Gondola planned for Burnaby Mountain
Burnaby Mountain could soon have a gondola line serving Simon Fraser University and the rapidly-growing community of UniverCity.
The SFU Community Trust has put forward the concept of an estimated $68.9 million project that would run between the Production Way SkyTrain station and the transit loop at the east end of the SFU campus. Trust CEO Gordon Harris said a gondola transit system would improve reliability and travel times to and from Burnaby Mountain, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions currently produced by the fleet of diesel buses that run up and down the mountain
This is an excellent idea. It cannot of course simply be implemented by the Trust – who own the UniverCity development on the mountain. They are now talking to the Province and Translink. Based on the figures presented in this story they should proceed. Travel time from Production Way to the current transit loop would be 6 minutes – not the 14 (minimum) it takes by bus. Operating cost is around half that of buses – and the capital cost is not much more than the $50m it will cost for a replacement fleet of buses. Ridership is currently around 20,000 a day. Obviously it will be much better if the gondola is integrated into the Translink fare system than run privately.
One major advantage of the aerial tramway is that it can operate in snow and not leave people stranded on the mountain top.