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Apr 19, 2017
Analysis, Blogs & Other Sites

A Response to Streetsblog’s Gondolamania

  With a title inspired by—one can only assume—this month’s WWE Wrestlemania spectacular, Streetsblog writer Angie Schmitt recently let fly an invective against all things gondola. The piece, titled “Enough with the Gondolamania Already” is the kind of fact-free op-ed column one expects from a lesser publication than Streetsblog. It’s the kind of piece that’s meant to provoke...

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Jun 09, 2016
Analysis, Public Transit, Research & Development, Thoughts

Urban Gondolas Take Centre Stage in American Media (Again)

This past week, urban gondolas once again took the centre stage as two major US media outlets — Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal — each wrote a piece on the rapid growth of cable transport systems. As more than a dozen proposals are now active in the US (from San Diego to Baton Rouge), city-builders...

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Jan 14, 2016
Analysis, Hamilton, Research Issues, Urban Planning & Design

Hamilton Gondola — We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

NOTE: An earlier version of this post originally appeared on December 4th, 2009 (yup, that’s over 7 years ago, kids). At that time, the report “City of Hamilton Higher Order Transit Network Strategy” was available online. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.  Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know and that’s really nobody’s fault....

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Jan 07, 2016
Analysis, Emirates Air Line

Is the Emirates Air Line Cable Car a Failure?

Unfortunately, the Emirates Air Line Cable Car in London is once again attracting attention for all the wrong reasons. Most recently, a leading mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan commented that if elected, he would freeze transit fares, allow unlimited bus transfers in a one hour timeframe and terminate public funding for the aerial lift. While this kind of statement...

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Oct 05, 2015
Analysis, Caracas Metrocable, Caracas Mount Avila, Gondola, History, Medellin MetroCable, Urban Planning & Design

Medellin/Caracas, Part 1

HISTORY Modern Cable Propelled Transit started in Caracas, Venezuela with the Mount Avila Gondola. This system was originally built in the middle of the last century to carry people from Caracas to the top of Mount Avila where the luxurious Hotel Humboldt had been built. Political and economic strife caused the government to leave for...

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Sep 22, 2015

Reviewing the Five Most Cynical Arguments Against Gondolas As Transit

Four years ago, Steven Dale assembled the most popular themes he notices when people dismiss the idea of cable car technology as an accompaniment to urban transit. It culminates in the famous Simpsons parody of The Music Man. The following was first posted in 2011 and the arguments haven’t evolved since. Take it away, Steven...

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Apr 14, 2015
Analysis, La Paz, Thoughts

It’s a ‘Disruptive Game-Changer’ But Still There’s Much Ground to Cover

Last month, Dopplemayr made a big splash is the ropeway transit industry. They inked a deal worth nearly a half billion US dollars, for six new ropeway cable car lines in the neighbouring Latin American municipalities of La Paz and El Alto. Another 20km will be added to the existing ropeway system over the next...

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Jun 26, 2013
Analysis, Media & Blogs

Assessing User Experience on Urban Cable Cars via Social Networking (Yelp, Tripadvisor)

For many of us, we use social media and online review sites to make everyday life decisions. Websites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor can be great resources that help indecisive people, like myself, decide whether or not a restaurant deserves my Friday night patronage. My personal experiences with crowd-sourcing websites has generally been quite positive...

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Mar 06, 2013
Analysis, Education

Can Chairlifts, Pulsed Gondolas and Cabriolet Gondolas be Used for Urban Transit?

This is a guest post by Billy Beasley. Urban gondolas are revolutionizing the field of urban transportation today. Cities across the globe are utilizing this technology to improve the transit system in their community. However, the Urban Gondola idea may be impractical or impossible for some cities to implement due to a number of reasons,...

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Nov 22, 2010
Analysis, Safety

What Can We Learn From Elevators?

The elevator is the world’s most used form of transit. Full stop. Arguably, it defines contemporary urban culture even more than the private automobile. It is so common, so normal, we never even think about it. It is ubiquitous to the point of invisibility. According to a wonderful article about elevators in the New Yorker, there are...

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