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Burnaby Mountain Gondola

In 2014, the TransLink Mayors’ Council developed a 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver transit and transportation highlighting the need for a high-capacity connection from Burnaby Mountain to a nearby SkyTrain station.

The concept of a gondola linking Simon Fraser University (SFU) to a SkyTrain station has been the subject of three studies in the last decade. These studies suggest a gondola could deliver significant benefits over existing transit choices, including: 

  • shorter travel times 
  • more frequent departures 
  • increased ridership
  • greater winter reliability 
  • reduced noise and emissions 

Gondola

TransLink’s 2018 Feasibility Study recommended that a three-cable gondola, also used with the Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler, remain the preferred option for the proposed Burnaby Mountain Gondola.

SFU is the biggest transit destination in Burnaby that’s not on a SkyTrain line. Of the 10 busiest bus stops in the city, six service SFU. Today, there are 25,000 transit trips to or from the mountain every weekday. That is only expected to rise as the campus and UniverCity community grow. 

A gondola may also have a range of potential impacts. Notable are intrusion into residential areas and impacts to fish-bearing streams.

On May 27, 2019, Burnaby City Council provided support in principle for a gondola from SkyTrain to the top of Burnaby Mountain. This support did not include endorsement of a specific alignment, and was subject to five core principles:

  • Residents – minimize impacts to residents living near the gondola, at all stages of the project.
  • Environment – minimize impacts to areas with high ecological value, including fish-bearing streams and surrounding riparian areas.
  • Compensation – provide fair compensation to impacted property owners for intrusion of the gondola.
  • Options – three route options should be considered on an equal basis in the next stage of analysis and public consultation. Option 3 should be reviewed with and without the extension of Expo Line operations to Lake City Way Station.
  • Consultation – engage the community in meaningful consultation, especially regarding alignment options. And report back to Burnaby City Council on the results.

What's next?

This is a proposed TransLink Project. Phase 1 of TransLink’s public engagement concluded on September 30, 2020. 

At the direction of the Mayors’ Council, TransLink continues to engage the public on a proposed Burnaby Mountain Gondola. A second round of engagement will begin on November 23, continuing until December 14.

This second round of public engagement will:

  • deliver phase one engagement results;
  • highlight how public feedback on values have been incorporated into the route evaluation; and
  • focus on the evaluation of the three proposed routes, based on several criteria, such as the project benefits, costs, and neighbourhood, environment, and safety considerations.

TransLink will also ask the public how supportive they are of the gondola project as a whole as well as how supportive they are of each of the three proposed routes.

Feedback from this second round of engagement will help TransLink to determine a preferred route, which will be shared with the City of Burnaby and Mayors’ Council for direction on next steps.

Learn more

  • Transportation Plan Update

    Transportation PlanThe long-term vision for Burnaby’s Transportation Network.