Written by: Karissa Ketter, News Writer
TransLink is working on Phase 1 of the Burnaby Mountain Gondola Transit project (BMGT). This centres around public engagement where commuters are asked to voice their opinions through a survey on their preferred route. Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley noted that “this is an important opportunity for the community to have their say.”
“Public consultation will focus on the three proposed routes, including travel times, cost and environmental impacts, as well as neighbourhood interests such as noise, safety and privacy.” The survey will close on September 30, 2020. TransLink plans to begin Phase 2 of their Public Engagement Plan in late fall 2020 where they will “share route assessment results,” as stated on their website.
According to a report by the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS), 84% of SFU students prefered Route 1, a direct 2.7km route from Production Way-University SkyTrain Station to SFU Burnaby Campus. SFU students found this to be the best route in both “efficiency and effectiveness.” Students commented on the positive outcome of this route causing “the least impact on the Mountain grounds.”
Route 2 received 13% of SFU student’s support. This route would be an “eastern route from Production Way-University SkyTrain Station with the gondola travelling along Gaglardi Way, changing direction at an angle station, and continuing to SFU Burnaby campus with the terminal near the bus exchange. No passenger boarding is proposed at the angle station.” TransLink also noted that this route may require tree removal, and other environmental impacts yet to be identified.
Route 3 is the “western route from Lake City Way SkyTrain Station to SFU Burnaby campus, which would cross the Burnaby Mountain Golf Course, change direction at an angle station, and continue to SFU Burnaby Campus.” This route received 3% of SFU student support.
TransLink is scheduled to submit their final report, which will include their official recommended route option, to the Burnaby Council and the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation during winter 2020. They are planning to have an Investment Plan and Project Approval from the TransLink Board and Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation by early 2021.
Community members can register for the upcoming Virtual Open House on the BMGT project on September 19, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The public can also tune in to a Telephone Town Hall on September 22, 2020 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m regarding the BGMT project. Both events will include a presentation and a live question and answer session with the project team. Registration and more information can be found on Translink’s website.