While construction is confirmed to officially begin this fall on the $2.83 billion Broadway Extension of SkyTrain Millennium Line, the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain is still in the detailed planning stage.
But the South of Fraser project is also expected to reach a new milestone soon, as indicated by Premier John Horgan in a press conference today on the Broadway Extension.
Horgan said discussions are currently still underway on this Expo Line extension along Fraser Highway towards Langley, and that an announcement on this project can be expected “shortly.”
It remains to be seen if the extension will be built in two phases or a single big phase, especially with the current fiscal pressures of TransLink and senior governments.
A single phase would build seven km of new SkyTrain route and four stations reaching Fleetwood at a cost of $1.63 billion, using funds from the cancelled Surrey Newton-Guildford LRT.
Prior to COVID-19, both senior governments were expected to approve TransLink’s new business case for Fleetwood Extension by the end of spring. This has yet to be accomplished.
As well, TransLink’s new budgetary issues are problematic for achieving this project. Based on the funding formula from the cancelled LRT plan, the public transit authority’s share of funding the construction of the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain is $1.1 billion, whereas the federal government’s share is about $500 million. The Broadway Extension, in contrast, is entirely funded by the senior governments without any funding contribution from TransLink.
Proceeding with the extension to Fleetwood necessitates the resolution of TransLink’s majority share of the project’s funding. TransLink is expected to provide an update to its investment plan this fall.
Another $1.5 billion is required for the remaining nine-km-long route with four additional stations between Fleetwood and Langley Centre. This would be the second future phase of the project, if funding is unavailable.
Earlier this year, the federal government noted it was planning an unprecedented infusion of infrastructure spending to help stimulate the economy, with an announcement slated for this fall. This is expected to include funding for major public transit investments.
Prior to COVID-19, depending on funding availability and senior government approvals, TransLink was targeting launching the bidding process for a construction contractor in 2021, and starting construction in early 2022 for an opening in 2025.
Questions were also raised in today’s press conference on bringing the Millennium Line westward from its future terminus at Arbutus Station to the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) campus.
But this UBC extension is much further behind in planning compared to the Surrey-Langley project, which already has completed its detailed technical work for a supportive business case. No precise routing or station locations have been established. It is also unclear whether the extension could be elevated west of Blanca Street.
In early 2019, Vancouver City Council and the Mayors’ Council approved the preliminary planning of a SkyTrain extension for the remaining route to UBC. The Mayors’ Council at the time freed up $3 million for early planning, and prior to the pandemic they were expected to allocate another $30 million to $40 million this year to perform detailed technical work and the creation of the business case.
Early this year, the municipal government, UBC, and the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation — the owner and developer of the Jericho Lands — reached an agreement to support the extension to UBC.
On the matter of UBC, Horgan added that he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday and discussed “a range of options including further infrastructure investments” that are “joint ventured” between the federal and provincial governments.
“So I’m confident once we get this Broadway Extension underway, we’ll start immediately on the planning of the extension beyond to UBC,” he said.
TransLink anticipates an Expo Line extension from King George Station to only Fleetwood — a travel time of under 10 minutes — will attract daily boardings of about 40,000 by 2035. A full extension to Langley Centre, with a travel time of 22 minutes, will see 62,000 daily boardings by 2035.
At the other end of the SkyTrain network, the approved and funded SkyTrain extension from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street will attract about 140,000 daily boardings upon opening in 2025, and grow to 193,000 daily boardings by 2045.
The remaining segment from the future Arbutus Station to UBC — about seven kms in length — will attract approximately 119,000 daily boardings by 2045.
This would bring the total ridership of the Millennium Line segment from VCC-Clark Station to UBC to 311,500 daily boardings — about twice the 2019 ridership of the entire Canada Line.
On a transfer-less, one-train SkyTrain ride, the travel time to UBC will be roughly 10 minutes from Arbutus, about 20 minutes from VCC-Clark Station to UBC, and less than an hour from Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station.
The estimated construction cost for SkyTrain to UBC is between $2.8 billion and $3.2 billion in 2018 dollars.
Canadian Police Arrested a Man for Sleeping While His ‘Self-Driving’ Tesla Sped Down the Highway – Robb Report
We’ve all felt the need to catch 40 winks at inconvenient times, but one Candian man took his need for shut-eye to a whole new level.
Alberta police have formally charged a 20-year-old man who was caught asleep behind the wheel of his Tesla while the electric vehicle was speeding on autopilot. Authorities were alerted to the scene on the afternoon of July 9th by a caller who noted that both of the front seats were fully reclined with no visible operator. Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News on Thursday that the car was traveling 87mph in a zone with a speed limit of 68mph. Both the driver and the passenger appeared to be fully asleep, according to police.
“Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going,” Turnbull told CBC. “I’ve been in policing for over 23 years and the majority of that in traffic law enforcement, and I’m speechless. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this before, but of course, the technology wasn’t there.”
The car appeared to be driving on autopilot at more than 140 km/h, RCMP say. https://t.co/vU7dAGfwMC
— CBC News (@CBCNews) September 18, 2020
The model in question was a 2019 Tesla Model S, which has an array of autopilot features from auto-steer to “traffic-aware” cruise control, both of which were engaged when the car was stopped. But despite its name, the autopilot function still requires an active driver to monitor the road, making a lack of one remarkably dangerous all on its own. It turned out to be even more detrimental than the concerned police originally thought because once the officers activated their car’s emergency lights, the Tesla began accelerating and eventually reached a speed of 93mph, which was confirmed by a radar scan.
Officers eventually caught up with the vehicle and issued the sleeping driver a 24-hour license suspension for fatigue before an investigation resulted in a charge of dangerous driving. The driver received a court summons scheduled for this December. Fortunately, no one was injured as the incident ensued, but it acts as a serious cautionary tale as Tesla’s autopilot functions have come under sharp scrutiny for their potential links to more than one crash and related death.
No winning ticket sold in Saturday's $5M Lotto 649 draw – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $5 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.
However, the guaranteed $1 million prize was claimed by a ticket holder in Quebec.
The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Sept. 23 will be approximately $6 million.
Online thieves scam Toronto couple out of more than $1,000 in PC Optimum points hack – CBC.ca
When Chris Eggers and his wife signed up for an in-store text message promotion at a Toronto Shoppers Drug Mart, they thought they’d collect extra PC Optimum points.
Instead, Eggers alleges, hackers stole them all.
“Every week, [PC Optimum] would text me, ‘See if you’re a winner and click on the link!'” he explained.
“One of the links I clicked, and I still have the text, asked me to enter my PC optimum information.”
So, Eggers, 37, entered the couple’s log-in details.
“I believe it is at that point that my identity was compromised,” he told CBC Toronto.
All the text messages came from the same number. But only one, he says, asked him to enter his account information.
A few days later, the couple was alerted that all their points had been cashed in.
“My wife got emails saying that our PC Optimum points were being redeemed at Vaughan Mills Mall, 600,000 of them,” Eggers explained.
“And so, of course, we panic, you know, try to open the app and change everything, but at that point it was all gone.”
Hackers redeemed more than $1,100 worth of points
Emails the couple supplied to CBC Toronto show a total of $1,149.99 worth of merchandise was redeemed at the Shoppers Drug Mart located in the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre in Vaughan, Ont. north of Toronto.
Eggers notified Loblaw Companies Ltd., the corporation that operates the PC Optimum program, and has since filed a report with York Regional Police.
Scammers have targeted the reward system before.
Two years ago, CBC News interviewed eight people across Canada who said they’d each had more than 100,000 points stolen from their accounts after Loblaw merged its two rewards programs — PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum — to form PC Optimum on Feb. 1, 2018.
The reported thefts are just one more problem plaguing Loblaw, which was already dealing with technical glitches involving PC Optimum, and fallout from a bread price-fixing scandal, including the related controversy over asking some people to send their ID to collect a $25 gift card as compensation for the overpriced bread.
No connection to text promotion, Loblaw says
When the company replied to Eggers days later, he was told his email had been compromised and there was no connection to the in-store text promotion.
That’s something Eggers still has trouble accepting.
“I don’t believe that because if somebody was going to compromise my email, then they would have gone after my banking,” he said.
“It’s quite a leap to think that when you get into somebody’s email that they have a Shoppers Optimum and that’s … the cherry they want to pick.”
In a statement to CBC News, Loblaw says the company reviewed screen shots of Eggers’s contest text messages and related links and has “not found any site/page that asked for PC Optimum account information.”
“The links provided simply show a promotional code,” the statement reads
Loblaw apologizes for ‘the inconvenience this has caused’
However, the retailer does acknowledge recent “smishing campaigns” — text messages asking for information, claiming to be from PC Optimum in recent months.
“We’re still reviewing to see if that could be the case in this instance,” the company said, adding their investigation is ongoing.
“We are committed to understanding the scenario and how we can best help our customers moving forward.”
Loblaws says representatives have worked with Eggers and his wife to restore their points and secure their account.
The company also says it apologizes for “the inconvenience this has caused [for the couple] and the delay in resolving it.”
Eggers says he’s happy to have their points back but worries others could have also been hacked.
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