Last week, Vancouver city councillors passed the sweeping 30-year transportation plan that aims to see 66 per cent of all trips in the city made by foot, bike or transit by 2040.

Central to the plan is a proposed rapid transit line along the busy Broadway Corridor. But of course the biggest question is where funding for such a major project would come from.

According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, Vancouver doesn’t have an alternative in mind to reach the two-thirds goal if the Broadway line doesn’t get built.

“We cannot reach our goals without rapid transit through central Broadway,” Vancouver transportation director Jerry Dobrovolny told the Globe and Mail last week. “Our long-term needs require SkyTrain through central Broadway.”

Mayor Gregor Robertson told the paper that the city plans to keep looking to the federal and provincial governments for financial support to make such a transit system happen.

“We need to keep the pressure on to get Broadway rapid transit in place,” Mr. Robertson told the Globe, noting it has been a “skipped over” priority for the region. “We need that service right out to UBC to address the current demand, and there’s huge growth pressure ahead. The longer the delay in building rapid transit on Broadway to UBC, the tougher it gets to hit the targets,” he said.

Of course there’s no arguing that the demand for a rapid transit line on the Broadway Corridor is already there. In fact, the City of Vancouver’s own analysis suggests each of the five central B-Line bus stops that currently run along Broadway (Main, Cambie, Willow, Granville, and Arbutus) have the equivalent population and employment per hectare as a Metrotown station.

Via former Vancouver city councillor Gordon Price’s blog:

According to this population and density map comparing the use of the B-Line with the rapid-transit lines, there is the equivalent of five Metrotowns along Central Broadway.

If some sort of funding model is worked out and Broadway does get the much-needed rapid transit system, it will be interesting to see if the line gives way to the same amount of transit-oriented developments as the Canada Line is bringing to the Cambie Corridor (see: MC², Marine Gateway and the proposed Oakridge Centre redevelopment). Because even without a rapid transit line, it’s not as if Broadway isn’t already welcoming a number of new developments (see: Bayswater, Pinnacle Living on Broadway and Kingsway and Broadway).

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