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Urban Cable Transport & Gondolas

This is a good example of:

Transit systems in areas where road and rail base transit are impractical.


Benefits and Problems Addressed

Transport where roadway transit impractical or unavailable: Cables are good for areas with steep hills or over waterways. Increasingly, cities are looking to suspended systems where roadway capacity cannot be expanded or dedicated for rapid transit.

Minimal design: Cables are less land and design intensive than new roads or subways. This can lower costs, and enable a system that blends into surroundings.

Tips & Techniques

Best candidates: The best locations will feature intense nodes not well served by traditional transit options.  Cable systems are most common in mountainous regions with hills and valleys, as well as over waterways.

Alternative to surface service: Cities are investigating cable systems as an alternative to bus rapid transit and light rail, either where road capacity is compromised or to see if costs are lower.

Types – Overhead cable: Top supported, or aerial, cable systems, are supported from above by a cable that may or may not propel the cable car. Systems can have 1, 2, or 3 cables for support and movement. Types include aerial trams, funitels, and pulse gondolas.

Types – Bottom supported cable:  These trains look like monorails, but are propelled by a cable. Types include funiculars, cable liners and mini metros.

Hot buttons: because of their newness, skepticism exists on costs, performance and safety.  Turns (as opposed to straight alignment) can complicate routing.

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