25
Jan

2019

First Cabins Have Arrived for Haifa’s Urban Gondola

Post by Gondola Project

 

Haifa Urban Gondola. Image from Colbonews.

A little over a year ago, we reported that Haifa’s 4.6km urban gondola proposal was still in the planning and design stage. Fast forward to January 2019, construction is well underway and the first cabins have arrived in the northern Israeli city.

To enhance passenger comfort and safety, it appears that the cabins will be equipped with air conditioning and security cameras. A/C will be important for riders as the end-to-end travel times will be 19 minutes. In terms of aesthetics, the cabins are coloured white at this time but the actual cabins will be blue.

System map. Screenshot from Youtube.

As it stands, the ropeway will connect 6 major activity nodes which include the central bus terminal, Krayot Junction (Check Post), Dori Street, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology (2 stations) and the University of Haifa. Project proponents hope to increase public transit usage by providing a convenient and quick connection for 2 million annual passengers.

This project is worth NIS 330 million (US$90 million) and is a culmination of more than 10 years of planning. Despite the advanced construction stage of the gondola, some citizens asked the city’s new mayor if the project could still be cancelled. In response, the Ministry of Transport explained that the project is at “a point of no return”.

If everything goes according to plan, the system is expected to open for passenger service in March 2020.



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Comments

  1. Ulrich J. Becker
    Dear All, I am wondering, why at the same route (Central Bus Station Mifratz HaCarmel to Technion / Haifa University) the city not just takes the existing Bus service of today - that even now without a special dedicated Bus Lane, travels with the same travel times that you quote for your Gondula - and upgrades them to more frequency, more direct route and a dedicated lane. They would be faster than the Gondula, would transport more passengers than the Gondula, would stay on ground level and be much much more less expensive than building the whole Gondula system for hundred of Millions NIS and have an annual maintenance of 15+ Million NIS (?). If this is the case, I really don't see the need or added value to have the expensive Gondulas some day than having cost effect BRT now? I would be happy, if you could point out, if I am missing here something? Thanks and best regards,
  2. Hi Ulrich - It's hard for us to comment on a bus route because we personally have not read this comparative analysis. We're also not sure how transparent the planning and design process is in Haifa but imagine that is it possible to find some background research on this topic. Digging up info on this system has been challenging due in part to language barriers (most up to date info is available in Hebrew). In addition, to costs and performance, the project proponents may have assessed other factors related to tourism potential, ability to attract choice riders and environmental concerns. For instance, many urban gondolas tend to attract tourists (helping boost ridership) and in many places around the world, buses are not preferred modes of transport cause they are viewed negatively by the public for its low level of service. Again, this may not be the case for Haifa, but just some ideas to think about.