With less than a month until the civic election, NPA mayor candidate Ken Sim and other NPA candidates are in disarray over the Broadway Subway, contradicting each other and sending mixed messages on a major transportation project in Vancouver.
At yesterday's mayoral town hall hosted by SUCCESS and CIJA, the NPA's Ken Sim went on “a spirited rant” against the subway to UBC, and said there “isn’t the ridership” to justify it.
This contradicts comments he made less than two weeks ago to The Ubyssey, where he said in a story published on September 15th that he would conduct an expert review of the subway out to UBC, telling UBC students and faculty: “If it makes sense to the university, to the city, and if it makes sense financially, of course, we’ll do it.”
Other contradicting comments include NPA council candidate Lisa Dominato tweeting out yesterday that she thinks the City needs to look at a tunnelled subway to UBC while NPA council candidate Colleen Hardwick told the Mt. Pleasant BIA at the debate on September 12 that she does not support a subway, even to Arbutus, calling it a “pipeline we didn’t want.”
I think we should look at this...many reasons why: increased capacity over buses, projected growth, willing funding partner, regional transportation needs & our collective responsibility for the environment. https://t.co/1fiCIgfebg #vanpoli #vanelxn18— Lisa Dominato, MA (@LisaDominato) September 24, 2018
Colleen Hardwick. She kept referring to the Broadway Subway as a pipeline we didn't want. Considering that mass transit can directly reduce our dependency on fossil fuel it seemed...incongruent to me.— Tanya Paz (@tanyapazzy) September 12, 2018
Everytime she said it some people's heads twitched left or right like a deer's.
Studies have shown that only a subway can handle the volume of ridership needed to UBC, which would connect the province's largest university with the second largest jobs hub in BC. A streetcar or light-rail transit system would not improve travel times and would require extensive disruption at the street. UBC is also on record as supporting a tunnelled subway and recently reversed the longstanding policy that now has it willing to contribute financially to the project.
"The NPA's Ken Sim has not done his homework when it comes to transit in Vancouver," said Vision council candidate Tanya Paz. "Building the Broadway Subway to UBC is an investment in a better Vancouver for everyone. It would boost transit to improve commute times for Vancouver residents and reduce overcrowding and full buses passing you by. The fact that the NPA's Ken Sim has changed his position on the subway in less than two weeks, and his candidates are all over the place, should be a huge warning to Vancouver voters.
"The first meeting of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation is November 15th - 11 days after the new mayor and council are sworn in. If Ken Sim and the NPA get elected, Vancouver voters will be sending a mayor to that meeting who won’t fight for transit dollars for Vancouver. If the NPA controls council, the train tunnelling machine will stop at Arbutus, and transit dollars will flow away from Vancouver to other communities who have their transit priorities figured out.”
In contrast, the Vision team commit to bringing forward a motion to the very first City Council meeting putting the City firmly on record in support of extending the subway to UBC.
"With Vision Vancouver, voters will have solid votes in support of the Broadway Subway to UBC, no matter who’s mayor" added council candidate Catherine Evans. "If you care about transit, if you want to cut congestion in Vancouver, if you want to make life better for commuters, the Broadway Subway is the best way to do it.”
“The NPA may not know where it stands, but Vision does. We will table a motion putting the next City Council firmly on record in support of extending the subway to UBC, and challenge other candidates to commit to supporting it," Paz concluded.