This week’s announcement of major funding for rapid transit in British Columbia should put to rest the naysayers who argue that rail technologies such as SkyTrain are an unnecessary luxury. By extending the successful SkyTrain network to the University of British Columbia, and most likely to Metro Vancouver’s northeast and southeast, the province is wisely showing a commitment to a transport system that has proven durable and popular.
The news also underscores something new in Metro Vancouver — long-term thinking about population growth and transportation needs in the region.
Warren Gill, a transportation-studies professor at Simon Fraser University who has focused on transportation policy for more than 30 years, called the program “infrastructure for the ages.”
“It means Vancouver will be a functional city long into the future. People who come to Vancouver will be able to get around in the city just as they would in some of the world’s great cities – New York, London, Chicago,” Prof. Gill said.