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Jul 21, 2023
System Dossier


Post by gondola-project

The Spokane Falls Skyride is more than your classic “just-for-fun” sightseeing aerial cable car. Thoroughly integrated into the urban fabric, this gondola is an interesting case study for city builders.

The system solves a multitude of urban obstacles: a municipal road, a city parking lot, parkland and the historic Monroe Street bridge that spans the Spokane River. As it approaches the river, the gondola gradually drops under the bridge! Then it loops around and returns to Riverfront Park.

Opened as part of the 1974 World’s Fair, the Skyride gives passengers a 15-minute joy ride with spectacular views of the roaring Spokane Falls and River, plus the elegant art deco City Hall. Centrally located in Spokane’s Riverfront Park, it’s among the top local tourist attractions. Visitors can stroll leisurely in the park or the many nearby shops, entertainment venues and restaurants.

In 2005, the city’s park board decided to upgrade the Skyride and replaced the original open-air cabins with fully enclosed gondolas. The cable car is designed under a jigback configuration with its 15 six-passenger cabins operating in pulses of 3.

40 years after the World’s Fair, the Skyride remains a popular and iconic attraction with an average 70,000 riders per year.

System Statistics:

Length (km)0.35
Year Opened1974 (upgraded 2005)
Number of Cabins15
Cabin Capacity6
Trip Time15 minutes
Ridership (yearly)70,000


Image credits: CC BY-SA 4.0, by ARCloud


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