Last week Translink mentioned the idea of a possible gondola connector as a transit option to and from SFU. This is not a new idea as it has been kicking around for a quite a while now, however, this time Translink seems to be serious as they have RFP (request for proposal) based on the official business case study (read all 69 pages here, if you want). Now lately, I’ve been on Translinks case for even considering a Surrey extension over a SkyTrain extension to UBC (see our posts here and here), however, with the gondola I think they may be on to something.
A gondola connection to the university at the top of a mountain is nothing, new, Portland has done it. Sure people will still complain about SFU being located at the top of a mountain, but the fact is it’s there so we must make transit to and from there more efficient and effective. Furthermore, anyone that travels to SFU via public transit knows all too well how much trouble they have going up the hill, and that’s on a good day. If it’s snowing, forget about it! Moreover, the buses go so slow they tie up traffic as well.
The students and staff aren’t the only ones that will benefit from this as nearly 10,000 residents will call the top of Burnaby Mountain home as part of the area’s “UniverCity” development.
If you’re afraid of heights, don’t worry. There will still be bus service, but just not as much.
At an estimated cost of about $70 million, this would be a marked improvement over the current bus service and quite possibly the only other feasible option.