Build an Affordable High-Speed Gondola to Connect SFU Campus to the Skytrain Now.
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Simon Fraser University and the UniverCity Community on Burnaby Mountain need a rapid transit link. It's time to build an inexpensive but high speed gondola to connect the campus to the Skytrain network.
Burnaby mountain has a growing population quickly approaching 50,000 people between students, faculty, staff, and residents. Currently the trip from the Skytrain takes almost 20 minutes by diesel bus vs 6 minutes via Gondola (exclusive of wait times). Given the current interest by the Canadian Federal Government to invest in infrastructure, the new BC government committing to increase their share of transit funding and the massive budget surpluses posted by the City of Burnaby, we call Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Horgan, and Mayor Corrigan to commit to building this key infrastructure project at minimal cost. Not only will a gondola reduce travel time to SFU, it will increase the reliability of transport and it will also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, helping us meet our Paris Accord targets. Furthermore, it will have the knock-on effect of allowing Translink to redeploy buses to other under-serviced parts of Metro Vancouver thus further improving service in the region. The time is now.
-Currently there are 25,000 daily bus trips to and from Burnaby Mountain and demand is expected to grow by 60 per cent in the next 20 years.
-A gondola was first proposed in 2007 and a feasibility study was completed in 2009. The study indicated positive financial, social, recreational and environmental benefits from the project.
-A gondola on Burnaby Mountain is projected to reduce GHG emission by 1,870 tonnes per year with the reduction of over 50,000 hours of bus operation. With the
projected increase in transit ridership, it is possible for these GHG savings to double by the time SFU and UniverCity realize full growth." The UniverCity Development is almost complete (projected population of 10,000 by 2030) and the student population of SFU has grown from 17,000 in 2007 to 35,000
-The current Diesel Buses are often overcrowded and display "SORRY BUS FULL" as they cruise past passengers without stopping. Bus service is also frequently interrupted in inclement weather as the articulating buses cannot make the assent in snowy or icy conditions.
-A rapid link would also help reduce the thousands of trips by private vehicle by students, staff and residents.
-SFU president Andrew Petter has come out in support of the project “The business case developed for TransLink shows the aerial link to be an efficient and reliable alternative to conventional buses, with the economic and social benefits far outweighing the costs.”
-The Canadian Federal Government have promised to spend $187-billion on infrastructure over 12 years.
-In their first budget, the new BC government promised to increase the provincial share of funding for public transportation improvements to 40 per cent.
-In 2012, a business case estimated that the capital cost for the gondola project would be $120 million, with annual operating costs of $3 to $3.5 million.
-According to Michael McDaniel an advocate for Gondolas in the US "Running subway lines under a city can cost about $400 million per mile. Light rails systems run about $36 million per mile. But the aerial ropeways required to run gondolas cost just $3 million to $12 million to install per mile."
-According to an article by Jeremy Deutsch in Burnaby NOW the "Burnaby Mayors’ Council decided not to commit to a new, fixed rapid transit connection to SFU", this despite a $188 Million budget surplus in 2016 and a total accumulated surplus 3.8 Billion in city coffers.
-None of the main university campuses in Vancouver (UBC, SFU and BCIT) are serviced by Skytrain, whereas all the major universities in Montreal and Toronto have their own Metro or Subway stops. (Université de Montreal, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), McGill University, Concordia University, University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD))
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