Telluride & Mountain Village Gondola



System Dossier: Telluride and Mountain Village Gondola

Telluride & Mountain Village Gondola. Image by Flickr user Ken Lund.

The Telluride & Mountain Village Gondola is one of the few public transit cable cars in North America. It directly connects the Colorado mountain towns of Telluride and Mountain Village. This $16 million gondola was built to reduce traffic between the two areas and the consequent pollution, plus enable skiers access without use of cars or buses. In fact, the system saves all users an 8-mile (12km), 20-minute drive, taking just 13 minutes. It operates for 17 hours each day during the winter and summer seasons from 7:00am – 12:00am. Every year this free transit line, called the most beautiful commute in America, provides service to some 2.25 million passengers. In fact, the gondola was named the Outstanding Transit Project by the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies in 1999. It’s financed through real estate transfer assessments. It is such a successful example of public transit, cities considering their own cable car line should closely study its figures.

System Statistics:

Length (km) 4.0
Stations 4
Year Opened 1996
Capacity 844 (1st section); 622 (2nd section)
Trip Time 13 minutes
Maximum Speed (m/s) 5


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