Canada Line train at an underground SkyTrain station

Millennium Line Broadway Extension (Broadway Subway)

Transportation 2040 Plan

The City of Vancouver's Transportation 2040 Plan provides a vision for how people and goods will move in and around Vancouver for the next 30 years.

Vital transportation to meet our region's future demands

We are working with TransLink to advance the design and construction of the Broadway Subway, a tunneled extension of the Millennium Line SkyTrain along the Broadway Corridor from the existing VCC–Clark Station to Arbutus Street.

The Broadway subway will benefit the region by:

  • Supporting continued growth of the Broadway Corridor, a major employment centre
  • Enabling more people to travel with dependable trip times along the corridor and regional network

Creating the Broadway Subway is the top priority from our Transportation 2040 Plan.

The Broadway Corridor is BC’s largest employment centre after Downtown Vancouver

The Broadway Corridor stretches from Commercial Drive to UBC, and connects jobs and innovation hubs in our region, including Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and UBC.

The Corridor is currently served by the 99 B-line, North America’s busiest bus route. At Commercial Drive and Broadway, 2,000 people going westbound are left waiting for the next bus every morning. Every year, 500,000 people waiting at bus stops along this route get passed by at least one full bus.

Why build the Broadway Subway?

Support a growing regional corridor

Support a growing regional corridor

Broadway is a regionally important and growing corridor.

  • Central Broadway from Main Street to Burrard Street is the second largest employment centre in the province after Downtown Vancouver.  
  • Half of all people working in the Corridor commute from outside of Vancouver.
  • Over 85,000 people and 100,000 jobs are located in the Corridor with 30% more people and jobs expected by 2041.
  • 49% of all 99 B-Line bus passengers heading westbound from Commercial-Broadway Station travel to stops in Central Broadway (including VGH), with 38% to UBC.
  • Currently, regional destinations like VGH (the largest hospital in the province) and UBC (Western Canada’s largest university) lack sufficient connection to the regional rapid transit network and other important regional destinations.

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Meet the needs of today and tomorrow

Meet the needs of today and tomorrow

Metro Vancouver will welcome one million new residents and 600,000 new jobs over the next 30 years.

  • Growing congestion slows the movement of goods through our region and the Broadway Subway will help reduce this congestion.
  • There are over 110,000 transit trips on Broadway buses every day (comparable to the Canada Line).
  • Travel times on the 99 B-Line are unpredictable (25-45 minutes depending on time of day) and this discourages transit use in the Corridor.
  • Transit on Broadway is at capacity for much of the day: even with regular bus service every 2 to 3 minutes, over 2,000 passengers are left behind at Commercial–Broadway Station each morning.
  • Transit in the Broadway Corridor should handle the number of passengers today and accommodate long-term growth.

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Support economic growth and environmental targets

Support economic growth and environmental targets

Improved transit service will encourage economic growth in the Broadway Corridor through better regional links between:

  • Innovation centres like UBC
  • Biomedical employment like VGH
  • The growing technology sector in Mount Pleasant and Great Northern Way

For example, research at UBC has generated 137 spin-off companies (95% in BC), with more than $4 billion in sales and 40,000 person years in employment.

The Greenest City Action Plan and Renewable City Strategy have set targets for carbon reductions and increased transportation mode share for sustainable transportation, such as rapid transit.

Our Transportation 2040 Plan sets a target to reach 33% of trips to be made by transit. With more people able to take faster, more convenient transportation east-west across the city, we will see an increase in transit ridership. The Plan also sets a vision for compact, complete development supported by transit. We strive to build complete communities that bring people closer to their daily destinations and make walking the easiest and most convenient option for many trips.

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It's the best option

By City of Vancouver

For over 15 years, we've worked with TransLink to study the best possible transportation option for the Broadway Corridor. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.

  • More volume

    By City of Vancouver

    A tunnelled SkyTrain extension allows for the highest number of travellers and ensures that the new system retains the capacity required for the region’s growing needs.

  • Less transfers

    By City of Vancouver

    A tunnelled SkyTrain extension reduces the need for transfers at Commercial-Broadway Station – the region’s biggest transit bottleneck.

  • Lower operating costs

    By City of Vancouver

    SkyTrain technology has the lowest operating costs per kilometre and per passenger than other technologies like light rail transit or bus rapid transit.

  • More flexible

    By City of Vancouver

    Because SkyTrain technology is driverless, TransLink can easily add or remove cars to accommodate demand.

  • More efficient goods movement

    By City of Vancouver

    Underground transit will free up road space for more efficient goods movement and vehicle transportation.

  • Faster commutes

    By City of Vancouver

    The SkyTrain extension would cut travel time from Commercial-Broadway to Arbutus in half. People commuting from Coquitlam Centre Station would reach Central Broadway in about 40 minutes – as fast as by car.

  • Meets the regional vision

    By City of Vancouver

    The Mayor’s Council vision for transportation in the region outlines the need for the Broadway Subway to help meet our collective transportation needs.

Map

The Broadway Subway (marked in orange) has six potential stations. The station locations are approximate.

Project timeline

Here is our process and anticipated milestones.

  • 1999-2012

    City works with TransLink to evaluate rapid transit options along the corridor.

    Options were compared using a number of factors including customer service, cost effectiveness, and environmental and community impacts. Based on study results, the City and TransLink recommended that the Millennium SkyTrain Line be extended in an underground tunnel west through central Broadway, with a rapid bus connection to UBC.

  • 2013

    City creates Transportation 2040 Plan

    The Plan calls for an underground Millennium Line extension along the Broadway Corridor as the City’s top transportation priority.

  • 2014

    Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation releases "Regional Transportation Investments: A Vision for Metro Vancouver"

    The vision includes a Millennium Line Broadway Extension to Arbutus, completed within 10 years, as part of a regional growth support strategy.

  • 2015-2016

    City and TransLink work to advance project design and secure funding from senior levels of government

  • 2016

    Funding secured for Phase 1 work

    The Public Transit Infrastructure Fund pays for Phase 1 work for design development and business case completion. The federal government commits to funding 50% of the Broadway Subway. The provincial government announces funding for TransLink to make improvements to the overall transportation network.

    City and TransLink do geotechnical investigations as part of the project design.

  • We are here
  • 2017

    Phase 1 funding will be used to further define the scope of the project

In-depth

View our guiding principles and documents for this project, and learn about funding and regional transportation priorities.

In-depthStudy documents