24
Oct

2014

Weekly Roundup: Students Propose Urban Gondola in Zurich; Vietnam Plans Cable Car in World’s Largest Cave

Post by Nick Chu

Sơn Đoòng Cave. Image by Flickr user Nguyen Tan Tin.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of urban gondolas, cable cars and cable propelled transit:



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22
Oct

2014

Aerobus: Ahead of Its Time?

Post by Nick Chu

We may have posted this video earlier but recently there has been some comments about the Aerobus which made me revisit the technology.


Based off some quick Google searches, it seems like it has been awhile since anyone online has given Aerobus the time of day. The last news article mentioned that a few developments were made in Ecuador but there appears to be little word on what progress has been made so far (at least in the English language).

Digging through Gondola Project’s past blog posts, we ourselves actually had some interesting but cursory discussions on the technology (click here).

But after watching the Aerobus promotional video again last night, it got me thinking: was the Aerobus a technology that was ahead of its time?

Perhaps to partially answer that question, we can take look at the technology and its basic claims/achievements:

  • Capacity: up to 10,000 pphpd
  • Speeds: up to 60km/h
  • Headways: 60 seconds
  • Estimated cost: $23 million/km

Now some of the variables are hard to ascertain. Supporters may assert that a few pilot systems were implemented back in the 1970s-90s but I imagine that argument, unfortunately, holds little weight in today’s time.

On the flip side, we often contend that “No City Wants to Be First But Every City Wants to be Second” and that without the internet, cable transit may not be where it is today.

So let’s just assume that another pilot Aerobus was safely redesigned, financed, and implemented in a city, would the technology take off? I certainly don’t have a clear answer right now but it’s got me thinking more.

If the technology has ever had a chance to redefine itself and gain a foothold in the urban transport market, the time may be now. In comparison to the 70s, in today’s environment the Aerobus may have many of the necessary ingredients to succeed: escalating traffic congestion, massive urbanizing populations and the increasing need for innovative, green and sustainable transit solutions.

But I feel that I’m almost certainly missing something here and maybe readers with a greater knowledge of the technology and history can help provide guidance to this post. What are your thought? Am I onto something or not even remotely?

I’d love to hear from you.

 



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17
Oct

2014

Weekly Roundup: Tender for Urban Cable Car in Brest (Téléphérique) Released.

Post by Nick Chu

Urban Cable Car (Téléphérique) in Brest. Image from Capucins Brest.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of urban gondolas, cable cars and cable propelled transit:

  • The tiny pacific island of American Samoa once had a cable car, that is until a military plane severed the line during an exhibition. While the system has been out of commission since the 1980s, the governor is now looking to rebuild the cable car.


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16
Oct

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Telluride / Mountain Village Gondola

Post by Nick Chu

Telluride / Mountain Village Gondola. Image by Flickr user Ken Lund.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund.

About:

Every Thursday, the Gondola Project team will select stunning captures of CPT lines. We hope this will continue to bring more attention to the technology and provide visually impactful examples of cable car systems worldwide. If you’d like to submit or nominate a picture for our “Photo of the Week”, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.



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14
Oct

2014

The Hybrid Monorail-Funicular-Cable Car?

Post by Nick Chu

Every so often we are confronted with wonderful and mysterious transportation devices (see Chinese Tunnel Bus). Today, we happen to come across the Sistema Monorail Con Funiculares (or the Monorail System With Funiculars) — a conceptual transit system designed by ECOLVIAS from Medellin, Colombia.

There’s not much information about this technology but it does make me wonder what type of advantages/disadvantages one might discover if you fuse monorail technology with cable cars. Perhaps it offers greater stability, capacity and/or speeds? Or maybe it’s as simple as being able to travel in style onboard teardrop-shaped cabins. Without any additional details it’s really anybody’s guess at this time.

But perhaps our engineer readers have a better idea and could provide us with your thoughts!



Big thanks goes out to Guenther for the link.



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11
Oct

2014

Weekly Roundup: French City, Le Havre, Studies Urban Cable Cars; Brno Mayor Promises Urban Gondola by 2017

Post by Nick Chu

Urban gondola alignments under study for Le Havre. Image from paris-normandie.fr.

Urban gondola alignments under study for Le Havre. Image from paris-normandie.fr.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of urban gondolas, cable cars and cable propelled transit:

  • Le Havre, a French city of 250,000, is currently studying the feasibility of building a network of urban cable cars. The report is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. Two to three different alignments are now under examination which would link up places such as Jacques-Monod Hospital, the center of Montivilliers, Jenner, and an industrial area. 
  • After seeing the Montjuic Cable Car, Roman Onderka, the mayor of Brno was inspired build an urban cable car in the Czech Republic’s second largest city. The system is proposed to connect the Faculty of Medicine at Bohunice (in the southwest of the city) to the Pisarky tramway (in the northwest of Výstaviště) within 5 minutes. If he is re-elected, he believes the system can be complete in 4 years.


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09
Oct

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Gibraltar Cable Car

Post by Nick Chu

Gibraltar Cable Car. Image by Flickr user David Stanley.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user David Stanley.

About:

Every Thursday, the Gondola Project team will select stunning captures of CPT lines. We hope this will continue to bring more attention to the technology and provide visually impactful examples of cable car systems worldwide. If you’d like to submit or nominate a picture for our “Photo of the Week”, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.



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.

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