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Strong support for Burnaby Mountain gondola, TransLink says

Click to play video 'Metro Vancouver mayors vote for public consultation on SFU Burnaby gondola' Metro Vancouver mayors vote for public consultation on SFU Burnaby gondola
(July 26, 2019) Metro Vancouver mayors vote for public consultation on SFU Burnaby gondola – Jul 26, 2019

The first round of public consultation on a proposed gondola on Burnaby Mountain has found 85 per cent support for the project, TransLink says.

The transit agency said Friday that it had collected about 13,000 responses in September on the idea to build a cable-car system to link Simon Fraser University to the SkyTrain Millennium Line.

Read more: TransLink proposes electric-powered gondola for Simon Fraser University

The top “values” that respondents assigned to the proposal were safety and security; all-weather service and reliability; speed; direct connection to rapid transit; and environmental benefits.

Commuters regularly complain about service to the top of Burnaby Mountain during snowy conditions, when TransLink’s fleet of articulated buses frequently become unreliable.

Click to play video 'Burnaby business leaders back SFU gondola plan' Burnaby business leaders back SFU gondola plan
Burnaby business leaders back SFU gondola plan – Apr 17, 2019

More than eight in 10 respondents were “supportive” or “very supportive” of the idea.

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The gondola is not yet approved or funded, and a cost estimate has not been assigned.

Read more: Fraser Valley transit expansion, Burnaby Mountain gondola popular in TransLink survey

It would provide service for 25,000 trips per day, TransLink said, with cars leaving once per minute.

The agency is preparing for a second round of public feedback this fall, which would focus on the three proposed routes:

  • Production Way–University Station to SFU Bus Exchange
  • Production Way–University Station to SFU Bus Exchange with an angle station on the east bend in Gaglardi Way
  • Lake City Way Station to South Campus Way with an angle station at Centennial Way/Burnaby Mountain Parkway
Map representing the three proposed gondola routes. TransLink

The plan has been in the works since 2009, when SFU completed its first feasibility study.

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The concept has since undergone a number of reviews, including TransLink’s feasibility study in 2018.

Read more: Will Burnaby back a gondola to SFU? Council to vote on concept Monday

Burnaby city council backed it in May 2019 on the grounds that it meets a list of conditions including compensating affected residents, minimizing impacts on residents, reducing environmental impacts and full consultation.

Once the second round of consultation is complete, TransLink said staff will present a preferred route to the regional mayors’ council for direction and next steps.