Posts Tagged: gondola transport

19
Aug

2022

Weekly Roundup: More people beginning to understand the benefit of cable cars as public transportation

London’s public transit cable cars operated by Transport for London, Photo on Wikimedia by James Petts, (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  • The Prairie Sky Gondola project in Edmonton has been cancelled. City council voted 12 to one to terminate the city’s agreement with Prairie Sky Gondola due to several reasons, including the financial risk to the city and the idea of building on the Rossdale Burial Site. The opposition believes the project can still advance if revised to avoid the Indigenous burial site and if more Indigenous consultation is conducted. See a related Weekly Roundup hereSCJ Alliance, the parent company of the Gondola Project, had been retained to provide gondola expertise for this project.
  • As more urban cities integrate cable cars as public transit, more people are understanding the benefits. Since 2008 the idea of building a cable car, Câble 1, in Paris has been around. The 4.5-km system is estimated to move 10,000 people per day between the southeast suburbs to a Metro Line station. The journey will take 17 minutes. Cable cars are a method that cities can use to manage traffic congestion in a more economical and eco-friendly way. See a related Weekly Roundup here.
  • Big Mountain Ski Resorts advances the installation of its new high-speed six-passenger chairlift. Foundations were poured using a helicopter in select areas where access was challenging and dangerous by truck. Leitner-Poma is working on building, galvanizing, and inspecting the chairlift equipment. Once all parts are delivered the installation will also be done with a helicopter. The chairlift is faster and larger, giving guests a ride that takes less than 5 minutes and moves 3,000 guests per hour.


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05
Aug

2022

Weekly Roundup: System failure at the Singapore cable car leaves 18 people stranded for 1.5 hours

Cable Car between Sentosa Island and Mount Faber in Singapore
Cable Car between Sentosa Island and Mount Faber in Singapore, Photo by Uwe Schwarzbach on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


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08
Jul

2022

Weekly Roundup: Big Sky Resort Detonates Explosives for New Tram Location

Lone Peak Tram at Big Sky Resort, Montana; Photo hosted on Wikimedia, taken by Rickymouser45, (CC BY-SA 4.0)



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01
Jul

2022

Weekly Roundup: Colorado’s Steamboat Resort Prepares for the Wild Blue Gondola!

Going up the mountain
Steamboat Ski Resort Gondola (Photo by Jeffery Beal on Flickr)(CC BY-SA 2.0)



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14
Jan

2016

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.

For example:

In the spring of 2007 a working paper by IBI Group called City of Hamilton Higher Order Transit Network Strategy came out. For those who don’t know, Hamilton is a city in southern Ontario that is cut in half by a 700 kilometer long limestone cliff that ends at Niagara Falls. It’s called the Niagara Escarpment and has made higher-order transit connections between the Upper and Lower cities difficult.

You See The Difficulty

You See The Difficulty

In the IBI paper the writers conclude that a connection between the Upper and Lower cities is “physically impossible” and that the Niagara Escarpment Commission might “strongly resist” any new crossings of the escarpment. As such, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) became the focus and preferred technology of the report. That’s because streetcars and Light Rail can’t handle inclines of more than about 10 degrees. The only way for a rail based technology to work, IBI concluded, was if a tunnel or viaduct was built.

No where in the report, however, was Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) even mentioned, despite cable’s ability to resolve most if not all of the issues IBI highlighted.

It’s no real surprise. Back in 2007 there was virtually no publicly accessible research available on cable. Believe me, I know; I had just started my research in 2007 and it was incredibly difficult to find anything.

Should IBI have considered cable? Should they have known about cable? I don’t know . . . and furthermore, I don’t think it’s relevant to this discussion. What you don’t know, you don’t know and that’s all there is to it.

What is, however, relevant to our discussion is this:

Hamilton Gondola

Photoshop of a gondola traversing the Hamilton Escarpment. Image via Hamilton Spectator.

The City of Hamilton is now updating their Transportation Master Plan and they’re surveying the public on their opinions. And the survey includes a question on gondolas. Last summer, meanwhile, around half of the people that responded at Hamilton’s Transportation Master Plan public meetings said they liked the gondola concept.

So why does that matter?

Because in less than 7 years’ time, a large North American city made a complete about-face on this matter. They went from a place where they thought (incorrectly) that a specific transit problem could not be solved with a fixed link solution due to their topography; to a place where they are actively soliciting the public’s opinion on using a gondola to solve the very problem they previously thought couldn’t be solved.

I know people in the cable car industry think seven years is a lifetime. And it is. But not to a large municipal bureaucracy. To a city, seven years is a heartbeat. In a heartbeat, Hamilton went from basically not even knowing cable cars exist to considering it as a part of their overall Transportation Master Plan.

That’s progress no matter how you look at it.

Creative Commons image by John Vetterli


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21
Dec

2015

The Grandmother Test

I recently met someone who disapproves of this whole Urban Gondola concept – which is fine, you’re entitled to your own opinion. He said it’s hard enough to get his grandmother to ride the subway (because she finds it terrifying), let alone a gondola.

According to The Grandmother Test (yeah, it should be called that) we should therefore stop everyone from building subways entirely. Probably not going to happen.

Yet when I pointed out the logical problem of The Grandmother Test, he basically just said urban gondolas are stupid. He wasn’t a skeptic; he was a cynic.

Whether it’s urban gondolas or any other great idea, if you spot someone who fails (passes?) The Grandmother Test, just walk away and don’t waste your time. There’s nothing you can do there.

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