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Gondolas for public transportation

Gondolas for public transportation in small cities
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(+5, -3)
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Public transportation is expensive to set up. Subways, trains, monorails, etc.

The cheapest thing to build would be gondolas/ski lifts. No fancy tracks or expensive earth moving. Just a series of poles and some steel cable (it's a little more than that, but you get the idea). This would make it affordable for small cities.

They have more capacity than one might realize, because while any one tram thingy carries only like 10-15 people, they are constantly going one after another, whereas buses and trains, they can only take one bunch of people at a time and have to go back to pick more people up later.

Furthermore, you could have a few more than just two stops on one line. The modern gondolas have a system where they slow down and stack up closer at the station, so people have time to get on and off. And you could put the beginnings of a few gondolas where one ends, at the same station/building, so you could have more interconnectivity with the routes.

There are other advantages, such as that the town can use already existing rights-of-way. There are some disadvantages, such as that if the cable snaps, the whole cable and all the cars would come smashing down onto buildings and people all along the route.

This idea has been floating around environmental/planning circles for a while. Do some googling, feel free to post some links.

EdwinBakery, Aug 02 2010

Similar? Big_20Dig_20Gondolas
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Aug 02 2010]

Like this? http://en.wikipedia...iki/Skyway_(Disney)
Closed in 1994. [Cedar Park, Aug 02 2010]

Aerial Tramway http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Aerial_tramway
[rcarty, Aug 02 2010]

I felt free to post these links... http://kathryn.garf...iStock_sausages.jpg
[xandram, Aug 03 2010]

School bus substitute http://www.sfu.ca/s...tory_02190920.shtml
Bonehead university admin actually wants to do this. [Cuit_au_Four, Aug 03 2010, last modified Aug 04 2010]


       I did think of it myself, riding on a ski lift once - but I'm not the only apparently. It IS a pretty obvious idea.
EdwinBakery, Aug 02 2010

       Ah. For some reason, the title led me to expect gondolas (you know - pointy-ended boats pushed along by an Italian with a big stick), which I think would be much more fun. Cornetto sales would skyrocket.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 02 2010

       Tsh boom.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 02 2010

       I, too, hoped this was for Venice-style gondolas.   

       Which, by the way, are not pushed along by a pole dug into the river bottom like a Cambridge punt, like everybody thinks. They are rowed along by a single oar sticking out to one side. That, of course, is going to turn the boat in circles, so gondolas are built twisted to one side so they are trying to turn in circles the other way.   

       Making a gondola move in a straght line is a challenge that I long to try. I'd also like to just ride in one with my wife, under the moonlight.   

       The thought of American streets full of the crazy, romantic things makes me give this idea a steenkin' feeshbone just for disappointment's sake.
baconbrain, Aug 02 2010

       Who's going to feed these gondalas?
xenzag, Aug 03 2010

       Tourists. That's why they they call it tourist season. Shoot 'em and feed 'em to the gondalas.
baconbrain, Aug 03 2010

       The university I attend is located atop a rather modest hill that bears the misleading moniker of "Mountain." As bureaucrat logic goes, because gondolas carry people up ski slopes, they are automatically the most cost-effective way of scaling any mountain, and because we are awash in hydro-electric energy, it is vital to the existence of all life on Earth that we use it for every single task requiring energetic input. In spite of the huge initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs, the existing roadway and bus system that effectively shuttles students to their destination, and the increased transit time, university officials are pushing for a gondola to be constructed at the base of the hill. It boggles my mind to think that these people were hired at an institute of higher learning.
Cuit_au_Four, Aug 03 2010

       Peggy Guggenheim was apparently the last person to have her own gondola for getting around Venice.
hippo, Aug 04 2010

       /SFU <links>/ I see a business opportunity for a ground-level coffee-shop which stocks dramamine alongside the cream and sugar.   

       Apart from that it seems a nifty, if somewhat overtly fanciful, idea.   

       And in order to get the whole "Hogwart's" experience, the existing roadway would have to be removed, the lift-system would have to be made to look like it chronologically matches the University buildings/campus age, and you'd want an LTA blimp service on hand for overweight/sized items that are too heavy to be shipped up/down on the lift, as well as during lifts' maintenance.   

       ...the support columns for the lift should have windmills on top... perhaps that could be the energy source, or at least supplementary. And the gondolas should have sails as well.   

       Of course the chances of getting the town to pay for it would be pretty well nil.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2010


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