The municipality has endorsed the Route 1 option, running from the Production Way-University SkyTrain station to UniverCity and Simon Fraser University.
“The Burnaby Mountain Gondola project will create a safe and reliable transit option for Burnaby residents travelling to and from Burnaby Mountain,” Mayor Mike Hurley said in a Friday news release.
“By taking cars and buses off the road, it will be one of the many changes we must make in our city to achieve the aggressive targets we’ve set for reducing carbon emissions.”
In 2020, TransLink and its partners developed the conceptual design of possible routes for the project, estimated to cost at least $210 million. If approved, the owners of two multi-family complexes would also receive compensation, as the gondola would pass over their properties.
According to TransLink, the gondola would support more than 25,000 trips up the mountain daily by SFU students, staff and faculty, and the residents of UniverCity. During its first round of public consultation, 85 per cent of its 13,000 survey respondents supported the idea.
Last February, the Simon Fraser University Student Society endorsed the project and its three shortest possible routes, citing transit chaos for students trying to access the Burnaby Mountain campus during snowstorms, and navigating regularly crowded buses. According to the student group, more than 88 per cent of its members use public transit to get to class.
The route endorsed by the City of Burnaby, according to its concept designs, would create only five towers along the entire gondola route, with no towers in the Forest Grove neighbourhood.
The next step is for the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to consider it for inclusion in its new 10-year plan, expected to guide TransLink’s priorities for the next decade.
According to its website, TransLink will also conduct additional technical analysis to help build the business case, and aims to further engage the public in 2022. TransLink’s board of directors and mayors’ council will then provide direction on whether the project will advance.
– with files from Simon Little