To the editor
Re: "LRT to UBC letter inspires more transit suggestions," Letters, Jan. 2.
Cities around the world understand that large investments in rapid transit are essential for their economic, social and environmental health. With around 320,000 riders per day expected by 2041, the Broadway Subway to UBC has one of largest ridership potentials of all the projects planned in North America, many of which even have larger price tags.
Any of the planned LRT systems with anywhere near the ridership potential of Broadway have significant portions grade separated. The underground sections of Seattle's $10 billion LRT line connecting to the University of Washington are even more expensive per km than Broadway. Ottawa's $2.1 billion LRT line includes a tunnel downtown. Honolulu is investing $5.2 billion in an elevated line similar to our SkyTrain.
Perhaps the project that is most similar to Broadway is Toronto's $5 billion Eglinton LRT. In the denser areas where the street is a width similar to that of Broadway, a 10km tunnel is planned.
Street level LRT can be a good option for smaller communities or as a feeder for rapid transit. However, for high demand streets like Broadway, fast, reliable, safe grade separated rapid transit is the best and likely the only effective solution.
Richard Campbell, Vancouver