About this project
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
A gondola may also have a range of potential impacts. Notable are intrusion into residential areas and impacts to fish-bearing streams.
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 expected to rise as the campus and UniverCity community grow.
On May 27, 2019, Burnaby City Council provided support in principle for a gondola from SkyTrain to the top of Burnaby Mountain, a project proposed by TransLink. 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.
TransLink has now completed two rounds of public engagement for the Burnaby Mountain Gondola Project and has identified a preferred route: the straight route from Production Way–University Station to SFU’s Burnaby campus.
TransLink plans to share the final report with Burnaby Council and the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation, so they can provide direction on next steps.
For the project to proceed it must be included in an Investment Plan approved by the TransLink Board and Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.