Feb 27, 2012
Questions, Research Issues

Asking About Urban Gondola Transit

Recently we’ve been receiving a lot of email requests for details about gondola and cable car transit technology. Often, the requests have been coming from university students asking for help with assigned projects. The pace of requests have only increased since my recent talk with the Alberta Professional Planners Institute and a proposal for a...

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Aug 02, 2010
Research Issues

9 Cable Systems That Are Important (And Virtually Unknown)

Sometimes important things are hidden away in far off (or difficult to access) places. Other times, they’re nearby but finding information very difficult. In any case, here are nine cable systems that have great potential for expanding our knowledge about Cable-Propelled Transit but are so isolated, bizarre or obscure, research is painfully scant. I suspect...

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Apr 21, 2010
History, Research Issues, Urban Planning & Design

Urban Gondolas Should Thank The Internet

There is a story of the scholar who, years ago, produced a dissertation that was loudly hailed as the best written and most valuable in a generation. A copy was reverently placed in the library files and the scholar, as an experiment, placed a crisp $20 bill among its pages. Every year he returned to...

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Apr 19, 2010
Research Issues, Urban Planning & Design

Congratulations to the Ryerson Cable Propelled Transit Team!

For the last 3 months, myself and a team of 9 students from Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning have been working through the implications of what cable transit could mean for their city. A week-and-a-half ago, the team presented their findings in front of their colleagues, faculty and a 5-person panel of...

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Apr 03, 2010
Analysis, Research Issues, Urban Planning & Design

5 Useful Cable Websites

Right now, the major source of information about cable tech comes from skiing-related sources. Here’s five useful ones. They’re not all in English. And they’re not all up to date, but they represent some of the few resources cable’s got: Bergbahnen.org Lift-world.info Skilifts.org Funi Forum Ropeways.net Part of what holds cable back is a lack...

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Mar 02, 2010
Analysis, Cable Cars, Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay, Monorails, Urban Planning & Design

Mandalay Bay Cable Car, Part 2

I recently travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada to explore that city’s two public cable systems. This is Part 2 of a 3 Part report on the Mandalay Bay Cable Car. The Mandalay Bay Cable Car is the kind of cable installation I love. It’s a modest, unassuming workhorse that demonstrates why cable is just so...

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Jan 24, 2010
Gondola, MDG, Technology

Aerial Technologies, Lesson 2: MDG

Monocable Detachable Gondolas (MDG) are likely the most common CPT system you’ll encounter as their low cost has made them an attractive addition to public transit systems in the developing world. Systems like the Medellin MetroCable, Telecabine de Constantine and Caracas Metrocable all use MDG technology. Characterized by a detachable grip which allows for intermediary...

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Jan 13, 2010
Research Issues, Technology, Thoughts, Urban Planning & Design

Cable Shut-down

Yesterday, in Lenggries Germany, a gondola system malfunctioned stranding dozens of riders in mid-air. Helicopters were were used in the rescue. There were no injuries. The system was built by a subsidiary of Thyssenkrupp, a manufacturer with little experience in cable transit. Detractors of cable technology – I’m certain – will use this as evidence...

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Jan 12, 2010

Aerial Technologies, Lesson 1: Introduction

With most traditional transit technologies, there is little consideration about the variations within that technology. A bus is a bus; a streetcar is a streetcar; and a subway is a subway. Sure, there’s variation between suppliers and models, but those differences are negligible compared to the overall technologies themselves. That’s one of the real competitive...

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Jan 07, 2010

What Changed?

(Check out this fascinating video of a San Francisco Cable Car in action, days before the 1906 earthquake. Tnanks to Ron Wm. Hurlbut for pointing it out!) Lot’s of people have asked of me a variation of the following question: If cable’s so great, why did we change all our cable cars to electric ones...

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