On January 29, 2020, the City of Vancouver issued an enthusiastic media release, “City, UBC and MST Development Corporation sign historic agreement to help get SkyTrain all the way to UBC,” and fact sheet (Arbutus to UBC Sky Train, PDF), and organized a joint media briefing at City Hall.
What is being proposed is big stuff. It involves huge public funding and is a big development play. And as with the Broadway Subway, for this proposed extension to UBC, officials so far have failed the public by failing to show balanced consideration, to have open discussion of the alternatives, and to question the numbers and other information being presented. Mayor Stewart will be off to Ottawa soon to lobby for federal funding. But there are serious critics of the proposed extension.
“Rail for the Valley” is a group of experts that advocates for the return of a modern interurban service from Vancouver to Chilliwack and includes co-authors of the Leewood Study. Below is a response by one Rail for the Valley contributor to this week’s announcement of the MoU, followed by links to media coverage, and excerpts of the news release. “The Great Broadway Subway Grift Continues!” article by zweisystem is copied below, with permission, and includes an insightful cost comparison graph. But first, a definition from the Cambridge English Dictionary:
Grift: “Ways of getting money dishonestly that involve tricking someone”
The Great Broadway Subway Grift Continues!
Posted by zweisystem on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
One has to shake one’s head as the Broadway subway lobby desperately tries to have their way.
Reality is just not in their lexicon, as the city of Vancouver, UBC and several First Nations, all involved with land development along the route, are now lobbying for funding.
I would like to ask:
- Where is the funding coming from for the about $4 billion subway?
- Who will pay the added the operating costs? The cost to operate the subway to Arbutus will be around $40 million annually; around $50 million to UBC.
- Who will pay for mid life rehab, 25 years down the road? In Germany, the gift of new subways, latter meant bankruptcy for transit authorities when mid life maintenance costs cannibalized monies from the rest of the transit system and they collapsed.
Important questions, that the Broadway subway lobby ignore and will ignore at the taxpayer’s peril!
- TransLink fired its two top planners because they did not like to hear the truth that there was not the ridership on Broadway to justify a subway. So who trusts TransLink?
- Then there are the land speculator/developers, enabled by the city of Vancouver, who is going to believe this lot of grifters, especially when there is not the ridership to justify a total $7 billion subway?
- The mainstream media have been bribed by scarce advertising dollars to report positively on the subway and to ignore contrary opinion, thus making the mainstream media nothing more than the Canadian version of Pravda and Radio Moscow! The previous post certainly shows that!
- As Barnum observed, there is a sucker born every minute and the Broadway subway lobby are banking on the fact they all live in Metro Vancouver!
Graph prepared by Metrolinx to inform the debate on choice of modes.
Update – These numbers were for Greater Toronto. A Canadian cost estimate is apples to apples. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrolinx. The costs for Vancouver are comparable.
First Nations, city, UBC pushing to go farther, together. Opinion: Mayor’s pitch for SkyTrain to UBC might be harder for Ottawa and Victoria to ignore with UBC and, especially, local First Nations firmly and formally on board. (Dan Fumano, Vancouver Sun, 29-Jan-2020)
Excerpt: “It’s an expensive proposition. A preliminary estimate from TransLink said SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC could cost as much as $4.8 billion. The parties represented on the stage Wednesday expressed — in very vague terms — their willingness to discuss how they could contribute to making it happen. …. Time is of the essence, Stewart said, with projects in Toronto and Montreal competing for federal dollars.”
First Nations, UBC join Vancouver mayor in plea for $4-billion SkyTrain extension: Mayor Kennedy Stewart says he has no ‘plan B’ if senior governments don’t fund project (Mike Howell, Vancouver Courier, 29-Jan-2020)
Excerpt: “Musqueam Indian Band Chief Wayne Sparrow, Tsleil-Waututh First Nation Chief Leah George-Wilson, Squamish Nation band councillor Khelsilem and UBC president Santa Ono were at city hall Wednesday to announce a memorandum of understanding with [Vancouver Mayor Kennedy] Stewart and the City of Vancouver.”
More to be added
City of Vancouver – News release – January 29, 2020 EXCERPTS
City, UBC and MST Development Corporation sign historic agreement to help get SkyTrain all the way to UBC
The City of Vancouver, UBC and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation (MST-DC) are joining forces to advocate for the completion of a SkyTrain line all the way to UBC as soon as possible.
The unique partnership was struck late last year via a Memorandum of Understanding. The three organizations committed to jointly advocate for federal, provincial and regional support and funding for the extension of the Broadway Millennium Line beyond the currently planned terminus at Arbutus St.
“This agreement sets a new example for how city-building in the 21st Century should work,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Building SkyTrain all the way to UBC is a regional priority that will not only help connect academic and health sciences along Broadway with the rest of the region, it will put Reconciliation into practice as we work in partnership with the MST Development Corporation.”
COV, MST-DC and UBC are neighbours and have a shared interest in working together to build vibrant and resilient communities that ensure Metro Vancouver continues to be a great place to live, learn, work and play. The three organizations are united in the pursuit of SkyTrain to UBC for its potential to achieve their shared aspirations of improved transit in the region, more affordable housing, better post-secondary accessibility, increased economic growth and reduced GHG emissions.
It’s the first MOU in Canada that brings together an academic institution, a First Nations development corporation and a municipality to seek investment in major transit infrastructure…