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Burnaby's future?: A gondola such as this could be transporting students up Burnaby Mountain to SFU in years to come.

Photograph by: Contributed, BURNABY NOW

METRO VANCOUVER - A gondola up Burnaby Mountain Simon Fraser University would save time but it would be more expensive to run than the buses now using the route.

A business case study, conducted for TransLink, shows that despite the benefits of running a cable car from Production Way station to the top of the mountain, the cost to build and operate a gondola would be about $12 million higher than continuing to serve the route by bus over the next 25 years.
 
TransLink had sought the business case after an earlier report found that a gondola could improve travel time, service frequency and reliability – and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions – all at a cost comparable to the current diesel bus service.
 
About four million trips are now made to Simon Fraser University and the growing community of UniverCity atop Burnaby Mountain. By 2021, forecast growth of SFU and UniverCity, as well as a shift of mode share, could double the current daily transit ridership of 25,000 trips and exceed the capacity of frequent bus service.
 
TransLink said in a news release Wednesday that the gondola project has potential for inclusion in future TransLink strategic transportation plans, but won't happen right away.

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