Posts Tagged: Gondola

19
Apr

2013

Weekly Roundup: Edmonton to Study Gondola and Funicular for River Valley

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

Rendering of proposed gondola alignment in Edmonton. Image from Edmonton Journal.



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04
Mar

2013

Gears of War: Judgement – Video Games and Gondolas

Public transit and gondolas just never seem to catch a break. And when we thought we’ve seen it all — the Roosevelt Island Tram being attacked by the Punisher, the Sugarloaf Cable Car having its propulsion cable severed by Jaw’s teeth and an LA bus rigged with a ticking time bomb — we find out about the “Gondola Map” in the upcoming video game, Gears of War: Judgement.

Installments of this game sold over 6 million copies each, generating over $1 billion in sales over its lifetime. Image from gamestersparadice.com.

And if it just so happens that you’re not male and not between 8-35 years old, you probably have no idea what a “Gears of War” is. Well, to put it simply, it’s one of the best selling video games and franchises in Xbox history. In other words, millions of teenage boys and young men will soon play and experience what you will see in just a few seconds.

So without further adieu, I present you the “Gondola Map” tour (by the way, I love the ending quote).


Just what we need to make young men crave for urban gondola transit… right?



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09
Jan

2013

User-Controlled Smart Glass (Electrochromic Shades) on Boeing 787 and Lessons for Aerial Cable Cars

Throughout our time on the Gondola Project, we’ve seen many transport systems install smart glass windows (i.e. Morizo Gondola in Japan and Bukit Panjang LRT in Singapore). However, these systems did not offer users the ability to control when the glass becomes “frosted” nor the amount of “frostiness”.

Enter Boeing’s newest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner. These planes now feature what they like to call, “electrochromic shades”.

Electrochromic Shades on Boeing 787. Image by Flickr user Jun Seita.

Passengers can now choose and adjust how transparent they want their windows to be (see video below). While the “electrochromic shades” term sounds a lot like a marketing buzz word, the company is quick to point out that this design was built to improve passenger comfort and fun. And who can doubt them? I’m not sure about you, but if I boarded a plane with this tinting system, I’d certainly let all my friends and family know about it.



This Boeing case study is a great example of how innovative companies and technologies are constantly undergoing minor upgrades to improve passenger experience — something that is often lacking in the field of public transit.

While user-controlled smart glass windows cannot and should not be replicated on all transit vehicles, this feature can certainly be translated into aerial gondola systems.

Giving passengers the option to adjust the level of brightness in a cabin may not convert hordes of auto commuters into transit riders, but perhaps anything that adds a bit of “personalization” and “fun” into the often dreary public space of a transit vehicle is a welcome site.



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07
Dec

2012

Weekly Roundup

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



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23
Nov

2012

Weekly Roundup

 

In preparation for this year's skiing season, mechanics conduct an annual inspection on the Herzogstand cable car in southern Germany. Image from nbcnews.com.

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



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.

15
Nov

2012

Free Transit in France – Applicability to Other Transit Systems?

Châteauroux Bus. Image by Flickr user はにえる.

The Atlantic Cities recently published an excellent article which documents the success of free transit in the French city of Châteauroux. Since it was first implemented in 2001, this demonitized public transport system has experienced significant growth in ridership — from an average of 21 rides per person annually to 61 rides today.

More incredibly, this system actually became profitable for several years once it became free! And in the world of transit planning and policy, this fact alone is almost inconceivable.

So while this model is promising and many cities are following suit, it seems that the Châteauroux situation was unique in many ways. For instance, the municipality’s pre-free transit farebox recovery ratio was very low (14%) and nearly half its riders at that time were already fully subsidized. On top of that, the city expanded its network coverage by 42km, thus increasing its overall catchment area.

Given those statistics and facts, it may be difficult to replicate this model elsewhere, particularly in North America. A quick google search found that in Canada, none of the transit systems surveyed had farebox recovery ratios of less than 22%. And even in the US, where transit systems are often criticized for their large subsidies, most recover between 20-40% of their fares from tickets.

To further complicate matters, research in North America seems to suggest that many free transit systems tend to fail in the long run as they experience major challenges related to vandalism and hooliganism.

So does this automatically mean that this model is destined to fail in Canada and US?

Not quite. There have been several successful cases in the US such as Commerce, California and Island County, Washington — both of whom have operated relatively trouble-free for over 20 years.

But while those two instances are noteworthy, one of the most remarkable and least known free transit systems in the world is actually a gondola.

The Telluride/Mountain Village Gondola has been little-studied but has carried over 26 million passengers since it first opened in 1996.

Similar to the case in Châteauroux, the Telluride/Mountain Village Gondola model may not be applicable in all circumstances. However, given the success seen in Telluride and a growing movement/interest towards establishing zero-fare public transport systems, understanding how to implement and capitalize on CPT technology in free transit networks definitely deserve more attention and analysis.

Telluride Gondola transports 2.25 million passengers annually - that's almost a million more than the Portland Aerial Tram! Image by Flickr user Adrian P. Martin.



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02
Nov

2012

Weekly Roundup

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

  • A proposed cable car project system in Malaysia, which is part of an larger development plan called Santubong Beach City and Resort Centre, has spurred some controversy after the project proponents began clearing mangrove swamps as part of their initial site “investigations”.
  • The Indianapolis Zoo has nearly raised enough money build an aerial gondola. This ride will allow park visitors travel overhead a proposed orangutan exhibit.
  • Located 90km from the capital, Lima, the archaeological and tourist site of Choquequirao in Peru may soon see a cable car. The proposal appears to have support from the Culture Minister and a feasibility study is reported to be underway.


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