The proposed gondola that would transport riders up Burnaby Mountain to Simon Fraser University (SFU) has been listed as a "priority" in a new regional transit plan.
TransLink revealed the first 10 years of its Transport 2050 plan today (April 20) and included the project among 170 km of new rapid transit on up to 11 corridors.
Other key 10-year priorities in its regional transportation strategy are:
- Regional express bus services
- $1.5 billion for low-carbon bus fleets
- Building 450 km of new traffic-separated cycling paths
- 60increase in HandyDART services to meet future ridership demand and provide 24-hour service
- The Millennium Line SkyTrain extension from Arbutus Street to UBC (pending development of a new funding model with project partners)
“It’s critical that we lay the groundwork for achieving the region’s shared goals set out in Transport 2050," TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in a news release.
"I am confident that with a broadly supported set of priorities and a strong partnership with the Province of BC and the Government of Canada, we can deliver on these shared benefits.”
Earlier this year, Burnaby council announced its endorsement for route number one of the gondola with city staff also agreeing it's the better technical solution.
The route length would be 2.7 km with five towers and a travel time of six minutes with TransLink adding the option has good financial performance, the highest societal benefits, lowest capital and operating costs, smallest footprint, best geotechnical conditions, fewest park impacts and fewest environment impacts.
Two public engagement surveys undertaken by TransLink found 85% of respondents supported route number one.
In May 2019, city council endorsed a recommendation that supports the gondola link, subjected to five conditions:
- Residents - Minimize impacts to residents living near the gondola
- Environment - Minimize impacts to areas with high ecological values, such as fish-bearing streams and riparian areas
- Compensation - Provide fair compensation to affected property owners for intrusion of the gondola, both for its physical footprint on their lands and its aerial passage over them
- Options - All three options should be considered on an equal basis in the next stage of analysis and public consultation
- Consultation - Engage the community in meaningful consultation, especially with respect to alignment options and report back to council on the results