Metro Vancouver residents overwhelmingly support UBC SkyTrain extension

82 per cent of locals polled said they support extending the line to the UBC campus

Four out of five Metro Vancouver residents support extending SkyTrain service to the University of British Columbia, a new poll finds.

The data comes from Research Co., who were commissioned by UBC to conduct the poll indicating local endorsement of the massive transit project.

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The online poll was administered to 1,900 Metro Vancouver adults. Topics included the role UBC plays in the local economy and if the SkyTrain extension would encourage residents to visit the campus more. The poll also covered how locals prioritize transit projects addressing congestion and the environment, as well as support for the selection of SkyTrain technology — as opposed to the now-dismissed option of light rail.

A report issued in January concluded SkyTrain is the only option that makes sense, despite the dramatic increase in cost compared to LRT technology.

Screenshot/UBC SkyTrain
Screenshot/UBC SkyTrain

In the following days, Vancouver city council voted 9-2 in favour of supporting a staff recommendation to plan to extend the Millennium Line to UBC.

Two councillors opposed the motion, at least in part because they said that the project is not a transit plan for the entire city, and that the funding for the project could restrict resources for other transit in the city.

However, in the Research Co. poll, conducted ahead of these headline-making moments back in November 2018, two-thirds of Metro Vancouverites said they favour SkyTrain over LRT, and less than a quarter of those surveyed said they think there are other more important transit projects that should be completed before the UBC portion of the line.

Screenshot/UBC SkyTrain
Screenshot/UBC SkyTrain

Here are the highlights provided by Research Co. from the survey:

  • Four-in-five Metro Vancouverites (82 per cent) support extending the line to the UBC campus.
  • Support for extending SkyTrain to UBC (82 per cent) is higher than it is for extending the line to Arbutus (71 per cent).
  • Less than one-quarter (24 per cent) of Metro Vancouverites think there are other more important transit projects that should be completed before the UBC portion of the line.
  • Two-thirds (65 per cent) of Metro Vancouverites favour SkyTrain as the best technology to use.
  • Two-thirds (65 per cent) of Metro Vancouverites said a “substantial financial contribution from the university” would make them more likely to support the project — the top factor among those tested.
  • Metro Vancouverites understand a SkyTrain extension to UBC will benefit the entire region and not just UBC, with 60 per cent of respondents calling it a “regional priority.”
  • Across the region, people said it is important for their communities to be “well connected to the UBC Point Grey campus by transit.”
  • Almost half of Metro Vancouverites (46 per cent) say they are more likely to visit UBC if they can get there by SkyTrain.

Read the UBC Rapid Transit Opinion Study Results.

With files from Business In Vancouver and The Canadian Press

Click here for original story.

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