Weekly Roundup



Weekly Roundup: Penang Chief Minister Announces Urban Cable Car, Skycab

Penang Sky Cab.

Penang Sky Cab.

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

Penang Skycab
Plans for an urban gondola were announced this week in Penang, Malaysia. The 3km system — estimated to cost RM 250-300 million (USD$69-83 million) — will connect Penang Sentral, a future multimodal transport hub in the town of Butterworth, to George Town on Penang island. The island is already linked via ferry and road, but the cable car will provide an alternative and more comfortable form of transit for 1,000 persons per hour in each direction. Passengers are expected to be both tourists and commuters.

POMA’s Presence in Algeria
Algerian news agency, Reporters, interviewed POMA Director Jean Souchal regarding the ropeway manufacturer’s growing presence in Algeria. The country is Africa’s leader in urban cable cars with systems in Algiers, Blida, Constantine, Oran and Tlemcen. The Franco-Algerian partnership should pave the way for more urban gondolas.

Base-to-Base Gondola (Olympic Valley, California)
First there was the world-famous Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler, BC. Now, a Base-to-Base Gondola is being developed to connect the iconic mountains of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The 1400-capacity gondola hopes to improve skiers’ experience and reduce vehicular traffic between the sites.



Weekly Roundup: Urban Zoo Gondola Mooted in Halle, Germany


View from Bergzoo’s observation tower (Halle, Germany). Image by Flickr user Manu.

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

Urban Zoo Cable Car Concept (Halle, Germany)
Halle, a city of 230,000 in the Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt state, invited three ropeway manufacturers to further examine its cable car concept. Plans are preliminary, but the proposal seeks to improve access and rider experience to Bergzoo, the city’s zoological garden on its picturesque Reilsberg Hill.

Winter Resorts Attract Summer Visitors
Ski resorts are no longer closing their doors for summer. Many US ski areas now offer loads of outdoor activities from hiking, ziplining and rope courses to gondola rides, encouraging year-round visits.

Algerian City to Get a Cable Car?
Jijel, a city of 130,000 residents in the Algeria’s northeast, may soon have its own urban cable car. A study is underway for a 1.4km system connecting the city of Ayouf to Ville a la Maison de la Culture.



Weekly Roundup: Cable Car Proposals in Southeast Asia


Suvarnabhumi Airport. Image by Flickr user David McKelvey.

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

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok, Thailand)
The world’s largest manufacturer of ropeways, Doppelmayr, is following several cable car opportunities in Thailand. Among the five projects, Suvarnabhumi Airport is planning to construct an APM system to facilitate passenger movement as the airport undergoes its second-phase expansion plans. Five companies are believed to to be competing for the Bt2.89 billion ($89 million) contract.

Cable Car Cancelled (Lima, Peru)
The proposed cable car going up Cerro San Cristobal has been cancelled. Project proponents have filed a lawsuit against the municipality and appear to be seeking $6 million in indemnification. The company was originally awarded a 30 year concession for the cable car back in 2008.

Sơn Đoòng Cave (Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Vietnam)
After a cable car proposal was announced in the world’s largest cave, environmentalists quickly denounced the plans. However, officials say that the proposal would not see a gondola travel in the cave, rather the 11km system will terminate 300-600m from the cave entrance. The province attracted 2.75 million visitors in 2014, two times more than the previous year.



Weekly Roundup: Cable Cars Proposed in Cardiff (UK) and Morges (Switzerland); Interconnect Gondola Approved

Cardiff Bay. Image by Flickr user Ed Webster.

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

£100 Million Proposal (Cardiff, UK) 
Cardiff Business Council, the city’s investment arm, wants to start a feasibility study on a £100 million (US$150 million) urban cable car which connects the CBD, the bay area, and the town of Penarth. Project proponents believe the system will serve a dual purpose by transporting tourists and commuters alike. The envisioned cable car is 5 miles in length with a capacity of 2,500.

Switzerland’s First Urban Cable Car
Morges, a small Swiss town is expected to grow by 15,000 – 18,000 persons/jobs by 2030. As part of its regional transportation study, an urban gondola linking Longeraie, future neighbourhood of En Molliau, and a train station is being explored. The study is expected to be complete by spring 2016.

Interconnect Gondola Approved (Park City, Utah)
Vail Resorts is on its way to becoming the biggest ski destination in the USA after City Hall approves the Interconnect Gondola. This 1.4 mile (2.3km) ropeway will connect Park City Mountain Resort to Canyons Resort. In approximately 7 months time, the system is expected to be fully operational when ski reason kicks off again in November. The gondola is the centrepiece of Vail’s $50 million package of proposed improvements. 



Weekly Roundup: Singapore’s Second Urban Cable Car to Open in May

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island. Image by Flickr user Christine Schindler.

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

Intra-Island Cable Car (Singapore)
One of Singapore’s biggest tourist destinations, Sentosa, is marking the country’s jubilee celebrations with free entry for all visitors entering via the Broadwalk. As part of the festivities, perhaps one of the most anticipated events is the scheduled opening of Singapore’s second urban gondola — the Intra-Island Cable Car — in May. The new system will improve transport options for the growing number of island visitors by linking Imbiah Lookout to Siloso Park.

Proposed Cable Car for Madhugiri (India) 
Asia’s second largest monolith, the Madhugiri, may one day be connected by a cable car after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah mooted the idea during the Budget. At 1200m in height, this geological feature is already visited by thousands of trekkers each year. Proponents believe a cable car can create jobs and enhance tourism opportunities. 

Computer Glitch (British Columbia, Canada)
Riders were stuck onboard the Grouse Mountain Skyride last Friday night after a computer glitch. After 40 years of trouble-free operations, it seems that the malfunction was related to a recent $6.8 million upgrade to the system’s electronics.



Weekly Roundup: Vertical Gondola Proposed in New Orleans

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

Vertical Gondola (New Orleans, USA)
The Tricentennial Tower (320ft, 98m) is a redevelopment proposal for the World Trade Center New Orleans building. One of its main features includes a vertical gondola ride that takes passengers up to an observation deck and restaurant. The design was created by US Thrill Rides and believes the tower can become an iconic attraction like the Space Needle (Seattle) and London Eye (London).

30th year anniversary (Rotorua, NZ)
The Skyline Rotorua Gondola has been in operations since 1985 and celebrates its 30th birthday this year. This system is reportedly the first cable car system to combine a Luge ride along with an aerial gondola experience.  Since its opening it has transported 8 million passengers to Mt Ngongotaha.

78 conditions Imposed on Arthurs Seat Gondola (Australia)
The Arthur Seat Gondola proposal must meet a strict set of conditions which include items related to food and beverage, landscaping, emergency evacuation and etc. Many topics were discussed in a recent meeting where residents voiced their concerns over parking, threats of bushfires and much more.



Weekly Roundup: Agreement Signed for 6 More Urban Cable Cars in La Paz-El Alto

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

La Paz (Bolivia)
The delivery of a funicular connecting 17 de Obrajes station on the Linea Verde (Green Line) marks the completion of La Paz’s Phase 1 cable car plans. And without wasting anytime, Phase 2 agreements have been signed between the government and Doppelmayr for 6 more urban gondola systems! The total investment will be USD$450 million and the cable cars are scheduled to open by 2020.

Jerusalem Cable Car (Israel)
Reports indicate that government authorities will soon reveal their plans for a cable car connecting Jerusalem’s Old City. The $31 million system is meant to provide improved transport to the city’s 3 million tourists.

14th year anniversary (El Paso, Texas)
The Wyler Aerial Tramway in Franklin Mountain State park is set to celebrate its 14th birthday since it re-opened in 2001. The original system first began operations in 1960 and operated until 1986. Festivities will be held on Saturday from 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Utica Proposals (Utica, New York)
A concept for an urban gondola connecting Harbor Point to the city’s downtown has been raised by councillor Ed Bucciero. The councillor is pushing to have the idea considered by local officials for a more thorough analysis and discussion.

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