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  #161  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 8:07 AM
cabotp cabotp is offline
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Originally Posted by allan_kuan View Post
The gondola / aerial tram developments are great but it also sparks a debate in my mind about which technologies are the best for handling the large crowds that often exist at the bus loop.

In the case of gondolas, there's are many cars with frequent service, but capacity in each car will be consequently smaller.

An aerial tram is much less frequent but carries more per load. There are also possibilities about using double-decker trams or even two tracks of trams (sort of like what happens in Grouse Mountain). This is the option I currently prefer because of the fact that I perceive tram cars to be able to carry more due to their size, which may or may not be true in the end. (Can someone verify?)

An alternate to both overhead options would be a funicular, which is essentially two trains underground at opposite ends of the hill that are connected by rope. This may have the highest capacity depending on how things are built but it'd also be the most expensive due to the extensive tunneling required.

I'd lean more towards a gondola. Even if it did have a lower capacity per car. So long has the frequency is high enough to give the necessary pphpd capacity.

The waiting part to me would be the killer. It is one thing to wait because you can't get on. But it is a worse wait when the time between each one is too long.
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  #162  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 9:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SFUVancouver View Post
I'm absolutely thrilled to see the proposal advance to the Translink RFP stage.

I believe that the SFU Community Trust has been pondering the idea since it was founded. I first heard about the idea in 2007 and I was offered the chance to do the initial feasibility report for the Trust. In early 2008 I finished my report titled The Promise of Gondola Rapid Transit: A Green High Speed Link for the Growing Burnaby Mountain Community. The Trust followed up on my report by hiring a professional technical consultant to do a thorough study and gratifyingly we reached the same conclusions. As a student who was learning as I went I am proud to have generated very similar numbers to what made it into the Translink RFP too.
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of student would you use for that? I'm contemplating going back to school for a M.Eng in Civil Transportation Engineering.
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  #163  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 10:23 AM
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I'm glad TransLink is exploring into a gondola idea for SFU Burnaby Mountain, but I also hope that we also look into expanding bus route service onto SFU. I guess that Production Way-University can be the gondola hub while Burquitlam/Lougheed Town Centre can be the express hub for buses up to university campus.
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  #164  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 10:37 AM
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I'm surprised that there is no mention of severe wear and tear on the buses. Ever since they stopped using the high floor 40 foot buses, it has been torturous for most buses to make it up/down the hill.
The (D/H)60LF(R)s that go up/down are really stressed to the limits during each run. From the top of my mind, they have the following issues all the time except winter:
- Overheating engine going uphill and stalling
- Overheating brakes going downhill and a burning smell filling the whole bus. Not to mention the potential of brake failure due to overheating/low friction
- Overheating transmission that gets stuck in gear when reaching the bottom of the hill...resulting in stalling

In winter, they have other issues like only the rear wheels being the drive wheels, causing the front to go in random directions when it snows/ices up.

Not to mention the buses struggle to go up the hill, and cause traffic delays by going around 35 km/h max when full.

They need to get other ways to get people up there without using buses.
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  #165  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 4:25 PM
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Wouldn't the gondola be half-as-long if it went from Burquitlam Station instead of Production Way?
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  #166  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 4:50 PM
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It's certainly an interesting idea. I'd hate to be an SFU student with a fear of heights though! I'm curious, would trollies have an easier or harder time than the diesels?
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  #167  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Zassk View Post
Wouldn't the gondola be half-as-long if it went from Burquitlam Station instead of Production Way?
There isn't going to be enough room at Burquitlam Station. Production Way has a bus loop feeding directly into the station (not enough space at Burquitlam), plus vertical clearance to pass an acceptable height over the nearby homes would be an issue at Burquitlam. Putting it at Production Way will also reduce volume at Lougheed Station (and the switches over to the Evergreen Line).
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  #168  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 6:49 PM
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Where would the Gondola station be located at Production Way Station?
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  #169  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 7:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GeeCee View Post
Putting it at Production Way will also reduce volume at Lougheed Station (and the switches over to the Evergreen Line).
Yeah, that's right, with an interlined service on the Millennium Line (Evergreen and Millennium), Production Way Station is on the combined service leg of the line and would require less transfers for passengers accessing it.
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  #170  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 8:12 PM
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Of interest - note that there are 5 parts to the story:

http://gondolaproject.com/2010/09/13...-introduction/
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  #171  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 8:24 PM
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Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
Yeah, that's right, with an interlined service on the Millennium Line (Evergreen and Millennium), Production Way Station is on the combined service leg of the line and would require less transfers for passengers accessing it.
I'd also imagine a larger population going to SFU is south and West of the University, as opposed to North and East.

Transfers between the Surrey campus and downtown will also require fewer transfers and be closer together.

Last edited by twoNeurons; Sep 23, 2010 at 8:50 PM.
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  #172  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2010, 8:53 PM
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Originally Posted by twoNeurons View Post
Less transfers and I'd imagine a larger population going to SFU is south and West of the University.

Transfers between the Surrey campus and downtown will also require fewer transfers and be closer together.
And the Production Way station is also on the route of a couple major Burnaby buses (110 and 136), and could route the 101 to there as well.
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  #173  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 12:49 AM
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Now this, I would approve of; but would it be faster than bus/light rail?
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  #174  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 1:51 AM
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I belive the grades are far to steep up Burnaby Mountain to make LRT viable, and it is not so much speed but capacity and reliability that make the proposed Gondola such a tempting method for travel to and from Production Station and SFU.

Many times in most years snowy conditions will bring travel to and from SFU to a halt, due to the fact that the weather conditions on top of Burnaby Mountain are cooler and wetter than those in the valley / city below and the steep grade of the roads.

Such a Gondola could bypass these problems.
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  #175  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 1:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I belive the grades are far to steep up Burnaby Mountain to make LRT viable, and it is not so much speed but capacity and reliability that make the proposed Gondola such a tempting method for travel to and from Production Station and SFU.

Many times in most years snowy conditions will bring travel to and from SFU to a halt, due to the fact that the weather conditions on top of Burnaby Mountain are cooler and wetter than those in the valley / city below and the steep grade of the roads.

Such a Gondola could bypass these problems.
Now that I think of it, it may indeed prove useful
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  #176  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 3:58 AM
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ah, the snow... right. I live up on the top and I drive a 2 wheel drive pickup, so if the bus isn't getting up the hill then i sure as hell am not.

still, i remember walking from production way, up gaglardi way with many bags of groceries and a 15 of beer. that was fun. at least now I can sleep in my truck
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  #177  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 5:10 AM
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Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post
Now this, I would approve of; but would it be faster than bus/light rail?
This Vancouver Sun article sure makes it sound faster:

Quote:
The transit authority has issued a request for proposals to determine the feasibility of the gondola project, which it said could whisk passengers from the Production Way SkyTrain Station to SFU in just eight minutes, about six minutes less than a typical bus ride up the mountain.

For what it's worth, the article pegs the cost at $70M.
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  #178  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 5:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex Mackinnon View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of student would you use for that? I'm contemplating going back to school for a M.Eng in Civil Transportation Engineering.
I did an urban studies double degree at SFU with a BA in Poli-Sci and Urban Geography and a BA in History. I was in a transportation planning and modeling course at the time and drew very heavily on that for the technical side of the gondola rapid transit (my term) project. This fall I am applying to graduate school for urban planning, and I must say that the timing of the Translink RFP and the media coverage is very advantageous for me.
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Last edited by SFUVancouver; Sep 25, 2010 at 1:25 AM.
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  #179  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 5:29 AM
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Awww... I guess this means less school closures for SFU... and less chance for students being stuck on the top of the mountain...
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  #180  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2010, 8:56 AM
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Hey SFUVancouver, did you look at the idea of running it from Lake City station, the reason I ask is because it would seem only a few hundred meters longer but it would avoid all residential areas.

Having said that the good thing is that the route from Production would only hit a few Coop townhouse buildings which are fairly old as it is (30 + years and wooden). Being Coops it would make it much easier to buy or expropriate or integrate the gondola around/above them. As I look at it I see only 4-6 complexes being affected and they have only 15 or so units each(I lived in the Watelkinum(sp?) coop in the 90's). The rest is forest with enough of a buffer on either side to avoid any serious issues with nearby residents(and only the townhouses on the northest edge east of Ash grove arent coops).
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