Weekly Roundup

14
Feb

2020

Weekly Roundup: Conservation and Cable Cars

The City of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, pictured, will soon be connected with another popular tourist destination, Riviera Nayarit, via cable car.

The City of Everett in Massachusetts, USA submitted a $200 thousand grant application to conduct a feasibility study for an aerial tramway or gondola. The grant application was submitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The objective of the gondola is to provide public transit from the Assembly Orange Line Station to the Encore Casino, providing enhanced travel options for work and leisure. The study will include ridership analysis, conceptual alignments, station designs, required permits, and budget estimates.

The Lake Tahoe gondola is moving forward after conservationists dropped their lawsuit. The group agreed to do so in exchange for land purchases and other environmental protection measures. The gondola will span 3.5 km, connecting two ski resorts with a 16-minute trip.  For the gondola to be constructed the U.S. Forest Service’s will need to give their approval.

Two of Mexico’s popular tourist destinations, Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta, are being connected through construction of a panoramic cable car . The $9.33 million (USD) project will include 7 towers and is expected to take three years to complete. Five percent of the project’s budget is allocated for environmental care.

Doon-Mussoorie ropeway in India is expected to be one of the longest in the world. The 5.5 km system will connect Mussoorie, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, to the capital city of Dehradun, cutting down commutes by 10 to 15 minutes. The system will have 53 eight-person cabins with a total capacity of up to 1,200 people.

chair lift accident in the Stoos-Muotatal region of central Switzerland resulted in  four riders suffering serious injuries. The ongoing investigation has identified a stretched-out winch cable for a piste vehicle as the possible reason.



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07
Feb

2020

Weekly Roundup: Cities Embrace Multiple Cable Car Systems

In San Miguelito, Panama, there are plans to begin construction of a Metrocable system this year that will connect to the existing metro stations, like the one pictured.
Photo Credit: Valenciano [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
  • Korea’s first cable car tourist attractions are no longer a must see. Tongyeong City and South Gyeongsang built the first cable cars in the county, both boasting ocean views. By 2018 cable cars were being installed almost yearly in locations throughout the nation, decreasing ridership for the initial two systems. The cable car boom is expected to continue, as well as its impact on ridership for the earlier cable cars.


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31
Jan

2020

Weekly Roundup: A Funicular Upgrade and a Super Bowl Sight

The Penn Incline, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, pictured here in 1889, was in operation from 1884 to 1953. Pittsburgh’s Mayor is suggesting a gondola system could be a modern day mode of transport between the Slip and Hill districts where this funicular once stood.
  • The Zagreb cable car in Croatia is expected to open in June. After waiting 13 year, the tram will finally be open for Zagreb residents. In addition to system equipment, the stations are designed to include parking garages and offices. This new cable car comes with the price tag of $135 million.


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24
Jan

2020

Weekly Roundup: Taking the Environment Seriously

A view from Ba Den Mountain in Vietnam, which opened 2 new cable car lines and the largest cable car station in the world this week.
Photo by Châu Thông Phan from Pexels

Skyline Queenstown gondola in New Zealand is clearing a path for additional safety. As part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade, Skyline is clearing Douglas firs near the gondola. The work has been paused, to make sure there is no risk to park or gondola users, after a tree fell into the adjoining Kiwi Birdlife Park. The incident is being investigated to determine how the tree came down and if it was related to the forestry work being done.

Ba Den cable car in Vietnam opened with two new lines and the largest cable car station in the world. The $86.5 million MDG system designed by Doppelmayr, can transport 4,400 people per hour at a speed of 8 meters per second. The first line travels 1.85 km connecting the foot of the Ba Den Mountain to the mountain’s peak, taking 8 minutes rather than the4 hours required if hiking. The second line travels 1.21 km in 5 minutes connecting the foot of Ba Den Mountain to the foot of Ba Den Pagoda Mountain.

Futurist thinkers of all ages see the value of aerial transportation. A group of fifth and sixth graders from New Jersey, known as the “Bot Squad”, participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The competition challenged these students to think of environmentally friendly transportation options. The Bot Squad created a conceptual plan for a cable car in their city of Closter, powered by solar and wind power.

Supporters of the proposed Edmonton gondola expect it to have high ridership, but councilors are skeptical. In a feasibility study presented to the council 637,000 customers are anticipated in the first year. Edmonton residents have been expressing their concern to the press with letters against the proposal. Public outreach is the next phase for the implementation of the project. Further information about the project advancements will come January 28 when councilors discuss the gondola.

Sapanca cable car in Turkey begins pouring concrete. After permitting being initially delayed, the project is continuing to move forward, while locals continue to protest the system. 



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17
Jan

2020

Weekly Roundup: Speedy System Openings

Sea to Sky Gondola
The Sea to Sky Gondola will re-open ahead of schedule next month. Here it is in operation in 2015.
Photo Credit: GoToVan on Flickr, license
  • The Bhaleydhunga passenger ropeway in India is expected to be open by October 2020. The project started in November 2014 and was originally anticipated to be completed in 36 months. The three-year delay was due to forest clearance, harsh weather conditions, and a limited power source. The ropeway will have three stations and will take 12 to 16 minutes to travel the 2,000 meters in elevation between the lower and upper stations.
  • The Likoni Cable Express project in Kenya has been canceled by local senators. The construction of the project was approved in August 2018 with construction set to begin in 2019. However, land disputes between transportation agencies delayed construction and during that time government officials reconsidered the project and pulled back from the public-private partnership.


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10
Jan

2020

Weekly Roundup: New Possibilities

The Alaska Junction in West Seattle, Washington State, USA, is one of the sites that The Urbanist recommends the city of Seattle consider for an urban gondola.
Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Urban gondolas could be the complement Seattle needs for its new light rail, according to The Urbanist. The article cites that the minimal footprint and cost of a ropeway system compared to alternative modes of rapid transit, such as a subway or elevated line, make for a better last mile alternative.

Ajloun cable car in Jordan is expected to open in June of 2021. The 2.85 km system, designed to increase tourism, will be a monocable gondola with 8-person cabins. The line will have three stations and carry visitors to the Ajloun Castle. Construction and development near the stations will bring cafes, restaurants, a five-star hotel and other attractions.

Simon Frazer University’s new president is pushing for the Burnaby Mountain gondola. The system will connect the SFU campus to the SkyTrain station. Currently, three different alignments are being analyzed by TransLink. The gondola is estimated to cost $197 million and have a lower operating cost than the current bus service.

A new cable car project in Penang, Malaysia is expected to get underway by the end of 2020, carrying people from the Penang Botanic Garden to Penang Hill. Currently, visitors make the trip via a funicular or roadway. The funicular, which carries 100 people per trip, has proven unreliable and has considerable wait times due to limited space at the top of Penang Hill. A gondola spreads out the number of people arriving at the top at one time, as well as reduces wait times for getting up and down the hill.



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03
Jan

2020

Weekly Roundup: Starts and Stops

The Walt Disney World Skyliner, in Orlando, Florida, experienced some malfunctions this week, causing some passengers to have prolonged stays inside the cabins.
  • The D’shala-McLeodhanj ropeway in India is expected to be up and running by June of 2020, helping to improve traffic congestion during the peak tourism season. The 1.75 km line will have the capacity to move 1,000 people per hour using a mono-cable detachable gondola system with 18-24 cabins. Construction of the system’s infrastructure is almost complete, and the installation of the ropeway system is expected to begin soon.
  • According to guests, the Walt Disney World Skyliner continues to have malfunctions. On December 29, visitors were stuck on the Skyliner for long enough that they were instructed to open the emergency kits in the cabin. The gondola doors are also causing issues, appearing to open, close, or stay closed at unintended times.  Despite the struggles, the Skyliner remains open, even extending hours to serve visitor demand.
  • Phuket, Thailand continues Sky Way cable car planning. With the success of the Phuket Quoc Cable Car, the integration of Sky Way system on the island is expected to further boost tourism. The currently proposed alignment will be 3 km with three stations and a great view of the city.


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