Coalition writes Vancouver Council on “Millennium Line Broadway Extension of SkyTrain – Municipal Requirements” (Council topic May 16)

On May 15, 2018, the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods wrote to Vancouver City Council on the headline topic. On the City Council agenda for Wednesday May 16 is an endorsement proposed by City staff for the “Broadway Subway Extension.”

Meeting agenda:
Staff report: Report:

Here is one of the staff recommendations:
THAT Council endorse the Millennium Line Broadway Extension (MLBE), a primarily tunnelled SkyTrain extension under Broadway from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street, as a key element in helping the City achieve its liveability, transportation and environmental objectives.

In that connection, here below is the text of the letter from CVN to Council.


May 15, 2018,

City of Vancouver Council
Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillors,

Re: Council Report May 16, 2018
Millennium Line Broadway Extension of SkyTrain – Municipal Requirements

We would like to comment directly about Recommendation A in the above Report, to which we are opposed.

Although we generally agree with the logic to connect the Millennium Line from VCC to Cambie Line, we continue to disagree with the unaffordable option to extend along Broadway to Arbutus with a subway for the following reasons:

• The revised budget is not transparent and there is a concern that it will be significantly higher than the updated estimates of $2.8B.

• Once committed, it may be mostly cut and cover with the same problems as the Canada Line. There is no commitment to bored tunnel and each station is planned to be cut and cover regardless.

• There are much more cost effective options that would provide more transit to a much broader area, giving access to good transit to more people in a wide network, rather than a short subway to Arbutus.

• The subway is about $470m/km, trams $16m-$40m/km, electric trolley rapid bus $1m/km + $1m per double electric trolley articulated bus.

• We are opposed to the use of the city’s tax base of property taxes and development fees to subsidize this subway. The civic tax base is needed for civic services.

• The development along the corridor will be very large and out of scale with the surrounding area, which will require significant subsidies for services through increased property taxes. Development fees only cover about 10% of the costs of growth as it is. Now these development fees will also have to cover the subway itself.

For more information, please refer to the attached letter and appendix recently sent to the province. [Visit this link for that letter and appendix.]

Larry Benge, Co-Chair
Dorothy Barkley, Co-Chair

On behalf of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods
Member Groups of the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods