Gondola Project in The Toronto Star

Post by Steven Dale

Dear Torontonians:

You might have seen today in the Toronto Star a story about our work. The story featured an interview with myself, Steven Dale, the Founder of The Gondola Project.

Typically, such press causes The Gondola Project to experience a rather large surge in traffic from whatever given geographic region is discussing the idea. As such: Welcome!

The Gondola Project is an ongoing participatory planning project to help explain and spread the idea of Urban Gondolas and Cable Propelled Transit throughout the world. It is meant to be accessible, user-friendly and informative.

As most of today’s new readers have probably never contemplated the idea of using what is (let’s be honest) ski lift technology as mass public transit, don’t worry – at first it was totally ridiculous to us as well! We get that the idea is foreign, bizarre and strange.

But after exploring The Gondola Project we hope you’ll see that it’s not so strange and bizarre a notion after all. Feel free to comment, ask questions and generally engage us on the topic – that’s what we’re here for.

And please be rest-assured, The Gondola Project doesn’t suggest cable transit, cable cars or urban gondolas are the solution to our collective public transit woes.

Our cities are increasingly complex entities and the more tools we have to tackle coming challenges, the better. We’re not here to say gondolas are the best tool to the exclusion of all others, but we are here to say gondolas are a viable, valuable tool worth exploring.


– Steven Dale

PS: A good place to start with The Gondola Project is in our ABOUT section and our LEARN ABOUT CABLE TRANSIT sections (accessible through our the header bar above).

PPS: To save you the hassle of wading through months of old blog posts, we’ve also hand-selected a group of older posts to get you up-and-running:

PPPS: In order to broaden the scope of the site more, we will often discuss issues peripherally-related to public transit and urban gondolas. To get a feel for those kinds of discussions, we’ve hand-selected a group of older posts that should give you a reasonable understanding of The Gondola Project’s worldview:

  • Forcing Functions – Humans make mistakes constantly. Forcing Functions help prevent those mistakes. What forcing functions do we need to see in transit to make it better for everyone?
  • A Minute Is Not A Minute – Are our transit models undermined by the fact that people perceive time in very different ways?
  • Inflexible Inventory – Everyone wants to travel at the same time in the same direction. Can that problem be solved?
  • Never Mind The Real World – Do our planning models sufficiently take into consideration that which actually occurs in the world, rather than what we hope will occur?
  • Our Outsourced RailsDo North Americans really deserve all the credit for the massive rail projects they’ve built in the past?
  • The Ten Day Traffic Jam – If the Chinese are more willing to sit in a 10 day traffic jam than ride transit, what does that tell us?
  • Canadian Prosciutto – If you don’t believe something to exist, does that mean it doesn’t?


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.

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. but isn't calgary flat?
  2. Been outside your city, Frankie? Calgary isn't flat - plus the issue is more about congestion than hills.
  3. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Waste of time and money.
  4. once in a while i get out of the city. and i've seen gondolas ... on mountains.
  5. Did you only read this post about Calgary's possible gondolas? Try reading more of it that shows you mountains aren't needed to make these work. Ever seen the one at Stampede? I know it's just a small scale gondola, but there's no hills there...
  6. If it allows people to travel places in the city that are harder for them to get to, what's wrong with it? People who don't have cars don't get to go to our parks like Fish Creek because buses generally don't run there. A gondola could get them there. People could get to Quarry Park easily from surrounding residential areas. People could get to industrial areas without needing to take a bus to the train station, then another bus to where they work. If Calgary's going to spend millions, I'd rather it be on useful transportation that stupid projects like the Peace Bridge and the Bow River Flow festival. Plus something like this can draw tourists.
  7. ooh, and the idea of transportation-centric neighbourhoods could actually fly with gondolas! These are high density residential areas, with very little planning for drivers to live in them. They are pedestrian focused and located close to transit.
  8. why do all the news articles i read say that it will need to be shut down when its windy or snowy? hello folks, the things are built for mountain peaks where it is much windier. much snowier. generally much "extreme-er". think about it.
  9. The idea that buses don't run to Fish Creek Park is one perpetrated by Calgary Transit itself (I should know- before I bought a car I phoned the info line and asked how I could get to the park by transit, and they told me they don't service the park), but also one that is rather ridiculous. The Fish Creek C-Train station is less than ten minutes by foot from an entrance to Fish Creek park (I discovered this when I decided to ignore the Info Line lady's warning and just find my own way to the park). Bus #56 runs along the park from the Anderson C-Train station, as does #32. From Canyon Meadows station you can take the #28, #44 or #83. Bus #52, #11 and #12 connect Fish Creek station to further park entrances. The BRT runs past the Douglas Square Shopping Center, and a number of buses run from there to the northeast section of the park. The southernmost sections of the park can be accessed by bus from Somerset-Bridlewood station too. Many of those buses are infrequent, but the Fish Creek C-Train station has trains stopping by every fifteen minutes! Access to the park isn't the problem- Calgary Transit's willingness to inform people of ways to access the park IS.
  10. Uhhh... PERPETUATED.
  11. True. I'm a driver so I don't know too much about the routes. I did know the #3 goes down Elbow Drive into the park but that was the only place I knew of.

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