Posts Tagged: Airport



Genoa Funivia/Cabinovia: First Aerial Cable Car Connection to an Airport?

While many bottom-supported CPT lines already exist for internal airport transport (i.e. Birmingham, Toronto, Mexico City), top-supported CPT systems connecting to an airport have yet to materialize.

However, this may soon change as a plan coming from Genoa, Italy proposes to link a future rail station to the airport via an aerial gondola. Thanks to reader GiorgioXT, he offered to not only update us on this project but to translate the article!

Genova Funivia proposal. Image via La Repubblica Genova.

Today, accessing the city’s airport — Cristoforo Colombo Airport — via public transit is difficult despite having a rail line near the terminal. Passengers must board an inefficient ~4km long bus from Genova Porta Principe Station that takes upward of 30 minutes due to heavy traffic in the city.

To solve this problem, four groups — Regione Liguria, Genoa Municipality, the Airport and a Cornigliano company — came together to develop the cable car solution. So far, the project has received €1.2 million in financial support from the TEN-T EU network to study its feasibility.

Proposed CPT route alignment. Image via La Repubblica Genova.

Project proponents envision a MDG system that is built in two sections. The first will be >600m in length and will connect the airport terminal to the new rail station Aeroporto-Erzelli on the Genoa-Ventimiglia railway. The second portion will continue east and then north to connect Erzelli hill and a Technology Campus (Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico di Genova-Erzelli).

In total the 4 station system is estimated to cost €15 million with a capacity of 4,000. Final designs are due for completion by 2014.

If this project is successful, the implications for CPT could be far-reaching — it could be the first aerial cable car system to connect to an airport while solving a clear last mile problem. More importantly, it may serve as a best practice example for other cities who wish to improve airport connectivity.

Thanks again to GiorgioXT for submitting and translating the link for us!


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Pearson vs. Klotten: Transit Connectivity

I recently read an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail that made me smile.

The article, entitled Air-rail link to boost travel – and ‘wow’ factor, discusses how my hometown of Toronto “has been waiting for decades for a direct link between the airport and downtown” and how “at last . . . it’s finally taking shape.”

As anyone in Toronto will tell you, Pearson International Airport is woefully unconnected to the Greater Toronto Area by transit, and the Air-rail link won’t do much to change that. Consider the current situation:

  • The Toronto Transit Commission runs two bus routes to the airport. One is circuitous and basically useless (the 58A Malton) and the other is somewhat useful. The TTC also runs two late night buses to the airport.

With that one additional transit line, the Greater Toronto Area will have a total of six public transport connections to Canada’s busiest airport. The Globe and Mail estimates that users of that that additional transit line can expect to pay $15 to $35 to use it.

Now let’s compare that to Zurich Klotten Airport:

  • A tram services the airport along two separate lines.

In other words, Zurich Klotten Airport has 17 different public transit connections compared to Toronto’s current five.

And just to put that into perspective: Zurich proper is roughly 350,000 people. The greater Zurich area is 1.5 – 2.0 million people. Toronto proper is around 2.5 million people and the Greater Toronto Area is well in excess of 5 million.

To further reinforce the point, if you were to include the greater Zurich area – which you should – then you’d also have to include the myriad of regional bus routes and commuter rail lines that also service the airport. At which point the number of transit connections servicing the airport would be mind-bogglingly large.

Toronto would still have only five.

I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade here.

It’s important for Torontonians to celebrate our accomplishments, but it’s also important for us to recognize we’ve got a whole lot of catching-up to do.

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