Burnaby City Council confirms official support for SFU Gondola's quickest route

Burnaby City Council confirms official support for SFU Gondola's quickest route
After some uncertainty, Burnaby City Council has now officially indicated it has made a decision to not only support TransLink’s proposed Burnaby Mountain Gondola public transit line, but also the direct, quickest path of Route 1.

The decision was announced this morning, and it follows Thursday’s Mayors’ Council’s approval of the Transport 2050 regional transportation strategy, which includes the gondola project.

Route 1 connects SkyTrain Production Way-University Station and the core of the Simon Fraser Campus (SFU) atop Burnaby Mountain in a straight line. Of the three route options considered, it has the fastest end-to-end travel time of six minutes, highest ridership potential, lowest construction cost of $210 million, lowest annual operating cost of $5.6 million, and lowest footprint and environmental impact.

“The Burnaby Mountain Gondola project will create a safe and reliable transit option for Burnaby residents travelling to and from Burnaby Mountain. 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,” said Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley in a statement.

“Before endorsing this project, council stressed the importance of consultation with residents, businesses and First Nations, and we expect that dialogue to continue should this project move forward.”

In a statement to Daily Hive Urbanized, TransLink says Burnaby City Council’s project endorsement and route selection allows it to proceed to the next step of further public consultation and to complete the project’s business case.

“TransLink can proceed with additional technical analysis to continue to build our project knowledge, and further engage with the public later this year,” reads the statement.

“This publicly stated support informs decision-makers around the Mayors’ Council table about Burnaby’s stated priorities for TransLink’s next 10-year Regional Vision. The gondola will benefit Burnaby residents and the region as a whole, offering faster, greener, more cost-effective service than bus.”

sfu burnaby mountain gondola route options
Route 1 is the highly preferred route identified by TransLink and its public consultation of Burnaby and the region as a whole. It is also the top choice for the administration, students, faculty, and residents of SFU.

This is tremendous news for SFU and for commuters across the Lower Mainland. As university president, I want to thank Mayor Hurley and Burnaby City Council for their foresight and vision in moving forward with the Burnaby Mountain Gondola,” said SFU president Joy Johnson.

“I especially want to thank all the people who spoke out, wrote letters and voiced their support for the gondola, including our students, faculty and staff, and members of the UniverCity community. Special thanks to past and present executives from the Simon Fraser Student Society, the SFU Graduate Student Society, employee, faculty and labour groups, the Alumni Association, Build the SFU Gondola Now, and all of the signatories on the open letter in support. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate this fantastic decision today.”

This follows city council’s May 2019 decision of supporting the gondola, but at the time they stopped short of supporting the direct, straight-line route, and expressed concern over the potential impact on the Forest Grove neighbourhood. City council then requested TransLink to perform a detailed comparative analysis of route options, with the specific inclusion of a third option from Lake City Way Station (Route 3), and public consultation.

But the public transit authority’s findings showed non-optimal conditions and unfavourable results for the other two route options.

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Provided by: The Daily Hive

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