Sunday Statshot with Nick Chu

Post by Gondola Project

A quick look at some of the things that makes suspended urban transit work (or not):

The Aerobus

Aerobus operating directly above street traffic in Mannheim's 1976 BUGA (Garden Festival)

Aerobus: Self-propelled suspended urban transit

Inventor: Gerhard Mueller

First installation: 1970, Schmerikon, Switzerland

Distance between Aerobus tower spans: 0.6km

Distance between Peak2Peak gondola tower span: 3.0km

Only major installation: 1975, BUGA Mannheim, Germany

Months in service: 6

Riders served: 2.5 million

Length: 2.8km

Aerobus vehicle length: 19.5m

Standard bus length: 12m

Capacity: 100 persons

Bus capacity (crush): 70-80 persons

Weight: 11 tons

Bus weight: 20 tons

Number of incidents: 1 (Mannheim mayor evacuated via ladder during 1974 test run)

Year system completely dismantled: 1987

1980 Kuala Lumpur Aerobus proposal: Failed

2000 Chongqing Aerobus proposal: Failed

System under development: Weihai, China

Estimated cost per kilometer: $23 million

Cost per kilometer for LRT: $20-225 million

Year slated for construction completion: 2011

Number of Aerobus systems in operation today: 0

Number of suspended urban transit monorail systems in operation today: 3 (Wuppertal, Chiba, Shonan)

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Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.


  1. First Installation was Schmerikon, Switzerland. Its spelled wrong on the Aerobus website and i wrote them an email years ago. The test track in Schmerikon crossed the lake and as a remarkable feature it had a floating pylon. Dortmund and Düsseldorf so have suspended type monorail (H-Bahn or Siemens SIPEM) Another Aerobus installation operated in Mt. St. Anne, Canda for 30 years
  2. @ Matthias Do you mean Mont-Sainte-Anne, Beaupré, Quebec, Canada? I used to ski there in the '80s. Do you have any info on the installation? When was it there? That would have been something to see!
  3. Looks kinda cool. Combines fixed guide and cable transit by using rails in tight curves, switches and stations, and cheaper cable on everything else. Looks a bit more complex and expensive than traditional gondolas, though. And seems to allow only one vehicle between two pylons in general.
  4. It was Ste. Anne, Quebec, Canada / 1975 ~ 1992 I don't know wheter there are other towns with the same name. According to what i could find out it was used as the feeder for a ski resort. The first two pictures are from St.Anne http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/aerob2.htm As you can see are the stations smaller than the ones for gondolas or aerial tramways. And single track is possible for routes with not that much traffic.
  5. Hmm, I'm wondering if the forum is really needed? But what I sort of always missed is the opportunity to integrate small pictures here in the comment-section. Steven, is it possible to integrate that feature? Seems like Caracas always has been a bit more progressive than other cities, huh? http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/2464/nuevoidealnacional.jpg
  6. @matthias Thanks for the correction. I searched for the city on google and couldn't find it and was getting a little more skeptical whether the system was really built. Floating pylon eh, interesting feature? Do you know anything more about that?
  7. Lots of great photos of the Aerobus installation in Mannheim: http://picasaweb.google.com/jhm0284/AerobusMannheimBundesgartenschau1975#
  8. @ Matthias From the link, it is one and the same. Weird that I don't remember it. I would have been fascinated by it.
  9. @ LX Steven mentioned to me in January that he was working on a redesign which he hoped to be complete by the end of last month. From recent posts, it looks like he has been quite busy. I suggested that he try Livefyre (http://bit.ly/etncfo) for the comments and he said that he had been unsuccessfully looking for a replacement.
  10. @ LX, I'd really like to get the forums open. We often have a lot of discussion that should probably find it's way there. Particularly when things become very technical and engineering-heavy, I find it alienates some of the less tech-savvy readers.
  11. @ Sean, Yup. Delays, delays, delays. I think when I say something like that I should just add an additional 3 months to it ;).
  12. @ Sean, See, this is exactly the sort of discussion we should be having in the forums.

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