Mayor of Colwood pitches commuter gondola for Royal Beach development
VICTORIA -- Colwood Mayor Rob Martin wants to see a gondola soaring over the skyline of the soon-to-be-built Royal Beach development.
“I actually believe it will become something that people will aspire to live close to,” Martin told CTV News Tuesday.
The gondola would carry people roughly one kilometre from a parking lot to a proposed passenger ferry that would then take them to downtown Victoria.
“Do we really want to be using our waterfront as a giant parking lot?” said the mayor.
Georgia Desjardins is a senior asset manager with Seacliff Properties, the company that is developing Royal Beach.
“I think the opportunity of having not only a ferry but this idea of a gondola connecting down to the ferry to transport people could be the perfect fit to make it an added feature,” said Dejardins. “Both from a functionality and also a feature standpoint.”
But, no ferry would mean there’s no need for a gondola.
A $250,000 prefeasibility study has already been conducted into a potential passenger ferry in the area. Early findings from the study say that the ferry is a feasible option.
Now, a full feasibility study needs to be done. The price tag for the study rings in at $1-million.
“The province really needs to step up,” said Martin.
The B.C. government tells CTV News that it is “reviewing a proposal from BC Ferries for a West Shore route.”
CTV News asked people around the proposed development if they thought the gondola and ferry were good ideas Tuesday.
One woman said, “I totally understand it, it makes sense. You’ve got prime real estate down by the water – you could put other things down there, other facilities for people coming in.”
Another woman walking her dogs in the area agreed.
“I think it would really benefit the community, so I think it would create more jobs,” she said.
Colwood’s mayor says the time to start this conversation is now.
“It is going to be significantly different, the way we build our transportation system, depending if we have a ferry or don’t have a ferry,” said Martin.
“If we have a static waterfront compared to a dynamic waterfront, where there is a lot of movement coming in and out of that waterfront, it’s going to really change how we build out and move people around Colwood.”
It remains to be seen whether the future of transportation in Colwood will be by car, ferry or gondola.