposed UBC SkyTrain extension would be located.

"This decision brings us one step closer to extending SkyTrain all the way to UBC and linking it to the entire region," Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a statement. 

"Broadway is the second largest economic area in B.C., and a rapid connection to UBC will foster new jobs and innovation while combating climate change and reducing congestion by taking up to 3,000 cars off the road per day."

City staff recommended the three station locations in a report hashed out at a council meeting Tuesday.

They described council's approval of the station locations as a step that would help show the city's commitment to specifics on the project and help it advance toward a formal business case which would provide more details, including a final cost.

The Macdonald and Alma Street locations did not generate much discussion, but there was some talk about having the third station at Sasamat Street, closer to the business area on West 10th Avenue. The Jericho Lands location, situated in what is expected to be a massive development on the West Side, eventually won out.

Tuesday's council meeting saw 26 members of the public registered to speak on the station locations. All were opposed, mostly citing concerns over development in the area, although their concerns were generally about the proposed project as a whole.

And while some councillors expressed concerns, only Coun. Colleen Hardwick voted against the station locations, herself mentioning fears of over-development. She also said she is opposed to the project as a whole.

"My fear is … that it is not being taken into consideration what is in the best interests of our residents in terms of livability but rather what's in the best interests of those that will make way more money building high-rises," Hardwick said in a phone interview after the vote.

The UBC extension is planned to travel west down Broadway from the yet-to-be-built Arbutus Street station.

Proponents hope it could be prioritized by the TransLink Mayor's Council for completion within 10 years.

The mayor's council is set to consider the project in mid-April.

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