Three Metro Atlanta Cities To Explore Urban Gondolas

MARTA proposed expansion. Image by MARTA.

MARTA proposed expansion. Image by MARTA.

Just days after we asked the question, “Will the US Become the Next Hub for Urban Gondolas?”, three metro Atlanta cities, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, and Brookhaven have announced their intentions to study ropeways as a transportation alternative.

This means that over a dozen US cities are now exploring (or about to explore) Cable Propelled Transit (CPT).

Sandy Springs Mayor, Rusty Paul, has come out in support of studying all types of transportation, whether it is monorails, heavy rail or gondolas. However, what appealed to the Mayor appears to the cost-effectiveness and “fun” aspect of urban gondolas.

At this time, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the midst of some major debates over what could be worth $8 billion of transit investment. And yesterday, these plans took one step closer to reality as the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill that would ask DeKalb and Fulton residents to vote on a half a penny to expand transit.

This vote may occur as quickly as November 2016 and if passed would set the stage for the state’s largest infrastructure project.

What is perhaps the most interesting is that the language of the first bill specifically required expansion through “heavy rail”. However, “heavy rail” was amended to “transit” before the current bill was approved.

This is great news to all transportation professionals who believe that techno-zealotry has no place in today’s transit debates. As urban planners, we feel that every transit proposal (and associated technologies, whether it’s LRT, BRT, CPT etc) should be assessed equally based on merit, and not one’s preconceived notions.

Slowly but surely, this is starting to hold true for gondolas.

Special thanks to Jonathan D. for sharing this story with us. 


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