Post by Steven Bochenek
Hello, I’m the second Steven to join the Gondola Project but, for the sake of ease, I go by Steve. A writer by trade, I have several specialties, one of which is automobile journalism. Indeed I am an accredited member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and was even voted the runner-up Journalist of the Year in 2014.
I currently reside in Europe but until recently lived in downtown Toronto, Canada. It’s safe to say that when most people in the world think about Canada, if they do at all, they picture a vast empty land with boundless vistas. Or they envision clean orderly towns, peopled by more polite versions of Americans driving empty roads. The reality for nearly all Canadians though is gridlocked city life, with aggressively rude drivers. This is especially the case for Torontonians. Depending on your source, Toronto’s traffic and commuting woes have been called worse than New York, LA and even Barcelona’s.
It was through my struggles as a city-bound auto journalist that I happened upon the Gondola Project. As an auto writer, part of my duties were to test drive a given car for a week, then write about the experience. Usually that entailed sitting, frustrated, in the car, unable to get where I wanted.
I began to separate my reportage from other auto journalists by discussing the reality of urban driving. It’s a far cry from the idealized photos and road stories we all see in our local paper’s autos section.
City driving is a mess. It chokes our cities’ economies while choking our children and boiling our blood pressure in frustration. What’s the point of having 350hp and massive torque delivery if pedestrians are passing you? The situation is not going to get better. Over half the world now lives in cities. The days of a quick drive from the suburbs on un-crowded public highways are over. What’s a driver to do? This became a regular theme in my stories.
Then, two years ago, I looked up. Overhead all was clear. Then I looked up the Gondola Project. I was an instant convert.
What a revelation for urban life to make cable cars commuter vessels! The infrastructure costs are a fraction of underground or even over–ground rail; the build time too.
Then there are the salubrious benefits. The power costs for operation are infinitesimal. So it’s better for the environment, but it’s also good for individuals. Imagine! Instead of descending into the bowels of the earth for your daily commute or sitting grumpily in your car and having to continually challenge other motorists for every inch, you could be lifted up, up, up and over the heads of everyone, enjoying the views and zero traffic tie-ups. Cable car technology literally and figuratively makes urban transport an uplifting experience. I look forward to writing more about it.