Millions for planning UBC SkyTrain expansion

JEFF HODSON, METRO VANCOUVER

December 11, 2008

The province and TransLink will spend up to $10 million to develop plans for the expansion of rapid-transit lines west to the University of British Columbia and east into Surrey, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced yesterday.

“We’re going to extend the region’s rapid-transit network,” said Falcon at the Gateway SkyTrain station in Surrey.

“We’ll do it in such a way that we move the most people the most efficiently and in the most cost effective way possible.”

The preliminary engineering work and public consultation will take place over the next 18 to 24 months. The plans will examine route, cost and technology options.

Falcon said the Surrey extension would be a minimum of six kilometres and would bring service through Gilford to and “ultimately” to Fleetwood. The Vancouver extension to UBC would begin at Granville SkyTrain station.

The extensions were previously announced in January as part of the province’s $14-billion transportation plan. There is no timeline for either project, other than a vague pledge that they would be completed sometime before 2020.

Bruce Ralston, the New Democrat MLA for Surrey-Whalley, said the announcement amounted to electioneering ahead of May’s provincial election.

“I don’t think the public believes that anything is going to happen here other than just a photo opportunity,” Ralston said.

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