Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Last updated: 2 days ago

Ideas shape transit on campus

On March 30, students were invited to present their visions for a better transportation system for UBC in the first Ideas Fair event.

The event was organized by Campus and Community Planning (C+CP), and featured 17 presenters. Cash prizes were awarded based on “creativity, innovation and right-brain thinking.”

Presentations included ideas for tramways, alternate bus routes, and changing the location of the bus loop to the Norman Mackenzie house, currently UBC President Stephen Toope’s residence.

Students Rebecca Beaton and Alexandre Vigneault took home one of the two top prizes of $1000. Their presentation focused on making the car the alternative, creating a pedestrian and cyclist zone for the ‘academic heart’ of campus and moving the B-Line to University Boulevard to reduce congestion.

“We are quite pleased to see that UBC could be open-minded to our ideas, even though they are somewhat radical,” they said in an e-mail.

Jared Duivestein won one of two $500 prizes for his idea to develop two bus loops, one at the current location and the other at the parking lot on the corner of Wesbrook and Agronomy. His plan involved a complex system for figuring out trip planning: “Use information UBC already has about each student (from class registration) to create a trip matrix that would allow UBC to identify and rectify situations where large numbers of students have to make a very long class-to-class trip,” he said.

About 60 students, staff and faculty showed up to the event. They were asked to fill out feedback forms for each presentation.

Beaton and Vigneault were slightly disappointed with the concept of the fair. “It is disappointing that [C+CP] are not committed to implementing any of our ideas, and that we can not get involved in UBC’s transportation planning process in any concrete way,” they said.

“Time will tell if the Ideas Fair was simply a way to humour us, or if our ideas will actually be taken seriously.”