No the only issue was Mayor Corrigan who hates poor people and students. If anyone else was Mayor you could be certain that they would have included the Gondola in the transit plebiscite.
As for if it's cost effective, if it costs 3 million to operate, how much does the buses cost? http://www.translink.ca/en/Plans-and...ce-Review.aspx
135 - 6,210,000 annual boarding's, $7,496,000, cost per passenger $1.21
143 - 797,000 annual boarding's, $1,387,000, cost per passenger $1.74
144 - 1,842,000 annual boarding's, $3,447,000, cost per passenger $1.87
145 - 2,653,000 annual boarding's, $2,248,000, cost per passenger $0.85
The Gondola would directly replace the 145, and would likely truncate the other three to the gondola location.
144 is from Metrotown station so most of that bus route would be intact up to the Gondola station.
143 is from Coquitlam station, this likely gets replaced with the Evergreen line in 2017
135 is from Burrard Station, it does not overlap with the skytrain, so likely this would be the only bus still going up the mountain unless it gets re-routed to the Gondola.
Of note the 135 is completely down Hastings, and is more likely to be replaced with another Skytrain/Subway line if the capacity ever warranted that. So if no Gondola gets built, it's likely the rest of the line becomes rapid-transit.