Urban Gondola Systems
Urban Gondola Systems

Urban Gondola, Cable Car and Funicular Projects -Planning, Feasibility Studies, Design and Engineering

PROJECT REFERENCES: Urban Transit Cableways

Utah Deptment of Transportation (UDOT); Salt Lake City, UT (2021) Little Cottonwood Canyon Transit EIS”:  Technical Feasibility Study sub-consulting contract with UDOT for the aerial cableway portion of the EIS studying rapid transit modes to improve public transit along State Road 210 from Fort Union Blvd to the town of Alta, UT. Due to the over 20 km route length, the urban cable car technology to be studied is a tri-cable (3S) gondola operating at 30 km/h with 35 passenger vehicles. Due to the unique geographical challenges of the highway routing, if implemented, this 3S gondola would be one of the longest urban cableways in the world. Project partner: HDR Engineering. Length of 12 km with multiple angles and stations.

New York City Economic Development Corp; New York, (2019 - 2020) Governors Island Aerial Transit Connector”: Consultant for Technical Feasibility Study, design, document / drawing verification, and peer review for a 3-S gondola system, at 6,000 pph/pd capacity to link with NYC Metro and cross over NY harbor from Manhattan to Governors Island, and a future phase to connect to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Services include station siting and station-oriented development, tower calculations and design to span the shipping channel with a clearance of 135’ above the water, line calculations, profile review, performance specifications, capital and O&M cost estimates review. Project partner: AECOM Engineering. Length of 2.8 km with 3 stations.

Portland Tri-Met Regional Transit District; Oregon, (2019 - 2020) “OHSU Aerial Tramway / Funicular”: Technical sub-consulting contract for City of Portland / Tri-Met for Design and Feasibility Study of an aerial tramway and incline funicular to connect Metro light rail multi-modal station to Oregon Health Sciences University on Marquam Hill. Provided services of engineering, calculations, profiles, specifications, passenger carrying capacities, and capital cost estimates for multiple alignment alternatives and station and tower locations and elevations. Tramway or funicular would provide supplemental service to the existing PATI tram. Project Partner: Southwest Transit Partners. Lengths of 0.8 km to 1.2 km / 2 stations.

Miami-Dade County TPO; Miami, Florida, (2016 - 2017) “East / West Transit Corridor Metro-Cable:  Contract for urban gondola Design and Feasibility Study, route alignments, and cost analysis for Aerial Cable Transit (ACT) contracted by Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO). Aerial gondolas studied to interconnect with Metrorail / Metromover at transit centers including Florida International Univ., Marlins Stadium, Miami International Airport, the Health District, Downtown, Port of Miami and Miami Beach; 3 waterway crossings over Biscayne Bay, Intracoastal Waterway and Miami River; 4 Interstate highway crossings; 8 route alternatives. Project partner: Jacobs Engineering. Lengths of 2.5 km to 7.5 km with multiple stations.

Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), Colorado, (2016) Five Points Metro-Cable:   Consultant to RTD for replacement of Central Light Rail with Aerial Cable Transit for gondola technical study and station / alignment layouts for CRE replacement and extension of the original Central light rail line. Consulting services facilitated RTD’s presentation to the City’s DTPW on the feasibility of an aerial cable system to replace and extend the existing Five Points corridor bus and rail service and create station-oriented development opportunities and pedestrian greenways along Welton and Downing Streets and the 30th and Downing transit center. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Length of 4.7 km with 6 stations.

Miami Aerial Transit Partners; Miami, Florida, Miami Aerial Cable Transit”: Consultant for planning to organize developers / stakeholders to form P3 consortium to advance urban gondola projects that were identified in ACT feasibility studies conducted by Miami-Dade TPO. P3 group would develop unsolicited offer for design, build, operate, maintain (DBOM) “first mile / last mile” urban gondola projects to connect identified neighborhoods and activity centers to existing rapid transit – Metrorail, Metromover, Tri-rail, and Brightline. Performed technical and economic studies, route analyses, specifications, cost estimates, and stakeholder contacts. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Variable lengths / multiple stations.

State of New York; Albany, NY, (2017 - 2018) NY State Fair Aerial Transit Contract with NY Office of General Services for technical and economic feasibility studies and engineering design for new transportation gondola in Syracuse, crossing over Interstate 690 and linking the Fairgrounds with Onondaga County Park. Gondola will serve as a people mover between the two venues and remote parking; and serve as a year-round tourism attraction, providing views of Lake Onondaga, to stimulate economic development in the Mid-State region. The aerial cableway is being designed completely by Eco-Transit with permits to be obtained from NYDOT and CSX Railway. Project partner: MJ Engineering. Length of 1.2 km / 2 stations.

Miami-Dade County TPO; Miami, Florida, “Coconut Grove Metro-Cable”: Feasibility study with route analysis, specification development, cost analysis and intermodal evaluation criteria commissioned by Citizens Independent Transit Trust (CITT) and Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization for an urban gondola connector inclusive in the study with Bus Rapid Transit, light rail and elevated guideway people mover modes. Study linking the existing 27th Ave. Metrorail station, the Coconut Grove village core and the Convention Center along alternative right of way transit corridors; comparison of design of project transit modes. Project partner: Reynolds-Smith-Hills Engineering. Length of 4.2 km / 3 to 4 stations.

City of Ogden; Utah, “Intermodal Aerial Transit Connector”: Technical and economic feasibility study and transit-oriented development (TOD) planning commissioned by the Ogden City Planning Department and mayor’s office for an Aerial Cable Transit (ACT) gondola to connect Weber State University, a new proposed downtown redevelopment  area and shopping mall, the City Park area, and the new Ogden Intermodal Rail and Transit Center to connect with the UTA Salt Lake City commuter rail system. Project represented many urban planning and political challenges due to its length, urban environment and routings. Eco-transit was prime consultant. Length of 6.0 km with 4 stations.

Miami-Dade Aviation Dept. (MDAD); Miami, Florida, “MIC-MIA Connector”: Technical feasibility study for technology options and route analysis, conceptual design, site simulations and cost estimates for a Funitel aerial cableway system, “Sky-Trans”, to connect the proposed Miami Intermodal Center with the Miami International Airport concourses. Two routes were studied – a center route through the parking garages, and a Y route around the garages to each terminal side. The dual system cableway design included special tower designs, 25 passenger cabins, a speed of 1,500 feet per minute and a per direction carrying capacity of 9,000 pph between the two ropeways. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Length of 1.9 km with 2 stations.

Tasmania Office of Coordinator General; Hobart, Australia, (2019 - 2021) Cradle Mountain National Park Transportation Cableway”: Specialist consultant for the Technical Design and Feasibility Study of an 8.0 km, transportation aerial cableway in Australian wilderness area to connect Visitors Center transport hub to the Dove Lake and Tasmanian Wilderness UNESCO World Heritage Site. This environmentally sensitive National Park portal is currently accessed by cars and tourist buses; it is the intent of the National Park to reduce the operational carbon footprint within the Park by providing a ten passenger cabins' aerial gondola transportation system for visitors and employees to replace the shuttle bus system. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Length 7.9 km / 3 - 5 stations.

Town of Mountain Village, Telluride, Colorado, (2018) “Mid-Village Aerial Gondola:  Consultant with the Town and Homeowners Association for the redesign and re-development of Mid-Village gondola station for the proposed Lift 10 replacement. Station area design and development analysis and parking integration included required infrastructure, roadway and ski trail alignments, location alternatives and integration of commercial buildings and parking. Pedestrian and skier flow, and a ski in/ski out access design analysis for Mid-Village as a proposed additional base area, activity center and skier delivery portal to the West side Lift #10 ski trails. Eco-Transit was prime consultant. Length of 4.0 km with 3 stations.

N.J. Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA); Atlantic City, NJ, “Convention Center Metro-Cable”:  Contract for technical and economic feasibility study, architectural schematics, line profiles, station and tower design for a 3,000 pphpd ACT gondola system to connect the South Jersey Transit Authority rail station, the AC Convention Center, a proposed big box mall, the Caesars Palace resort complex, the Boardwalk and Atlantic City Pier attractions; project involves a 1/4 mile water crossing above the Atlantic Ocean to connect the end of Pier to the mainland; 2 route alternatives; construction management for the station structure at end of Caesar’s Pier. Project partner: SOSH Architects. Length 1.8 km / 4 stations.

Wasatch Front Range Council (WFRC); Salt Lake City, Utah, “Ogden Transit Mode Study”: Multi-modal feasibility study commissioned by the WFRC Metropolitan Planning Organization to connect Ogden Intermodal Center with downtown and Weber State University. Evaluation of light rail, streetcar, BRT and aerial cable transit (ACT) as possible modes to connect Ogden activity centers to the planned UTA Ogden Intermodal Transit Center. Services included preparing the ACT technology and cableway alignment analysis portion of the overall transit study with line calculations, profiles, route alternatives and station locations. Project partner: Michael Baker Assoc. Engineering. Length of 3.2 km with 3 stations.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA)Stateline, Nevada "Highway 50 Corridor Cable Car”: Feasibility study and design engineering commissioned by TRPA for an ACT gondola for the Bi-state Commission of California-Nevada; Hwy 50 corridor project to supplement bus service between Nevada casino / hotels and California hotels and recreation sites. The proposed system originated in Nevada at the casino hotels with a centerline route along Hwy 50, crossing over the California border to service the lodging district in South Lake Tahoe. Project challenges included extreme environmental regulation and the line crossing between two states. Ec-Transit was prime consultant. Length 5.0 km with 5 stations.

Broward County MPO; Ft Lauderdale, Florida, “FLL / Port Everglades Connector  Proposed aerial cable car system and possible intermodal station area design and development (SADD) feasibility study commissioned by the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization for an airport light rail station and/or gondola transit station for the proposed automated people mover (APM) between the cruise ship port, Port Everglades, and the FLL airport terminals and rental car facilities. Studied the light rail and cable car routes, mapping, specifications, cost estimates and movement of passengers between facilities and stations. Project partner: Parsons Transportation Group. Length of 4.2 km with 2 to 3 stations.

City of New Orleans; Lousiana, “Mississippi River Aerial Transit (MART)”: An aerial transportation system for the “1984 World’s Fair” alongside the Mississippi River. Project management role for the supply, installation and certification of the high capacity monocable gondola crossing over the Mississippi River with a free span of 3,000 feet from bank to bank. The two specially designed towers were 400 ft high to give 175 ft of clearance over the Mississippi River shipping channel. Provided coordination with outside construction contractors and consultants, and coordinated over-water evacuation drills with designated first responders. Project partner Poma of America. Length 1.6 km with 2 stations.

Denver Citizens Transit Alliance (CTA); Colorado, “Mile High Skyway”: Team member for technical and economic study for a dual-purpose, transit and tourism aerial cableway for the annual planning workshop project within the Citizens Transit Alliance Academy regional program. Planning, engineering and design of a proposed 12 passenger gondola system as a people mover and attraction to provide end to end, express service above the 16th Street Mall to supplement or replace the existing free mall shuttle buses; multi-modal linkage with Fastracks light rail and new RTD multi-modal transportation center at the Civic Center and State Capital. Project partner: Triunity Engineering. Length of 2.5 km with 3 to 5 stations.

Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), Colorado, “Sports Venues Aerial Gondola”: Conceptual feasibility studies, route alternatives, specifications and cost analysis for design of multiple Aerial Cable Transit gondola routes to serve as public transit connectors between downtown and the City's sports venues - Mile High Stadium, Pepsi Center, and Coors Field; also connecting selected downtown light rail stations and intermodal transit centers with "first mile / last mile" connectors; and preparation of data for RTD aerial cableway presentation to the City of Denver; 1 water crossing over the South Platte River and over Interstate 25; Project partner: Triunity Engineering. Various lengths / multiple stations.

University of Colorado; Boulder, Colorado, (2014) “CU Skyway Gondola”: Technical feasibility study and cost analysis commissioned by Univ. of Colorado Chancellor's Office of Research for urban gondola connecting Main Campus, Engineering Complex, East Research Campus and the Williams student housing complex. Transporting students, faculty and staff and supplementing bus service along the congested Colorado Ave. transit corridor. Emphasis on "green transit" sustainability and design via an exclusive aerial right of way, removing autos, RTD buses and surface transit from the campus and access roadways; emissions reduction; 2 route alternatives. EcoTransit was prime consultant. Length of 4.3 km with 3 to 5 stations.

U.S. Dept. Defense (US Navy); Washington, DC, “Navy UNREP Ropeways”: Technical engineering study commissioned by US Navy for the design and evaluation of aerial transport systems for the deployment of industrial cableways to resupply warships underway with fuel, munitions, equipment and supplies. Project partner: McMillen Naval Architects.

U.S. Dept. Defense (US Air Force); Anchorage, Alaska, “NORAD Ropeways”:  Modification proposals commissioned by U.S. Air Force for aerial cableways at Alaska  facilities to move materials and personnel from NORAD radar base stations to the mountain Radome facilities as part of Dept. of Defense early warning missile detection system.
 

University of Michigan / City of Ann Arbor; Michigan, "Ann Arbor Skyline": Technical Feasibility Study on a cooperative basis between the City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan working with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Association and regional stakeholders for a proposed Metro transit gondola with five activity center stops connecting the two University of Michigan campuses, the UM Hospital and Ann Arbor central business district, with a proposed connecting spur to the Amtrak railway station. Services included route alternatives analysis, station siting, ACT specifications, cost estimates and schedule development. Project partner: Doman Engineering. Length of 2.8 km with 5 stations.

City of Fredericksburg; Virginia, “Celebrate Virginia Gondola: Rappahannock River crossing. Aerial Cable Transit feasibility study contract with Central Park developer, in partnership with the City and County; including station area design and development (SADD); tall tower and river crossing engineering; town hall presentations; obtained Division of Wildlife permit for the project to span the Rappahannock River with an aerial gondola to connect the Celebrate Virginia South hotel and entertainment district to the Celebrate North mixed use development area; aerial system also links two golf courses and a Civil War historical site and environmental interpretative center. Project Partner: SilverCo. Length 3.0 km with 3 stations.

Deya Industrial Group; San Juan, Puerto Rico, (2015 -2016) Desde del Aire Teleferico”:  Contract in partnership with San Juan Economic Development Authority for technical and economic feasibility studies, design engineering, project drawings, line calculations, profiles, tower and terminal locations, specifications and RFP preparation for a proposed transit cable car to connect Bahia Urbana to the San Juan National World Heritage Site, with mid-station at the cruise ship docks. The waterfront project in conjunction with the San Juan Port Authority, US Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers and US National Parks. Project partners: Deya Group, Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma. Length of 1.8 km with 3 stations.

Municipo de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, (2019) Metro-Cable Linea Dos”:  Lead consultant for Study Proposal to design Linea 2 of the municipal teleferico cable car to connect neighborhoods to light rail Metro extension. System comprised of multiple line sections and 8 ACT stations. Analyzed 1S and 3S teleferico technology with preliminary design proposal profiles, stations, towers and cabins to be able to develop specifications and capital costs and operation and maintenance budgets. Proposal partners: Super Canal Group, Estrella Construction, Integra Architects, Deya Group and Bartholet Ropeways; Section lengths of 5.0 km and 12.1 km (total 17.1 km) with 4 and 8 stations for each section.

Miami Chamber of Commerce / EWM Group; Miami, Florida, “Baylink Aerial Ropeway”: Technical and economic feasibility study for Baylink, aka Beach Corridor, aerial transit consisting of interconnected mono-cable and tri-cable gondolas to link Miami and South Beach. An ACT gondola, crossing over Biscayne Bay and connecting Watson Island with the Miami Metro-mover station at Museum Park and Bayside, adjacent to OMNI Center; continuing service along the Macarthur Causeway, crossing over the intracoastal Waterway to Miami Beach and the Convention Center. Dual function aerial system as public transit and revenue producing attraction. EcoTransit was prime consultant. Length 5.2 km with 3 to 5 stations.

LoDo / LoHi / RiNo Districts; Denver, Colorado, (2019) Neighborhood Connectors to Light Rail”: Technical feasibility studies for implementation of urban gondolas to connect communities, not currently served by rapid transit, to existing RTD FasTracks light rail stations. Planning, routes’ analyses, design, cost estimates and business cases for “first mile / last mile” aerial cableway connectors utilizing existing rights of way. Meetings with proponents and community stakeholders to advance Aerial Cable Transit as an environmentally friendly solution to traffic congestion and pollution getting from one neighborhood to another. Eco-Transit is prime consultant. Lengths 1.5 to 3.8 KM with multiple stations.

Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Orlando, Florida, Convention Center Aerial Connector”: Technical and economic feasibility study contract with Intrawest Placemaking Corp with planning, engineering, profile, calculations and performance specifications for Orange County, stakeholders and Intrawest Corp for a gondola people mover connector system crossing over the highway and waterway between a new residential and commercial mixed-use development and the Westin Hotel connecting to the Orlando Convention Center and its parking garages. Project Partner: Intrawest Development. Length of 0.9 km with 2 stations within the Westin and Convention Center itself.

Fort Lewis College / City of Durango; Colorado, “Fort Lewis to Downtown Gondola”:  The University, City of Durango and the DSNGR Railroad teamed for a technical feasibility study for a pulsed gondola system to link the main Fort Lewis Campus with the central business district and Durango City Park. The bus transit service from campus to downtown has proved to be inadequate due to steep roadways. The City will realize an economic benefit from providing more convenient transit service for students to downtown merchants; gondola revenues from tourists are projected to cover all annual O&M costs of the aerial transit system. Eco-Transit was prime consultant. Length 1.4 km with 2 stations.

Dorothea Dix Municipal Park, Raleigh, N. Carolina, (2018) “City Park Skyway”:  Consulting services to the master plan of the Raleigh City Council and Raleigh Parks system to provide a ten passenger urban gondola system to connect the downtown government center area and the municipal parking structures to the redevelopment areas of Dorothea Dix Municipal Park. The comprehensive study looked at alternative routes along City rights of way to minimize eminent domain intrusion and developed multiple route scenarios, performance specifications, capital and O&M cost estimates and typical scheduling for the system. Eco-Transit was prime consultant. Length of 2.0 km with 3 stations.

Mountain Village HOA; Telluride, Colorado (2015), Transit Gondola Maintenance Study: Conducted survey of the ten-year operating, maintenance and evacuation procedures for the three section Mountain Village transit gondola for inclusion in Eco-Transit nationwide studies. Compiled data for the gondola's O&M staffing, hours and costs. Also, surveyed the Gondola system's capital funding and Federal 5309 operating grant programs. Interviewed operations and maintenance personnel and managers and compiled summary reports. Inspections of drive equipment, tension systems, accel / decel mechanisms, carriers and line towers. Eco-Transit prime consultant. Lengths of 4.5 km / 5 stations.

Dimensione Ingienierie, SA; Torino, Italy (2017), Cable Smart Aerial Transit”: Consultant for the design, prototype strategy, and market collaboration for the development of an innovative cable car technology utilizing the combined principles of aerial cable-propelled gondola systems for long, point to point urban public transport and the principles of elevated, self-propelled, automated people mover systems for local and autonomous transport of passengers. The system will be capable of developing an interconnected resort or urban transit network, whereby passengers can remain in the same vehicle to transfer through stations for both aerial cableway and elevated rail APM continuous service. Project partner: Dimensione Ingenierie. Lengths up to 10 km with multiple stations.

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