CVN to TransLink Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation (22-Apr-2022): 4.1 – Millennium Line UBC Extension: Regional Base Scope

April 21, 2022

TransLink Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation

Attention: Mayor Jonathan X. Cote, Chair, and Mayors’ Council Members

Re: Meeting April 22, 2022 at 9:00 am – Item 4.1 – Millennium Line UBC Extension: Regional Base Scope

The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) includes resident groups from across the City of Vancouver. We have major concerns regarding the recommendations as proposed in the meeting agenda item 4.1 above and as attached in Appendix A for reference.

We urge you to not approve the Millennium Line Extension to UBC as part of the 10-Year Vision and to wait until a viable business case is made for transit that is based on community supported planning for growth and required infrastructure and funded.

It is premature to be assuming a proposed extension of the Millennium Line from Arbutus to UBC has a business case.

Based on the report from the Finance and Governance Committee, there is a difference between the 10-Year Investment Plan (which is legislated to be fully funded) and the 10-Year Vision (which is unfunded).

The report says “the 10-Year Investment Plan is primarily about stabilization, with the advancement of strategic projects such as the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project and the electrification of the bus fleet, and replacing lost revenue streams.”

Clearly the regional transit system is struggling to recover, far less expand. The “10-Year Vision” is aspirational at best, “is not funded, and will be funded through future Investment Plans”, or so is hoped.

Of major concern is the recommendation that the extension to UBC is “subject to further planning and discussions and an approved business case that includes a new funding model and third-party payment and land value uplift contributions”.

This assumes that land lift from adjacent development would be used to fund transit instead of civic amenities through Community Amenity Contributions (CAC). Adding population density, but starving amenities is not a formula for livable communities. This approach is a form of downloading provincial and federal responsibilities to fund transit onto the City and is unacceptable.  Land lift should be required to fund the needed civic amenities to serve the increased population.

Further, the massive tower development as currently proposed at Jericho Lands is largely opposed by the community, which favour low to mid-rise options.  Nor would substantial tower development be supported in the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano or West Point Grey. It appears that the only viable business case would be based on massive increases in development, which would not be supported by the community, and the extraction of development fees for transit rather than for civic community amenities.

There has been no community involvement in planning regarding the change of station location from 10th Avenue and Sasamat to the Jericho Lands. This is in conflict with the West Point Grey Community Vision and further undermines the West Point Grey 10th Avenue Village.

The UBC Golf Course is part of the proposal but is not available for future development until 2080, well beyond the scope of Transportation 2050, far less a 10-Year Vision.

There is no plan for the needed infrastructure for increased growth.

The school system is underfunded and can’t even meet current growth expectations. Same with community centres; utility infrastructure such as sewers, water, and power would need upgrade and replacement; and social infrastructure such as affordable housing, mental health and addiction treatment. There currently aren’t even enough family doctors.

All of the required infrastructure for growth also needs to be funded as part of any business case. Property taxes cannot be expected to cover this.

Also, if TransLink is to identify a potential UBC extension as a priority in advance of funding and an approved business case, we could end up with all of the development without the transit improvements to support it. This is why 10-Year Investment Plans are required to be fully funded in advance.

Vancouver was designed pre-war, before the common use of the automobile. It is inherently transit-oriented, so everywhere is within a 10-minute walk of an arterial road. Vancouver was designed around the streetcar (on rail) and later converted to be served by trolley buses. All Vancouver really needs is more electric bus service to electrify the transit system. It doesn’t need the whole city to be rebuilt into only a few expensive corridors.

“Transit corridors and tall towers” is an American model that doesn’t apply to Vancouver, due to our fundamentally different design with arterial grid transit system. We just need more electric bus service for each arterial and community planning within what can be supported by infrastructure.

Again, we urge you to not approve the proposed recommendations and to wait until a viable business case is made that is based on community-supported planning for growth and required infrastructure.

The Steering Committee,

Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN),

Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Arbutus Ridge Community Association
Arbutus Ridge/ Kerrisdale/ Shaughnessy Visions
Cedar Cottage Area Neighbours
Dunbar Residents Association
Fairview/South Granville Action Committee
False Creek Residents Association
Grandview Woodland Area Council
Granville-Burrard Residents & Business Assoc.
Greater Yaletown Community Association
Kitsilano-Arbutus Residents Association
Kits Point Residents Association
Marpole Residents Coalition
NW Point Grey Home Owners Association
Oakridge Langara Area Residents
Residents Association Mount Pleasant
Riley Park/South Cambie Visions
Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Assoc.
Strathcona Residents Association
Upper Kitsilano Residents Association
West End Neighbours Society
West Kitsilano Residents Association
West Point Grey Residents Association
West Southland Residents Association


Appendix A

The Mayors’ Council Agenda Item 4.1 report states as follows:

TO: Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation
FROM: Mayor Jonathan X. Coté, Chair
DATE: April 13, 2022
SUBJECT: ITEM 4.1 – Millennium Line UBC Extension: Regional Base Scope

The Chair recommends that the Mayors’ Council:

1. Include the following station locations in the regional base project scope for the Millennium Line UBC Extension (UBC Extension):

a. Stations at Alma, Macdonald, Jericho, and at the UBC Trolley Bus Loop; and,
b. Passive provision for at least one potential future infill station within the UEL/Musqueam Lands area on or near the University Golf Course, planned and funded by third parties; and,
c. Designate a second station and any required rail connection to the station at UBC as outside of the regional base scope, requiring third-party funding; and,

2. Defer decisions on vertical alignment pending local and third-party contribution agreements; and,

3. Complete the UBC Extension in years 6-10 of the Transport 2050 Ten-Year Priorities, once Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan implementation has commenced, and subject to further planning and discussions and an approved business case that includes a new funding model and third-party payment and land value uplift contributions;

4. Receive the report on this item considered at the March 11, 2022 meeting of the Regional Transportation Planning Committee as presented in Annex 1 below;

5. Receive the report on this item considered at the April 13, 2022 meeting of the Finance and Governance Committee as presented in Annex 2 below;

6. Receive this report