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TransLink's alternatives for transit on Broadway corridor to UBC

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A street level light rail runs from Main Street Science World to UBC. A Sky Train extension runs in a tunnel from VCC-Clark to Arbutus. At Arbutus, passengers transfer to the street level light rail for the remainder of the trip to UBC. This alternative is rated “very good” in the transportation account, and “good” in all others except financial, which is rated “poor.” It has the second highest emissions reductions: 295 kilo-tonnes GHG over 30 years. It isn’t expected to have high appeal for non-transit users, but it would be reliable and expandable.

Bus rapid transit Trolley:

This alternative ranks lowest overall. Bus rapid transit uses buses with low floors for easy access that run in the centre of the street, separated from other traffic by a curb. If run as an electric trolley (environmentally “very good”), it would reduce GHG emissions by 252 kilo-tonnes over 30 years.  This alternative ranks poorly in the financial and transportation accounts. It ranks “very good” for urban development. Lack of expandability helps to account for the poor transportation ranking.

Light Rail One, Option B:

A street level light rail runs from the SkyTrain station on Commercial Drive to the VCC-Clark station. It returns to Broadway on Main and travels at street level to UBC. This option is rated “good” in everything but the financial account. It would have a GHG reduction of 214 kilo-tonnes over 30 years. The financial account is rated “neutral”, the second best rating after the “Best Bus” alternative which is “good.”Within the transportation account, it ranks “good” for reliability and expandability.

The following four options are identically rated, all “good” except in the financial account which is “poor”.

Combination Two:

Bus Rapid Transit with low-floor buses that can run on diesel or electricity from the SkyTrain station on Commercial Drive all the way to UBC and a SkyTrain extension in a tunnerl from VCC-Clark to Arbutus, where passengers could transfer to the bus rapid transit line for the remainder of the trip.  It would reduce GHG by 183 kilo-tonnes over 30 years.

Light Rail One, Option A:

Street level light rail from the Commercial SkyTrain station along Broadway all the way to UBC. It would reduce GHG by 185 kilo-tonnes over 30 years.

Light Rail Two, Option A:

Street level light rail along Broadway all the way from the Commercial SkyTrain station to UBC. There’s an additional north-south spur from Main Street Science World to Broadway. It would reduce GHG by 184 kilo-tonnes over 30 years.

Light Rail Two, Option B:

Street level light rail orginates at the Commercial SkyTrain station, heads north through VCC-Clark and rejoins Broadway at Arbutus. It would reduce GHG by 180 kilo-tonnes over 30 years.

Bus rapid transit Diesel:

This alternative ranks lowest overall. Bus rapid transit uses buses with low floors for easy access that run in the centre of the street, separated from other traffic by a curb. It can run on diesel or natural gas (TransLink considers this environmentally “neutral”).  This alternative ranks poorly in the financial and transportation accounts. It ranks “very good” for urban development. Lack of expandability helps to account for the poor transportation ranking. It would reduce GHG emissions by 110 kilo-tonnes over 30 years, making it the third best option in this regard.

Rail Rapid Transit Option A: Rail Rapid Transit Alternative Option B:

This SkyTrain extension runs through a tunnel all the way to UBC, originating at the Commercial Station. It is rated “very good” in the economic development and transportation accounts. This alternative is a stand alone system. The passengers would be required to transfer at the Commercial Station. The GHG emission reduction (which includes construction emissions) is much less: 52 mega-tones compared to 316 kilo-tonnes of Option B.  Compared to Option A, Option B has better travel times, attracts significantly more people to transit and results in much greater emissions reduction. Option A is rated “neutral” in the environment account, “good” in the social and community and urban development accounts, and “very poor” in the financial account. It is expected to appeal to non-transit users.

Best Bus:

The best bus alternative upgrades and expands existing service. Six lines run from east of Commercial out to UBC. Increased frequency, new express routes and more bus lanes with signal priority will create a better ride. It’s ranked second to last within the transportation account, expected to have “neutral” impact. It would increase GHG by 19 kilo-tonnes over 30 years.

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