After years of discussion and planning, an extension of the SkyTrain Millennium Line along the Broadway corridor has finally been green-lit by all levels of government. Dubbed the Broadway Subway, work on the estimated $2.83 billion project is scheduled to begin in 2020, with construction completed by 2025.
“As one of the largest infrastructure investments in BC’s history, the Broadway Subway will provide a huge boost to Metro Vancouver’s economy and liveability,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The Broadway Subway will create 7,190 jobs — plus an estimated 5,120 indirect jobs — and improve regional access to the second largest employment centre in B.C. This enormous investment in Metro Vancouver’s transportation network has been a long time coming and will significantly reduce traffic congestion, cut commute times along the Broadway Corridor by half and further enhance our city’s economic competitiveness.”
The new section of SkyTrain will be six stops long, travelling a distance of 5.7 kilometres between VCC-Clark Station and Arbutus Street. Passengers can go from one end to the other in approximately 10 minutes, and it’s capable of carrying more than three times the current capacity of the 99 B-Line, which is the busiest bus route in Canada and the United States.
This endeavour is the top priority of the City of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 plan, and is being billed as “the single most significant investment that could be made to support economic growth in the city and throughout the region.” A need for increased mass transit was identified nearly three decades ago, and since then the area has evolved into the second largest employment centre in the province.
In addition to the Broadway Subway, there are also two light rail lines planned for Surrey with a price tag of $1.65 billion. Both are part of a 10-year, $7.3 billion TransLink vision that includes improvements to existing SkyTrain and bus services.