Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies

Here you’ll learn about the wide variety of Aerial Rapid Transit (ART) technologies that exist within the cable transit family. Note: Not all ART systems are appropriate for urban environments. The Gondola Project suggests readers pay particular attention to the differences between the various technologies and their respective performance-cost packages:



A brief introduction to the variations that exist within the Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) family. Minor differences such as a cable technology’s ability to detach from a cable line severely alters its capacity, and speed. Read more.

Monocable Detachable Gondolas (MDG)

MDG systems are propelled and supported via one cable. Due to their low cost and quick implementation times, they are the most common type of urban gondolas seen today. Examples include Metrocable Linea K and J, Medellin, Colombia and Metrocable, Caracas, Venezuela. Read more.

Medellin Metrocable. Image by Steve Dale.

Bicable Detachable Gondolas (BDG)

(Revised May 30, 2011)

BDG systems utilize two cables: one cable for propulsion and one stationary cable for support. Recent advancements in MDG technology (i.e. higher wind stability) and 3S/TDG technology (i.e. higher capacities and speeds) have made BDG technology somewhat redundant. Examples include Ngong Ping 360, Hong Kong and Singapore Cable Car, Singapore. Read More.

Ngong Ping 360. Image by Flickr User macloop.

3S / Tricable Detachable Gondolas (TDG)

3S/TDG systems are the latest innovation in the cable market today. They are propelled by one cable and supported by two stationary cables, hence, Tricable Detachable Gondola. With this configuration, they are able to offer the fastest speeds and highest capacities within the aerial CPT family. Examples include: Koblenz Rheinseilbahn, Germany; Peak 2 Peak, British Columbia, Canada; and Funivia del Renon, Italy. Read more.

Koblenz Rheinseilbahn, Germany. Image by Steven Dale.

Aerial Trams

Aerial tram systems are attached to one or two cables and consist of two large cabins which shuttle back and forth in tandem between two end stations. An example includes the Portland Aerial Tram, Portland, USA. Read more.

Portland Aerial Tram. Image by Flickr User //lucylu.

Dual Haul / Funifor

Dual Haul/Funifor systems are basically Aerial Tram systems except two cabins are attached to separate cable loops. As such cabins can move independently from each other which allows for greater operational flexibility (i.e. if one cabin is undergoing repairs and maintenance, the other cabin still provide service). An example includes Roosevelt Island Tram, New York, USA. Read more.

Roosevelt Island Tram. Image by nyer82.

Pulsed Gondolas

Pulsed gondola systems are similar to MDG and BDG systems except the cabins are grouped into bunches and cannot detach from the cable line. This lack of detachability severely limits their capacities and speeds. An example includes the Grenoble-Bastille Téléphérique, France. Read more.

Grenoble Bastille Telepherique, France. Image by Flickr SSShupe.


Funitel systems use dual grips with a single dual loop cable that provides both propulsion and support. Due to the parallel haul cable design, these systems provide considerable wind stability but at a premium cost. An example includes Hakone Ropeway, Japan. Read more.

Hakone Ropeway, Japan. Image by Flickr User