TransLink says it will begin consulting with the public on the proposed Burnaby Mountain Gondola and its three potential routes through one of Metro Vancouver's most densely populated cities.
Online public engagement with students, staff, faculty and neighbouring residents of Simon Fraser University's Burnaby campus is set to run from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, according to a TransLink statement released Monday.
Consultation will focus on the three proposed routes, including travel times, costs and environmental impacts, as well as neighbourhood interests, such as noise, safety and privacy, TransLink said.
"We are working closely with the City of Burnaby and Simon Fraser University," said project director Jeffrey Busby.
City agrees in principle
In May last year, Burnaby city council agreed to endorse the proposal as long as TransLink could provide a plan that residents would support.
The gondola is seen as an alternative to the diesel-fuelled bus service that currently serves the communities, and a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the area.
TransLink's 2018 feasibility study looked at two alignment options, each with an end point at Production Way-University SkyTrain station.
Burnaby also put forward an option that sees the gondola leave from Lake City Way station — one stop west — and bend around the Trans Mountain tank farm, avoiding the city's Forest Grove neighbourhood altogether.
- Route 1 is a straight-line route from Production Way–University SkyTrain Station to SFU Burnaby campus with the gondola terminal located near the bus exchange.
- Route 2 would run from Production Way–University SkyTrain Station with the gondola travelling along Gagliardi Way, changing direction and continuing to the campus with the terminal near the bus exchange.
- Route 3 is the western route from Lake City Way SkyTrain Station to SFU Burnaby campus, which would cross the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course, changing direction and continuing to SFU Burnaby campus, with the terminal located south of South Campus Road.
TransLink has said the gondola would provide 25,000 daily trips to SFU students, staff, faculty and UniverCity residents, with departures every minute, carrying more people up the mountain per hour than current bus services.
In 2018, projected costs sat somewhere between $197 million and $255 million, depending on the route, and between $4.1 million and $5.3 million per year to operate.