The Great Broadway Subway Grift Continues!

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:

  1. Where is the funding coming from for the about $4 billion subway?
  2. 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.
  3. 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


Stakeholders ramp up pressure on government for Broadway Subway to UBC

by Hana Mae Nassar

Posted Jan 29, 2020

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Calling it a “historic agreement,” the City of Vancouver, UBC, and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation say they have come together to push for a SkyTrain line that extends all the way to UBC’s Point Grey campus.

As part of their partnership, they’re asking the province and federal government to both commit to helping secure funding for the line all the way to the campus, as soon as possible. The stakeholders are also vying for regional support for the project, which would extend the Millennium Line.

Original plans had the Broadway subway stopping at Arbutus Street, forcing students, staff, and anyone else wanting to get to UBC to take a bus after the subway line.

“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,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said on Wednesday, adding the agreement “sets a new example.”

The three groups hope the eventual connection to UBC will help improve transit around the Metro Vancouver region, as well as achieve a goal of more affordable housing, better access to post-secondaries, and increased economic growth.


8 Responses to “The Great Broadway Subway Grift Continues!”
  1. Wolfgang says:

    Subways, the great road to bankruptcy.

    $7 billion in total costs and we have people living in rotten tents, in parks?

    I can’t drive the #1 because of congestion and the Massey tunnel is going to end up in Steveston.

    Just operate a few more buses because we cannot afford a $7 billion subway, I can’t even afford my taxes!

  2. Haveacow says:

    Two things, the graph your using from Metrolinx is actually for a full scale Metro/Subway not a Light Metro. I have no doubt however that the Skytran under Broadway would definitely fit in the middle between the Subway and elevated LRT costs. In fact, based on the raw capital costs of the Broadway Line’s first stage, it is probably a little closer to the Subway costs than the elevated LRT costs.

    Second point, one of Zwei’s long term points is that, any new Skytrain line project or existing Skytrain line extension project, must be funded to a certain percentage by local Translink funding and there are serious doubts that Translink can fund more than one major project at the same time. Though even I doubted Zwei was 100% right on this issue, it was actually confirmed to me yesterday.

    Yesterday, after a meeting here in Ottawa with my current major client, I ran into a very interesting ex-Translink Senior Policy Analyst and we struck up a fascinating conversation. During that conversation, which was mainly about escalating construction and risk management costs in all types of infrastructure projects (not just rapid transit related ones), he unprompted brought up the fact that, unless truly massive financial support is brought in by both the Province of B.C. and the Federal Government, there is no way that stage 2 of the Broadway Line and any other rapid transit project can occur at the same time because of the lack of local Translink funding. He seriously doubts that both B.C. and the Fed’s have both the political desire and financial capacity to fund any one rapid transit project of that size (current estimates are between $3.9 and $4.3 Billion) to almost 90% of the total cost.

    He also doubts anything more than 11% – 12% local funding is possible if the Arbutus to UBC Skytrain extension is done at the same time as the extension of the Expo line to Langley. The federal government usually insists on atleast 20% – 33% local funding, unless the province is willing to pay more, like here in Ontario.

    As long as Broadway extension to UBC is in play, Translink’s financial hands are tied. There is just not enough local funding unless many long term infrastructure fixes and upgrades to both bus infrastructure and existing Expo and Millennium Lines are either abandoned or put off for another decade or two. I asked about Canada Line upgrades or extensions, “not in this decade, try sometime in the 2030’s”, was his answer. The only answer is to change Translink’s current funding model and get a lot more money locally, to which he stated with current tax payer attitudes, has a,”snow ball’s chance in hell” of actually happening.

  3. Haveacow says:

    The moral of the story is that tunnels cost a lot. As long as the people of the lower mainland of B.C. want tunnels under Broadway all the way to UBC, something financially has to give. Temporally drop the line extension from Arbutus to UBC and many other things become possible.

    I recently got piece of information from Freedom of Information Request I did for my current major client. This was part of an internal Metrolinx memo compiled from information gathered by many of the national and international companies bidding on rapid transit projects in on Ontario, Quebec and B.C. This memo showed tunnelling costs in Canada are increasing in about 4.78% to 4.98% per year, based on the current national basic inflation rate of 2.75%.

    That means based on current estimates, the second stage of the Millennium Line on Broadway will be increasing between $181.6 Million to $201 Million a year, every year beyond 2022 (The end point of guaranteed costs from the last estimate ). So final costs will have to be confirmed by bidding on Stage 2 by 2022 or face a minimum of $182 Million per year, total cost increase to the UBC Skytrain extension. The current estimate is between $3.8 – $4.2 Billion.

  4. Haveacow says:

    These Skytrain estimates don’t include vehicle costs, or a new and desperately needed maintenance and storage yard.

  5. J says:

    Question, why are you referencing articles from 2015 in an article in 2020? Talk about out of date. But most of this website is mistruths anyways; par for the course i suppose.

    Either way, the Broadway Subway is being built, and the busiest bus route in North America will get a bit better. And rial to the valley is still a terrible idea, and thankfully it isn’t happening anytime soon. (Hopefully not in my lifetime!).

    Zwei replies:

    I find it interesting that the Translink trolls are very busy extolling the lie that Broadway is the busiest bus route in North America. Even Translink, when faced with possible legal action indicated it wasn’t.

    So what is a terrible idea? Tearing down schools and hospitals to build light-metro as what happened with the Millennium Line and the canada Line, or building affordable transit?

  6. Major Hoople says:

    I must say, the likes of Jay are terribly misinformed. It is now common knowledge that Vancouver’s Broadway route does not have near enough ridership to justify construction. On our side of the pond, such a project would have been terminated long before any sort of a public stage.

    I was told that the Canada Line was designed with such a fantasy and when rational planning was put to the operating authority, fantasy won.

    Now, we laugh at the claims made by your TransLink about capacity because in real terms the Canada line has none, unless you plan for India style transit with people clinging to the sides and on the roof.

    If only your politicians knew how your transit planning causes much derision in professional circles, they would be appalled.

  7. Haveacow says:

    I know @J is probably a troll but I have to ask the question, you think Broadway is the busiest bus corridor in North America! Have you ever been to any larger city in North America? I mean cities larger than Vancouver! I have been on Vancouver’s Broadway Corridor at peak hour, busy, yes it is, the busiest in North America, no way. Especially, if you count the number of buses per hour per direction.


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