If a gondola to SFU is built, which route would you like it to take?
That’s the question being posed to transit riders and residents in Burnaby and throughout the region as TransLink moves on to the second stage of its engagement process for a Burnaby Mountain gondola.
According to a news release, the Metro Vancouver transit authority is kicking off the second round of engagement as of today (Monday, Nov. 23), taking into account feedback from the first round of engagement.
The benefits of a gondola, according to TransLink is the lower operating costs, the rapid and frequent transportation to Burnaby Mountain, and its reliability in winter months, when buses up the mountain can often be over capacity and struggle to make it all the way up in winter conditions.
TransLink has three proposed routes between the Millennium Line and Burnaby Mountain, including two that start from the Production Way-University SkyTrain station and one that starts at Lake City Way station. Of the Production Way routes, one goes straight to the SFU campus, while the other runs along Gaglardi Way before angling toward SFU’s bus exchange. The third route runs from Lake City Way, crossing the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course before angling toward the university and ending near South Campus Road.
“With more than 13,000 responses in our first round of engagement, we have a good sense of what the public values about the proposed gondola,” said project director Jeffrey Busby in a news release.
“We used that feedback in our design considerations and extensive evaluation of the routes, assessing what matters to local neighbourhoods and the broader public in Metro Vancouver, and we’re ready to share that next level of work.”
In that engagement process, TransLink found vast approval throughout the region (84%) for a Burnaby Mountain gondola, including nearly two-thirds of respondents in Burnaby. The proposal had significantly lower approval, however, in the Forest Grove neighbourhood, above which one of the routes would travel, and far higher approval among SFU students and UniverCity residents.
TransLink said it will share the results of the current round of engagement and a technical assessment with the City of Burnaby and the transit authority’s two governing boards – the board of directors and the Mayors’ Council.
The proposed gondola does not currently have any funding attached to it; the technical assessment and engagement results will be used by TransLink to form a business plan to seek funding.
The engagement will be run online until Dec. 14, with route evaluation, information on upcoming engagement events and a survey available on the TransLink website.