Posts Tagged: melbourne



World’s Cutest Transit Vehicle: Hello Kitty Tram & Transit Ridership/Marketing

Over the years at the Gondola Project, we’ve probably seen some of the world’s most awesome-looking and unconventional transit vehicle designs. However, when it comes down to the world’ most kawaii (Japanese for cute) mode of transport, the Hello Kitty Trams seen around the world is by far the clear winner (I challenge you to find a more adorable example!).

So while this may seem a little childish at first, a quick google search reveals that Hello Kitty merchandising is no joke. Reports indicate that this global icon generates $1-5 billion dollars annually! And where I’m from, that’s a whole lotta dough — enough to build you Vancouver’s Canada Line two times over or hire Kobe Bryant for the next 180 years.

Hello Kitty Tram HK. Image by Flickr User Joseph Tse.


Anyways, on a more serious note, I think these Hello Kitty trams may make for an interesting case study from a transit planning perspective. If this cartoon cat truly has so much clout and influence, it may not be so asinine to think that an entire Hello Kitty themed transit line could act as some sort of catalyst to spur more transit ridership. Afterall, adding a little fun to public transport never hurt anyone.

And oh yeah, did I forget to mention, the airline industry has already picked up on this idea. And if you still not convince this could work, Hello Kitty jets have a reported average seat occupancy of 90%, compared to just 78% of regular aircrafts.

Hello Kitty Jet. Image by Flickr user Lin.y.c.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.